Happy 2013! No Resolutions. Well, maybe just one.

This is normally when I look back over the previous year and make some resolutions for the new one, but I’m sort of off resolutions. It’s not that I don’t have any goals or good intentions to enumerate. To the contrary, I have many items I’d like to accomplish, improvements I’d like to make, tasks I want to complete. But coming off of 2012, I find I made all my deadlines and am caught up on my urgently outstanding to-do items. Aside from feeling like I should beware the impending Apocalypse, it makes me realize that I haven’t found resolutions all that helpful. When a deadline pops up, I’ll work my ass off to meet it because that’s what I do with deadlines. When a project lands on my plate, ditto ass ditto off ditto just ‘cuz. And I’m fully aware of personal items I’d like to address with an eye towards improvement as they’re largely the same ones dogging me most if not all my life. Me making a list isn’t going to up my motivation or change my work habits, or at least it certainly hasn’t up to this point.

So I’m going to skip the resolution list-making. Instead, I’ll just resolve to do my best, and if/when my best doesn’t pan out the way I’d like, I resolve not to let it get to me.

In lieu of a list of resolutions, herein a rundown of my work published in 2012:

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*reprint
†free fiction

The Red String Slated for Cricket’s February 2012 Issue

Got an email from Debby Vetter, my Cricket editor, sending along the page proofs for “The Red String” and letting me know it’s scheduled to be published in next year’s February issue. Hurray! She also mentioned that this is the last story Cricket has in inventory from me and encouraged me to submit more.

Aside from the thrill of having an editor, y’know, invite me to submit something, it occurs to me that I’d been so focused on the novel effort for the last couple years that I simply haven’t been writing much children’s fiction. And I’ve missed it. Soon as I started poking around in that neglected corner of my creative process, got an immediate story idea, complete with title—”The Girl Who Drew Cats”—as well as a solid opening underway.

So I’m setting aside “The Art of Victory When the Game is All the World” for a bit. Probably good to put a little distance there anyway. “Art of Victory,” in addition to threatening to turn into a novella, is feeling a tad overextended and expansive, both focus- and story-wise. Couple weeks might be exactly what I need to regroup and rein things back under control with it.

Day 34: Princess and the Golden Fish Part 4 Now Out and Biba Jibun Slated for April

It promises to be a frazzling week. The legislature is in session every day. Then they’re taking all next week off for spring break *insert eye rolling* before coming back to finish the last two days. Urg.

In better news: heard from Jason Sizemore that “Biba Jibun” is slated for the April issue of Apex. Sweet!

Also, got my contrib. copies of the April issue of Cricket with part 4, the conclusion of “The Princess and the Golden Fish” in it:

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Day 21: Princess and the Golden Fish: Part 3 Now Out and Writing Progress

It’s Day 21 of Georgia’s 2011 Legislative Session, and we’re now officially past the halfway mark.  The day job is utterly cleaning my clock.  Spent all of Sunday at the capitol, and I must’ve looked pretty haggard yesterday, ’cause my co-editors shooed me home as soon as the office closed…or maybe it was the number of times I careened off a wall or door jam.  (There’s a marked and dramatic correlation between how mushed my brain is and how klutzy I am; I seem to lose peripheral vision and stop being able to gauge distance-to-wall/door with any accuracy.)

However, I’m still making good progress on Dragon Queller.  Averaging between 800 and 900 words a day and have put down a whopping 25K since session began.  Rah.  Keeping on keeping on.

In other news, got my contrib. copies of the March issue of Cricket with part 3 of “The Princess and the Golden Fish.”  Shiny:

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Thumbs Up from My Agent and The Princess and the Golden Fish: Part 2 Now Out

Finished my final revisions on Demon Queller and, with heart thumping and sweating palms, shipped it off to my agent. Just heard back from him, and he really liked it! I am unable to properly express the profoundness of chuffed that I am.

And now, of course, comes the waiting.

So far, managing around 350 words a day on the sequel, Dragon Queller. Not exactly what I’d call great productivity, but considering its session, I’ll take it. Three chapters down, 6,607 words and counting. It’s a start.

Also got my contrib. copies of the February, 2011, issue of Cricket with part two of “The Princess and the Golden Fish.” Yay!

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December Tanuki-Kettles

As I mentioned in a previous post, I contributed a story to the December Lights Project, an online compilation of uplifting and warm short stories. My story, “The Tanuki-Kettle,” is now up! This story was originally published in the July, 2007 issue of Cricket and was reprinted in my collection, Returning My Sister’s Face. Hope you enjoy it!

As a bit of festive synchronicity, Geoff and Anne got me a tanuki teakettle for Christmas!

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The Princess and the Golden Fish in Cricket

Just heard from my Cricket editor that “The Princess and the Golden Fish” is now slated for publication in the January through April, 2011, issues as a four-part serial. I knew it was going to be serialized, but I didn’t realize they were doing it in four parts.

I’m tickled, both to have a publication date for this story and because four parts means it gets that much more artwork. Hurray!