Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Year in the Life

2012: A Review

I find it extremely useful to look back at the year that has just passed as a way to move forward in setting goals for the upcoming year.

I've written these year-in-review posts for as long as I've been blogging and I find a curious thing: while I almost never actually meet my yearly goals, I accomplish an enormous number of things. They're just not necessarily the items I had anticipated.

Perhaps this is not quite the problem or failure it might seem to be. Life throws curve balls. If there's one thing I have learned in the past several years, it's to be flexible in the face of the unexpected. (Now, stop laughing, I didn't say I enjoyed it, or even did it gracefully. . . )

So in that spirit, I offer this restatement of the goals I set this year for 2012:

In 2012, I intended to:  
1. Shepherd THE BETWEEN to its ideal readers
My first major goal for 2012 was to get THE BETWEEN in the hands of its readers. I spent a lot of time in the beginning months of 2012 working on obtaining reviews, doing guest blog posts and giveaways, and crafting a marketing plan that felt authentic and not sleazy. I think I accomplished that and made authentic connections with readers and potential readers.

2. Generate enough support and interest to write and release its sequel.
In terms of working on the sequel, I have a bare bones structure for when I return to that world. But I realized that raising awareness for one novel while trying to kickstart another was a way to burn out.

3. Finish the first draft of the "YAGSIP"
Goal number 3? I was all over that. I *owned* that goal. It was an excellent writing year, actually. Now if only I could find a name for the %$#!! novel.
4. Return to my poetry roots
Poetry. I filled several small notebooks with lines, stanzas, and drafts of poems. I also participated in the annual August Poetry Postcard fest, where I wrote 31 original postcard poems and sent them all over the world to 31 different poets.I also got to attend the 2012 Dodge Poetry Festival, which always fires up my soul with the sheer beauty of language.
5. Focus on my physical wellness
Well being? Well, that was a major fail. I know this has been on my list of goals for several years now and I need to do something about it. I'm healthy, but in poor physical shape. I could berate myself for laziness, but it's also that I've had to cope with some significant personal and family stressors in the past year, including the death of my mother and my father's multiple hospitalizations. 

So, what DID I accomplish in 2012?
  • In addition to completing the first draft of the Ghost Story, I also started and am set to finish a Science Fiction novel (DERELICT) that I project to come in at 100,000 words. (As of last night, it's at 92K) That represents 1 1/2 novels written in 2012. 
  • I revised FUTURE TENSE with feedback from both my agent and some wonderful beta readers (shout out to the lovely gals of the #SWFG and Rebecca Blain from G+)
  • Approximately 100 new blogposts, the majority of them here at the Once in a Blue Muse Blog, but also as part of several blog tours, including the Merry-Go-Round Blog tour and the Black Ink White Paper group blog.
  • Speaking of DERELICT, I decided to do something different with my work and serialize it as a novel in progress. I've been slowly garnering a wonderful community of interested readers and have really enjoyed the process of being accountable to them during the process.
  • At Readercon last July, I had dinner with my fellow graduates of Jeffrey A. Carver's and Craig Shaw Gardner's Ultimate SF&F Workshop. Sitting around the table, it struck me that I was in company with an enormously talented pool of writers and suggested we put together an anthology. I'm thrilled to say that this project is moving forward and my co-editor and I will be meeting to review our submissions over the next few weeks with a plan to have the anthology ready in time for 2013 Readercon.
  • I released a slew of new short stories to subscribers of BlueMusings, my newsletter.
  • I got to meet my agent, the lovely Nephele Tempest of The Knight Agency, for the first time during a recent trip to L.A. We are working towards the same goals and in the same direction, weathering the vagaries of the publishing industry.
  • I applied for, and was invited to run a panel with the estimable Tamora Pierce at 2012 ConBust, a small SF&F con run at Smith College in Northampton, MA. It was a wonderful experience, one I will treasure (especially since I got to meet and stay with the utterly wonderful Jane Yolen!!)

In 2013, I Intend to Accomplish:
  • Revise/edit the ghost story (which really, really needs a title) and DERELICT
  • Brainstorm with Nephele regarding what to write next/continue to align goals with the aim of publication
  • Complete and publish the Ultimate SF&F Workshop Anthology
  • Write 4-6 new short stories
To my reader and writer friends: May the New Year bring you joy and peace.


  1. Woot! Well done, Lisa! I've loved Derelict!

    1. Thanks, sweetie! I'm going to reward all my hard work with diving into your manuscript this evening. xxoo

  2. Aww, did you have to do this?! Now, I really feel CRUMMY, and more insecure. Bad, Lisa! Seriously though, good on you! Pretty impressive year for someone whose raising two teenagers, two dogs, still training her husband, and being in the midst of all manner of family situations and emergencies. Now, I have to go off and shoot myself. Baa! :(

  3. Don't you dare beat yourself up!!! You survived a trip to hell and back and that trumps ANY kind of accomplishment in my book. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

  4. You forgot "begin new group blogging adventure". :)

  5. You just made me cry. In a good way. Much love.

  6. Dear Lisa,
    Unless I'm missing something, the other HUGE thing you accomplished in 2012 was publishing The Between! No small feat. I actually finally just read it and it is such a wonderful book. I loved Lydia. Both of them! What a rich visual journey. I'd love to adapt it to a screenplay so let me know when you are ready! Many congratulations. You are an inspiration.

    1. Thanks, sweetie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. That means the world to me. Wow--I never considered that it could work as a screenplay. We should talk. :) Thinking of you.