2019 Resolutions

I have a story coming out in 13 days and the sky’s kinda falling everywhere and I’ll blog about some of that in a bit, so how about we do some new year’s resolutions?

First up: revisiting last year’s resolutions!

Finish the standalone book.

Fair to say when I made this resolution I thought I was a lot closer than I was.

It’s finished at this point, mostly. I’ve got one more editing-for-details pass to make, but the bones of it are well and truly in place now. There was a chunk of the third act that was really, really rough to get through–I’ve literally got no idea how many times I completely rewrote it–but the right things happen there now.

It’s a different kind of work for me. It’s not space opera, and it’s first person, which isn’t a thing I generally do. It’s a mystery of sorts, and a love story, and a story of how we cope when life gives us far too few options and no way out.

Because life does give us far too few options, and there is no way out.

Anyway, like I said, I’ve got one more pass to make on the thing, which will probably take a few weeks. The big unknown is finding it a home, which is only tangentially in my control.

Resolution Grade: B+

Get a solid draft of Central Corps #4. 

How do you define “draft”?

Okay, okay, okay. I didn’t get this done. Standalone Book took up the vast majority of my time and energy, but as often happens my brain tumbled CC4 over and over in my head all year. In November I wrote part of it for NaNoWriMo, but I’d say I’ve got about 40% of the story down, and a big whack of notes.

And a title: CONDITION OF WAR, which is from a quote by Thomas Hobbes:

The condition of man…is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

As is my habit, I’ve also started thinking about CC5, and have in fact drafted the beginning of it. Maybe one of my 2019 resolutions should be to knock that shit off until CC4 is done.

Resolution Grade: F

Polish two short stories and write one more. 

FINALLY a resolution that actually went well!

I wrote four shorts last year. Three of them went up on my author page: a paranormal romance, a straight SF story, and a little horror vignette. The fourth was an actual paid gig, and will go up on The Verge on February 4, but since I wrote it last September/October, I’m counting it for 2018.

Resolution Grade: A+

Blog more. 

This was mostly newsletter-driven, but I did OK on this one. Not as much as I’d like–would love to be able to natter once a week, but there’s this thing called time that keeps working against me–but I did, for the most part, get a couple in every month.

Resolution Grade: B

Get a newsletter going. 

13 issues, all on time.

Is a monthly newsletter really warranted? I don’t know. It was a nice place to launch my short stories, and I did tend to get more engagement with those issues. But I’ll tell you, it means a lot to have a public deadline like that. I need deadlines, and I’m out of practice committing to private ones. If I could find a way to write CC4 on a public deadline, I probably would.

Resolution Grade: A+

So I averaged a B- for 2018. Oof. That F really hurts me, you know?

And now: 2019!

Here’s the thing: 2019 is going to suck.

I’m not even talking about politics here. Politics are their own unique form of suckage. It’s January of 2019, and I’m not even sure there will be a government in a year. It’s easy enough to look back and see it’s all happened by design, but that doesn’t make it any more comfortable to live through.

But I digress. Resolutions are about what I can control. And all of the suckage in the coming year, political and otherwise, is out of my control. (Except for voting. Vote, people. I’m not kidding. Vote like the planet depends on it, because it does.)

So what the hell, a list:

  • Figure out the fate of Standalone Book. I know what I want for it, but I may not be able to get it. Either way, there’s absolutely no reason I can’t do this. (I may just trunk it, but I probably won’t, because I’m very fond of it and I think some of you might like it too.)
  • Write five short stories. I wrote four in 2018. Have to keep the numbers up. 😀
  • Finish CONDITION OF WAR (CC #4). No, really. I’d love to have it out this year, but, well, remember the stuff that’s going to suck? It’s going to suck in a way that’s going to take up a lot of time. Yes, I want public deadlines. No, I’m not going to set one for this book. (Maybe I’ll put up a teaser chapter before the end of the year, though!)
  • Decide what I’m going to do with all this. Oh, the joy of nebulous resolutions. Most of you know it’s been a wicked interesting three years for me. I love writing, and I will always write, but I’ve spent a lot of time trapped in funnel clouds. Now that my feet seem to be finding the ground again, I need to make some choices: how will I write? How will I get the word out? How will I get paid? All the usual art-is-my-job questions, with a side of life-never-fucking-backs-off to go with it. Suffice to say, when I make substantive decisions, I’ll publicize them in the usual places.

I can see, reading last year’s post, that I’ve actually come quite a long way this year. I’m much steadier than I was. I’m much more sure-footed. I can never go back to the wide-eyed hopeful woman I was before March of 2016, but maybe, just maybe, I can make something of the lessons I learned.

Now go, and kick 2019’s ass.

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