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[writing] 2007 Summary; 2008 Plans

We had a quiet New Years. We were going to go downtown to Old Sac for the fireworks, but about 9:30 pm realized we were all pretty tired and uninterested in the major effort to get out of the house. So we hung out, watched New Years coverage on TV, had champagne at midnight, then watched "Life of Brian" until 1:30 am. (I only made it up that late because of my nap from 11pm - 1145pm).

Today was "un-decorating" the trees and the house, cleaning up, entering events into the 2008 calendar, setting up the XM satellite radio (yes!) and getting ready to enter back into the regular grind of work, school, etc.

As part of last night's hanging out, I set up my story spreadsheet with story and submission status and went through my writing tracking. This helped me with a 2007 review and setting my 2008 plans.

Summary:
- 2007: 17 stories written, 8 stories started, 14 stories revised, 1 story edited, 3 cons, 6 submissions (6 "no"s), much LJ, and Viable Paradise (ow!).
- 2008: Write, Revise and Submit (until Hell won't have it!)



2007 Review

I wrote first drafts of 17 stories:
- Old Town, New Man, New Town, Old Man
- The Game of Chase
- This is Your Life, Version 2.0
- Apologies All Around
- The Fishing Trip
- Owl, Cat, Cigarette
- Walls of Stars, Like Eyes
- Witness
- The Alien Across the Hall
- The Very Difficult Diwali of Inspector Thirumala Naidu
- Real Enuf 4 U
- Crow and Samoset (Now and Then)
- Real Space
- Breaking In
- When Crogdor Came Back
- Visiting the Ladies Room Exhibit at the Human Museum
- Echoes of Oceans from a Far Away Land

I started, but did not finish, 8 stories:
- Brand Loyalty
- Bringing the Boys Back Home
- The Dybbuk's Moll
- One Night with the Picture Lady
- The Second Alien Battle of Mackey's Bar
- They See You When You're Sleeping
- The Last Forgotten Man
- When the Party of the First Part Met the Party of the Second Part (With Addendum and Rider)

I revised 14 stories beyond the first draft:
- Old Town
- This Moment and the Times Before
- The Game of Chase
- This is Your Life, Version 2.0
- Apologies All Around
- Owl, Cat, Cigarette
- The Case of the Killer Dog
- Walls of Stars, Like Eyes
- The Alien Across the Hall
- Padre
- Fly, Boy
- Crow and Samoset (Now and Then)
- Real Enuf 4 U
- Real Space

I edited together one story from contributions made by people on comments for a posting by Jay Lake. The story was "The Last Days of Yokohama Sid's Used Ferris Wheel Lot", available for public consumption here.

I attended three convention writing workshops (with story and reviewers):
- Potlatch (This Moment, and the Times Before; L. Timmel Duchamp, jaylake, Ulrika O'Brien, Mary Rosenblum)
- Norwescon (The Case of the Killer Dog; Chris Bodan, Ted Butler, G. David Nordley)
- Orycon (Samsara; Lynne Datig, David W. Goldman, lilithsaintcrow). I also did ORC (Open Reading and Critique) for: Crow and Samoset, Real Space.

Several pros very kindly critiqued stories for me beyond bounds of a con: Mary Rosenblum, kenscholes, jaylake, and Bruce Taylor.

I did 6 submissions of stories and received 6 "no"s. One was a really good "no" with personal comments from Stan Schmidt at Analog.

I entered WOTF twice (2007Q1 and 2007Q2) and did not place either time.

I posted into this LiveJournal blog fairly regularly starting in March/April. I don't know how to do that whole "word count" or LJ word/posting count so I'll pass on that.

Finally, I was accepted into Viable Paradise (yay! I mean ow!). I took Case of the Killer Dog and it was critiqued by multiple attendees and all the instructors (the critique session was led by Cory Doctorow and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, my 1on1s were with matociquala and Debra Doyle). VP was an awesome experience, one I would recommend to all aspiring writers.

Overall I have to say that 2007, the second full year of taking writing seriously, was a pretty good year. My theme for 2007 was "Get Better" and I think I did that. Writing and critiquing helped, but Viable Paradise (especially) and the con workshops with pro conversations were key to advancing my abilities as a writer.

2008 Plans

My theme for 2008 is "Revise and Submit (Until Hell Won't Have It!)". This doesn't mean I give up on my previous themes (2006 = "Write, Dang It" and 2007 = "Get Better"), but it's time to stick my nose out there and see what happens. I would love to sell a story in 2008 and will work hard towards that goal.

My mantra all this time has been "Write What You Like To Read", so this means I also need to continue to read and critique stories.

Specifics for 2008 are:
- Write first draft of two stories each month
- Participate in deathless_pose and write flash fiction based on the prompts
- Write 500 words every day (in sync with thing_in_150)
- Read a story a day
- Revise stories and submit at least 1 story per month
- Submit a story to WOTF every quarter, and pick it four weeks in advance
- Attend at least 3 cons (current plan = Norwescon, BayCon, WorldCon, OryCon)
- Continue with SacSpecFic (1 meeting/month)
- Be a Critters member in good standing (1 crit/week)
- Get my SFF.OWW membership up to speed (1 crit/week)
- Be an occasional special guest of INK when in Portland

Current writing queue (not counting flash stories for deathless_pose): When the Party of the First Part, They See You When You're Sleeping, The Dybbuk's Moll, One Night with the Picture Lady

Current revision queue: Breaking In, Real Space, Owl Cat Cigarette, Crow and Samoset, Samsara

That's enough detail. Time to get on it. Keep moving forward. Don't look down.

Tags: plans, writing, year in review
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