Check-In – 2010 Fiction Plan

Last year, at about this time, I set out the following 2010 goals:

1. Draft a novel.
2. Finish a novel.
3. Draft a story.
4. Finish a story.
5. Sell a story.

(This is just the fiction portion of a larger business plan. Non-fiction, promotional work, and other targets are separate.)

Draft and finish were separate items specifically because I’m working on multiple projects: drafting one book didn’t necessarily mean finishing that same book.

As plans go, this one looks rather fuzzy. The reason specific projects weren’t named (Finish this book, draft that story) in the above list reflects the fact that I spent a fair amount of 2010 waiting for other parties to get back to me on things. The timing on when I received edits for my next novel, for example, was entirely up to my editor’s schedule, and out of my hands.

So I kept it modest, and a little vague. And, of course, a nice thing about modest goals is that it’s often possible to overachieve. So here’s what I accomplished, working from the above plan:

1. Drafted two novels.
2. Finished one novel.
3. Wrote a series proposal and two sample chapters, polished it all, and sent it off.
4. Wrote a grant proposal and thirty sample pages, polished that, and sent it off.
5. Drafted, finished, sold and celebrated publication of a novelette, “The Cage.”
6. Drafted three short stories and embarked on a fourth that proved to be a false start.
7. Finished two 2009 stories, which are now off at market.
8. Sent a novel to market.
9. Sent out material relating to a potential short story collection, after I won the Sunburst.

Urban Fantasy Spotlight and a hint of smut…’s Urban Fantasy spotlight continues and there are goodies on offer–if you post a comment here by Tuesday, you can win a grab bag of books (including, possibly, mine). There’s an editorial round table discussion on the heroes and heroines of paranormal romance, a story, “Olga,” by C.T. Adams and many other intriguing and delightful goodies.

I’ve spent this morning experimenting with my various electronic gadgets, by way of podcasting my own novelette for this TOR.COM spotlight. “The Cage” is eight thousand words long and takes over forty minutes to read, so naturally I did a few shorter dry runs, testing out bits and pieces of equipment. For one of these tests, I used the six-minute snippet that I read far and wide at Broad Universe Rapidfire Readings in 2009. That’s right, folks, I am finally making good on my promise to record and post the Indigo Springs sex scene. If you don’t mind a few spoilers or you’ve already read the book, you can listen to it by clicking here.

I do have a Rapidfire-sized snippet of Blue Magic, too, and I will post that in the not too distant. It’s not nearly as (cough) romantic.

It’s hot out. I live near a busy street, and I’ve had the windows shut as I made recordings, so that there wouldn’t be too much road noise. A side bonus of the fact that it’s ninety-plus degrees in my office is that the cats didn’t feel a need to contribute–Rumble, in particular, punctuated my last podcasting attempt rather ferociously.

Now I’m going to crack some windows and try to get this place ventilated before I venture out in search of library books and fresh fruit.

You heard it where first?

So much of my knowledge seems to come from the Twitterverse these days: I was flipping through the tabs on my browser yesterday when a SFWA tweet caught my eye. It had my name on it, and Cory Doctorow‘s and when I hit the link it gave me the happy news that Indigo Springs (and books by Cory, and Charles de Lint, and Karl Schroeder, and Robert Charles Wilson) are up for the Sunburst Award in the adult category.

Congratulatory messages started coming in about twenty seconds later. I’ve tried to answer them all; if I missed you somehow, thank you!  I am excited, thrilled, and frankly boggled to be on any list with these guys. A laundry list would be amazing–though, admittedly, weird. A short list? Wow.

I feel awash in good things at the moment, actually. I’m taking it as a memo from the Universe, to the effect that good things, like crappy ones, sometimes come in bunches. Response to the first Journey interview, with Louise Marley, has been very positive and pleasing, for example, and I am lining up the next interview even now. Moving to the realm of personal satisfaction with the whole writing process, I have been working this week on what I expect to be the final edit (before it goes off to the agent, that is) of Daughters of Zeus … and I am sincerely pleased with it. It’s gone from the scabby feral draft stage to something quite limber and pleasing.

And while my cup is runnething over, I’d also like to announce that my urban fantasy novelette, “The Cage,” will be appearing on next month as part of their Urban Fantasy spotlight. This was a thoroughly fun story to write and I hope you all enjoy it. Badger and Snuffy were kind enough to read an early draft of the piece–thank you both!