My Writing Resolutions 2017

luke-handIt is really easy to complain about 2016, but with 2017 here now, I can’t help but be more concerned.

If 2016 is the Star Wars of bad years, this could be the sequel. And the sequel was more intense, right? Han got stuck in carbon freeze. Luke lost a hand…

There! Right there, is my image of what 2016 was.

Luke without a hand. The problem is we all have more limbs left to get chopped.

Get your lightsabers out, people! Here comes 2017!

Here are some of my writing resolutions for the next year.

  1. My big hope is to find a path to getting my most recent novel in readers’ hands. I’m really proud of this book and have spoken to agents and smaller publishers about it. Hopefully, something will happen. It’s hard not to write more about it here. I would love to talk about the plot and the characters, but I have to keep it under wraps until a plan is in place. All I can say is that it will be a very unique literary treat and I look forward to sharing more about it.
  1. Last year I began a writing project on my site. Uses of This World is my retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet but set in 1920s Europe. (You can read the completed chapters that make up Act I here.) I’m really proud of it and I plan to work on Act II over this year. One act a year feels about right and keeps it from distracting me too much from other writing and projects. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. If anything it is very different.
  1. I haven’t been on WKAR’s Current State in quite some time. I did like doing the book reviews on the radio show and it was a good 3.5 years. (You can read and listen to my book reviews here.) I also think it was inspiring for me as writer to be reading so many books a year (and sometimes a bad book could be more creatively energizing for me than a good book, if you can believe it). I hope to do the occasional book review on this site until I know what is going to happen with my more professional book reviewing in the future. Does anyone know how to reach Fresh Air with Terry Gross? LOL.
  1. I need to decide what I want to do with this site. Sometimes it is hard to find the inspiration to say something unique here. I blame the last year, life stuff, and the election for drawing this writing “depression” out. And when I was inspired to write, it felt more important to work on my current book and the efforts to get it out there. I need focus and so does this site.

Overall, it’s an odd feeling for me looking forward to this year. Usually, I have a good plan for what I want to do in the next year and where the world is going, and I can’t say for certain about any of that right now. I will say that I have become a monthly contributor to the Natural Resources Defense Council. They are one organization putting up the good fight to protect our planet, for climate change is real. You can sign up here, and I recommend you do too. Or find a different cause you care about and help. There are a lot of great options from Planned Parenthood to Everytown for Gun Safety.

The fight for 2017 and our country’s future is only beginning.

Boy, that was dramatic of me. Hmmmm…. I need something more positive to say to end this post…. Oh, I am seeing Hamilton this year! That is cool. (Sorry, you can’t come.)

Good luck to all of us this year!

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This Writer’s New Year Resolutions

1. To be more up-front about my writing and experiences in my blog, but not to come off as whiney or as if I deserve anything from anyone.  The market is far too-congested with writers and luck and “who you know” plays a greater role than anything else on finding success as a writer.

2. To accept being a number three and hope someday to be a number 2… OK, I need to explain this one.

-BREAK FOR EXPLANATION-

In my opinion there are four levels of being a writer in today’s world:

  • Number 1 are those that have a relationship with a big publisher and can actually survive as a writer without needing an additional job.
  • Number 2 are those that have been published once or twice by a big house, but still need to have a day job
  • Number 3 are the small, artistic, indie writers who get published by small, artistic, indie presses, find some small critical success but don’t make much money (if any).
  • Number 4 are the clique of the self-published writers’ world. And yes, it is a clique. Some find success, most don’t… a large majority don’t.

3. Not to look down on the world of the Number 4 anymore. I do it, and even though my first book is out there via iuniverse, I still scorn the idea of being self-published. Sometimes all a writer wants is for their book to be published and at least this is an avenue for that. I need to be more understanding of that, but it can be hard for me to take a work like that as seriously as something from Putnam, for example. I know a lot of educated writers have the same mountain as me to climb about this; so this is me acknowledging the mountain. “Yes, I see the mountain, damn it!”

4. Find some inspiration this year, but not enough to take me away from being a good parent (I have two little ones and I don’t want them to come in second behind a project). I wrote an editorial on Green Spot Blue about this a while ago called “Mush.” Here is the link- http://www.greenspotblue.com/lifenestbabytoy/2010/12/21/mush.html

Hmmm…. It seems a lot of these deal with just be accepting of who I am and not getting down on myself about things.

So what are my hopes for the new year?

Well, I hope to find a publisher for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM. The reaction for it appearing online was very good, and some publishers were initially interested, but everything has been silent since then. I did have one publisher replied and said that it needed to sound more “contemporary” if you can believe it. So a book that was mirroring Jane’s voice sounded too much like Jane, I’m not sure whether to be insulted or happy by that. While I would love a big house, I would be happy with a small press and the capability of it be in ebook format.

Ipublish Press which published MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS and MEGAN said they are trying to get the ebooks out on Google Ebooks this year. I really want that to happen… Which is funny since I have no desire to own a kindle or read an ebook. I actually had a friend since me a copy of her book as an ebook a while ag0 and I have guiltly yet to look at it ( I’m really sorry, Emlyn Chand. I will read FARSIGHTED soon, I swear).  Is it an anti Kindle/ebook thing? I don’t know.  It’s just reading a book on a screen takes something away for me.

And then there are the screenplays… I still dream of them being made, but the days of wanting to be the next Woody Allen are long gone. I have three scripts I really want to see made- CHRISTMAS DREAMING, THE SISTER MOON, and my adaptation of HAMLET (Which is always a debate for me whether it is the best thing I will ever do, or just one of them). But I do have others (4 others to be honest)… And there is a part of me that would like to write a new screenplay, but like with my books it is hard to be inspired when you think a work might join the pile of material sitting in my chest at the end of my bed. I need to feel like it will breath later. I have quite a few works already to feel guilty about just sitting around…. But seeing one of them that I wrote on the screen would be a dream…

Finally, I hope to survive the Mayan Death Day…

… Ok, that last one was a joke.

Hopefully.

Definitely, I mean nothing bad is going to happen.

Of course, if it does and I don’t plan, I’m going to regret it.

Argh.