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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

At the beginning of the year in Jan 2009, I resolved to do a few writing related things:

And I quote:

1) Continue to keep between 3 and 5 stories in circulation at all times during the year.

2) Re-work the completed novel MORNING SON and get it back into circulation with publishers

3) Finish the novel A CANADIAN WEREWOLF IN NEW YORK (which has been on a back burner for way too long now) - Paula B from The Writing Show will be so proud of me if I can finally accomplish that. I'd finally have something really cool to reveal in the continuing interviews for her "Getting Published with Mark Leslie" reality series.

Let's see. In terms of 1, I believe I was successful in that pursuit for most of the year. I DID manage to keep at least 3 stories in play for most of the year, and continue to struggle with that pursuit.

Number 2 was a bit more challenging -- I did rework about 75% of Morning Son, having spent a good deal of time in the summer working on it. Of course, I ended up losing most of that work (in one of my "way too late" clean-up exercises in the den, I accidentally threw out the hand-written notes and updates I'd made on a printed version of the manuscript). So I had to re-start at the beginning of the novel one more time. A frustrating pursuit, but I'd already re-written and re-edited the book half a dozen times -- that's just part of the process. But in terms of getting the book BACK into publisher's hands, I was successful at that. I made two attempts in 2009. One in which it went into a seemingly bottomless slush pile never to return (ie, not even a "piss off" from the publisher, nor do I even ever expect a response) and another which I just sent out the week before Christmas to a market I spent a while researching to determine if it was a "proper" fit for Morning Son and I really do feel there's a good match between my novel and this publisher (so I have all my fingers and toes crossed on that one)

As for Number 3, what is this, a curse? I started writing A Canadian Werewolf in New York several years ago as part of a "public" challenge on Paula B's The Writing Show podcast. And, despite the humiliation of not having finished the novel, I continue to leave it on the back burner. Yes, I chipped away at the book a bit in 2009, but didn't make any significant progress on it. Nothing "newsworthy" to report to Paula.

I can make other excuses such as the fact that at least I was working on writing, had several stories published in 2009, including things I'd written in the past 12 months, was able to collect stories for and edit the book Campus Chills (which took a tremendous amount of my time and energy). I also wrote and had several non-fiction articles published and was invited to start submitting articles to The Mark News (A Canadian online forum for news, commentary and debate) -- But there's no escaping the fact that I failed to fulfill all 3 resolutions.

That being said, I received an email yesterday from Paula B telling me she had a listener contact her to find out what was going on with A Canadian Werewolf in New York. It seems this listener is sincerely curious. And it's just the kick-in-the-pants I need -- knowing that there's a potential reader out there who actually cares enough to take the time to ask the status of this book in progress.

That makes finishing the first draft of ACWINY my top resolution for 2010. So while I don't have a dramatic update for this interested party and Paula B, I do have a new-felt personal motivation to get this one completed.

So, that being said, here's what I resolve, writing-wise for 2010:

1) Finish the first draft of ACWINY and report that back to Paula B and The Writing Show listeners that care (I know there's at least one of them out there and THAT more than anything gives me a truly heart-felt desire to make the time to finish this project)

2) Continue to keep 3 to 5 stories into circulation at various short-fiction markets (after all, you can't get stuff published if you don't send your stuff out)

3) Try my hand at writing a non-fiction article on the topic of fatherhood and sending that to a "parenting" market (got to have a fresh goal, something I've never done before, you know, to reach beyond my normal comfort zone)

I have already started working on a "book" project with a fellow writer, and something that, if our pitch to publishers goes well, will keep me extremely busy in 2010 (can't really say anything about this, but it's an incredible project this fellow scribe, and someone whom I look up to invited me to work with them on). So if this project takes ahold, my writing time will be compromised -- but that should just be more motivation to keep at the 3 items on my list.

Let's see how I do this year, shall we?

Now that I've put my resolutions out there, do tell -- what do YOU resolve writing wise?

1 comment:

lime said...

well, i don't make resolutions because i never keep them but i do intend to rewrite my resume and get myself a better job than the one currently trying to rob me of all shreds of sanity.