Mer, rhymes with bear (merriehaskell) wrote,
Mer, rhymes with bear

Three quarters of the year

Anyone who has followed this journal (remember when we all used to post multiple times a day!?), you know I am Not Friends with Fall. I'm a spring baby, I grew up in a softer climate than the one I was born and returned to, and it gets darker, and I just, well, NEH. NEH, I DON'T LIKE FALL.

(I don't like winter, either, but that's out of respect for it wanting to kill me. Fall is just a jerky harbinger of the death season, as far as I'm concerned.)

I have duked it out--verbally, textually--many times with the fall and winter lovers, and I am old enough to know it's just how you feel. Just as there are morning people and night people, there are fall people and spring people.

I have started to come to some slightly better terms with fall now that I've realized: the fall equinox is a good time to take stock of the year. I might not love fall, but you can't ignore it; you can't look up and go, "Oh, my, how the fall has passed!" With every shorter day and falling leaf, it ticks down the clock of one's mortality and reminds one of the procrastinations of summer.

So. Let's take stock.

I wrote out some goals -- not ones that made it to the journal, I don't think -- earlier this year.

-find and apply for 3 grants by June 1
-set up 1-2 speaking engagements/workshops/classes/school visits, just to get them under my belt
-write proposals for ten books/projects
-devise, with agent, a strategy for JE
-make sure to at least remind people that one's work exists, come awards season

-find and apply for 3 grants by June 1
...So. Grants for early-career but already published, slightly more commercial than literary, non-MFA holding, genre writers? Hardish to find. I found one and applied for it, and that was by June 1. I have looked since then, and have missed the mark on the criteria in numerous ways. I even broadened my definition of "grant" to "residencies with a stipend" and there are many more of those, but none that didn't cost what I decided was too much money to merely apply to, and also would take too much time away from the dayjob if I did secure them.

So, this won't be making it onto next year's goal list--what will make it on is "quarterly, look for and apply for as many grants as one is eligible for." I'll set aside 4 afternoons a year to do it. That's a better goal.

-set up 1-2 speaking engagements/workshops/classes/school visits, just to get them under my belt
This one sort of just happened. I taught a workshop at Ann Arbor Book Festival, and was the author in residence at a young writers' conference. I consider this goal thoroughly met, and almost through no action of my own other than saying yes when someone asked. Next year's goal? Will probably be something like, "Earn $xxx from speaking engagements." Maybe even $xxxx!

-write proposals for ten books/projects
Um. I'm tardy on this, but that's what this last quarter is for? I've written the most of five? Six? I need to sit down and look. My contract with HarperCollins is winding up with the June 2014 publication of The Castle Behind Thorns, but there's the option clause in my contract, and I am super-happy with my editor, so... But I still want to write 10 proposals because that would be good for me to be thinking that broadly, I think.

-devise, with agent, a strategy for JE
Currently, the strategy is "We don't have time for that one..."

-make sure to at least remind people that one's work exists, come awards season
This had to be a goal because I'm terrible at this game. I did get "Zebulon Vance Sings the Alphabet Songs of Love" over to Escape Pod, which, as far as I'm concerned, is about the single best thing a gal with no big blog following can do to remind people one exists. I'm the chair of the jury that would have probably been my best bet to remind about Handbook for Dragon Slayers, so that's right out. But mostly, just remembering to cough politely and do my own write-up of my picks for awards season would accomplish this goal.

In an ideal world, I would write another book this year. I have only three months and change to do it, however, but one of those months is NaNoWriMo. But--yes. That would be nice.

But either way, I have to finish my galleys for Castle right now. And that's the goal for today.

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