February Word Challenge

A good number of years ago, I challenged myself to write a scene every day for a month. I think I chose November because I wanted to do this challenge instead of NaNoWriMo for that year. This was also on another blog which is now defunct and long gone. I’m not even sure there’s an archive of the blog anywhere…. I kind of wish there was, but oh well.

This particular challenge is based on a daily writing exercise my high school English teacher had us do in our junior year. I loved the writing exercises, and it really helped me work through some serious emotional things going on in my life at the time.

The challenge goes like this:

  1. Pick a random word from the dictionary (I have a Perl script snagging 5 random words from the dictionary for me, and I’m picking one of those.)
  2. Free associate words (or very short phrases) based on that word for three minutes.
  3. Pick one of those words (or phrases) or the original word and write something creative based on this for five minutes.
  4. The whole exercise, including transition and thinking time should take no more than ten minutes.

I’ll be posting my five “seed words” and bolding the one I choose. Then I’ll free associate here in the blog post. Then I’ll bold the one of those words/phrases I choose. Then there will be a scene, character, setting, something that I write based on the chose word. It’s going to be rough draft and free-form, but it’s also lots of fun.

I’ll do my best to land one post like this per day for the month of February. We’ll see how it goes!

PS: If you want to join me in this fun experience, please do so! Drop me a link to your blog, and I’ll compile a list of participants and publish the list with links!

2016 Recap and 2017 Goals

Here goes!

2016 Recap

What a year. I’m keeping this about me (my blog, after all), not politics, celebrity losses, crazy out in the world, or anything else. Just the highlights, though. I’m sure I’m leaving out some stuff here, but I’m just hitting the high points here….

January: Started writing a short story a week. I planned out and briefly outlined all 52 of them. I wrote 10 of them. I was behind pace by about 5 stories when April hit and disrupted these plans.

April: Had a great Pikes Peak Writers Conference! Landed a contract from Strigidae Publishing for the first novel I ever wrote, Warmaiden. This was the disruption to my short story plans. I had to focus on doing some polishing on the novel.

August: Attended WorldCon for the second time. Had a HUGE blast! Received (and signed) a contract from WordFire Press for my first urban fantasy novel, Griffin’s Feather.

September: Strigidae Publishing closed down and orphaned my fantasy novel (trilogy, actually). Such is life. I completely understand and agree with the reasons behind the press shutting down. I had a huge outpouring of support and encouragement. I queried a few agents (at suggestion of some friends). One never answered. The other quickly asked for a full, but dropped a rejection my way in December. I also sent it to an editor friend of mine at a good-sized press. He requested it. Who am I to say no? I still haven’t heard from him. Maybe I need to ping him about it….

October: MileHi Con! I had a great time at the con (as I usually do) and got to make a few new friends, see some old friends, and generally hang out with my fellow geeks and writerly types.

November: Started edits on Griffin’s Feather with Manny Frishberg. Look at my past post about how tweaked out and nervous I was about this process. Wow.

December: Finished edits on Griffin’s Feather (two rounds) and Manny is sending on up the chain for production and publication! Look at my past post about how well things went with this whole process. I was also forced to take a week of PTO from the Day Job. I spent this time productively. I went through about 30 items on my to do list. There are still 4 things on my list, some of them fun as rewards for doing the other things. One of the major things on the list was learning InDesign and moving my homebrew role playing game layout from Word to InDesign. This was completed a day into January, but it’s done. (More on this later in the goals.)

2017 Goals

I’m going to set some goals for 2017 just like I did for 2016. Nothing as highly ambitious as “one short story a week,” but I’m still setting the bar high… like I usually do.

  • Edit, expand, and improve Viper’s Bane. The first and second drafts are done, but the novel is still a bit short and needs some extra attention. This is the second novel in my urban fantasy series (called Modern Mythology). I’m doing this in preparation and high hopes that WordFire Press asks for a second book in the series. We’ll see how Griffin’s Feather performs on the market. I’m assuming that’s the key deciding factor on if they ask for another novel from me.
  • Get my homebrew role playing game published. I don’t know if I’ll ship it around to small presses or existing companies. I might just form my own LLC and publish it myself. I’m not 100% decided. There’s still some research to be done before I can run in either direction.
  • Write a Savage Worlds support book. I’m keeping the topic Sooper Sekrit for now. Let me just say that I’ve found a gap in their genre coverage and it’s a fairly large passion of mine. I have a lead on a small game publisher that is interested in it. I haven’t even started in on this project yet, but I do have all of the research materials I need at my fingertips.
  • At least outline and plan book #3 of Modern Mythology. Probably write the first draft.

I think that’s a good set of goals for the year. We’ll see how it goes!