Thursday, December 29, 2011

That Time of Year

Yep, it’s that time again – time to list the New Year’s resolutions.

Usually I resolve to lose weight, and blow that one in a week. That’s not my fault; grocery stores should not have cookie and snack aisles. Somebody ought to file a lawsuit.

Back on topic. I’m making different resolutions this year. Some of them relate to writing; I’ll get to them in a minute.

First and foremost, I resolve to cut back on and possibly eliminate all clutter in the house. My 30+ year book collection and I went from a two-story house with an attic into a mobile home. I have few flat surfaces in the house that aren’t covered by some form of paper. The Book Room looks like something from Hoarders. Therefore, I resolve to throw out at least one item per day for the entire year of 2012. That includes magazines I don’t look at, old papers I don’t read, clothes I don’t wear any more and the socks with the holes in the heels. If I get rid of enough stuff, I’ll have room for newer, shinier stuff. Not to mention I’ll actually be able to move around in the Book Room. In theory.

(Don’t worry about the books. I won’t be throwing them out. Any book I decide I don’t want will go to a friend of mine, who has dibs on my ‘70s and ‘80s SF paperbacks. Anything she doesn’t want will be donated to the library for their annual book sale. Somebody somewhere will give them a good home.)

Now for the writing resolutions. I’m going to double my backlist for 2012. I’ve got five out right now, so I’m aiming for ten by next December. That’s doable if I write novellas. In my mind, a “book” is still anything over 50,000 words, but I notice a lot of the works available run in the 30K range. The real pros can do that in a month, some of them in a week. I take a little longer because I tend to fart around. That’s my other writing resolution: no more farting around. There’s no reason I can’t turn out at least 1000 words every day if I set my mind to it. There’s nothing on daytime TV anyway. Or nighttime, for that matter.

Plus I have a book coming out from Siren in February, so I’m already ahead of the game. I only have to sell four more and I’m good for the year. Yay, me!

Farther down the resolution list, I’d like to dip my toes in the self-publishing waters. I’m going to check with my former SF publishers and see what rights I have to the stories I sold back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. If things go well with those, I’ll try a novel. These are all in the fantasy and science fiction genres, so there won’t be any conflicts with my romance publishing. I’ve got my pen names lined up and everything. I’ll let you know how it goes.

That should hold me until December 31, 2012. Or December 21, when the Mayan calendar says the world will end. Hmmm, better get started.

What the hell, might as well try to lose weight while I’m at it. Couldn’t hurt, and I want to look good when the world goes kablooey. Happy New Year, everybody!


Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, not being in the resolution-making camp, I still plan to complete more mss and either submit for publishing or Indie publish.

I think Indie-publishing will be BIG this year... the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful... it'll all be out there.

Pat C. said...

And we'll be out there with them. Feel free to blog about your publishing adventures any time. I'm still in the early learning stages and picking brains right and left.

Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, if I had any energy left over... yeah, fat chance... I'd do a summary so far of my Indie adventure. Which is still ongoing, of course. Yay, me...

One tip I heard recently, and I agre, especially for those of us who aren't tech-natural... format your mss [html] as clean as possible... if you can get through the Smashwords Style Guide, a free download, that helps... then use the open source free software called Calibre to convert your book into the various formats... pdf, prc/mobi and epub are the biggies.

Uploading for Kindle was fairly easy actually, since they do take the .doc format, then convert for the Kindle.

I can probably walk you through it.

Anonymous said...

LOVE your enthusiasm over making those goals! Grin---I wanna be like you when I grow up! Yep, Im one of those: "Im so excited to make my Resolutions, its going to be a very productive year" --- and then I procrastinate the very next day, and just shake my head muttering: HOPE does spring eternal!


Best of Great Wishes for the new year! hugs, Kari Thomas,

Pat C. said...

And then there are the little road blocks I always forget to plan for. I just got the edits for that 86+-word monster I sent in. It needs some trimming, some beefing up on the character bits, and yet another full read-through to guarantee everything ties together. Due date is January 20. Since I also wanted to enter Amazon's Breakthrough Novel contest this year, which opens on the 23rd, guess what I'll be doing for the first couple weeks of the new year.

Pat C. said...

I meant to say, 86,000+ words. Left the "K" off. If I can't edit an 86-word story in three weeks, I don't deserve to be a writer. Unless, of course, there's something good on TV.

Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, yep you do have your writerly work cut for ya. Wishing you all-speed.