Outgrown But Not Forgotten

One of my (unexpected) Christmas presents this year was a new computer. This has been a wonderful gift; my old computer left me wondering each time I used it if this was the last time before it died.

I’ve been sorting through all my documents saved up on the old computer, figuring out which ones I want to transfer over to the new one and which ones I can say goodbye to. It’s been an interesting experience, almost a timeline of me as a writer. Not just my skill level, but my style, my interests, the types of stories I write at different times in my life, the stories I started and never took anywhere … there’s a part of me that wants to save them all for posterity.

There’s the other part of me that remembers Emily Starr burning her outgrown stories and poems every time she sorted through her stack and heartily approves.

Right now I’m working on re-typing and editing my four short stories set in the Whitney & Davies world, which I will be releasing as a collection SOON (trying to help bridge the gap between Books 1 and 2, since it has been four years since I released Magic Most Deadly and at this point I’m concerned fans of the series have forgotten about it) and so have been able to put off the document-sorting for a little bit.

Soon enough, though, I’ll be diving in for real, figuring out which stories to metaphorically burn, which to save, and which, perhaps, should be set aside for the chance to grow them into something even more beautiful.


Exciting News

Well, exciting for me, anyway. I hope exciting for you all as well, as it means a new story by yours truly to read in February.

What’s that? A new story?

That’s right! My YA sci-fi short story, “A Spot of Orange,” will be published in the February issue of FrostFire Worlds, put out by Alban Lake.

I stumbled out of bed yesterday morning and checked my email on my phone without thinking too much about anything or expecting anything … truth be told I had almost forgotten the submission to FrostFire, done right before the bustle and hurry of Christmas and travel and all that. Once I recognized the email address and remembered the submission I thought, “oh, another rejection. Oh well, at least I tried–wait. What? An acceptance? Did I read that right?”

I rushed right back into the bedroom and stood there goggling until Carl woke up enough to ask what wrong. I mutely handed him my phone with the email still up on it and continued to stand there in shock.

This makes two (2) published short stories now, The Last Defense with Empyreome last April, and now A Spot of Orange with FrostFire Worlds in February. This seems like an auspicious start to 2018!

Tabula Rasa

I have to admit, I kind of love the start of the new year. All those resolutions and goals and fresh starts that everybody makes jokes about because they never last beyond March? Yeah, I used to mock them too, but somewhere in the last few years I repented, and now I love them.

I don’t really make resolutions, though. Mostly because I’m easily discouraged. Goals, though, goals I love to set at the start of the new year. New schedules that won’t last a week, plans to find and stay in a routine that never come to fruition, dreams and goals and words to live by that are generally forgotten by September … no matter, come January 1st we can lay all that aside and try again.

Last year my “word for the year” was mindful. My goals were to practice mindfulness in writing, in reading, in everyday life. Of course I didn’t succeed as well as I would have liked, but I did make a change in how I approach life. I made a start in mindfulness. That’s enough of a success for me.

This year my word is “quiet.” To be quiet within my soul, to not spend so much time listening to the noise of the world (yes, this means social media, not exclusively but largely), to listen to other people instead of talking (I used to be so much better about this), to have quietness and steadiness within and without me.

“In quietness and in trust shall be your strength,” says Isaiah 30:15, and I mean to live this year believing that verse.

I have other goals as well–refill my creative well enough to be able to write well this year. My bucket has been scraping the bottom for several months, and while I’ve been writing steadily, very little of it is anything I can feel satisfied with.  (I’m hoping the quiet thing helps with this as well–listen to the voice of creativity inside me rather than being distracted by all the other noises of the world). Get fit before our big move–I am far too sedentary for good health, and while I’ve no desire to be an athlete, I do want to be able to move well and comfortably. Stick with my reading log for an entire year; I started this last year as part of my attempt to read mindfully, but I gave up around the time we moved and even before then I was not consistent. Find a good daily routine and, as best I can, stick with it. Even though I know sickness and company and insomnia and other curveballs will come, I want a routine I–we–can return to rather than letting such things throw us off our game entirely.

And that’s pretty much it! Nothing too grand, just simple little things to help me be a more whole person.

How do you feel about New Year’s? Are you a resolution/goal maker, or do you prefer not to be bound by arbitrary dates for such things? Do you pick a word to focus on for a year, and if so, do you mind sharing it?

Happy January, and happy 2018 to you all!