Hey everybody, me again! In this video I wanted to share the three greatest things I accomplished in 2019, what I want to do in 2020, and set some smaller goals for myself in January.
Without further ado, let’s review! I’ll save my biggest accomplishment for last.
Accomplishment One: Took the leap into AuthorTube
I have wanted to create a YouTube channel for longer than I care to admit, but I could never work up the gumption to do so because I didn’t know what I would do with it or if anyone would even be interested in what I had to say. But, when I finally did my Newbie Tag in September of last year, I was very surprised to find such an active and friendly community!
I am someone who usually keeps to themselves, even online (forum lurkers unite), so I feel that this was easily one of my top three accomplishments just because I was able to put myself out there. I had intended to produce a video per week since September, but in November I became very ill with a nasty upper respiratory infection and fever that rendered me quite literally speechless until a week or two into December, and by that time I had moved cross-country. So, I decided that a break was in order while I recuperated and pulled my home life together. Now that all that is sorted, I can get back to making videos!
Accomplishment Two: Published Three More Thirty-Three Tales of War Pieces with Worldbuilding Magazine
I believe this was mentioned in my November 2019 Goals video, but in case you missed it or I didn’t say so, three more flash fiction pieces from Thirty-Three Tales of War were published with Worldbuilding Magazine! You can read them in the most recent issue: Trades and Occupations.
So far, the Priestess, Farmer, Thief, Bounty Huntress, Steward, Prostitute, and Nezhdoya points-of-view have been published, with Healer, Minstrel, Seamstress, and Dyer on deck for the Arts issue (set for publication in February) and the Husband, Noble, Son, and Daughter in the hole for Ancestry and Lineage, to be published I believe in April 2020.
Overall, I am very happy with how 33 is shaping up. I have recently established a framing narrative for it, which I won’t spoil here lest anyone wants to read any of the pieces. It has always been and remains my intention to, upon completion of all the pieces, collate them in the best possible order and self-publish along with some in-story “extras” I hope people will find amusing. Look out for a video sometime in the future in which I design the cover!
Accomplishment Three: I completed my main project, Marrow!
I was utterly flabbergasted when after a few weeks of several-hour long writing sessions at the local Barnes and Noble I had nearly written the last, oh, half of the first draft. My sessions usually produce anywhere from 1000 to 2500 words, but I had been dealing with serious burnout for the majority of this year and was lucky to eke out two to three hundred words in a week, if that, for a very long time. I am very pleased to say that Marrow is currently in the hands of some excellent alpha readers, who will return their notes to me by January 12 so I can begin draft two. So far, no one has flagged anything plot-breaking, which is about as much as I could ever hope for, so go me!
As for what I plan to do with Marrow…
I still don’t know. I think the choice I make between traditional and self-publishing will come down to the opinions of my beta readers, whom I hope to engage in June if everything goes according to plan. The thought of querying makes me feel physically ill, but I don’t think I have what it takes to effectively market myself as a self-published author. Therefore, I am again choosing not to think about this until I can’t put it off any longer. Healthy procrastination, I guess?
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MY STORIES?
What an excellent question!
I definitely intend on getting Marrow into publishable shape this year and ideally would like to finish Thirty-Three Tales of War. However, I have a few other projects in mind that I want to develop—but I don’t really have a good plan for any of them and all of them sound engaging:
The Autumn Queen trilogy sounds nice in theory but will ultimately be a huge undertaking for a number of reasons. I don’t have enough of a concrete idea for it yet other than “What if Elizabeth I of England and Margaret I of Denmark were, like, the same person, but also instead of the Church or deity worship their belief system is rooted in the careful academic study of Essence and using its abilities to build a spiritually grounded utopian civilisation that will stand the test of time?”
If any of these as-yet-unwritten projects are likely to make it on the docket this year, Iron and Salt is it. This one at least has some semblance of a plot and will be a standalone. The basic idea behind this one is that two bloodcasters who were variously involved in the Siege of Nalxyn, an important historical event, are telling each other the story of how they ended up in their shared prison cell awaiting execution. I just…don’t yet have anything to fill in the story beyond that, I’m afraid!
The War of the Orchard would be amazing to begin since it takes place in a part of the continent I have never written in before, but it suffers from the same problem: I don’t have a good enough idea for a plot despite having the main character decently fleshed out in my head. The War of the Orchard and another story I have yet to write, which follows Valeyina of Krodacywilud during the Moonwar, were intended to complement Marrow in a suite of three first-person POV stories with metalweavers as the main characters. I don’t know if I want to write either story right after coming off Marrow since I don’t want to establish the expectation that I will only be writing first-person past-tense stories about metalweavers.
I could go back to Silverblood, which I would love to do because it means I can avoid another pesky first draft, but I am honestly not sure if I am ready to do so because of how the project affects my mental health given everything that occurred while writing it and how it impacted my view of myself as a writer. It is exceedingly important to the mythos of the Chromaverse that this story gets told, I just don’t know if I can do it right now.
I do plan on participating in both the March session of Camp NaNo and regular NaNo this year. I want to do a two-part YouTube series connected to these events, so I will probably pick two stories out of the above or come up with a whole new idea to go along with it!
So, my year-long story goals are to 1) Finish Marrow’s second draft 2) Decide on two new stories and 3) Win both sessions of NaNo!
On a less grand scale, my goals for this month are to compile the alpha reader notes on Marrow starting January 12, complete or begin the Husband, Daughter, Son, and Noble points-of-view for Thirty-Three’s eventual submission to the Ancestry and Lineage issue of Worldbuilding Magazine, and continue posting YouTube videos throughout the month. I have pre-recorded through the end of January, so that shouldn’t be terribly hard! I suppose my real goal then is to script and record February’s videos.
The final thing I’d like to discuss in the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions is my self-imposed Book-A-Month challenge. This year I am setting myself the goal of reading 12 books, or one book per month. I am still uncertain how comfortable I am reviewing books on this channel, but if I feel particularly strongly about one I wouldn’t say no to it. If you have any recommendations for me I appreciate them! This month I WILL finish The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang, but the rest of the months are as-yet unslotted.
Books I’ve read and liked in the recent past were The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. I tend to prefer adult high Fantasy and am comfortable reading what I call “measured darkness”.
Anyway, that’s about all I have for this one! I hope you guys had an excellent holiday season and your New Year starts off on the right foot. Thank you all for watching and I’ll see you in the next one!