Archive for January, 2012

Landsquid Friday: Limerick

To put the landsquid back in Where Landsquid Fear to Tread, the Landsquid shall be more active from here on out. I’m not sure if it will be every Friday or a less regular thing quite yet. I am not the best planner in the world.

(Also, thank you to everyone who told me they couldn’t see a learning curve with the last landsquid from the wacom tablet, even though you lie horribly. It took me approximately fifteen tries to get this one to look like a landsquid and not some strange Angry Birds reject.)

Today, I have a landsquid and a limerick for you. Enjoy.

There was a landsquid named Joe
Whose editing simply won’t go
He sweeps every room
With a dusty old broom
But alas, procrastination just grows

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The Year of Doing

I feel like I should get my act together. Sure, I’ve sold a good amount of shorts in the past year (I sold one today, hoorah) but I’m starting to think that I’m using them to procrastinate my real goals – like, why edit my YA paranormal novel when I can whip out a short story about Norse gods pretending to be private eyes? Yet the novel writing is what I love and I want to get more out into the world.

Drastic measures may be needed.

I would like to get at least two novels ready to go this year: one for submission to agents, and one for submission to Turtleduck Press. Obviously I can’t trust myself to get things done on my own, so monthly steps need to be taken.

Those are my goals for the Year of Doing, and I thought I would invite others – no matter what your big goals for 2012 are – to post you big goals here, and every month we’ll check in and see how progress is going. If you know specifically what you’re going to do for your monthly steps, you can post them here as well.

So what do you want to get done, Squiders?

So Goes the Kitchen Ceiling

I wish I could claim I had a nice, inspirational, well-thought-out post for you, Squiders, but I have spent the last hour scrubbing paint off of my floors because, despite the gazillion drop cloths, my husband still manages to get paint everywhere. He even somehow managed to get it all over the dining room floor, which is completely separated from the kitchen by a wall. True talent.

(I spent most of the time doing it on hands and knees, but then I realized I own a Swiffer WetJet which, while crap for actually mopping, is good for some things.)

So instead of something lovely, you get a kitchen ceiling analogy.

We are redoing our kitchen ceiling because my husband dislikes flourescent lights and I do not care enough to stop him. So, without further adieu, ways redoing my kitchen ceiling is like writing a novel.

It doesn’t come out quite right the first time.
I think we all wish that there was such things as perfect first drafts but, sadly, there are not. Bits need to be rewritten, character motivations need to be better thought out, and subplots may end up not fitting. Alas. Luckily there is time to fix things. (In the kitchen’s case, we had to redo the texturing twice.)

Sometimes it takes longer than you think.
“We’ll be done in two days,” my husband said. Two weeks later, we’ve still got two, maybe three, steps to go. Novels go much the same way. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a novel just won’t get done in the amount of time you think it should take. (Alternately, sometimes they go faster. Rarely, though.)

It makes a mess.
Much like the paint everywhere and the dust (oh God, the dust), novels are never as clean as you like them to be the first (or sometimes the second, or the third) time through. There are loose ends, extraneous characters, and plot holes the size of elephants. And it takes a while to clean everything up.

In the end, it’s better than when you started.
Sure, it takes a lot of work and you suspect there’s drywall dust in all your food, but even you have to admit that it was worth it. And so it goes with your novel, so don’t give up.

(Seriously, though, drywall dust everywhere.)

Looking Forward to 2012

Well, Squiders, now that we’ve got the year-end administrative stuff out of the way, we have a whole glorious new year in front of us, full of potential and hopes and dreams.

I’d like your feedback on what you’d like to see this year.  I’ll stick in a poll for ease, but if you have anything else you’d like to add in the comments, don’t be shy!  The Landsquid doesn’t bite, he has no teeth.

I’ll admit that I’m about out of subgenres, so I don’t know how much longer that will continue, but I have some ideas for fun things for the year.  Have at it!

What Did I Read in 2011?

Every year I keep track of what I read, what genre it was, and what I thought of it (on a five point scale). This past year, 2011, I also started keeping track of publication year.

Here are the 2011 stats:

Books read in 2011: 53
Change from 2010: +2

Of those:
16 were Nonfiction
12 were Fantasy
5 were Science Fiction
4 were Mystery
3 were Steampunk
3 were General Literature
2 were Science Fantasy
2 were Romance
1 was Young Adult
1 was Humor
1 was Paranormal
1 was Horror
1 was Historical Fiction
1 was a genreless anthology

New genres: Humor, Paranormal, Science Fantasy

Genres that went up: Nonfiction, General Literature
Genres that went down: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Historical Fiction, Thrillers (none read at all)

Guess it wasn’t a very genre-y (or even a very fiction-y) year.

21 were my books (3 were ebooks, 1 I originally got from the library but later bought)
24 were from the library
8 I borrowed from friends or family

Average rating: 3.29

Top Rated:
Incarceron (4.5)
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (4.2)
Behemoth (4)
Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies (4)
First Contact (4)
Sapphique (4)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (4)
Mindless Eating (4)

No 5’s this year.  That’s kind of sad.

Most recent publication year: 2011
Oldest publication year: 1883
Average publication year: 1998
Books Older than 1900: 2
Books Newer than (and including) 2000: 42

If you have any questions about anything specific, please let me know! I love to share reading suggestions (and receive them) but I figure you guys don’t want to see my book list as it’s updated.

2011 in review and Happy New Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Man, where can I get some helper monkeys?