Hope your holiday season is going well. We’re nearing the end of the year, so this will be my last post for the year. I’ll return on January 6th for Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which may be at a new address. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know where I’ve moved.
This has been an interesting, difficult, but fun year. I had great intentions, and of course I didn’t accomplish everything I had set out to, but I got a lot done this year.
I wrote 45 short stories (including flash fiction) and 67 poems in 2015. I began working on draft 2 of my novel Native Landscapes. I plan on finishing in January. I outlined novel 2, which I will write (draft 1) in 2016.
Best book I read this year:
I’d been planning on reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman for a long time. I finally got to it this fall. What can I say? Gaiman is an amazing writer. He has a way with words that I can only aspire to.
Best movie I saw this year:
Song of the Sea came out in 2014, but I only saw it recently. It is a beautiful, somewhat sad animated movie based on an Irish myth. Not only is the story compelling, the visuals are amazing.
Best TV show I watched this year:
We writers have a complicated relationship with TV. I myself have spent numerous occasions discussing its ills. While I don’t have a TV set, I do watch some television. I’m a huge Project Runway fan. For two seasons in a row, I have been obsessively watching (and often rewatching) The Affair. It is well-written with superb acting. What I like about it most is that it feels real. The people aren’t airbrushed and perfected (physically and as characters). I like the convention of using different perspectives to tell the story. The tension and suspense are wonderful, because at the heart of this story is a mystery. Bonus points: There are bits of writing advice throughout the series. My favorite: “If you’re having difficulty with the end, you fucked up the beginning.” “The ending should feel inevitable. At some point fate takes over a story and even the author himself loses control.” (This helped me with rewriting the beginning as well as the ending of my novel.)
This was my first full blogging year, which resulted in 222 posts. I learned a lot and I’ve figured out the right mix of posts that appeals to you, my dear readers. In addition to the posts here, I contributed 7 posts on female monsters over at Part-Time Monster. I participated in a few blogathons and challenges, the biggest being the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.
The top 20 posts (most viewed) of 2015:
- (tie) 5 Questions Before You Write the First Draft and Is There Undiscovered Depth to The Blue Lagoon?
- Finding the Way to Narnia
- How Agatha Christie Saved My Life
- F is for Forgiveness
- Remembering and Forgetting Love in Hiroshima
- A Disturbed Girl’s Guide to Finding Your Why
- Humility in Writing
- The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Tool Kit
- There’s an Elephant in the Bathtub
- Taking Up ‘The Invitation’
- The Power of Real Life Stories
- IWSG Wednesday #5: Fear
- Alice Walker is My Own Private Librarian
- Digging for Inspiration with Robert Jordan and Dracula – a perfect October read (tie)
In May, I launched my monthly newsletter, which is for those readers interested in learning more about my writing. I’ve been sending out monthly updates with insider information on Native Landscapes. Sometime soon, I hope to add a free ebook as an enticement. In the meantime, sign up anyway.
- keep editing Native Landscapes
- start next novel, which I’ve already outlined
- write more short stories and poetry
- move blog to self-hosted
- participate in A to Z April blogging challenge along with other challenges and blogathons
- create ebook as an enticement to sign up for the newsletter
My theme word for 2016 is travel. While at the moment I have no idea if I will actually travel anywhere in 2016, the word has been coming up for me recently, so I decided to go with it. Travel can be so many more things than just physically traveling to a place. One way I will travel is by reading the world.
Link love: Here are some wonderful things to read around the web:
- 31 Perfect Things by Leo Babauta
- Grey Heron Nights series of posts
- 10 literary TED talks from 2015
- poem Kingfishers: Sirin and Alkonost, inspired by a post I wrote for Part-Time Monster
- Query Shark on writing and revising your query letter