Well I’ve reached a milestone, a pretty big one if I’m honest. Still waiting for the truth to hit me but perhaps this will come in time, perhaps at Fantasy Con when I meet up with all my fellow contributors and the editing team.
After Alt.Fiction I was asked to write for an anthology by Adele Wearing, who recently set up a new imprint – Fox Spirit. She liked what I wrote enough to deem it publishable, stick her neck out as an editor and say ‘this is worth reading’. I find that mind-blowing really. Given what a solitary exercise writing is, it’s easy to forget that the aim of the game is to share it with as many people as possible. Even more amazing, people are going to be paying money to read what I have written. Granted there is a heap of talented folk in there – both well established veterans and emerging authors – but still, my name will be alongside theirs, with a little (c) beside it.
So . . . can I call myself a writer now? Will I keep moving the goalposts? I don’t know, but I’m just so gosh-darned pleased that I got to this stage.
Can’t thank everyone involved enough. So instead I will talk a bit more about the book instead of rambling at my own astonishment.
It’s an anthology of tales, all featuring Nuns and Dragons. Many genres, many outlooks, all different. Mine is a fable about getting things done – guess that’s something many writerly types can relate to – The Tale of Sister Amagda and the Thrice Bound Wyrm. The Ebook is available now through Amazon or Wizards Tower Press, print version to follow in the near future. Reviews have been very favourable, and a great amount of interest has been generated. I’ve bought my copy, and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s tales!
New year’s eve is a time for reflection, so here’s my little run down of what has happened this year:
Completed a first draft of a novel
Something my cowriter and I are very proud of, and still amazed by. The last few months have been a keen learning experience and we continue to hammer the material into shape.
Completed a short story draft
Something I did in a hurry that I found immensely pleasurable. This too is currently subject to editing and rewriting.
Received my first rejections
This might not strike as an achievement, but for me it shows that at least I got as far as submission. Again it was a learning point and I never regard a single word as wasted, it all leads to something.
Entered a rapier tournament
When the opportunity arose and I was asked I faced my doubt and threw myself into it. I thank my instructors for giving me a new way of considering just about any challenging situation – to just face the moment and disregard what has happened and what is to come.
Attended two literary conventions
I decided it was time to serious-up about writing and the social network that surrounds it. Fantasycon and Bristolcon were both fun and educational – far more than I expected them to be.
Attended two HEMA conventions
As I progress in this martial art I find new ways to grow and develop, and have realised what a huge world of learning and experience there is to be had out there. Fightcamp and Rapier were highlights of 2011.
Completed my practical (five fights) and written (a translation) elements for my Laureando (swordfighting) assessment
I was honoured to be considered ready to take this, and have yet to hear my results, so fingers crossed I have ‘levelled up’ as a fighter.
Bought two swords and a dagger
Okay, this is a bit more than just retail therapy, but I can think of few things more pleasurable than buying weapons. For me it is a physical affirmation of how seriously I wish to take my studies.
Helped to edit two translations
I would expand on this but . . . we don’t talk about fightclub.
Entered twitter, WordPress and the world of social networking
I have two very close friends in my writers group, as well as my coauthor, but twitter has brought me into a world of people with similar interests, where I have made some good friends. So much so that a few of us are planning our own little ‘con’ in Spring.
Complete editing on the novel and submit to agents
I am confident that we can achieve this. The progress is going well, we are both very happy with what we have achieved so far, and we have a plan 🙂
Submit and become published in an anthology
I was kindly asked if I would like to submit to an upcoming anthology. This was the short story mentioned above. I just hope that it meets requirements. And even if it doesn’t, I had good fun working on it.
Enter Rapier 2012, Swordfish and Fightcamp tournaments
Taking part in Rapier 2011 did great work for my confidence, and as one of only two women taking part I’m fairly sure it gave confidence to my fellow swordswomen to take part in next year’s competitions. Swordfighting is largely a boy’s club, but I have faith that good technique, if I can learn and apply it, will serve me well even against the most strong and brutal opponent.
Achieve Laureando status
I should find out how I fared in the next couple of weeks. If I didn’t pass then I’ll make sure I do next time.
Like most people over the winter season the food has not been kind to my waistline. With more opportunities to spar I hope to improve my overall fitness and achieve better movement.
Write every single day
Until the first draft was completed this went without saying. Since then my focus has been on editing, and over Xmas I have found myself less and less available to commit time to it. I know I can do it, so there’s no excuse really.
Read more books, especially non-fiction
Joining Goodreads has helped, and it’s shown me my reading pattern: I tend to have an audiobook, at least one paper book and an ebook on the go at any one time. There are so many great fantasy novels out there that I want to read – classics as well as debut authors’ work that came out in the last year, but I keep meaning to read beyond my genre, get into scifi, for example. Also there are plenty of non-fiction books full of inspiration for a fantasy author, history ones in particular.
Help other people to achieve their goals, whether it’s writing, swordfighting or anything else that I can assist with.
One of the great things about twitter is that you can learn from other people’s knowledge and experience. On more than one occasion I have been able to offer mine. I’ve critiqued, offered advice about lessons, given feedback, searched for information on a topic. I am deeply grateful to those who have taught me about blogging, writing and publishing as well.
Put our regular content
I don’t want this to be a blog full of random waffle to keep myself at the top of searches, I want it to be engaging and useful. I owe it to those of you who read it.
I wish you all a successful and happy 2012. What are your plans for the year to come?