2014′s Resolution

This is normally when I look back on the spent year and reflect upon what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t and then go on to set some goals for the new year. My focus has typically been on my writing, as that’s been the main goal-related emphasis of my energies, attention, and ambition for over a decade, arguably for most of my lifetime. But this year, my priorities are different. 2014 will be all about kicking cancer’s ass, taking back what it has stolen from me, and most of all, simply surviving it.

I’m finding, halfway through my chemo schedule, that I’m going through cycles of bleakness heading into each new round. The pain and exhaustion and sickness that accompanies the start of each cycle, the increasing mental fogginess–it’s becoming terribly easy to fixate on what I’m going through, which in turn makes me more inclined to wallow in the dourer possibilities and spiral into negativity and depression. And I realized I need to zoom out a bit. These upcoming months are not going to be ones to savor, not ones to stop and sniff flowers during; they’re something that must be endured and then put behind me.

So this year, my resolution is to keep looking forward, head up and eyes planted firmly on the horizon, and to maintain the certainty that I will get to that distant place up ahead. All this necessary unpleasantness will do upon me as it must as I forge along, with each step bringing me closer to a time when this will become something I went through–in the past and done with, albeit not forgotten.

Goodbye and good riddance, 2013. Bring it, 2014.

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

Writing Year in Review, Resolutions, and Happy 2011!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2011!

Had a wonderful Christmas with the in-laws. We managed to miss the worst of the weather driving up to Illinois. Plenty of snow up north, but the skies held off on dumping it down while we were actually on the road. Heard Atlanta had its first white Christmas on record. Just as glad to have missed that traffic chaos.

And celebrated my birthday with the hubby by seeing Tangled—sweet and funny, but I liked How to Train Your Dragon better.

Received a slew of fabulous prezzies, including quite a few accessories for my Droid: a 32GB microSD card+USB reader, a spare battery+charger, and a desktop dock. And the hubby also got me an iconnect wireless data station and a terabyte external drive. Finally I have space (I’ve been scrounging for space on my laptop, constantly getting those “running out of drive space” warnings, for the last…ever) and it’s all wireless. So very shiny. The hubby also got me a new laptop battery, so my poor lil VAIO can now survive without having to be tethered to an outlet. My ultraportable laptop is mobile again!

Yeah, it was a chock-filled-with-tech sort of Christmas. We are geek.

avatarWriting Stuff

‘Course I didn’t get any writing done over the holidays. I’ve got one short story deadline rushing up headlong and hoping to get Demon Queller revised and in shape before Georgia’s 2011 legislative session starts. Urk.

Feels like I’m perpetually racing to catch up and running in slow motion…oh, wait, it’s ’cause I am. You’d think I’d be used to it by now and would quit marveling and just put my head down and do it. And yet…

2010 WRITING YEAR IN REVIEW

Continue reading →

2008 Writing Year in Review and 2009 Resolutions

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year! Welcome 2009!

Recovering still from the holidays. Not sure I want to analyze too deeply what it says about me that I find it relaxing being back at my desk after returning from Illinois. I remember growing up that I found my mother’s work-a-holic nature perplexing and irksome, and now I seem to have acquired it. Hmph.

Anyhoo, had a wonderful Xmas with the in-laws and birthday with the hubby—acquiring many new prezzies thereof, both practical and whimsical, including a rice maker, kitchen knives (thank Jeebus, real knives to replace the blunt, knife-shaped metal bits we’ve been trying to cut with), new clothes for work and play, an elephant teapot (!), and many, many books and DVDs.

But I always get overwhelmed by the chaos of the holiday season and fall behind on my various obligations. Fording through the backlog now.

   


Writing Stuff

2008 was an interesting year for me. My overall productivity improved over last year’s, but most of that was from wordage on The Stupid Novel, which isn’t at zero draft yet. So my number of completed works this year is quite small. But I also sold a short story collection. I’ve been hungry to finally have a book of all Eugie, only Eugie works for a while now, and it’s a huge milestone for me.

Looking over 2008′s Writing Resolutions, I determined to:

• Finish the ^#$!@# novel.

Sigh. Getting there.

• Write 500 words a day, every day, barring weekends, holidays, and the legislative session.

Well, that didn’t pan out again. I think I averaged something like 250 words a day, which trended towards bouts of productivity—several weeks of 1000+ words/day—intermingled with huge stretches of nada. I’m wondering if I’m just not geared to writing every day, and if expecting myself to do so is just setting myself up for failure. Writing has become ingrained as a behavioral reality of my life by now; if I don’t write, it starts eating away at me until I have to sit down and get words on the page. So I don’t think I’m risking my writerly chops by allowing myself to accept that it’s okay not to write every day. Going to try that this year and see how it works out.

• Be more willing to say “no” when new hamsters come a’beggin’.

This I managed to do, actually turning down a couple invitations to submit to projects, but I suspect I’ve still got too many hamsters in the air. Not sure what to do about it, as I want to keep all the hamsters remaining.

2008′s highlights and accomplishments, I:
• Saw the one-year anniversary of TTA Press’s The Fix.
• Survived another year as The Daily Dragon‘s Editor/Director.
• Made 15 sales (and received 25 rejections), including the sale of my short story collection, Returning My Sister’s Face to Norilana Books.
• Saw 17 works published, including stories in Cricket and Baen’s Universe.
• Wrote 42.2K words on The Stupid Novel, the most words I’ve set down on a single work and the closest I’ve come to completing a novel. Continuing to work on it and hope to finish it this year.

And herein my Writing Resolutions for 2009:

• Finish The Stupid Novel. I’m so @^$!#* close!

And that’s it. Guess that should’ve been “resolution” not “resolutions.”

And finally, New Words (the last tally from 2008):
• 1.6K on The Stupid Novel.

Welcome 2008 and Christmas catch up

Back from Christmas with the fam-in-laws. Managed to miss the truly icky weather, although driving up, the winds were fierce. When I stepped out of the car at a rest stop, it almost blew me over. I think we actually got better mileage from the tailwind.

Got much shiny stuff, including this awesome Shakespeare action figure from my brother-in-law and his wife:

A pair of fairy doors from fosteronfilm—they’re both 10″ high, the perfect size for fairy folk. (I think we’ll install the red one in Hobkin’s area so his fey visitors will have a convenient entrance):

And gadgety goodness, my hubby got me a GPS!

Aside from the convoluted, tesseract-esque confusion which are the Atlanta streets, my direction sense (or rather the lack thereof) borders on the tragic. It’s a regular occurrence for me to call home ’cause I’ve managed to get myself lost or turned around and can’t figure out where I am. Hee! Having this gizmo is downright liberating. Now if I can only figure out how to install it directly into my brain . . .

   


Writing Stuff

2007 Writing Year in Review and 2008 Resolutions

2007 was a bit of a mixed year for me. Good stuff and not-so-good, encouraging successes and disheartening rejections, and a worrisome drop in productivity overall.

Looking over 2007′s Writing Resolutions, I determined to:
Finish a novel.
Sigh. I made good progress at the beginning of the year but then was derailed when I got invited to submit to a couple anthologies.
Write 500 words a day, every day, barring weekends, holidays, and the legislative session.
Nope here as well. Again, I made a good start after session, but . . . see above re: derailed. Fooie.
Don’t stress the hamsters and don’t be afraid to turn some away.
Hamsters hamsters hamsters. Lessee, I resigned from my assistant editor position with The Town Drunk, went on hiatus at Critters, and my monthly Writing for Young Readers column ended with 2007. Tangent fell apart (much stupidity there), but within hours of that debacle, I agreed to helm and re-launch The Fix. The Fix is now to the point of taking up about the same amount of time that Tangent did, but for a couple months, it took up all my free (i.e., writing) time. And, of course, I’m still the director and editor of The Daily Dragon, which takes out about a month for prep and organizing.

So my hamsters are still a juggling act in progress.

2007′s highlights and accomplishments, I:
• Agreed to re-launch and helm TTA Press’s The Fix which went live in mid-October.
• Survived another year as The Daily Dragon‘s Editor/Director.
• Made 22 fiction sales, including repeat sales to Realms of Fantasy, Cricket, and Escape Pod, and broke into Interzone and Jim Baen’s Universe.
• Saw 24 works published, including stories in Best New Romantic Fantasy 2, OSC’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, Magic in the Mirrorstone, and 3 stories in Cricket.
• Conducted an online workshop on Worldbuilding for the Carolina Romance Writers.

And herein my Writing Resolutions for 2008:
• Finish the ^#$!@# novel.
• Write 500 words a day, every day, barring weekends, holidays, and the legislative session. I really want to focus on this as my word count went way down this year. I only managed to write four new stories (although I plan to complete a 5th before session starts) and 15K words on the novel. 2007 was my least productive year since I started writing professionally. Badness badness badness!
• Be more willing to say “no” when new hamsters come a’beggin’.

Happy 2008 to all!

Happy New Year!

fosteronfilm and I rang in the new year at sfeley‘s with a crew of similar-minded SF/F geeks and geekettes. There was pizza, delicious homemade chambord and grand marnier chocolate truffles, Doctor Who watching, booze (some impressive bottles of single malt scotch . . . which I didn’t partake of as I wanted to remain conscious through midnight), and Arkham Horror, a board game based on Lovecraft’s Cthluhu Mythos.

Is there a better way to celebrate the end of the year than with elder gods?

Steve also had a copy of Hub #1 since Escape Pod and Pseudopod have ads in it. As I haven’t received my contrib. copy yet, I grasped upon it eagerly. “Wanting to Want” is the last story, which is way cool, and the magazine itself is an absolutely gorgeous thing. Each page is glossy and thick, and the fiction is lavishly illustrated with full color photos. The production values are awesome. And, of course, they had the impeccable taste to publish one of my stories.

Great fun, great people.

And so I bid 2006 a fond farewell and welcome 2007 with eager anticipation, newfound peace, and hope.

Happy New Year!

   


Writing Stuff

2006 was quite a year, both writing-wise and life-wise, filled with uncertainty and stress, new opportunities, gladful accomplishments, and some humbling disappointments.

Looking over 2006′s Writing Resolutions, I determined to:

-Write 500 words a day, every day, barring weekends and holidays, to total 115K words (or more) for the year.

When I first compiled my numbers, I was quite chagrined as I normally only include my fiction word counts, and I’m clocking around 47.5K words of fiction this year, which is not only missing my resolution goal but is also a huge drop from last year’s 106.5K. But thinking back over 2006, I find that it’s not accurate for me not to include all the nonfiction I did as it was the first year I decided to try my hand at cranking out vasty gobs of nonfiction for pay. So, on the nonfiction front, I did about 42K words of “for hire” work and 14.5K words in articles and for my Writing for Young Readers column. Counting on my fingers and toes, that comes to 104K.

Not the 115K I was aiming for, but a much more respectable total.

- Stick with the working during the day holed up in the library strategy.

That worked out dandy for most of the year, but now I’ve got a fabu day job which effectively makes this one null and void.

- finish a @#!$ novel. Any of the several that I’ve started.

Well, this one was a dismal failure. Sigh. I think with everything else going on in my life–most notably the financial stressors of not having a reliable income a la day job–I just wasn’t in a good mindset to be able to devote so much of myself to this task. I’m hoping that I’ll have the balance and discipline in 2007 to finally accomplish this.

Moving on to 2006′s highlights and accomplishments, I:
- Became The Town Drunk‘s Assistant Managing Editor and saw its first issue and subsequent stories published.
- Survived another year as Tangent‘s Managing Editor and The Daily Dragon‘s Editor/Director.
- Made 28 sales including one to a closed DAW Books anthology, repeat sales to Realms of Fantasy and Paradox, and broke into Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.
- Was invited to and began writing a regular column, Writing for Young Readers, for Writing-World.com.
- Saw 33 works published including two stories in “Best of” collections, a Hungarian reprint, two French reprints, a Greek reprint, and four audio podcasts.
- Received three Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 19 (edited by Ellen Datlow, et al.): “The Bunny of Vengeance and the Bear of Death,” “Returning My Sister’s Face,” and “The Tiger Fortune Princess.”
- Received another HM in The Year’s Best Science Fiction 23 (edited by Gardner Dozois) for “The Bunny of Vengeance and the Bear of Death.”
- Received a thumb’s up from Publishers Weekly for “Returning My Sister’s Face” in their starred review of Best New Fantasy.

2006 wasn’t too shabby, all-in-all.

And herein my Writing Resolutions for 2007:

- Finish a novel. Once session ends, I want to really focus on this.
- Write 500 words a day, every day, barring weekends, holidays, and the legislative session. I think my annual word count is going to have to go down as I’m effectively crossing out three months of the year to write during, but it’s a reasonable trade-off, all things considered.
- Don’t stress the hamsters and don’t be afraid to turn some away. I need to realize that I’ve pretty much taken on as much writing work (or more) that I can cope with. Now that I’ve got the shiny, new day job, I’ve got the leisure of picking and choosing new projects I accept and embark upon rather than feeling obligated to take on anything and everything that crosses my plate.

Full-length Vain Eugie and Writing Year in Review and Resolutions

Thanks to everyone who swung by with Happy Birthday wishes yesterday!

Went out to Fung’s for my birthday dinner and then came home to do cake and prezzies. fosteronfilm got me a fuzzy sweater and an animal print pillow as well as *drum roll* a full length mirror! At long last, after thirteen years of marriage, I finally have a mirror long enough to see my shoes in! I’d resorted to standing on the bathtub rim or lifting my feet above the counter in order to gauge the effect of an ensemble; I’ve hinted and begged for a full-length, and I figured it was a lost cause–sort of a male/female thing where the hubby teases me about having so many shoes, and I rail against his callous disregard of my girlie proclivities. And now I finally, finally have one!

He’s going to install it in the bathroom today. Hurray!

   


Writing Stuff

Published/Received:
- “Li T’ien and the Demon Nian” is now out in the Jan. 2006 issue of Cricket. I got my contrib copies in the mail yesterday–a very happy b-day bonus–and there are no fewer than four gorgeous illustrations done by artist Ju-Hong Chen of my story. They’re perfect! I had to make a pharmacy run to pick up a refill of my Imuran and I took a contrib. copy with me to beam and squee at while standing in (the interminable) line. Made the wait whip by in a warm and fuzzy glow. (Although I think I embarrassed Matthew with my bubbling–and loud–enthusiasm.) The artist got the Nian monster perfect:

- An invite from Jason Sizemore of Apex Digest to be a featured writer and to contribute to the subsequent featured writer anthology. Of course, I accepted!
- 86-day “nope” from On the Line. (Tbtthhh to them!)

2005 in Review:
I had a pretty good year, writing-wise.
- I took over as Managing Editor of Tangent. Ellen Datlow in her introduction in the 18th Annual Best of Fantasy and Horror called me “capable” in that role: “By the end of the year, [Tangent] was in the capable hands of Eugie Foster, who caught up with most of the reviews and by the New Year had it all running smoothly with new reviews being posted in a timely manner.” I’m giddy to be praised by Ellen Datlow herself as well as having my name in that most hallowed tome. ‘Course I’d rather have my fiction mentioned there, but hey, it’s a start.
- Found an excellent agent for my middle-grade novel.
- Had my first (and second, third, and fourth) author interviews.
- Made 28 sales including 12 pro, 9 reprints, 5 foreign, and 2 audio.
- Saw 23 stories published.
- Wrote to completion 15 short stories slapping down approx. 93K words in the process
- Survived another year as Editor/Director of the Daily Dragon.

Unfortunately, I did not manage to stick with the 500 words/day resolution I made, falling about 22K short (ouch). So . . .

Writing Resolution for 2006
- Attempt to achieve 500/day this year with a minimum total word count in 2006 of 115K.
- Also, I’m going to try to stick with the working during the day holed up in the library strategy as that seems to be an excellent productivity tool.
- And finally, I want to finish a @#!$ novel. Any of the several that I’ve started will do.

Birthday recap and writing resolution

Had a great birthday yesterday. Did our traditional year-end giving bonanza to our favorite tax deductible charities: The Humane Society, ASPCA, Atlanta Humane Society, and PETA. (The ACLU is also on our list of favorites, but they’re not tax deductible so tend to get money from us during months other than December.)

And on the receiving side, I opened many prezzies. pictures:

Happy Birthday to Me!

It’s my birthday today. Went to work as usual, though. There’s an irony in that. When I was a little girl, my birthday always fell during the Christmas holidays, so I never got a classroom party at school like all the other kids did.

I always felt cheated that classes were out on my birthday. Now, I feel cheated that I have to go to work on my birthday. Humph.

Got a lovely card and truly excellent CD compilation from britzkrieg. Thank you, britzkrieg!! My brother-in-law and his wife gave me a 2-year subscription to Realms of Fantasy, and my folks-in-law gave me a lovely necklace.

Going to open prezzies from Matthew later this evening.

My year in review (brought to you by the letter “F” and the number “1″):
- Fitness: Husband, skunk, and self are all reasonably decent. A few quirks and worries here and there, but generally A-OK. We could all stand to lose some weight, but then that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for.
- Finances: Acceptable. ‘Nuff said.
- Friends: Made some new ones, hooked up with an old one (waves to gannet), and spent quality time with loved ones.
- Family: Acquired a new stepfather whom I quite like, and spent a cordial, even pleasant weekend with him and my mother.
- Fiction: Made 14 sales, including several to pro markets, and my first reprint sale. I was hoping for one more sale in December, but that seems terribly unlikely at this point. Got my first professional review in Locus and it was favorable. Sat on a writing panel at Dragon*Con with luminaries in the SF world, and interrupted and contradicted one of them (gleep). Ended the year with 35 works in circulation. Also 80K+ words in completed chapters/works written with uncounted thousands of words written on unfinished projects. Not bad progress for only three years of focused writing effort.
- Firsts:
– Weathered my first year as Daily Dragon co-director/editor without any fatalities or catastrophic mishaps.
– Coordinated the Ms. Fantasm pageant at Fantasm for the first time, which took some of the sadness out of passing on my crown. It went smoothly, and there’s a lovely new Ms. Fantasm to bear the mantle.
– Took Hobkin to his first skunk show and made an excellent showing despite his not being on his best behavior.
- Frustrations: I didn’t finish the novel. In fact my progress on it was downright disappointing. And I really need to lose some weight.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the year. So, Happy Birthday to Me. I’m older, not necessarily wiser, but I’m okay with me.