Thursday, September 17, 2015

I’ve Got Twelve-and-a-Half Percent of a Plan

Just in case you thought I’d gone completely offline, I’m back.

This time out, I want to let everyone in the blogosphere know what my writing plans are - at least up to the end of the year. They’re pretty ambitious too.

Anyone reading this blog only has to look to the right to see that there isn’t much of a publication history there. Well, that would be a bit deceiving, really. It’s an iceberg and you’re only seeing the tip.

There’s two short story contest stories which started me down a long path with IFWA (The Imaginative Fiction Writer’s Association), one of which I won, there are the judging duties for the same contest I have done for the past few years, and then there are the critiques: I count upwards of 300 of them in the past five years alone.

So I’ve been busy.

Oh yeah, then there’s that novel. My first, as yet unpublished, novel entitled “The Last Miko.” It almost drove me to drink getting it done, but it’s done and I learned a lot about myself and the writing process. And now it is in the hands of another publisher. So, I’m hopeful.

But that’s not much of a plan, is it? I’ve accomplished a fair bit, but what am I doing for an encore?

Well, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. My family won’t let me disappear for an entire month. I’d probably come home one day to find my kids have grown up and my wife has shacked up with a cabana boy. So NaNoWriMo is not on the horizon.

But I do have plans. At least, part of a plan. Okay, maybe a concept.

Before I begin, aside from the novel, my short story, Rose’s Arm, is in the hands of two anthology editors at Hidden Youth (a Crossed Genre publication where I’ve been published before). It’s been in their hands for a month now, so I am hopeful. Maybe I’ll have some good news next month. At least I have some skin in the game.

So, here we go:

First, against at least one other person’s better judgment, I am taking Creative Writing courses at the University of Calgary. Yeah, I should be writing. But these courses are making me write. My next course, Creative Writing Explorations (which begins next week), forces me to write at least one short story during its scant eight weeks of class. I might even be able to eke out a second. I’ve already got a bare outline for the first (which I plan to write right after I finish this post). And yes, I do plan on sending it out for publication after it is finished.

Second, I have not one, but TWO anthologies to submit to. The first one is Burnt, the second IFWA anthology. As you know, I had my story “The Trials of Li-Wen” published in the first IFWA anthology, Enigma Front (which you can buy if you click on the link, hint hint), so now I want to publish in the next. No due date on that one. The second one is another Asian-themed anthology that starts reading submissions between December and May 2016. I have a long time for that one, so we’ll see.

Third, I have at least one novel outline to finish that I am really excited about. It is not a sequel to The Last Miko, but a wuxia novel that I have high hopes for. The outline has to be done by early next year, so I have my work cut out for me.

So when am I going to get all this done AND write a weekly blog? And weekly Creative Writing class assignments? And critiques? Yeah, something has to give. At this point, I’m looking at the crits because lately, they’ve all been longer, novel-length works.

I'll check in every month to let you know how my plan is coming along. Or if it's just a concept.

So now it's your turn. Am I biting off more than I can chew again? Or is it an ambitious, but do-able schedule to complete while being a full time wage-slave with a young family? Let me know in the comments below.

At least I’ll be writing.

This Week's Reason to Read: Wayward: Volume 1 - String Theory. a graphic novel by Jim Zubkavich published by Image Comics. And just as I tell the world about "The Last Miko," I discover a graphic novel that covers some of the same territory. It's as if Buffy the Vampire Slayer went to school in Tokyo. High energy action set in a realistic Tokyo setting (at least as realistic as you can get with magic and Yokai). Check it out.

I might even get the hardcover version which comes out in October.