Looking Back – Looking Ahead

It’s here, finally. The end of 2012. We’re on the cusp of 2013, a bright, shiny new year not yet failing to meet our expectations. I’m looking back on my writing year, and then taking a look ahead at 2013. Come along, and see what I’ve been up to!

So in Looking Back, this year I’ve:

Turned in the manuscript for DEMON HUNT – it pubbed 7/16 of this year.

Cover for Demon Hunt
Cover for Demon Hunt, by Taria A. Reed.

Turned in the short story BLOOD DREAMS – it pubbed 6/1 of this year.

Invited to write a short-SHORT play based on The Rose, by the Brother’s Grimm; wrote it, rewrote it, rewrote it again; turned it in; it had it’s debut at the Crescent Heights High School in the Spring. Totally delighted.

Went to Desert Dreams Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona in April; got to hang with old friends, meet up with new ones, and began a relationship with the amazing Brenda Chin of Harlequin. Also met up with Beth Yarnall of OCC RWA and Debra Mullins of EVA RWA; they both asked me if I would be interested in speaking at their chapter meetings. I said yes, of course. ULP!

Worked on “A Run for the Money” and “Evie’s Song” and “Jesse on the Verge”; pitched them, sent them off ; got rejected.

Joined in with friends for a Summer Camp writing group for the month of June. We still meet – Summer Camp has changed into Boarding School. Some of the most creative, intelligent, fun, supportive, and wonderful women – I’m a lucky girl!

Started “Weightless”, a YA story set in a ballet company; wrote 50k on that. Needs a rewrite and it needs to be finished. BUT – pitched it, sent it off, got rejected. I’m okay with that. Sent it in to a contest – and got great feedback.

Got a phone call from Brenda Chin on the last Monday in July (just before RWA National Conference) – she requested a manuscript that I pitched via a piece of paper!  Woo! Sent it off. Have refrained from stalking her via phone or email. Suspect it’s not her cup of tea but will wait for the formal decision on it.

At the conference, I had several delightful, informal bump-intos with Brenda (at the booksigning, in front of Kathy Lyons‘ table, I introduced myself – she said, “I know who you are.” Squee!) (The next day, she bought me a cup of coffee! Double Squee!) Had a hard time not acting all fan-girl on her, but I managed to not totally embarrass myself. Pitched a new manuscript (that wasn’t even written – a HUGE no-no, but since she’d just requested one, I felt safe enough doing that). Needless to say, she hated it BUT – liked a turn of phrase. Gave me a plot. Said “write me that”. So – that’s what I’ve been working on, novel-wise, ever since.

In October, I joined a group called Fierce Backbone; a play development group made up of writers, actors, and directors. They’ve been reading and commenting on my first play (written in 2010/2011); if it ever gets to a staged reading, I’ll be shouting about it from the rooftops. Two people, one set. Imminently produceable.

In October, I also got to be the guest of honor at a book club. They read my book, talked about it, asked me a bunch of questions – it was fantastic and I learned a lot. Thank you Tabitha! And along with Lisa Kessler, I did a booksigning down at Starcrafts in San Diego – Teresa See and friends were lovely and gracious.

Because Fierce Backbone sparks creativity, I wrote a play for my husband for Christmas. Money being not floating from the sky, I needed to get darned creative. He loves it (whew!), and it needs rewriting – but that’s what I worked on almost exclusively from October to Christmas Eve. Dialog comes easy to me, so I’ll get more work done on it and submit to Fierce Backbone to get it into the Monday readings, and we’ll see how it goes!

In November, I gave my first-ever talk to East Valley Authors chapter of RWA. People took notes! They came up afterwards, thanked me, and asked questions! I shocked myself by actually being able to talk for an hour. But yeah, my inner actress was totally stoked.

I’m now (with the help of a couple of wonderful pairs of eagle-eyes) back at work on the Brenda Chin novel. I’ve got so much of it written – now it just needs to get cohesive. I am SO thankful that I’ll be taking a plotting course in January!

Looking Ahead:

I’m taking on the mantle of President of the Los Angeles Romance Authors. I am predicting a calm, easy year (!).

I’m speaking at Orange County Chapter of RWA on January 12th; Los Angeles Romance Authors on January 20th.

I plan on finishing the Brenda Book in January and getting it off to her. Think I should really come up with a series idea to go along with this book and pitch that, too. Then, and only then, will I bug her about the other book. Just a friendly warning, Brenda. 😉

Then I really must get to Demon’s Rage, the final book in the Demon Trilogy. I’d like to get that one turned in by the end of March, then write two or three short stories in the world and turn all those in, as well.

Then back to Weightless, my Ballet YA. I’d love to get that one done up and send it around. If no one bites, I may just dip my toes into self-publishing. I love this book and it deserves to go somewhere.

So Cal RWA conferenceMarch 15 – 17,  I’ll be at the So Cal RWA Writer’s Conference, California Dreaming. Brenda Chin will also be there (according to the conference website). Stalking seeing her will be very cool. If I don’t have that book done and turned in to her BEFORE then, I will just be a failure so there’s that! A good prod to productivity.

I’m not looking too much farther ahead than March. I have a lot to do in the next three months – besides all of the above, I have two plays to re-write.

RWA National Conference will be held in Atlanta this year. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go, even though I should since I’m chapter president and all. We shall see.

So, there it is – looking back, and looking ahead. How far ahead do you plan your year? Or do you let circumstances change your schedule?

Here’s hoping 2013 is your best year yet! Be safe out there tonight – remember there will be a lot of amateur drunks on the roads. Don’t drive if you don’t have to!

~ Until next year, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?


 

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23 Responses to Looking Back – Looking Ahead

  1. Busy year and big plans. I know you’ll do it!
    Enjoy the ride and huge success to you.

  2. Louisa Bacio says:

    Feel good about those accomplishments, and I’m so excited about being SoCal chapter presidents with you! Hey, you’re starting off the year talking to us, and I’ll be visiting you at the end of the year!

    Plus, if I’m nice … maybe you’ll let me read more of your Brenda project!

    Hugs, and best of all in the New Year.

    • Christine says:

      Squee, Louisa! The coming year will be a good one! I’ll definitely let you read through the Brenda project – let me finish it first, though! Hugs!

  3. Robena Grant says:

    Sounds like you have a fabulous year ahead of you, Christine. I always enjoy looking back over the year’s accomplishments and writing my new goal plan. I share it with my critique partner, Gina, just so we can keep each other honest. : ) This is also my year for writing a new five year plan. Much harder to do than I expected.

    • Christine says:

      Sharing your goal plan is always a great idea. I’m not brave enough to do that (other than what I shared here), so good for you, Roben! Hugs!

  4. Wow! This is an incredible list, but I have no doubt you’ll accomplish it all!

    • Christine says:

      LOL Lindsey – maybe not by the end of March, but it’ll get done. One way or another! Cheers hon!

  5. Christine, it sounds like you had a fabulously busy year. Here’s to another great one! *tips wine glass* Best wishes, sweetheart!!!

    • Christine says:

      Right there with you – here’s to YOUR new year being filled with the words (and worlds) you love! Hugs, Rachel!

  6. What a great year you’ve had, Christine! That is so awesome. I wish you much more success in 2013! 🙂

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Rhonda – I didn’t realize it was that productive until I looked back. Sending you wishes for much success in 2013!

  7. What a wonderful year you’ve had. Looking forward to seeing what will happen for you in 2013!!

  8. Sam Beck says:

    Congratulations on everything you accomplished in 2012 and I’m rooting for even more in 2013!

  9. Damn, girl! You’ve been busy! I really love/ admire how fearless you are. It seems there is nothing you won’t try. What a year! You probably won’t agree, but I think the most terrifying thing you took on in 2012 was the book club….eek! It’s wonderful to have a number of people read your book, but to sit in a circle and pow wow about it… is another. I’m afraid I would go blank and forget my own book.

    Good luck on the Brenda Book. How exciting! It’s not every day someone so stellar goes, “Write me this!”

    I’m so stoked about the SoCal conference! I’ve only read like 45 Sherrilyn Kenyon books.

    • Christine says:

      HUGS, Christine! It took me a long time to get here. Hopefully your journey will be a tad shorter!

  10. Donna Coe-Velleman says:

    Whew, what a list! I know you’ll do it and be fabulous.

  11. beverlydiehl says:

    Lady,you’ve got a FULL plate (Or dayplanner, or e-calendar, your choice).

    Day job will not permit me to come up for air till the end of April, but I am looking forward to your reign as Queen (er, President) of LARA. Good luck with all the writing projects!

    • Christine says:

      I look forward to seeing you in April, Beverly! Hope the writing projects went well and that your day job doesn’t suck up ALL your time!

  12. Happy New Year, Christine! Huge congrats on all those amazing accomplishments in 2012! I’m in awe. And best wishes for 2013! I know you’re going to be hugely successful and I feel so lucky that you’ll be our LARA president!

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