Writing Life Updates: January 2022

Life update: I started making bread! The picture for this post is my first ever loaf—it came out amazing. I’ll be spending the rest of January experimenting with no-knead country loaves trying to, well, learn some shit.

So, I’m a bread bitch now.

This is the second loaf I made based on memory!

Author Life News

Personally, January and 2022 are both shaping out to be great months and years. The magazine issues of Fireside Fiction I guest-edited have started to come out. People can purchase or read the first story for free over at Fireside Fiction. Hester J. Rook’s Sheer in the Sun, They Pass’ is one of my favorite sexy horror stories I’ve read or edited, or come across. If you haven’t read it yet, do so!

A new story will drop every Tuesday for people to read for free on the Fireside site.

I’m proud of the work I accomplished on all of those issues and stories. The work I did with the authors and publications is a highlight of my career. I learned so much from the experience, I can see it showing up in how I edit, work with writers, and hold myself as an editing professional. And if you haven’t checked out Apparition Literary’s Contamination issue I also guest-edited (or even if you did), why not read it again?!

Back in December, I took my second shot at applying to Clarion West, the intensive speculative fiction workshop of my dreams. It’s helped make exceptional writers and is known for getting writers better at the practical and more nebulous aspects of writing. I’ll also be teaching an online class with Clarion West this March around intention and purpose as a creative act.

Once I have a registration link and all that jazz, I’ll share it here and over on my business site—which is now the home for my writing-related articles and my international writing group, At Home Pro Writers (formerly Starburst School of Writers).

And in other news that I don’t want to talk too much about it—but if you vibe, send them my way!—I’m interviewing for a game writing position at one of my favorite indie studios. I still have a couple of rounds to go through, but I’m good at interviews and can’t wait to test my skills at their writing test. More news about that later (and hopefully a new gig announcement!).

My manuscript is still out doing the query rounds. After a bunch of initial positive responses, I’ve entered the crickets stage of the query process. Some people have fulls (the full manuscript vs just sample pages), which is great, but I’d love an offer of representation instead. Now that it’s January and the holidays are mostly over, I’ve gonna start sending out bigger patches of my manuscript to agents.

For my 1st round of agents, I gave each an exclusive read period on the manuscript. Now, I’m going to start sending my manuscript and query out in batches of 3-5 agents until my July deadline. At that point, I’ll be pulling the manuscript from query and submitting it directly to publishers who have open unagented submission periods for novels. That method usually takes a bit longer but is still a viable route to publication.

Now, that 2022 is officially underway and my other bookwork is fully completed, I’m moving on to my next book projects. One of which is going to be a horror mystery novella remixing the vampire. I’m going for a NOS4A2 meets Twin Peaks type of feel with a lot of darkness, mystery, and death. So, I’ve been getting back into all my old vampire books, refamiliarizing myself with the deeper lore most conventions pull from to [try and] create something refreshing with my story. Along with that, I’ve been reading some recent and not-so-recent horror books with the same vibe that I plan on going for with my book.

I’m still busy working on my articles for Writer’s Digest, Tor Nightfire, and Discover Pods, those will be out over the coming months. I’ll share links as they publish, except for the Writer’s Digest articles. They will be in the print magazine so you’ll have to buy copies of the issues to read my writing on developing characters through their dialogue, using writing prompts to help writers incorporate technology into their writing, and writing groups.

Sad to say it, but I completed my last article for Radio at the End of the World. It was my first column, and it taught me a lot about audio dramas, storytelling, and building a steady readership. I’ll miss doing the column, but I’m also happy to be moving on to other writing projects.

I have a lot of plans for 2022! But I did want to share what my craft or writing study focus was for the year. If you’ve been following me for a while or know me, you know I spend a lot of time studying and practicing writing to help me develop my craft. Well, I decided to start picking specific writing elements that I’ll spend months exploring, practicing, and learning through craft books, deep readings, and other activities.

For 2022, I’ll be doing a deep study focusing on syntax and voice. They may seem really basic and simple, but my aim is to learn them to a point where I can manipulate them in a more advanced way. I’ve got a few books, exercises, and practice stories planned for learning syntax over the next four months. Then I’ll switch over to doing a deep study of voice for four months before combining the two for the last four months of the year.

This month, I’m reading through and doing the exercises in Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig, performing copy work of The Five Rules of Supernova Surfing or a For Real Solution to the Fermi Paradox, Bro by Geoffrey W. Cole in the latest issue of Clarkesworld Magazine, and writing a practice story based off the copy work.

We’ll see how my study and work pays off as the year falls away. I’ll be doing monthly posts about my life and updates, mostly for myself to have a record of where I’ve been and where I want to go, but also for people who want to support or follow me. Being a writer is weird. It’s all work and all play all the time—but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Next week, I’m going to share a bit about what books, shows, games, (breads!breads!breads!), and movies I’ve been consuming these past couple of cold months.

Stay up to date on where I’m publishing, what I’m working on, and more!

3 thoughts on “Writing Life Updates: January 2022

  1. Lovely! I actually love the kneading part of making bread. Something super therapeutic about that. My next target is to learn more about sourdough, and I don’t have a dutch oven, so I’ll try sourdough pita bread!


    1. I love the kneading part, too! But I wanted to try to learn something new and see the results. Sourdough sounds really fun and interesting—and also like a pet. The idea of sourdough is always way more appealing to me than the taste of sourdough, but I recently learned sourdough from different places has different flavors based on the bacteria in the air, so maybe I just need to find my flavor of sourdough.


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