Made it! 2018 Aims & Claims

We’re finally there. Here, I mean. In a moment when I count up all the events, achievements, failure, surprises, shocks, and – yes, wait for it – promises.

I can’t just do the one year, so here’s two. I’m not going to tell you about some of the things, because … well, because I’m just not.

Achievements: I checked yesterday on how many novels I created in CreateSpace. Ten. When did it start and when did it end and why aren’t there ten novels available on my site? (can’t insert a pic – you’ll have to trust me on the numbers).

Moordenaar, The Third Moment (potential for a rewrite), Unknown Sins , The Journey of Shadow, A Dragon Dream (these two part of the Narrung Sagas – potential for a rewrite and the final novel), Speculations of a Dark Nature (3 themed anthology ebooks combined), Dogs N Cats N Us (a compilation of two anthologies), Agoness, Equine Neophyte of the Blood Desert (really should’ve found a shorter title), and Who Will Rule Magic? Kraken, Dragon, Cat vs. Kangaroo, Cockatoo, Crocodile. ( No links within these titles – that would constitute spamming, which I don’t like).

Some were unpublished: The Narrung Sagas stories, Moordenaar, Unknown Sins. Why? Not well written, not well structured. I think with Moodenaar (which got a name change at one stage due to an influx of anxiety), it was the story I had to tell, the one that everyone has in them that needs to come out to purge the soul (the big Theme). It wasn’t good. Well written, maybe, but not well structured. It was a cleansing, and now it’s gone. The Narrung Sagas may come back, but not until I’ve had long enough to outlive the shame of putting it out in public. Unknown Sins is allowed to die a slow and quiet death, but it did lead me to my main passion for story subject matter (not SF, the other stuff in there, and if you didn’t read it, you’ll still know what it is when you read any other two of my stories).

Some were withdrawn: Speculations of a Dark Nature, the Third Moment. The former because of the number of stolen copies out there, apparently freely available if you sign up to the pirate sites. The latter because it needed some approvals that weren’t forthcoming (a rewrite to take out the contentious elements is being considered).

The almost-complete mss: Valki (short form of the Title), A-Z of short stories (almost done, but I use these anthologies as a placeholder when the main WIP becomes difficult, so no time-line), and two ongoing projects (Not on The Cards and Unburdened – titles not yet solidified).

When did I start?

March 2016 was the first novel published and made available. Then June, July, September and December 2016. That’s five completed MSS in one year (if you count the tryptic of anthologies as one).

Now for 2017 – what happened? What got published? The two anthologies (Stories in Shorts and Dogs N Cats N Us, combined for a CS paperback: Dogs N Cats N Shorts); Agoness, Equine Neophyte, and Who Will Rule Magic? Kraken, Dragon, Cat vs. Kangaroo, Cockatoo, Crocodile  (see, should’ve found a shorter title!). Four novels and two anthologies of shorts. Four paperback books, five separate MSS.

It’s amazing to look back at that and see it as the apprenticeship. Am I a Master yet? You tell me.

And now? I received three paperbacks earlier than expected and I’m just finishing up the final proofreads for them before I start back in on the next few projects. When I’ve done the amendments (hopefully, the last one will be tonight) I’ll donate them to the local library (so, no scribbles). If you have the Kraken story, change ‘Spear of Destiny’ to ‘Spear of Chironex’ and please ignore the few minor errors. (Avg rate of errors missed from e-proofread to pb proofread is eight or so, not horrible, not great – but I have yet to read a single book with no errors at all.)

I’ve learned a lot. I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned through doing and helping other people do. I’ve learned through disasters and trials and tribulations (hard drive failure being the worst for the writer-me). I think my stories are getting better. It’s a tough job, sometimes lonely, sometimes crazy, sometimes verging on obsessive.

Why do I persist if it’s so hard? Because I love stories. I love telling them and I love reading them. I was an avid reader, but I wasn’t finding anything that really, really was my ideal story. I’d talk to people about the books I’d read, I’d join discussions about the what, where and how, and I’d be disappointed in the final result.

I worked as a tech person and wrote tech documents, and I did them well. Not a good start into a storytelling world, though, because the readers are so different. I nearly wrote ‘rules’ but it’s not about rules, it’s about who reads the output.

My university degree didn’t teach me what I needed to know. It didn’t give me enough to make the journey through the apprenticeship any easier. I had to do it, suffer the humiliation of the failures and rejects and silence. And keep going. And keep doing. And go to other classes to try to learn as I went.

Now? Now I’m really enjoying the journey; I’m enjoying the stories I’m writing; I’m enjoying the collaboration (even if it slows things down, gets personal, and creates friction {fiction-friction, I’ll have to use that!}, and takes up valuable time), but most of all, I’m enjoying the output.

I can write five novels a year. The proof: I’ve done it two years in a row. It’s factual, evidenced by the physical presence of these items.

2018: Five novels will go out into the world from this keyboard. Plus, one anthology. That’s my goal – five novels PLUS the anthology. An extra, if you will. One more than the past two years. Except these ones will include all the things I’ve learned, will incorporate the feedback I’ve received (from readers, reviewers, critics), and at least one of them will be published differently (can’t stop learning, can we?). Which? Valki, The Cards, Unburdened, Annandan, Dragons and Beer to Go, Cat Whisperer (not set in stone, not guaranteed, not to be taken as gospel).

And the big thing? Once I get to ten published and available tomes I’m happy with, I’m going to do a big marketing push. Why not now? Because I want to have a back-list, I want to have a range of genres, I want to have a range of readers who are happy with either this one or that one or maybe the other one.

The output may be similar in terms of genre, but people look for different things. I do, don’t you? There are differences within the similarities, there are similarities within the differences, but the main aim is to let the reader find the right story for them, and I’ve been lucky enough to get honest reviews, critiques and feedback to enable a better understanding of this (Thanks! to all of you).

End Post for 2018 Aims and Claims – no pics because they’re not working today (again).

Have a great year, aim high enough that the point you reach will be the best you’ve ever done, even if the goal may need to be amended or carried over in some form. It’s what you aim for that defines the journey, and it’s the journey that defines the inner person.



[ didn’t mean for it to be so long, sorry ]


boof at work

Looking for the Lost Word


7 thoughts on “Made it! 2018 Aims & Claims

  1. Pingback: Mid-year blues – or reviews? | Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales

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