Writing Goals for 2015

So for 2015, here are the projects and goals I’m hoping to get started and/or completed.

  1. Olague: Complete some beginning writing with my novel Olague. I’m still working on research, plotting and characterization, but my goal is to have some piece of writing to start off the novel completed by the end of the year, whether it’s the start of the first chapter, or the prologue, or something to kick off the novel. Ideally, I’d love to work on Olague for Nanowrimo, but with how busy my life is these days with a taxing job and a toddler, that isn’t very likely. But I hope to have most of the planning side of the novel done and some writing begun by the time the year is out, and then to get stuck into some heavy writing come 2016.
  2. Ostium: I’ve had this podcast series project that I’ve been kicking around for the last six months. The first draft of the first episode is written and needs to get finished up and polished and then I’d love to get the first episode recorded and released by the end of the year.
  3. Write Stories: My goal for the year is to get two short stories written. I got one started late last year that I want to get completed and maybe edited and start submitting by the end of the year. And then I’ve got another story idea I’ve been wanting to get down for the last couple of years and I feel 2015 is the year I’m actually going to write the sucker. Here’s hoping.
  4. Submit Stories: Continue submitting stories all around and lets see if we can get another one published somewhere.
  5. Bookbanter: It’s time the Bookbanter page had a bit of a face-lift and a new look. I’ve had the same theme on there since I started the WordPress page, so it’s time for a new look and to present access to my writing first and foremost, and then my reviews and interviewing, and make it all around more user friendly.
  6. Facebook: It’s time for a schism of sorts. I need to separate all the writing stuff from my actual personal Facebook page. So at some point I’ll be creating a professional page on Facebook for all my writing and Bookbanter stuff and then just have my personal Facebook account for, you know, personal stuff, like pics and videos of my kid; the usual.
  7. Et. Al.: Anything else I get done in relation to my writing is all pure bonus baby!

Review of 2014 Writing Goals

Since we’re working our way steadily through 2015 now, with January approaching its end, it’s time to look at my writing goals for 2014 and see how I did. And then next week I’ll be putting up my writing goals for 2015. The goals from last year are listed below with commentary in blue.

1. A new edit/copyedit of Kyra: The First Book of EnchantusThe book is currently on Amazon, but CreateSpace has opened up further distribution channels, and before I make my book available through these new channels, I want to do another run through and catch any typos, etc. And the good news is I’ve already gotten a start on this.

This goal was achieved relatively early on in the year, much to my delight, and the new revised edition, the second edition essentially, is up and available on Amazon and through further distribution channels.

2. Self-publish Erotica story. I have an erotica story I wrote that I want to get up on Amazon. It will be published under a pseudonym. At the moment I’m having a friend work on the cover.

This goal was also achieved in the first half of the year with a fantastic cover and it’s now up on Amazon and Smashwords. If you’re interested, shoot me an email at alex@bookbanter.net.

3. Edit “The Innkeeper’s Wife.” This is a short story I wrote last year, and I want to get it edited and finished through another draft or two and then start submitting it for publication.

This goal was completed and I was really happy with how the final edit turned out. I submitted it to the New Yorker, because you always have to start at the top – right? – and haven’t heard anything back, so will be submitting it to other publications through 2015.

4. Submit stories. Continue submitting stories for publication.

This I did do throughout the year and had one particular story get accepted which I will explain under goal #5. I also started a new story late in the year which I need to get back to soon.

5. Write stories. I’ve get a couple of story ideas up my sleeve that I’d like to get written down this year.

Early on in the year I’d submitted an old vampire story I wrote to an anthology seeking vampire stories, which was rejected, so I’d decided to write another vampire story to submit to the anthology, which I managed to get written and edited through a couple of drafts and submitted before the deadline. Then later on in the year I was delighted to hear that the story had been accepted for the anthology, These Vampires Still Don’t Sparkle, which was released in December and is now available in ebook and print and can be found here

6. Start the book. By “the book” I mean the novel idea that jumped into my head last year and wouldn’t let go. I need to do some more research and work on it, but I’d like to get that close to completion and hopefully get some start on the book, even if it’s just the first line or first page.

This goal was not achieved, however I wasn’t too hopeful that it would be and that is mainly because just as in 2013 I had a big change in my life with the birth of my son, I started a new job midway through 2014 working for the United States Post Office as a letter carrier. It took a lot of time and energy learning the job and once the holiday season hit I had to basically shut down my writing as I was often working 12-hour days. Nevertheless, I did get some further research and plotting and planning done, as well as creating my map for my made-up town and filling in a lot of details, so in a way the goal was a completed.

Overall, I think this might be my most successful year yet for setting reasonable goals for 2014 and pretty much achieving them all. I think the key was knowing how much I could set myself to actually achieve, and will need to apply the same rubric for my 2015 goals.

“These Vampires Still Don’t Sparkle” Out Today!

The anthology These Vampires Still Don’t Sparkle is out today featuring 22 short stories, one of them entitled “My Dark Genesis” written by me, Alex C. Telander. It is my first published story!

Here’s the blurb on the anthology:

Sparkly Vampires? Oh Pluuueeeaasse!

Since when have there been sparkling vampires? Are they a new brand of champagne or what?

Vampires are supposed to be wily, tricky, and even evil. And they never, ever sparkle. In this book, you’ll find stories with some refreshing takes on vampires: vampire heroes, vampire villains, humorous vampires, among others. Check out 22 stories with the most bite by Carol Hightshoe, Lee Pletzers, J.A. Campbell, T. Fox Dunham, Stephanie Ellis, and other exceptional authors. Grab some garlic, wooden stakes, and crucifixes, and get ready to party, because these vampires don’t sparkle.

And it’s priced at just $4.99. You can get your ebook download at Amazon, Kobo or Barnes & Noble.

2014 Writing Goals Update

We’re a quarter of the way through the year, with three months down and I thought wouldn’t this be a great time to take a look at the writing goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and see what sort of headway I’m making. And yes, this may be one of the first times I’ve ever done a “writing goals update” during the year and perhaps the reason is because I know I’ve already made some decent headway, but the fact that I have made some headway I believe it cause for celebration. Here’s the original post with my goals. So . . .

1) A new edit/copyedit of Kyra: The First Book of Enchantus. I finished this edit/copyedit a couple of days ago, after setting myself the goal of getting a chapter done each night, I was able to get this completed in decent time. And the new version is in the process of being uploaded to the Amazon Kindle program right now. So goal number one is done!

2) Self-publish Erotica story. This is currently in process and I hope to have it ready to go by early May.

3) Edit “The Innkeeper’s Wife.” This is now next on my list.

4) Submit stories. This has been done and I recently received some delightful news that my first story had been accepted for an anthology. Though I do of course have other stories to submit which I will continue with during the year, including, hopefully, the one in item 3.

5) Write stories. And this relates with my news in the previous item as a recently wrote a story that ended up being the one that was accepted. Though I also plan to write more stories during the year.

6) Start the book. This is definitely going to be  a second half or last third of the year project that won’t get started for a while yet, but one never knows, and it’s certainly something I’m looking forward to.

Writing Goals for 2014

Now we look at what I hope to achieve writing-wise for 2014. Again, I’m going to set the bar low for myself as for the last couple of years I’ve found myself falling short of my annual goals, and as previously mentioned, because of BABY.

1. A new edit/copyedit of Kyra: The First Book of Enchantus. The book is currently on Amazon, but CreateSpace has opened up further distribution channels, and before I make my book available through these new channels, I want to do another run through and catch any typos, etc. And the good news is I’ve already gotten a start on this.

2. Self-publish Erotica story. I have an erotica story I wrote that I want to get up on Amazon. It will be published under a pseudonym. At the moment I’m having a friend work on the cover.

3. Edit “The Innkeeper’s Wife.” This is a short story I wrote last year, and I want to get it edited and finished through another draft or two and then start submitting it for publication.

4. Submit stories. Continue submitting stories for publication.

5. Write stories. I’ve get a couple of story ideas up my sleeve that I’d like to get written down this year.

6. Start the book. By “the book” I mean the novel idea that jumped into my head last year and wouldn’t let go. I need to do some more research and work on it, but I’d like to get that close to completion and hopefully get some start on the book, even if it’s just the first line or first page.

Now, let’s see how 2014 goes with writing.

Writing Goals for 2013 Achieved?

So I know I didn’t get much completed in 2013 as regards to writing goals, which can all be explained with one simple word: BABY. My wife gave birth to our son in August and all my time just magically vanished. Now, in early 2014, I’m finally starting to carve out time again to get back to writing, so my follow-up post to this one on writing goals for 2014 will be a simple and diminutive one, since my focus is on raising and being a part of my son’s life whenever I can, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing stuff. Fortunately, he goes down for bed around 7 and doesn’t get up again until midnight, so I will make it work.

Anyway, let’s see how we did.

GOAL #1: Continue writing Wyrd.  This is my historical fiction manuscript I’ve been working on for some time.  My goal for this year is to hit page 600, but I’d also just like to get as far as possible with this.  And I’m excited to see where it goes next.  You can see my updates for this project here.

Nope. That didn’t happen. Because BABY.

GOAL #2: Continue editing and read through of White Horse. This is a completed science fiction manuscript that I’ve been working on editing for a while, and haven’t made much headway, so hopefully this year, keeping things simple, I can get cracking on this.  And at the least come up with a better title.  Updates can be found here.

This sort of happened. I did get more of a read through done and got about half way through with plenty of notes. So not so bad. But again, not completely done because BABY.

GOAL #3: Write a short story or three. Got at least one short story written last year, so same goal this year, writing one or more stories.  Got a few ideas hanging around inside my brain.

Yay, this goal got completed. Wrote a story in the first half of the year about a couple running an small inn on an island. Which I really need to get around to editing and then submitting to magazines. A goal for 2014, methinks!

GOAL #4: Submit stories. Including the one I wrote last year, which will need to be edited, I’ve got a couple of other stories I want to be submitting to publications.

And this I did somewhat too, not as much as I wanted to, but still, got a fair number of rejections, so good.

Well, that wasn’t too bad. Now to start thinking about writing goals for 2014.

Running on Creativity

About a month ago I started jogging, first daily and then switching to every other day, since I have a newborn and he takes up most of my time. My previous job was pretty physical, providing me a regular weekly exercise, but since I’ve been done with that job working on raising my newborn, I don’t get a lot of physical exercise anymore.  I also don’t get a lot of time to do said physical exercise, so it was a case of making the time and knowing I didn’t have that much time to spare, so I limited it to an hour and settled on jogging.

There’s a nice creek close to where I live with a paved path beside it that is just perfect for running. And about four weeks ago I started jogging. At first it was pretty pathetic, with my needing frequent breaks to catch my breath and not making it that far, and needing plenty of water to keep me hydrated. 28 or so days later, I find my breathing and heart rate a lot more under my control, I rarely stop jogging now except for traffic lights and crossing the street, and have charted out a jogging course that keeps me along multiple creeks, making it a lot of fun to run. I use a running app called Runtastic Pedometer that tells that for my current jogging course I run between 4.5 and 5 miles each time and work up a really good sweat.

I’ve also felt my creativity explode with this exercise. I believe it was Justin Cronin who said he regular goes running and walking and often comes up with creative ideas while doing it. With the pregnancy, birth and now raising a newborn, I haven’t really had time or thoughts to spare for story ideas and creativity, let alone writing, and it seems this every other day jogging is helping to release this creativity that has been stagnant for some time.

Some time during my first week of running, I came up with a book concept that has since grown and grown and is now a novel I hope to begin writing sometime later this year or next year. It just started as a small idea and then started pouring through me, like the exercise had forced open a channel and let my thoughts come running out. It also might have something to do with my mind being so occupied with the newborn and during my jogging, I’m able to dedicate my time and thoughts to something completely different.

Needless to say I’m loving the running and the creativity that’s coming along with it.

Also at the moment it looks like the book is going to be called Olague.