In deference to the brilliant Brand Gamblin, who I stole this from, I’m committing my writing plan for 2013 here.  It wouldn’t take much effort to look back through this blog’s archives to see that I didn’t meet my goal for writing in 2012.  I try and wear a lot of different hats in the making-stuff-on-the-internet world, and this usually results in long delays as I dicker and generally run around like a chicken with my head cut off.  2012 also had its share of personal drama, both good and bad, but this isn’t a post for excuses, this is a post to get my ass in gear.  So here, dear reader, is what you can expect from me in 2013:

Short story goals:  For the past two years, I’ve halfheartedly participated in a Facebook writing group called “52 weeks, 25 Stories.”  As you can guess, I haven’t pulled through on a lot of those stories, but I have a surprisingly large number of first drafts, fragments, and story outlines that are just collecting virtual dust on my hard drive.  I’m the sort that much prefers plowing through the pure driven white page of the first draft over wielding a deadly red pen, and this has to be the year that I buckle down, take my medicine and learn to love my inner-editor.  My first goal for 2013 is to edit a story a month and get it out the door, into the hands of the doubtlessly huge throng of magazine, podcast, and anthology editors awaiting them.

So that’s twelve stories down for the year.  My other short story goal for 2013 is to submit a new story for each prompt hosted this year at a little site you may have heard of called Every Photo Tells.  I have started a lot of stories based on prompts from the site, but my writing process is a bit too loose to reliably start, finish, and edit a story in thirty days.  This needs to be fixed, and you’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of me there in 2013.

And now, on to the big guns.

Right now, the long form work that is sitting squarely at the center of my plate is “The Shadow Over Ironwood.”  This is a novella that I’ve been working on, picking up, promising, and putting down again for years, and it needs to be finished and released in ebook by the end of March.  This is kind of a daunting task for me, because it will be my first ebook novel, and I have a lot to learn still about formatting and making the book look and function properly.

The rest of the year is going to be divided between two novels.  “FIrewalker” originally started life as a nanowrimo novel, but I found the ideas I began to play with in the work were too exciting to put down.  With some help from the folks at the Roundtable Podcast, I’ve begun to take the post-nano skeleton, and clone a real live velociraptor of a novel out of it.  My goal for this year is to mold it into shape and send it off to beta readers.

The other novel is one that I’ve been wanting to write for years, but haven’t felt ready to until now.  I’ll be beginning the first draft in February, as soon as “Shadow” is off to beta readers for final feedback.   “Changeling” is an urban fantasy story about breaking down stereotypes and finding your place in the world.  In a more immediate sense, it’s the story of a gay leprechaun hacker who solves mysteries.

Let me explain.  If there is one thing that really bothers me in media, be it movies or television or the written word, it is stereotype.  Even when characters are not necessarily NEGATIVE, I resent the idea of anyone being pigeonholed.  As a nerdy gay man of Irish-American descent, sometimes I feel like I can’t throw a rock without running into one.  “Changeling” is my attempt to steal something back, and it is extremely important to me.  I want people to be able to read it as soon as possible.

So these are my writing goals for 2013:  Three novels and two dozen short stories.  Easy, right?