Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Summer in Short Stories

This summer has been all about short stories. That's a real change of pace for me.

I've been pushing myself to put out a novel a year since 2015, when my first novel debuted. The up-side of that has been building my catalogue. I have three novels and a collection of short stories out in my Menopausal Superheroes series now. I've built a bit of a following for the series and am working towards a real career in writing. I'm proud of myself for that.

On the down-side though, I was getting cranky. A book a year is a difficult pace to keep up alongside my family and my teaching work. I was feeling burnt out, and losing my feeling of joy in the work.

So, I decided to slow down. In 2017, I decided, I would not write book 4 of my series, but would give myself a little room to play around in other areas, to take up opportunities I'd been offered and write some new things.

I'm so glad I did! There's a freedom in writing something new that is revitalizing. While I value the opportunities my Menopausal Superheroes have brought me, there are other stories I also long to tell. I can start to feel a little stifled, even if the person putting limits on me is me (by having to work within the universe I created).

So here's what's been going on in my writing life


  • Finished edits on Friend or Foe short story collection
  • Launched Friend or Foe!
  • Finished edits on Face the Change
  • Revised a short story: Gifts of the Mag-Eyes
  • Began a new short story: untitled, but dealing with witchcraft and a damaged tree
  • Began a new short story: untitled, but dealing with vengeance and evil plants
  • Taught part of a summer course: Writing the Speculative Short Story 
  • Began a novella that might become part of a book bundle with some writer-friends, working title Thursday's Children.
  • Read and reviewed 3 books.
  • Monthly word count: 25,822 new words written: 21,174 revised
  • Completed, revised, edited "Flygirl's Second Chance" which will come out in August in an anthology called Love Unlimited. It's a wedding story for Jessica and Walter :-)
  • Completed an essay, "Patience, Young Grasshopper", which I'm hoping will be selected for upcoming Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology on Writing for Profit
  • Participated in the Summer Lovin' panel at my local public library with four other area writers
  • Launched Face the Change!
  • Participated in Con-Gregate as a panelist, with a book launch party, a signing, and two readings
  • Wrote a flash fiction story for a prompt contest called Eloise Branches Out. I love prompt writing for the playful no-pressure feeling. 
  • Wrote a short story (working title: Ash to Ashes) for my critique group's upcoming anthology
  • Began a short story for my Shadow Hill series, "The H.O.A."
  • Taught the rest of that summer course: Writing the Speculative Short Story
  • Read and Reviewed 7 books
  • Monthly word count: 44,061 new words written: 30,933 revised
August Plans/In Progress
  • Hoping to finish my novella (first draft)
  • Hoping to plan a local launch party for Face the Change.
  • Will revise Ash to Ashes after receiving critique from my group
  • Hoping to finish H.O.A.
  • Hoping to update my submission tracker and submit all my unpublished work before school starts again
  • Already read 1 of at least 3 books I'll finish this month (one of them is Moby Dick, which is why I think I'll only read 3). 
As summer comes to a close, I'm nearly always overwhelmed with feelings of regret about all the things I didn't get done, so this post is for myself as much as anything: a list of what I accomplished for the days when I'm feeling like I let summer slip by without accomplishing anything. Look at all that stuff! Go me!


  1. Go you! And good luck with your August goals.

    1. Thanks so much! May the words flow for you as well.