Ah, that time of year again. Resolutions and evaluations. Looking forward and looking back.

I’ve been through a bit this year. Relationships have been rocky but lasting, new, always exciting. I have my girlfriends, my other friends, my family, my job, my apartment, my truck, and my writing. What more can a person want?

For 2013, I pledge to write every day OR 5k a week. Both would be best, but I’m shooting for either. Small goals, but that’s how I roll. I’m going to shoot for 100k words by the end of the year, but I will be lenient as editing will count as writing and that cannot be measured the same way.

I pledge to have a novel extremely shiny and edited and as complete as possible by this time next year.

I pledge to be (wait for it) looking for an agent by this time next year.

And I challenge myself to read 52 books this year, just like last year. (Edit: Actually, make that 55. You can watch my progress here.)

More may be added later.

Any writing resolutions for you?

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ


Book Review: The Casual Vacancy


In case you’ve not been paying attention, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s book for adults.  It has gotten some good reviews, some bad reviews, and a lot of eeeeeh reviews.

I think a big part of the problem is that people went into this book knowing it was not going to be Harry Potter…but still expecting Harry Potter.  The characters are foul-mouthed, foul-minded, manipulative, and selfish adults (and teens) and that can be very off-putting when it comes from JKR.  And it’s clearly JKR’s voice.

But what people are failing to recognize is that that comes with the genre.  Anyone who has read a Stephen King book knows that books for adults sometimes have (lots and lots and lots of) swearing and other vulgar language, lots of (emotional and physical) pain.  The Casual Vacancy deals with issues like poverty, self-harm, rape, substance abuse, child abuse, etc.  It’s dark.  It’s pessimistic. 

It’s wonderful.

I loved this book.  The first third or so drags and it took me a while to get through it.  The physical book is big (and beautiful) and I didn’t want to take it to work with me, so I also bought it in ebook format and ultimately let my Kindle read it to me (text-to-speech option).  That made it go faster.  But once it started to pick up, it picked up incredibly and I couldn’t get enough.  There are a lot of characters, but you get to know them all.  They all have their pros and cons (with the possible exception of one man, who felt more all-con to me). 

The characters all have so much depth, it’s almost like reading a book about twenty Severus Snapes.  If you don’t like Snape as a character, I highly doubt you’ll like this book.  Considering Snape was my favorite HP character (along with Remus), I think it’s clear why I loved the book and the characters.

5/5 GoodReads stars.

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ


With two weeks left in 2012, I am two books away from completing my GoodReads challenge of reading fifty-two books this year; aka, right on track.  Unfortunately, my own books don’t count as they aren’t in the GR database.  That is a shame, considering I’ve read them quite a few times this year.  Oh well.

I have fallen behind on my book reviews!  I did all of, what?, three or four and then stopped completely.  That isn’t okay, and I’ll get on that later tonight.

I currently have about five projects in the air: three novels, two short stories.  Adding all those word counts together, I’ve got 104k.  That’s a big number (okay, very small for three novels-in-progress to be in there, but big for me) and I’m proud of it.  I have felt rather proud of myself recently, at least as far as my writing goes.  I feel secure in myself as a writer, acknowledging that I am not very good but I love it and I am dedicated to it.

I will probably buy Scrivener for myself around the beginning of the year.  I have only heard good things about it, and I enjoyed the 30-day free trial.  It’s lovely.  I was hesitant to buy it before, because I didn’t want to drop $40, get half-way through a novel, and lose all interest, but I am no longer worried about that.  It feels like a good, practical investment.  Plus, I have a half-off code from NaNoWriMo.  So why not?

By this time next year, I think I want an agent.  That gives me an entire year to make one of my novels super shiny and perfect, get a list of ~100 agents who might like said novel, write the bestest query letter you ever did see, send out several rounds with six weeks between each, receive the oh-so-coveted reply asking for the first few chapters, and then wait with baited breath for another month or so until the agent gets back to me again and wants to sign a contract with me.  That’s plenty of time.  Also, thinking about it makes me nervous.  I’m setting it as a 2013 goal, along with a few other writing goals, but if I fail, I won’t beat myself up about it.  My other writing goals are less intimidating, but I need a terrifying one for comparison’s sake—go big or go home.

Are you setting any writing-related goals or resolutions for the new year?

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Required Post-NaNo Post

Ah, NaNoWriMo is over. Many people wrote stories that reach 50,000 words and beyond. My novel is, like, 28k. So, tiny.

But the first draft is finished. And I love it. I just need to add more to it before it’s ready for editing and making shiny. You know what that means?


Always fun, folks. Love rewriting. But I’m going to kick back and work on other stuff for a while now.

For now, I’ve gone back to working on Dylan and Parker’s story–a spinoff from my Anderson novel. Seriously considering tacking it onto the end of the Anderson’s story when it’s time to publish. It’s already up to 11k, without my really trying, and Parker hasn’t even told Dylan that he’s trans. I love them so much, guys.

When I am a famous author, I’m going to get tattoos about my own books.

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ