Friday, April 30, 2010

Plans, mice, men. Blah, blah, blah

Back in January, I made some plans for things I wanted to accomplish during 2010. Timing aside, these weren't New Year's resolutions. It was more a response to the mental realization that, for the first time since I started kindergarten, I was under no obligation to anyone other than myself. No deadlines, no schedules, just personal responsibility. 

Oddly enough for a woman who currently has four to-do lists and a vast panoply of post-it note reminders blanketing her desk, I didn't write them down. (I did write down one post-it's worth of advice to myself: "Get your shit together." But that's sort of an ongoing goal.) I do remember what I was going to do, though: 

Move. I love my friends, and do not love Minnesota. Especially in the winter. Neither does my dog. As a writer, I am portable. I thought I might aim to leave sometime in late summer or early fall.

Finish a draft of The Novel What Ate My Life, The Widening Gyre, you know, that, suitable for sending to beta readers, by the end of May.

Find an agent, querying with Linger.

Since I wasn't in grad school anymore, read more broadly, both in fiction and in nonfiction, so my brain didn't atrophy.

Maybe it's strange, at the end of the fourth month, when the year is only 1/3 over, to realize that much of this has to shift and change, and I cannot even think in terms of January's goals anymore, but there you go.

Because I am moving, but in three weeks, not three months. I'm moving because I got a fellowship I didn't honestly expect to get, and a job that hadn't really even been on my list of possibilities. So now I have classes to design and prep for, and a book length non-fiction project to work on. 

The Widening Gyre got trunked. And I've come to terms with that, largely because Seen is still being so lovely and cooperative. (And oh, my Clarionmates, I have found a novel in which to write my Tam Lin origin story. You know how happy this makes me, right?) Also, it has the Gabriel Ratchets. 

I wrote some short fiction and sent it out. In fact, all of the short fiction that I have written this year is under consideration right now. I am very, very proud of this. Not because it means I have written a large amount of short fiction, but because I have made myself look for homes for it.

The query process is on hold. I am revising Linger. The pieces of the story clicked together in my head, and I know how and where I need to shift things. It was interesting, sorting through the feedback from my beta-readers on this - I was able to think about why they wanted the changes they wanted, and use that as a guide for how to revise, rather than just trying to shoehorn the specific things that were asked for into the story. I feel like this means I've gained experience points as a writer.

And really, I'm fine with the fact that, one-third of the way through the year, my goals have shifted and changed. Because if that doesn't happen, I'll only ever be the person I used to want to be.


  1. Oh gosh, I love Tam Lin! I am very eager to see this novel.

    Congratulations on embracing your goal shifts!

  2. Have you read Pamela Dean's Tam Lin? I highly recommend it if you haven't. It's what got me hooked on the story.

    And thank you!