Writing Recap and Resolutions

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During the first week of a new year, I tend to get a little retrospective before moving forward. So much happens, a lot changes, and there’s so much left undone–unless you’ve been avoiding life for the last 12 months in a  basement or bomb shelter, or you are a cat.

Personally I’ve changed a lot in 2014. The reflection I see in the mirror everyday is starting to deviate from my drivers license photo, which was only taken a little over a year ago. Hair makes a difference, I will say that. I started growing out my hair in 2014 and it went from a bob to past my shoulders in a year.

But physical changes don’t matter as much as personal growth or life changes. This year I ended a relationship and moved into a new house. Shortly after my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I just felt powerless, like someone who has been buried to their neck so people can throw stones at them. I’d say 2014 was the year that taught me life is not fair and bad things can happen to you. But in all fairness, it’s also the year that truly taught me how to be strong.

It’s also the year I found a balance between life and writing. I mean the scales are still tilted in favor of life, but I’ve come to terms with that.

I really feel like I rang in the New Year right because I spent it with people I love doing what I love: writing. I re-re-re-wrote the beginning of my current fantasy novel. I’ve been working on it for roughly a year or two now, and though it is a long way from being done, it has come a long way.

I Changed the Beginning

This time last year, the beginning of my book was a giant info dump. Although it established the conflict, it had way too much information for a reader to digest in one chapter, which was told by a secondary character no less.

My novel now begins with the main character and introduces him, his goals, his fatal flaw, and the conflict. I’m still not completely satisfied with the beginning. I don’t know exactly how it should start. I’m sure I’ll rewrite it a few more times, but it’s come a long way, and that’s what I remind myself when I feel down about it.

I Removed a Main Character

For those of you who read my Tuesday Tips, I take my own advice. Remember how many times I’ve encouraged you to remove or change characters who don’t function with your plot? I ran into a character like that. Her name was Elewyn. When I planned my story, I thought she’d be helpful to the plot, but in the long run, she was just extra noise. The only downfall is now I have a lot of rewriting to do.

I Finished the First Draft for Book 2

I only wish I could say the same for book one. I really wanted to release the first book in 2015, but I may have to wait until 2016. My goal was to have the first draft of book one, book two, and the prequel finished before publishing book one (that way if I make any major plot changes in any of the books I still can go back and make changes in the previous ones). With book two already drafted, half of the prequel drafted, and book one off to a good start, I may still be able to get something out this fall.

I Came Out of the Closet

This year I not only started calling myself a writer, I also discussed my current project with someone other than my sister. Telling my coworker that I wrote fantasy was like pulling teeth, but telling all of my followers on WordPress and Twitter about my novel was a walk in the park. In prior post, I barely teased my WIP until my sister invited me to participate in her blog tour. Not only did I have to discuss my novel’s plot, but I had to describe characters and scenes. Before I was always too uncomfortable to talk about my WIP in great detail. Now I know it’s not that scary.

Writing Resolutions for 2015

Now that I’ve recapped my WIP’s progress in 2014, what is in store for 2015. Again, I’m pretty sure publishing is out of the question, but this is the year I’d like to share my writing with readers and get feedback. I’d also like to have it fully edited and formatted so it’s ready to go at the end of this year or beginning of next.

I’m really looking forward to sharing more about my novels in the new year. Thank you all for reading and sharing in 2014.

2015 Reading Resolutions

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In 2014, I think I only managed to finish 4-6 books. Partially I just didn’t have a lot of time to read what with writing and editing my sister’s novel and all, but on the other hand, I simply could not get through some of the books I tried to read. What it comes down to is this: I don’t have time to read bad books, but in 2015 I am going to make time to read good ones. This is my to-read list. Additional recommendations are welcome, especially in the fantasy genre.

51kmDQgbu9LThis book was referred to me by my sister. Being a parody reader and writer, she loves the works of Terry Prachett–most of them anyway. I started reading this book in 2014, but I got stuck in the middle. It wasn’t that it was bad, it was just slow-going. I plan on returning to Discworld this year so I can find out how the story ends. The characters are really enjoyable and most of the humor is very witty. So far, I recommend this book.


91pY4eHaULL._SL1500_As a fantasy writer, I like to keep up with who and what’s popular in the fantasy realm. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about the author Brent Weeks–this book in particular. I haven’t started reading it yet, but the synopsis sounds hopeful. I’m looking forward to reading something from an author I’m not familiar with. Keeping my fingers crossed it’s good.


81yqwJc-HwL._SL1500_Would any fantasy lover’s reading list be complete without something written by George R.R. Martin. I’m ashamed to admit I watched the show before reading the book. I just don’t typically get invested in series with more than five books. It’s too expensive and time consuming for me to keep up with. I do, however, want to sample George’s writing style, so I’m going to read the first book and go from there. I like the show so I assume I’ll like the book.


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This author was referred to me by my sister. I was told Karen Miller is like the woman George R.R. Martin. I’m really looking forward to reading this one, even though I have no intentions of reading the other books in the Godspeaker trilogy. For one thing, I already know what happens, because my sister told me everything. You never ask her to tell you about a book or movie unless you want to know how it ends. See her review here.


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If you were worried, I happen to have some independent authors on my list as well. Though I’m not a fan of Gods, I do love elves, so I figured this book would be a safe bet. I’ve never read anything from this author before, but it had decent reviews so I’m happy to check it out.


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The cover drew my interest, and the reviews won me over. Even though one of the reviews contained massive spoilers (seriously, people, don’t give away the end), I’m still going to read this. I’m hoping the story is as good as the cover. I haven’t read a sample yet, so I’m really trusting the opinions of others here.


91R5IqXMMvL._SL1500_This is probably the only nonfiction book I have on my list. I saw this on twitter and couldn’t resist. I love the story of Gilgamesh. It was the first piece of ancient literature I studied in college. I loved the character’s plight: Why must we die? Humanity’s struggle with the inevitability of death and what it means to be mortal is a fascinating topic, one that I hope this author will do justice.


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This is another book I studied in college (same professor). This is probably one of my favorite stories of all time. I’m particularly fond of the theme of mortality: Is it better to die a legend and be remembered forever or to be remembered and loved by a few and then forgotten forever. The only reason I don’t have this book on my shelf right now is because I can’t choose which translation I want.


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For those of you who think I want to read this after watching the movie starring Fancy Wolverine, let me just stop you right there. I’ve wanted to read this since I was four. Yes, that’s true. I remember a trip to the library as a child. I saw this book on a shelf and asked my mom how old I had to be to read it–considering it didn’t have pictures. She said grown ups read books like that. I think 28 is grown up enough. Challenge accepted.


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I’m not usually a fan of Mages or magic in fantasy (which makes my reading pool pretty shallow), but this book was written by an awesome author, so I’m sure it too will be awesome. I’ve read a sample, and so far, I have to say the quality is very good. I usually don’t recommend a book after only reading a chapter, but I’ve already recommended this one to several people.


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I just added this title to my reading list today. I saw it on a post by Therin Knite, and I thought it looked good. The reviews are promising and I like the sample so far. The writing is good so far. No final judgement yet.


Well, there you have it. I think eleven books isn’t too ambitious. It’s going to take me enough time to read “Les Mis” so we’ll see how many I actually finish. Some of these books are repeats from 2014, and I’ve even started reading some of them; this year I vow to finish them.

What are your reading resolutions? Do you have a quota or a list of titles?