Oof, what a winter. Are we done yet?
2015 is a year of big projects and little time, but, I’m committed to keeping this blog (and its sister blog http://wyrdcouncil.blogspot.ca/) alive and kicking.
However, in case I drop the ball in the next couple of months, it’s because of these ten big ticket items that I’m so excited for this year.
1) Helping to launch the short story anthology Expiration Date, since I’ve got a story in it, and since two very good friends are also involved, either as editor or contributor. So watch for more about that in the coming months.
2) Guitar lessons and practice. Now this doesn’t really count as a task or as a stressor, since playing guitar is one part meditation, one part relaxation, two parts procrastination, and one part plain old fun. But it does eat up my writing time, especially when I’m *this close* to mastering a new song.
3) Easter concert at the church. I tend to butcher lyrics at the best of times, but imagine me practising hymns in French, while writing a fight scene in English. So I have to focus on one thing or the other, at least until the 3rd of April. And a bittersweet April 3 it’ll be, too, since this will be my last big shindig in Montreal, because…
4) I’m buying a house in October. I’ve realized that buying a house in Oshawa will actually save me about $500 a month (go figure), and that’s even before I factor in the reduced costs of income taxes, gas and food. Fortunately, it has no impact to me, timewise or stresswise, until late summer, but it does have a financial impact on Project 7. It does, however, bring me closer to the Ontario half of the family, and it puts me in line for…
5) *Big secret project that shall not be named!* I can’t give details yet, not online, because it may or may not have an impact to my day job. B.S.P.T.S.N.B.N! is not about quitting my day job to write full-time. I can wish, but that’s not the case. What I *can* say is that it’s going to require a lot of disciplined budgeting, some crowd-funding, a lot of research, and at least thirty months to plan and finance. At the moment, it doesn’t take up any of my time (unless I really want to do some research on one project component or another), but it’s always there, in the back of my mind, teasing me, taunting me, giving me a reason to get out of bed and go to Day Job #1 every day. I can also say that B.S.P.T.S.N.B.N! involves…
6) Night Job #1. Now, this is a particularly profitable venture as a writer. It occurred to me one night as I leaned over a steaming sink of yet more dishes! argh! that all of my historical fiction books have involved cafes or diners to some extent. So now I’m literally being paid to do writing research. Working at a local cafe has also inspired me to do all sorts of experimental cooking at home, too, which is healthy and economical in the long run. Unfortunately, that means I now have twice as many dishes to do at home, but hey, homemade donuts and perogies. Night Job #1 does provide funding for projects 2 and 3 (money for lessons and for the house), but it also means I lose about 10-20 hours a week of writing time. Which compresses…
7) Writing, editing, and publishing The Fog of Dockside City #3 – The Spectral Tempest! As you can guess, my time and money are limited this year, so I’m pushing out the publication date to quite a bit later than first planned. I prefer to time the publication with the Muskoka Novel Marathon so I can use the sales to help boost fundraising, but I’m just not going to have the solid blocks of weekend and evening time that I used to have, especially leading up to the Easter concert. Besides, the final three months of 2014 knocked the stuffing out of me, time-wise and energy-wise. The stuff I wrote is fantastic, but there just isn’t enough of it. This project is also going to cost some cashola, which makes me super-cautious about the timing and scale of its launch.
8) Speaking of Muskoka Novel Marathon…Whether I attend or not (see projects 3, 4, 6, and 9 about why this year’s budget is anti-travel), I’ll still be working my bum off to raise funds any way that I can. But…we’ll figure that out when we get to it. I expect it will nibble another lump of my writing time, though, leading up to MNM (which gives me back 72 hours of non-stop writing, at least – if I go).
9) Editing and pitching Helix 2: Plague of Ghouls. The book is written, but it’s about 35% too long, and I want to make sure it aligns perfectly with where I want to be by the end of the final book of the trilogy.
10) Night Job #2. Small, paid editing projects, short stories, the marketing of already-published works, travelling to and attending conventions…These are all pretty ad hoc and don’t take too much of my time, but they’re all over my calendar like fruit flies.
So where does that leave our interviews and other posts?
Well, new blog posts are easy. I just throw down posts that I’ve been drafting in my head while cutting *yet more onions* at night job #2.
(Seriously though, I love cooking short orders. It’s the onions’ self-defense protocol that bothers me. How many times people have walked into the kitchen and seen me peer up at them like a weeping Mr. Magoo, I’ll never know.)
As for interviews, I have two coming out before the end of January. I’ll be happy to do more of them if a writer or editor approaches me. You want exposure? Great, I want to know more about you, and I’ll make sure the questions are unlike any you’ve heard before. And I’ll be happy to post the answers for you, too – but you have to get back to me with the answers.
The main (only) reason why I pulled back from #2PageTues and from interviews was because it was taking me forever to get replies, and I was putting too much effort into chasing after content from people who don’t take self-promotion seriously. So, sorry but not sorry: nothing for you but tough love in 2015. It’s not about the time. I sound busier than really I am. But I am prioritizing my time, and if it’s a choice between zapping robots in 1947 or sending you another respectfully-worded hurry-up email, I’ll choose the robots every time.
But on the upside, it means the interviews that do get posted are going to get extra special attention. So if you’re ready for an interview, send me a message, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
All this to say that, from a 9DayWonder perspective, it’s going to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-year, with a few more personal entries than other types of articles, for the sake of convenience.
And I think it’ll be fun to post progress reports for some of those big ticket items listed above.
After all, no amount of dishes or onions will discourage me from my 2015 goals, knowing that you folk are out there routing for me.
Happy New Year, y’all. Make it a good one.