Snow on the ground outside and I’m working from home today. January and February in Kentucky are meteorological disasters – snow, wind, sleet, rain, freezing rain, and heavy grey skies for at least two months. It’s hard to remember the anticipation of a shiny new year, the feeling I had back in December. I love the week between Christmas and New Year because it feels like shedding something old that doesn’t fit any longer, new things, new changes. Yet somehow, January ends up throwing ice on that fire.
In order to keep the focus here, I’m trying to imagine what I’ll be writing about this year. Here’s the rough list.
1. The Novel: The tentative and working title is The Beekeeper’s Daughter. It’s a YA fantasy set in another place, a buildungsroman for a female heroine because I’m quite tired of the boys getting all the glory. That’s all I’m telling you right now about plot. As of this blog post, I have 31,065 words, a number I post on Twitter but somehow ends up on Facebook too…. Anyway, my hope is to finish the manuscript in a few months then let it sit for a few weeks, attack it with the Blue Pencil of Doom and revise, then….ask for beta readers.
2. Short fiction: This is where my heart has been for years. Those who knew me in high school and college will remember poetry, but starting in college I really zeroed in on the short story form. My MA thesis was a collection of short stories. Now, I have an idea for a group of short stories based on fairy tales. I’ve written one so far, which I may post here like I did with “Tree Farm.” I’ve started researching and making notes already for the rest. No idea what I’ll do with them but I’m excited about it anyway.
3. Novel Number 2: I’ve already been brewing an idea for a second book. All I will say is…read number 4 below.
4. Genre: I’m a steampunk fan – I actually have been for years, but I didn’t realize there’s a name for it. Airships, time travel, bustles, brass, anachronisms… I’ve recently started actively seeking steampunk authors. But the more I read, the more disappointed I am in the lack of female steampunk authors. I am currently reading an anthology of steampunk short fiction and a glance at the contributing authors yielded no women. I shall seek further and in the meantime, write my own. *Later addendum: As you see in the comments, I have been schooled – there ARE lady steampunkists, I just hadn’t found them yet. I have a list of names and I have begun searching for copies of their work.
5. Bread & Butter: As well as various creative endeavors, there is always the search for freelance work. 2009 was dedicated more to fiction than otherwise, but I’ve got at least one regular freelance gig at the moment, and I’m always on the lookout for more.