Monday, December 29, 2014

Review of 2014 and Gear Up for 2015

Another year? Already?

Since Game Plan was published in November of 2013 much of early 2014 was spent in the afterglow of debut publication :) I travelled to Vancouver and hoped my way back via Saskatoon and Toronto to promote my story... it didn't result in wide ranging publicity like I hoped, but I visited with great friends and talked to new people - even got to run a workshop at my own high school, which was the highlight.

Spring and summer were spent writing my third novel and and submitting my second... what a roller coaster that is, doing both at once. The excitement and hope of creating, the frustration of rejection, all swirled together from day to day sometimes from hour to hour.

Fall brought acceptance of my third story, sorta out of order. I felt kinda like I was leaving the second behind, abandoning and forgetting it, giving up. And that felt awful.

I discovered Wattpad and posted Nine, which became featured (and has over 8000 readers!), the first chapter of Game Plan and a companion short from Charlie's point of view.

The biggest writerly decision I made this year is to try self publishing. Kinda scary, though now that the decision is made, it's less scary and more exciting. I can't wait to do all the parts, and have to be careful not to rush into it and miss the chance of making it the best story possible.

So where does that leave me going into 2015? What goals are set? Not 'revolutions' as PJ calls them, but goals:

1. Create an excellent second story with the direction and support of Fierce Ink Press.
2. Process through the stages of Self Publishing and create a fantabulous story.
3. Up my GoodReads 2014 reading challenge from 35 to 40.
4. Stay off the diet Coke.
5. Write more short stories, submit to lit magazines.

I should probably be more specific, eh? Like with specific numbers and timelines and stuff... but little steps right?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to everyone! May you not knock your kids' heads together.


Friday, December 19, 2014


I've been working on two projects lately:

1. Communicating with a publisher about my thirdly written story.
2. Moving towards self-pub'ing my secondly written story.

Sitting in the orthodontist's waiting room with Elliot I got an email out of the blue that swapped the stories outright. Curveballs are hard to catch. Uncertainty drives me nutty. But after a fumble I've smothered the curveball and am back in the game... excited about moving forward.

Baseball is awesome, it works with any situation.


Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Reading Challenge

I finished my GoodReads 2014 Reading Challenge last night!!! In December of last year, I set a goal to read 35 books in 2014 and I finished my 35th last night. Doesn't sound like much, does it? I mean that's not even one book a week... but it's more than one book every two weeks and three of those books were monsters: The Goldfinch, A Cruel and Shocking Act and We Are Water were all hefty tomes. (Yes, I did look up that word to make sure I was using it correctly).

 What's interesting about this collection of books is the increased number of local authors who I've met... I've shifted the way I find books. I used to go into Chapters (a favourite place) and peruse the shelves (looked that word up too) for my next favourite book. Usually I'd end up following Heather's or Oprah's suggestions. A huge number of the books I read this year were authors whom I've had the pleasure to meet, talk to, work with... it's such a different experience to read words written by someone you know. There's a whole new dimension to the story, a depth of seeing the reasons behind some of the words. I love it.

I've also learned that there are fantastic books and stories out there that are on par or even surpassing the books that get the accolades and best seller status - something that gives me hope and encouragement as I embark on my self-publishing experiment... I mean if I figured out that the small books are awesome, hopefully other people will too? Maybe this year if you buy books for people try to get a small selling book, from a publisher like Fierce Ink Press or from a local author him/herself.

What was your favourite read of 2014? I've been staring at these covers trying to decide what was mine and it's honestly nearly impossible to do so. I'd recommend any of these if you're looking for a good story (I didn't finish the ones I hated). And don't forget, reviewing a book on GoodReads or on the store's webpage is a much appreciated way to respond to the author's efforts.

Happy Reading!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Organic Chemistry

I took Organic Chemistry in second year of university at Acadia U. I was a nerd. I was a straight A student who studied hard and did well. Mostly smart - and what I didn't 'get' I could make up for by writing A LOT until I figured I earned enough points in there somewhere. But I was stumped by Organic Chemistry. I went into the exam needing a 70% to keep a A (thanks to study groups and assignments I hadn't had to do much work on my own to that point). I studied 50+ hours for that test. (This is where, if I'm telling the story orally I say 'fifty, as in five, zero, not fifteen' just to be sure my listener appreciates my dedication.) I studied with others, I studied by myself. I rewrote notes and redid questions. I met with the teacher to ask for help. I did not get my 70% grade. Mostly it was because by then I had sooo little understanding of Organic Chemistry that I didn't even know what I didn't know to ask questions that are helpful.

That may be the only commonality between Organic Chemstry and Self Publishing a novel.

I've googled 'self publishing' and get companies who are eager to help but I'm wary of anyone that excited to take my money and my story. I could spend a small fortune on books about self publishing... and I really want to know if they were self published too? I feel like the road runner, spinning my feet really, really fast and not getting anywhere... But when he moves, it's like a shot, right? So the time is coming!


Monday, December 01, 2014

The Golden Egg

In my research about self pub'ing I found a quote that went something like this: "The hurricane will kill the goose that lays the golden egg." Wherein the hurricane referenced the onslaught of bad writing that is published through self publishing just because they can.

I'm jumping on the band wagon, joining the club and the fray, signing up, buying the farm - oh wait, I think that one's different.

I'm finding the golden egg. Or am I laying it? I'm confused. I'm going to publish Aptitude myself. Now that I've decided, I'm freakin excited instead of terrified :)

Feel free to come along for the ride.


#GoodDay Reviews

Charlie's Story on Wattpad

Game Plan on Wattpad

Nine on Wattpad

My other Distraction