Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: that's a wrap

As the temperature soars above the 40 degree mark outdoors, so begins the countdown to the end of another year - one that began with vigar and promise and fizzled out slightly as the demands of an overcommitted workload took effect.

My goals for the year were to continue to work on my short fiction and begin to push for better recognised, paying markets. The year began slow with a string of rejections before sales (well most were unpaid) to Black Box (due out early 08), Ripples Magazine, Flashspec 2 and E-Macarbe 2.

I also applied for the Australian Horror Writers' Associations mentorship program and was teamed up with Lee Battersby. I halted my submissions and began three or so months of furious scribing, producing first drafts of 8-10 short stories. My time with Lee was fantastic, working through more than the suggested number of stories and helping to shape some of my earlier flash pieces into stronger little slabs and developing a couple of new projects for some targeted anthologies.

I learned a lot about my craft and how to identify some common mistakes I made in my writing. As a result I expected a lot more from myself and of the 10 new stories I had written only one has been submitted into the open market. The other stories remain in some cases untouched as I strive for better and stronger ideas. Still, I don't see the time spent on them as wasted - getting them down on paper freed me up to concentrate on new concepts. And I may still go back to them yet.

The second half of the year has been a lot slower, with demands from weddings, house rennovations and Horrorscope and Australian Shadows readings taking precident. In the past couple of months my writing has all but dried up, but the creative juices are still flowing and once judging is completed in the new year I plan to dedicate 2008 more strongly to my own fiction - reducing my Horrorscope workload slightly and taking a break from competition judging.

My goals for 2008 are simple. To sell more stories to paying markets and to adapt a children's fantasy TV series I created into a novel. As to whether I'm successful only time will tell...


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