01 January 2014

Goals and Such

I don't really like New Year's resolutions. I always figure if you want to do something, resolve to do it right there and then. Don't save up all your promises-of-things-you'll-do for one big day. That seems like a recipe for failure to me (though there can be success in failure, too). However, this arbitrary counting of time we call a year (OK, not entirely arbitrary, but how many people really think about what it is we base the length of a year on?) can be useful for stopping to take stock.

Last year, I didn't do as well as I hoped with my goals. I had planned to have a lot more writing done and available for people to read, but I got derailed pretty early on, and I'm not even sure why. I did manage to write (or finish) three novels (two shortish YAs and one somewhat longer adult novel), so really that's not so bad. And I drew some dragons, made some books, got a die-cutter and expanded my card-making repertoire.

But this year, I'm not going to focus on what I didn't get done last year. Well, I am, sort of, but not really. Actually, I'm going to work on some much older things in addition to trying to write more new things.

Old Things to Work On

(Note that I didn't say "Old Things to Finish." I hope to finish them, but if I don't, that's OK. At least I will have more done than I did before).

This Blog. I'm going to aim for a regular weekly post again this year. This is the first one. I won't give myself any soft of word count goal. Just one post a week, even if it's just a picture or a favourite quote.

My Comic. A million years ago, I started an urban fantasy comic -- a webcomic in the sense that I intended to first make it available on the web, though except for lettering, it's all drawn the old-fashioned way and ultimately I want it in print. I worked on it off and on over the years, a little here, a little there. It takes me a really really long time to draw.

Then, in 2004, just before I moved to Nova Scotia, I decided to re-draw everything I had already done to fix it. And I did. Every week a new page, and I even kept going after I finished re-drawing. I made it to the middle of issue 3 (around 50-something pages) and then, for reasons I no longer recall, I stopped. I even still had a few more pages planned out.

So now, ten years later, I'm going to have another go at it. I still love my characters, and it's still a story I want to get to the end of. But I'm not going to re-draw it again, even though it's old art and I might be able to draw it better (and looking back, I really shouldn't have bothered re-drawing it last time; I should have put the energy into making new pages). If I still have all my old files, and I can figure out WordPress well enough to make it do what I need, I might even have the first page up today. I'm going to start from the very beginning, one page a week to start, and while old pages are going up, I'll work on new ones. We'll see how far I get this time. I'd like to at least get to the end of the current storyline.

My Serials. I've have two serial novels on JukePop Serials, both of which have been neglected, due to the mysterious derailment of 2013. One of them -- the one I write as Calliope Strange -- is actually finished. I just haven't posted it all. For that one, I'll put up at least one chapter a week until it's done. The other one, Reindeer Girl, is not finished, but it will be. It was meant to be a way of finishing a book I started a while back, and a way to get me writing regularly. It can still be those things. Maybe I'll manage once a week, but if I can at least get going on it again, however slowly, I'll be pleased.

Other. I'm sure there are other old things I'll revisit through the year, but for now, these will do.

New Things Ahead

Dragons. This isn't entirely new, of course, as it's something I started working on on 2013, but this year I want to make it a major focus. A couple of days ago, I made a Scrivener file for it so I can start working on the text, and yesterday I had another stab at a dragon illustration that's been kicking my butt. I still didn't get it, but I got closer. This is my fun thing, the thing I'm making entirely for myself, but I'll share it, and maybe others will like it, too.

Fiction. There are always too many novels in my head, but this year I'd like to see if I can write one or two more Others novels (as Nic Silver). There are two more I know I need to write for sure. One is what happens to Evgeny while Su is in Germany, and the other is the continuation of Su's quest to find out what happened to her little sister. Also, I'd like to get working on the next Kentaurs novel, which I had intended to write over the summer. And eventually, though perhaps not this year, we'll have to find out what the heck is going to happen to Dubhghall and Maddy after the events of Dark Stranger.

Publishing. I need to get White Raven Press back on track, starting with a new website. I have a handful of novels and collections to get into print, and one to put up digital. Maybe two, but Deer Mouse is an experiment in submitting to a traditional publisher, so I'll have to wait till I hear back.

Painting. Last year I bought some exciting new art supplies, and promptly had no time to play with them. So this year, that's what I'll do. Play. Learn some things. I have a selection of casein paints, and I've already prepped a whole pile of boards to paint on. Maybe something will come of it, or maybe I'll just have fun. Either is good.

Craft. My goals here are just to keep on making stuff, and make more of an effort to market and get work into stores. I hope to do more hand-papermaking, so likely I'll have more cards printed on my own paper, and probably more linocuts rather than polymer letterpress. But again, we'll see how it goes. Also, I plan to play around with more 3D sculptures using die-cut elements. My first batch of dragons came out well, and were well-received. Also, they were great fun to design.

Photography. Some of you may know I studied photography (as well as printmaking, design, and book arts) in art school. I haven't done a lot of photo recently, asked from snaps to sort of visually journal things I see. I have some ideas for projects tumbling around in my head, but I just upgraded my iPhone, and I got a set of Olloclip macro lenses for Christmas (I had their 3-in-1 macro/wide angle/fish eye for my old phone, and will probably pick up the one for my current phone eventually), so I think I'm going to focus on shooting iPhone pictures. No pressure on myself to make great pictures, just something fun. And if they start turning out well, maybe I'll get more serious.


I'm sure there were more things I was going to say, but I've gone on way longer than I meant to, so I'll stop. Basically, I plan to have fun this year, and finish more things -- some old, some new. The only way I can fail is if I stop writing/drawing/crafting completely, and that's pretty unlikely.

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