Year in Review

Ok, January is almost done, and these type of posts normally happen in the beginning of the New Year when motivation is high. I got lazy sue me ;).

While I may have be lax in getting this blog post out there, I think my writing output for 2019 was a success. I wrote a metric tonne of drabbles (100 word stories) in 2019, and they’re not as easy as a person might think. Telling a story with an exact limit of one hundred words can be a challenge if you’re a person who babbles, I’m just lucky that Black Hare Press likes mine.

Black Hare Press is a small publisher from Australia that I found last year. They have seen fit to feature me in several of their drabble anthologies and short story collections and I hope to continue submitting to projects that excite me.

If BHP was new for me, then Engen Books was my ‘tried & true’ publisher of 2019.

I had the honour of being featured in two anthologies from Engen Books this past year in their bestselling “From the Rock” series. You can find my short story “Final Edict”, an homage to Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, in “Dystopia from the Rock”. I was lucky to have two stories in “Flights from the Rock”, an anthology to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic flight from Newfoundland.

That was 2019, so what does 2020 have in store?

Both Black Hare Press and Engen Books have already announced calls for submissions that look interesting, so I’m sure I’ll be checking them out.

A couple publishers have asked me to take part in projects that I can’t talk about but I’m excited to see where they go.

I plan on putting together two anthologies of my work, one for a fall release and another for the spring of 2021. “The Gallows Tree” follows the life of an Oak Tree from acorn to twisted stump and how human horror stained and twisted this tree throughout its life. I’ve entitled the second collection “Hearts & Hate” and it will feature short stories of twisted relationships set within different genres.

Will everything I plan happen flawlessly? Most definitely not, but a person has to try, and I appreciate you following along.

I “failed” NaNoWriMo and it’s OK.

I had big plans for this NaNoWriMo, big plans…

I would draft a novella for a shared universe project that I was invited to submit too, along with two connected short stories for a future collection. It would be epic, I was already mentally planning cover art, the forward I would write, etc…
And then life happened.
My real life job allows me some freedom on nights and evenings to writing and I planned on using that time to maintain my word count throughout the month. 1667 words a day might not sound like a lot to some people, but it can quickly add up if you miss a day or two.
The first two weeks of November were good, I had a solid outline of my novella and made the time before/after work and on days off to plug away at my story.
Week three I finished my novella at 28,000 words and started writing a short story that I had only the vaguest of outlines for, but a dizzying amount of ideas that could work if I could keep it all straight.
I was slowly working on the short story, falling a little behind my word count, but still feeling like I could “win” NaNoWriMo, then week four happened.
The nature of my real life job is that we need 24/7 coverage which we normally do with the four of us. Sadly, two of my coworkers are related, and they had a death in the family which meant I worked 96 hours in seven days.
Sure, I could have killed myself and banged out the 8000 words I needed, but my home life would have suffered and I knew that anything I wrote would be unsalvageable.
So instead I gave myself the break I needed and realized that while I wasn’t going to “win”. I still got some new words on the page, encouraged and followed along my writing friends as they wore their fingertips off in the home stretch, and didn’t feel like a failure.
Will I do NaNoWriMo again next year? Heck YES,! Will I win? I sure hope so, but it will be OK if I don’t, and I’m happy with that.

NaNoWriMo 2019 Update

Just a quick check in before I stick my nose back into my laptop and attempt to bang out some decent words.
I’m sitting at 30,000 words with a goal of 50,000 by November 31, and if you do the math, I won’t make the goal without adding extra words.

That doesn’t concern me, I’ve been behind before, what concerns me was that for the past couple of days my “drive” wasn’t there, but I think I figured out why.

Normally with NaNoWriMo your whole 50K of words is for a single project but this year I’m doing something different. An opportunity to submit to a shared universe project has come my way, so I focused my energies (and pre-NaNo planning) on it.

The good news I finished the draft of the novella, but when I went to start the first connected short story, I found that my planning for these smaller projects comprised a couple vague ideas and little else. That left me floundering and panic was setting in.

I’m a plotter, I NEED an outline to guide me through my story and I didn’t have it. So I sacrificed my writing time last night and created a rough plot for my two short stories to get me to my word goal.

Every author has a system that works for them, the trick is recognizing and working with it. Sure, read how other authors work, I encourage that, just don’t model yourself after them. Cherry pick things you feel comfortable with and make them your own.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have words to create.

“Please come back later… author writing”

While I had hoped to get back on the blogging train, I failed to look at the calendar.

“Holy heck it’s November again, I need to get organized for NaNoWriMo.”

What’s NaNoWriMo you ask?

Taken from their website: Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel.

This will be my 3rd year doing NaNoWriMo, my first two produced draft novels that I haven’t looked at since (facepalm), but this year is different.

This year I’m writing a novella (a shorten version of a novel) and two connected short stories for a shared universe project that I’m doing with fellow regional authors.

And that’s a big part of the appeal with NaNoWriMo, while you may be writing by yourself, knowing there are thousands of others out there doing the same thing and supporting each other can be extremely motivating.

So if you’ve ever thought of writing a book, consider giving NaNoWriMo a try, you might surprise yourself.

HWA recommended reading list

Congratulations to the Black Hare Press team, and all of the contributors. “Monsters: A Horror Microfiction Anthology” has been included on the Horror Writers Association’s recommended reading list for 2019.

I’m pleased that my little tale “For sale, One owner” made it into this collection.

For the complete list of recommendations across all categories, please visit: http://www.horror.org/awards/2019readinglist.php

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New Facebook Page for Atlantic Canada Writers to Promote Events — Diane Tibert

During my book launch in June, I spoke with author Tim Covell about writing groups we were members of on Facebook and how we couldn’t cross promote author events. This got the gears in my brain turning and by the time I arrived home that day, I had a plan: make a site where events […]

via New Facebook Page for Atlantic Canada Writers to Promote Events — Diane Tibert