Looking Back at 2014

Last year was a year that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It was a year in which I grew hugely as a person and as a writer.

On a personal level life was turned a little on its head in March when Tracie and I broke up. I’m not going to go into details, except to say it was an amicable break up. It was sudden though and it was quite clear to me that we’d made the right decision.
That changed a lot in my life about how I wanted to move forward. One thing I didn’t want to do was to dive straight into another relationship. I wanted to get my head, and heart, clear before even thinking about another relationship. I also wanted to make sure I knew how to be happy, or at least content, on my own. And I think I have done that. I still get my lonely points but they don’t last long and if I’m being productive with writing then it’s almost never.
I’ve been single since then, and I am okay with that. I’m enjoying having the time to myself and that time is letting me get writing, but more about writing in a bit. I think a few of my close friends may think I’m against meeting someone but if someone came along who blew me away then I’d embrace that, but I’m not willing to start dating someone who isn’t right for me.
That wasn’t the worst part of my year, I have family who are fighting serious health problems, but I won’t go into those in any detail at all. All I will say is that they are serious health problems that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

A big upside of the year has been my cash flow. I won’t go into details but since becoming single it’s something I’ve worked hard on getting more stable. It wasn’t out of control but I was living a little close to the wire at times and I really didn’t like it. I’m not quite where I want to be, that’ll take a little while longer as I’m paying off a loan. But thanks to a little bit of luck this year is starting off really well now. Even without that bit of luck I would still be starting this year off on a good financial footing. Many months of being sensible are paying off and it’s a damn good feeling.

Now to the writing. Most of the year I was writing like I have always done, erratically. To occupy my mind I threw myself into writing after the break up and I got a short story written in about a day in April. That was also the first time I went to write-in with my local NaNoWriMo group. I’d been a member of the Facebook group for my region for a couple of years but this was the first time I really interacted with anyone from it, and I wish I’d done it sooner. This group has been incredibly supportive and inspirational since April and I don’t think I could have done as much as I have done this year without them (including a day when I wrote 7500 words, a personal best).

After that I turned to getting my vampire collection of short stories sorted out. Which I have done. This is a series that I have had stories written for since the end of 2009 and it felt really good to get the last story done and have them all tied together. I had to write a number of new stories to make the collection a decent size and to tie them altogether. This collection is with one of my primary Beta readers at the moment, and I’ve already had great feedback from another Beta reader. I’m hoping to have this out this year, I do have a date in mind but that’s staying with me until I have everything I need in place to have it published.
For NaNoWriMo I wrote a sequel to the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2013. Before NaNo began though I wanted to go through the first story and get it all tidied up, but it didn’t work out like that. I spent a lot of time faffing about and cutting huge chunks of it, but I didn’t get done before November and decided to sort it out after I finished NaNo.
I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo this year, finishing with a good few days to spare. The problem I found as I was writing it was that it was much better than the first book. So during December I started to re-write the first book. I set myself an outside target of 60,000 words and I was over 30,000 when I finished writing last night.
That put me on 162,870 words for the year.

I just want to take a moment to talk about the two collaborations that I’m working on. Firstly, The Residents. This is still in the brainstorming stages but we’re getting closer to working on getting the outline done.
Project Apollo is a little closer to being ready for Owen and I to get the re-write started. Due to Owen’s work commitments he was unable to give the outline of the first third of the book a good look, over the last couple of months. So hopefully we’ll be getting more of the outline done, and locked down soon.

That’s the general parts of the year that come to mind as I sit here and write this, next year I’m going to up my output for word count and also get things edited and closer to being ready for release.

Just A Couple Of Quick Bits

Hey guys I just wanted to give a couple of shout outs and mentions.

 

Firstly is J.R. Murdock. I listened to a story he wrote about intergalactic haulage called V&A Shipping. This is one of the random podcasts that I have downloaded from podiobooks.com via iTunes which was a random download. I had not heard of it or Mr. Murdock but the story got me from the first line and kept me listening keenly until the end of the story. It did also tug at my heartstrings which I think is always a good sign. It’s a good sci-fi setting and the story itself is engaging. Well worth a listen. Here is the authors website (best web address ever by the way).

http://ofgnomesanddwarves.com/

 

One quick other shout out is one that I have done before but it has been a while since they have had a mention and they are the good people over at Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing.

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/

Their website still looks amazing and is full of great content. Even if you do not write science fiction this podcast is a great listen and the website is great, I really need to get there more often than I do.

 

With my WIP, it is progressing slowly as I am expanding on some of the pieces that I have written. Next time I do NaNoWriMo hopefully I’ll be able to put this detail in when I write the first draft. It is getting there though 🙂

Adventures In SciFi Publishing

I mentioned on Aly Hughes blog about the of the podcasts that I listen to and she, here’s her page  http://alyhugheswrites.wordpress.com/ and She said I should talk about this a little on my blog and she has a good point.  So I’m going to talk about some of these podcasts from time to time.

I’ve mentioned Adventures In SciFi Publishing before on this blog ( https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/looking-back-at-2011/ ) but I’m going to try to go into a little more detail here (wish me luck) and tell you all some of the things that I’ve taken from this podcast as well as the others that I have found.

I found Adventures In SciFi Publishing as one of the ‘People who liked this, also liked this………’ on iTunes and it sat on my iPod for, I’ll admit, quite a while and it was not until after my PC had a hissy fit and died (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr and it’s still not fixed yet!) That I delved into the library that I had on my iPod (when I download a podcast I do so in bulk!) and the more that I listened to it the more that I fell in love with this podcast.  As I said in the link above I like the team that run the Adventures In SciFi Publishing Podcast and their website is always worth a read through.  http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/

The interviews that are done from the Writers of the Future contest have been some of my favorite episodes because they have writers who are still trying to make their name in the literary world and its great from my point of view to hear how they are approaching the process aswell.  Their enthusiasm is fantastic too.  It is not just the writers that are interviewed here but also the artists that are also in this contest.

I get a real kick out of listening to intelligent people who also have a passion about what they’re talking about.  The interviews that they present are with not only experienced pros like Tracy Hickman, Brandon Sanderson and Scott Sigler to name just a few.

Along with passion of the team behind Adventures In SciFi Publishing I think that the interviews are the strongest part of the show.  I could give you some of the links for episodes that I especially enjoyed but I don’t want to make this a link heavy post, but a couple of episodes that really caught my attention were: AISFP 112 – Laura Resnick, Mary Robinette Kowal,  AISFP 111 – Michael A. Stackpole, AISFP 108 – Tracy Hickman, AISFP 107 – David Farland and AISFP 104 – Anne Sowards and Clay and Susan Griffith

I would recommend checking out the website though because there is a lot on there that is just a fountain of information.  The only thing that I would like to see on there is a Search Bar so I could type in a name and boom, everything about that person is there, but aside from that its a cool website and I’ve learnt a lot from the Podcast.

Looking Back At 2011

Okay so I wanted to give a quick look back at the last year and what has happened to me and what I’ve learnt.  Firstly I hit my 1000 word a week target.  I’ve started writing this on the 12th and I’ve written 77,839 words to this date.  I wont lie I’m quite cuffed about that 😀 Despite failing NaNoWriMo it played a big part in building that word count and taught me a lot about my writing and where I want it to go ( https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/looking-back-at-nanowrimo/ ) click the link to take you to a post where I talk about NaNo and what I learnt.

As for progress of my fiction I am disappointed to say that I have not submitted anything yet.  I have no long fiction even close to being ready for submission but I do have a number of short stories which are very close to being ready to be sent out into the wide world.  Most of those form part of a series of stories that I’m not sure I want to set free just yet.  I have a couple of others that just need a little fine tuning before I search out the best places to submit them.

I do think that a couple of the ideas that I and my writing partner have look to be coming to life a little.  So those in the New Year they will get some serious attention.

I know that I rarely speak of my personal life but here I will, just not in too much detail.  I’ve had a few ups and downs this last year.  Nothing out of  what any one of us may expect to encounter during our lives.  I have had friendships pushed to the limits and have learnt who my real friends are.  I’ve been pushed to my breaking point on more than one occasion which has taught me a lot about myself.

BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

This is quite a tough one for me as I’ve seen a lot of good films this year.

The Kings Speech deserves a mention.  Like many people I didn’t really think it would be my type of film but I absolutely loved it.

X-Men:First Class was better than I was expecting (and I was expecting it to be good) Heres my review https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/x-men-first-class/

Captain America : The First Avenger did also blow me away,  https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/captain-america-the-first-avenger/

Thor also impressed me a lot.  I liked how the humour worked in the film (and it has Natalie Portman in it 😀 ) It was fascinating to see the world that Thor comes from and how some of the little sub plots and characters tie into the movie franchise that has been created which is leading up the Avengers movie.

And just for sheer enjoyment purposes Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/movie-review-tucker-dale-vs-evil/ This film was daft but very funny with a lot of heart.

BEST BOOK I’VE READ THIS YEAR

This one has to be Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky  https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/book-review-metro-2033-by-dmitry-glukhovsky/ This book really did blow my mind.  Even now new things about the depth of the book and all within its pages are coming to mind.  Once I’ve cleared more of my ‘To Read’ backlog then I’m going to read it again.  Theres not many books that I can say that about.

BEST SHORT STORY

This one is Conditional Love by Felicity Shoulders (http://felicityshoulders.com/) which I heard via the Escape Pod Podcast  http://escapepod.org/2011/02/11/ep279-conditional-love/ Its one of the few stories that made me actually stop what I was doing and say “Wow!”

BEST NEW PODCAST I’VE FOUND

This one goes to Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/ This podcast has taught me a lot about how to approach some of the aspects of writing and how to go about publishing.  There are some fine interviews with various writers, editors and people within the writing community.  Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen are a fine team and very easy to listen to, although I do miss Sam Wynns.  I especially like the segments with Lou Anders (editor at Pyr  http://www.pyrsf.com/ ) and Tobias S. Buckell, http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/.

Since I’ve started blogging more frequently I’ve met some amazing people through blogging that I’ve got some very good support from and I’ve taken a lot from their own blogs.  It’s such a strong and supportive community which is fantastically insightful as well.  Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for fascinating posts from other bloggers.

Now I am looking forward to next year and what I intend to achieve in the twelve months we are about to go into.  Christmas is upon us and New Years Eve I think will be one to remember, but next year, I want that to be an entire year that I look back on and think ‘2012 was really something special’

PC Died :(

Ten days ago my PC decided to die, it’s basically stopped sending a signal to my monitor which means I can’t see anything at all.  For all I know it may not even be powering up properly.  Thankfully I have a laptop which is not yet eighteen months old, but ALL of my iTunes is on my PC as I don’t want to overload my laptop with 2500 songs and about 5000 podcasts.  I have not been able to update my iPod since then, this is very, very bad as I am now out of date with Escape Pod, StarshipSofa, Pseudopod, Scott Sigler’s podcast, Fighting Talk and the list could go on for a fair while.  Yes I could download them onto my Laptop and sync my iPod to that but then I lose all the content that I have on my trusty old iPod Classic.  I can charge it without syncing so I thought “stuff it, I’ve got thousands of podcast episodes to get through so I should use this hiatus in my ability to sync to cut into some of these podcasts that I havent listened to yet”  So I have been.  Well, kind of anyway.  I’ve only really started listening to one that I havent before.  Adventures In SciFi Publishing is really, really bloody good! 

The two presenters Shaun and Sam are very funny and clearly know what they are talking about.  There is discussion of how the publishing world works as well as interviews with authors which are very insightful.  There is such an easy feel to this podcast that has made it very easy to listen to.  Like StarshipSofa you get A real enthusiasm from the people involved and an insight into the SciFi community as a whole.

For me Podcasts like this are gold-dust as they give me A look into a world that I am not part yet.  Listening to StarshipSofa and Adventures In SciFi Publishing have introduced me to names in the genre that I need to know about.  I had never known of Issac Asimov or Phillip K. Dick and the rest of these SciFi legends that I am ashamed to say that I’ve not really read, Although Asimov ‘sFoundation was amazing.  I’ve also got waiting to be read Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.  I know that I don’t have to read these grandmasters of the genre but I feel that I must.  When I listen to people talking about how these authors influenced their lives I feel like I’ve been left out somehow.  I know people say that they are out dated and so on, but so is Romeo And Juliet. 

back to the dead PC though.  THankfully none of my writing that I am working on is on my PC, well what there is there is backed upped on to my laptop so its only the loss of my ability to sync iTunes that is lost, until payday and then I can get it fixed!!! 😀