After spending a week in North Carolina over New Year’s, and getting Mom settled and recovering from surgery at home, I’ve returned to Seattle and am settling back into routine… sort of. My work schedule is in flux as it moves from day shift to swing shift to night shift over the next few weeks, and my personal life has been an interesting mix of hectic and terrifying. But I’ve also managed to make time to write, and my writing goals for the next year are beginning to take shape.
In the short term, I really want to submit a story to the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, which is specifically geared toward optimistic, near-future science fiction. I feel like my space-based science fiction short stories have, in general, been some of my strongest writing to date, so any excuse to write another space-based sci-fi story is a good one! The deadline is the end of the month, and I only have a few vague plot ideas, but no worries. I’m taking a page from the book of Calvin:
I’m also taking a class on novel revision at Bellevue College, in which I finally buckle down to the work on writing a second draft of my fantasy novel, In a Land of Wind and Sky. It’s not an easy task; the novel is 175,000 words and 600 pages. The read-through, in which I build a detailed outline and annotate what I do and don’t like, is probably going to take a solid twenty or more hours or work (I’m about 350 pages through, after spending four long evenings at Bauhaus Coffee last week). But the class is already giving me some good ideas, and helping me focus on the task. No doubt about it, though, it’s going to be a lot of work. And I’m not sure how much time it’s going to leave for me other things, like, say, writing a new sci-fi short story.
As far as long-term goals for the rest of the year, I want to completely finish the second draft of In a Land of Wind and Sky, as well as write a second draft of Ghostrunners (the urban fantasy I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year). I also hope to write a third novel, either for NaNoWriMo or sooner. And, amidst it all, I want to write at least one new short story every quarter.
There’s other cool stuff coming, too. In March, I’ll be going to the Rainforest Writers Village, in which I get to spend five days hanging out with cool writerly folks amidst the rainforests of the Olympic Mountains, and hopefully getting a lot of writing done in an awesome setting. And in April, Norwescon rolls around again. A good chunk of my travel budget this year will probably go toward trips back to North Carolina, so I’ll just have to see how things go as far as attending non-local cons, like WorldCon in Chicago, or Dragon*Con, or World Fantasy in Toronto. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend at least one of those. We shall see.
Between family, writing, work, and personal life, 2012 is shaping up to be a more challenging year than 2011… though possibly a more fulfilling one.
It’s gonna be an adventure.