Things I Did in 2016

Welcome back! Last week, we looked at some great fiction from a talented bunch of authors. This week, our year-in-review continues with Things I Did In 2016.

Every year on New Year’s Day, I sit down with a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper and a Sharpie, and I write down my creative goals for the year. I ask myself, “When we get to December 31st, what do I want to have accomplished?”

Here was my list for 2016:

2016-goals

Let’s go through these one by one.

Write first draft of Sing to the Bones

I did that in February. It was insane. In hindsight, I have mixed feelings about writing a novel that quickly, but I’m also not sure that I could do it any other way.

This was a novel that I had to let sit for a while (I also had to go to Ireland to really get it right in my head). I spent October editing it to a second draft, and sent it to readers again. I’m waiting on a few last notes to come back, and I intend to start agent-hunting in the New Year.

For a book set in a sun-blasted, rocky country, seeing Ireland really helped.

For a book set in a sun-blasted, rocky country, seeing Ireland really helped.

Finish scripts for Pod-Con

Man, we didn’t even touch this. For those newcomers, this is a podcasted musical that Lauren Harris and I wanted to write. However, I’m moving away from audio fiction, so I’m not sure this is still in the cards. Honestly, I’d mentally removed it from the list.

Produce Folklore somehow

Folklore was an early code-name for Six Stories, Told at Night. Making this list in January, I knew grant decisions wouldn’t go out until March. I figured if I didn’t get the money, I’d throw it up on Audible or something. But as it happened, the Ontario Arts Council did give us the grant, and so this one-woman audio drama rolled out exactly as hoped…although the response was even warmer than I’d dared dream!

SixStories_full

Huzzah for the OAC!

Write a play: Southern Ontario Gothic

That was November! It was slightly less insane than writing Sing to the Bones. This will get edited around the New Year, and hopefully I can haul some actors in to read it in late January/early February.

Write and submit short stories to pro markets

Really, I wanted to put, “Sell a short story to a pro market,” but I can’t control whether my stories get bought, so I didn’t. But that was the real goal, deep in my heart of hearts.

And I did sell stories to pro markets! “La Corriveau” sold to Strange Horizons and “The Love it Bears Fair Maidens” just came out at Apex. “Wendigo” also won the Toronto Star Short Story Contest, which I will count as publication (hey, most government arts councils do).

One interpretation of wendigo. Art by Onki Dayan. Found here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/401172279286144735/

One interpretation of wendigo. Art by Onki Dayan. Found here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/401172279286144735/

Outline TEGG novels

I did that! Sort of. Enough that I can knock off the first novel of the trilogy in summer 2017.

***

So…I achieved my creative goals. But as is my wont, I felt like I could’ve done more, like I could’ve tried harder. Then I realized that I did more than what I’d put on the list. Looking at the year in its entirety, this is What I Did In 2016:

Stonecoast3

Me and Jim Kelly. One of my fav pictures from 2016.

Got my Masters’ degree

Wrote the first draft of a novel

Edited three manuscripts for other people

Wrote eight short stories

Wrote the first draft of a full-length play

Wrote two pantomimes for the museum dayjob

Wrote, produced, and released a s***-tonne of videos for the museum dayjob

Got an Ontario Arts Council grant to produce Six Stories, Told at Night

Produced and released Six Stories, Told at Night

Produced and released the Heartstealer audiobook

“Don’t Read This Story” came out at Daily Science Fiction 

Sold “La Corriveau” to Strange Horizons

Sold “The Love it Bears Fair Maidens” to Apex

Won the Toronto Star Short Story Contest with “Wendigo”

Wrote/currently producing “On Thin Ice” for the final season of Tales From the Archives

Edited the first draft of a novel into the second draft

Was a guest at Can*Con

Became an Active Member in SFWA

Started a podcast with Lauren

Sold one more story, details to come. 

…so do I still feel like I could have done more?

Onwards!

Onwards!

Absolutely. Much like Alexander Hamilton, I will never be satisfied. On the one hand, I think that’s a good thing. Hunger goes a long way in this business. On the other hand, that perpetual ache is something I’m going to have to learn to live with.

But while I might not be completely satisfied, I am pleased. Very pleased. See, in 2015 one of my Stonecoast mentors told me that I was on the cusp, to be patient, and to just keep working as hard as I could. Some big breaks came my way in 2016. I don’t think I’ve tipped over the cusp yet, but I feel a lot closer, and I’m excited to see what 2017 brings!

-KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

Y’all know I’m honest with this segment. Last week I saw my colleague Devon Hubka’s one-woman show Everything I Need. It was a delightful exploration of her love of theatre and pursuit of acting. This song recurred as a motif throughout:

Not only is it ridiculously catchy, the lyrics speak to me, particularly in light of this week’s post. No room for doubt—just shut up and dance.

Posted on December 19, 2016, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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