I don't feel inspired to do a 2011 retrospective. Maybe this weekend.
Right now, I'm feeling more like looking forward, considering: What goals should I have in the new year?
One friend, seen at the New Year's Eve party I always go to, said he thought perhaps he should aim for more hugs in 2012. That sounds like a good goal to me. I don't know if it will get more stories written, re-grow my guitar calluses, or further any other of my long-term creative goals, but friends are important too.
I'm going to keep my 10-submissions-a-month goal that I started last year, and have already copied the spreadsheet, renamed it, and entered the first submission. I didn't make that goal every month--some months I did more and lots fell short--but it helped me focus in a positive way, when I wasn't too busy to look at it. There were also times that everything I had on hand was out already.
That leads to a clear conclusion--I need to write more. To that end, I think I should log into the chat room with the other toonowrimo
writers more often. The only problem with this is there's rarely anyone in the room between dinnertime and what should be my bedtime. So if there's anyone else interested in writing from 7 to 11 CST, let me know. I think I'll try to do at least one word war regularly, meaning at a minimum more days than not.
Speaking of bedtime, I need to put a higher priority on sleep. Being too tired is too much like writer's block. Who cares if it's 7 p.m.--if I'm tired enough to sleep during what is normally my most creative time of day then I should treat myself to actual proper sleep-in-a-bed. I must remember that exhaustion--which is not the same thing as working past dawn on a night when the Muse is whispering in my ear and I can sleep in the next day--leeches away my time and creativity. Staying up always seems more attractive than the face-hugger, but for the most part, that's a lie.
I am, of course, planning to keep my day job in 2012. Paying the bills is a good thing, and so is health insurance, even if that keeps getting more expensive and covers less every year. I also like having a job where I get to help people who, through no fault of their own, have been hurt. (I admit, I still do like writing fiction better. Too bad as a culture we have fallen into the attitude that nearly all creative work should be available for free.)
That brings me to another rather free-form goal--to keep stretching my skills as a storyteller, including not only my writing, but my art, music, and ancillary stuff like promoting the small-press publications I'm in.
I've committed to running the next Torn World contest, answering questions and cheerleading and trying to fill in for Ellen while ellenmillion
is on maternity leave. If you folks want to give me a gift, enter the next Torn World contest and harass me for links to background information or snag me in a chat room to brainstorm before sitting down to create something for the contest. That contest will be another Fauna of Torn World contest, so stories, poetry, art, and metafiction about sea monsters, invasive insects, cute pets, and strange wildlife will all be welcome! (If you want to give Ellen a gift, enter this month's contest, whose theme is Fashions and Fads--you're welcome to ask me for information, links, or brainstorming this month too!).
As to my own Torn World projects, I plan to finish Wild Snowy Chase very soon, and then turn my attention to some of my other characters. Lalya in particular has been neglected; I need to plot out more of his story and immerse myself in it for a while.
I do want to work on the Feather-Blessed Dragons story--I owe that to meeks
for the wonderful art she made for it, but I've been wanting to find time for it anyway. I'd also love to finish Clockwork Dragon, and I have some ideas for stories to submit to upcoming anthologies too.
I also still want to put some of my short stories out as an e-book anthology, and maybe a few as freebie singles, but I have not yet figured out what to do for cover art. Maybe if I can carve out more time for art, I will succeed in making some. I'm still leery of spending money on it, since I still have bills to pay off and deferred house fixing stuff that's been on hold due to being unemployed for so long. But that might eventually be the solution.
In short, 2012 will be another year where I dream big and try to make a bunch of those dreams real.
It's bedtime for me now--I have to work tomorrow, after all. This weekend is Sketchfest, so I'll be doing some art--but in between sketches, does anybody want to war?