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Okay, so here we go with a brief 2016 wrap-up.

My plans:
Finish 2nd book in SF Bodyguard of Lies trilogy & get it up for sale
Write 3rd book in trilogy & get it up for sale
Write 4th cozy mystery & get it up for sale
Plan and start a new series

Accomplishments:
Finished 2nd book of the trilogy. Period. Working on edits now, and might get it up early January.

Other cool things:
Participated in StoryBundle
Ran for SFWA Board

Volunteer stuff:
Helped out a fair bit with my daughter’s class at school
Continued to format the SFWA Forum
Started some work with the SFWA Membership Retention/Satisfaction Committee

Horrible thing:
Our dog died

Some good, some bad, and I didn’t get anywhere near what I wanted written. ‘Sokay — I still have major plans for 2017, and I’m grateful for all of you who are here, reading me and encouraging me. Let’s have a fabulous year together!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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If you’re reading this on my site, you can see that I’ve redecorated! My site hasn’t changed in the five years I’ve had it, so it’s past time for a new look. I hope you like it! Please let me know if you can’t find anything, or if something isn’t working as you expect it to.
fireworks in Estes ParkRead the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I didn’t post goals back in January. This doesn’t mean I didn’t have ideas of what I wanted to accomplish — mostly writing, reading, and getting more consistent work. The details don’t matter much.

So how’ve I done?
Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Back in January, I talked about my grandiose plans for the year. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.

I didn’t finish the fantasy novel yet, although I did submit it to Viable Paradise.

I’m still working on fine-tuning the next cozy mystery, and I haven’t started the other series I mentioned I was thinking about.

I haven’t written the other middle grade novels nor the Dreampunk series novellas.

In fact, the only things on the list I’ve managed were the application to Viable Paradise and getting The Christmas Tree Farm Murders into paper (but not audio).

Yet for all that, I feel I’ve made progress this year. I’ve isolated things to work on improving, I’ve tweaked my work flow, and I think I’m finally getting a handle on how much I can reasonably expect myself to get done in a given time frame (the fact that it will never be as much as I want is depressing but must be accepted).

I’m going to see how some of what I’ve learned shakes out over the next two or three months before I set solid goals for 2014. I think the one thing I’m sure of is hat hey won’t be as far-reaching as this year’s were.

How about you? At the 5/6 mark of the year, what are you still aiming to get done in the next couple of months?


Today’s post was inspired by the topic “2013 project review” — November’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the next posts in the series, by Sandra Barret and D. M. Bonanno.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on first stories, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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It’s been one of those weeks — actually, it’s been a pretty busy month, with back-to-back proofreading deadlines followed by being sick all of this week (because October and November, I always get attacked by the multi-week cold), plus tons of family stuff to do. (October is the busiest month for my son’s school band.) So I thought I’d just catch you up on a few things today, starting with stuff about my friends. (Or, er, more than a few.)Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Today’s the 15th — and no, the next cozy mystery is not done. I was trying hard to finish it before this next proofreading job landed. It’s a big job that’s taking a lot of my time and focus — and it landed last Friday afternoon. I didn’t spend any time on it over the weekend (to the best of my ability, weekends are family time, as are evenings), but it’s been gobbling hours left and right since Monday.

I’ve also got a couple of anthologies I want to submit to, which means finishing short stories by their deadlines. No, I haven’t been getting anywhere on them, either, except for brainstorming.

So I’m going to try for some late evening writing time (after kids are abed) and see what I can manage. Until further word comes, the mystery’s not done. Sorry.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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FYI: Still plan to have the cozy mystery finished by the 15th. The e-book may be available by then. The print version will probably be another week or so behind.

Recent comments I’ve made on Twitter or Facebook, which is where I usually do my brief updates and one-liners:



. . . I think I’ve found my writing motivation!

A client just e-mailed to ask if I can start work on a proofreading project early.


Boy just asked me who Baba Yaga is. So I gave him an abbreviated (and possibly not completely accurate, as I said “Russian” rather than “Slavic”) version, then (being me) went to YouTube and pulled up Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.


Oooooh. I discovered today that AQS [American Quilter's Society] takes fiction submissions. “Whether they are mysteries, romances, or humorous tales, books that show how much quilts mean in the lives of others speak to quilters everywhere, and AQS strives to produce the best of these.” (They’re not interested in quilts in science fiction or fantasy, however.)


So how’s your Wednesday treating you?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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It’s August! This means, as I mentioned last week, the buy-one, get-one-free e-book sale starts today.

Today is also release day for my friend Valerie Comer‘s Farm Fresh Romance, Raspberries and Vinegar. I’ll be posting a review of it next week, and she’ll be stopping by to do a guest post later in the month (the 26th).

She’s also asked me to do a post on her To Write A Story site, and I’ll put a link here to that post when it goes live — I think we settled on the 22nd.

I’m working on finishing up the second cozy mystery under my Sara Penhallow name, and of course I’ll be posting an excerpt of that as well.

Then there’s the flash stories — you should see more of Smoke and Drake this month.

And, of course, paying work, including both copyediting and proofreading.

I’ve a lot going on with the family this month, too. Our son has band camp the next couple of weeks, and everyone starts classes just before the end of the month — including our daughter, who will be going into kindergarten already.

As I said, a busy month coming up for me. What do you have on your calendar?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Otherwise known as “five random things make a post.”

  1. I haven’t tried to get a picture of fireflies, but they’re back, the annual flashes of green in the trees and over the grass. However, here are some gorgeous long-exposure shots from a Japanese photographer.
  2. School’s out for the summer, which means my son is home and already doing the “I’m bored” routine. For the record, we’ve been to the library twice since he got out last Wednesday. It’s going to be a long summer. This week, I took the kids to buy summer clothes (for some reason, last year’s shorts didn’t fit any longer) — one at a time to preserve my sanity. It almost makes me regret washing the old clothes this weekend.

  3. I realize I haven’t drawn a number for the Sevy Series giveaway. There were two entrants, and the winner is:
    random number
    Widdershins, that’s you. Let me know if it’s okay to forward your e-mail address to Sarah-Jane Lehoux so you can get your prize.
  4. My efforts to write a short story a day during May? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I wrote one short story and three flash, plus started another five stories and started brainstorming a novella. I have more written now than I had at the beginning of the month, though, so I’m calling it a win.

  5. Back at the beginning of December, I talked about my desire to lose weight. So how’s that going, six months in? Um, not so well. The good news is I haven’t gained any weight. On the other hand, I’m only a couple of pounds lighter than I was on my birthday. I’m not giving up (My middle name could be “Persistence,” except of course, it’s not; persistence doesn’t start with an M.), but I will have to lower my expectations for what I’m going to achieve before December.

What’s new in your world?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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My two goals for the year, you will recall, were to finish something each week, and to get something up for sale each month. Here’s how that went.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Just FYI

Oct. 18th, 2012 05:02 pm
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I have a guest post today over at the Potomac Review blog. It’s about why I do NaNoWriMo. (I did not title the post.)

I’m currently working on the sequel to the Christmas Tree Farm Murders. It’s shaping up nicely, I think. Oh, and also another SF novella.

Whole family’s been fighting illnesses off and on for the past week. For me, it’s mostly congestion and tiredness — the usual fall crud. Hope it passes more quickly than usual.

Next week, back to copyediting and proofreading. Should be interesting to see how much writing I manage. Schedule has been mostly out the window with kids home and what-not.

Also, a couple friends of mine were at the Viable Paradise writers’ workshop last week. Each has blogged about it: A dream realized; A return to the ordinary world. I’m planning to apply for next year. We’ll see how that goes.

Hope you’re all well and healthy. What’s new and exciting in your life?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Sorry; I didn’t get one written, although Chuck Wendig had some lovely location-based prompts posted last week. It’s been a week of not getting much done, despite having a lot to do. Some weeks are like that, and Monday I’ll be back up on the productivity wagon.

Meanwhile, I have news about some upcoming things in September for you to look forward to: September 10th, I’m participating in the What’s Your Chocolate? blog hop.
And September 13th marks the second anniversary of my blog, so I’m planning a giveaway to celebrate.

Have a good weekend, everybody!


Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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First, I finally filled out the application for SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and I’ve received notice that my application was approved. I am now a full-fledged pro by the standards of that body (three professional short story sales).

Second, my short story “Pretty Bauble” is scheduled to be in issue 117 of Space & Time Magazine. I’m not sure when that will be out, but I’ll let you know when I do. (For those of you who may have short stories, the magazine is open to submissions until August 5.)

Third, David Bridger is running a wonderful week-long group therapy for writers on his blog this week, helping people think about what their personal obstacles are to writing and what they can do to overcome them. (I posted on Monday, but I’m dropping out. Through no fault of the commenters, some of the things said trigger negative feelings for me, which leaves me in a place I don’t like to be. However, I recommend everyone check it out and see how it works for them.)

I’ll be back tomorrow for a Q & A that has nothing to do with my writing life. :)

So what’s new with you this week?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Did I tell you I have a new flash story coming out? “The Call” will be the e-mailed story for Daily Science Fiction on Monday, May 14. If you’re not signed up to get their e-mailed stories, this is a good time to do it. Or you can wait a week, and they’ll have it posted on their site.

Spells & Swashbucklers, an anthology of pirates and magic from Dragon Moon Press, has my short story, “Maskèd Panama.” The official launch party will be over Memorial Day weekend at Balticon, but it’s available for purchase now (paperback at Amazon) (Kindle).

I did pick a winner for the Live and Let Fly giveaway contest and e-mailed to find out what format of e-book was preferred. Nutschell, if you’re reading this, check your e-mail. If I don’t have a response by next week, I’ll pick another winner.

It’s been a month since I’ve done a post on genres, and I do intend to get back to them. Life’s just been hectic — to keep those up while doing the A to Z posts would have required a lot more pre-planning (which I’m noting for next year). I will start those again next Friday. I’ve actually been pleased to see people find my blog in search engines by looking for things like the definition of urban fantasy or what makes cozy mysteries different from hard-boiled ones. Clearly, these posts are filling a need.

The A to Z challenge was a lot of fun, and the hosts of the challenge encouraged everyone to do a reflections post. They said, “You can put up your Reflections post anytime between now and Saturday May 12th.” Mine will go up tomorrow. If you’re interested in my thoughts, what I liked, what I’d do differently, come check it out. Otherwise, feel free to go enjoy the weekend. It’s supposed to warm up about 10 degrees here and be sunny (which still leaves it cooler than California and Nevada — springlike weather here generally is for the most part in the 60s and 70s). I may even get outside to plant the flowers I bought from the fundraiser at my daughter’s daycare (begonia, portulaca, impatiens, and geranium).

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I’ve seen several notifications this week that Hugo nominations are open (including a PIN number being sent to me by e-mail). I’ve also seen a number of blog posts mentioning eligible works. These range from slightly humorous in tone (John Scalzi) to helpful (Mary Robinette Kowal) to matter-of-fact (John Joseph Adams) to oh-yeah-there’s-a-reason-people-make-these-posts (Tobias Buckell). Also, Scalzi has put up his annual thread inviting others to list what they have available for nomination because he’s awesome that way.

I don’t know the details on Nebula nominations — not being a SFWA member yet — but Hugo nominations are open until March 11 (11:59 p.m.). If you were a member of Renovation or are a member of Chicon 7 or LonestarCon 3 (including a supporting member — only $50), you’re eligible to nominate works from 2011. (These are the World Science Fiction Conventions for 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively.) The Hugo awards are the fan awards, the ones where people have a chance to say “This is the best thing I read last year.” (Or “watched,” in the case of TV shows, movies, and some related works or fancasts.) If you want a say in what the best is in the field of science fiction and fantasy, this is your chance. (Note that several of the works I reviewed in my women in science fiction and fantasy series may be eligible for nomination!)

Here’s the real kicker: every vote counts. You have to scroll down to get to the nomination stats, but the gist is there are slim differences between those that get on the ballot and those that don’t. Last year, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold had 78 nominations and Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor had 74. Cryoburn was on the ballot. For best novelette, there was only a difference of 2 nominations, and for best editor short form, 1.

Also? It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of nominations to get something on the ballot. For Best Related Work, the one that made it to the ballot with the smallest number of nominations had 35; for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo, but nominated, voted on, and awarded at the same time), 40. Graphic stories, editors, and novelettes got on the ballot with between 20 and 30 nominations.

You don’t have to nominate in every category, or for as many places as you can (up to 5 in each category) if you don’t feel you know enough to do so. But if you think anything you’ve experienced that first came out in 2011 is award-worthy, please consider nominating. Join Chicon if you need to. It’s worth it.

Oh, and if you need something to put on the ballot, may I suggest

  • Short story: “Matchmaker” in Clarkesworld Magazine (Issue 55, April).
  • Best related work: My A to Z blog series on women writers of science fiction and fantasy.
  • Also I note that I’m in my second year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (as my first qualifying publication was in November 2010).
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Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Some of the things I did this year were things I set out to do:

  • I took my son with me to Boskone this year.
  • I sold a story to a SFWA-qualifying venue.
  • I became eligible to join SFWA (Associate level), although I haven’t done so yet.
  • I finished writing 1 book I’d previously started (Daniel).
  • I wrote more than a dozen new short stories.
  • I wrote a new book for NaNoWriMo.
  • I wrote and submitted a new novella for the UPC SF contest.
  • I attended my first WorldCon.
  • I ran a 5k race. (Okay, the original goal was a half marathon.)
  • I read, on average, more than a book a week (including magazine issues).

Some of the things I did weren’t on my agenda to begin with:

  • I started a sole proprietorship publisher, Hartshorn Publishing, to put some of my work up as e-books.
  • I got my first book contract (with Moongypsy Press, for Touching Time). (Didn’t actually get a formal contract yet, but then, I don’t have a complete book to deliver yet, either.)
  • I put four short works and a novella up for sale as e-books.
  • I lost a fair bit of weight and a couple of inches as a result of my running. (Honesty compels me to admit that the lack of said running through the summer and fall did away with the majority of this progress, especially with holiday treats to cap it off.)
  • I participated in the A to Z blog challenge in April.
  • I wrote another A to Z series of blog posts, focused on women writers of science ficiton and fantasy.

And, of course, there are things I planned to but didn’t:

  • I wanted to complete the quilt I was working on for a contest deadline in January.
  • I wanted to finally get a raised bed put in to grow vegetables and herbs.
  • I wanted to have more novels under contract with publishers.

Making money from my writing? (These numbers combine all avenues of income.)

  • Short stories: $558.48
  • Articles: $38.25
  • Novellas: $20.77
  • Novels: $0

Overall, definitely a very good year. Now, having exceeded expectations, I need to start working on my dreams and goals for 2012. Onward and upward!

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Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Words for month: 16,858. Daily average for the month is 562 words, for the year is 448 words. Wrote 13 of 30 days. Words were split between SF novel, a short story, a book review, and novellas.

No outline work this month, though I did start typing in the SF novel (which I've been writing longhand) so I can figure out what plot holes I've left in what's written so far.

Short stories: Wrote book review for Vision. Also wrote fanfic for the Scalzi/Wheaton Unicorn Pegasus Kitten contest.
Fifth World went up at flashquake.
When Pigs Fly went up at Daikaijuzine.


Submissions: 16 short stories, 1 review. (This is more than the number of rejections because I subbed to an anthology that accepts sim-subs -- the market it's been out at is on indefinite hiatus. And I'm counting the reprint sale here, too, because I entered it on my tracking spreadsheet.)

Acceptances: Daily Science Fiction accepted "Essence of Truth." Book review for Vision accepted. "Snake in the Grass," my first sale, will be reprinted when Assassins: Clash of Steel goes to press for Rogue Blades Entertainment.

Rejections: 14 short stories, 1 poem.

No crits this month.

GSHW meeting: Did not attend this month.

Reading: 5 books and a novella. The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a Professional, by Philip Yaffe; The Sorcerer of the North, by John Flanagan; Changes, by Jim Butcher; Silver Borne, by Patricia Briggs; From Hell With Love, by Simon R. Green; The God Engines, by John Scalzi.

Got an AussieCon voting membership so I could get the Hugo nominees in electronic form. Read one novella, the short stories, started a novel (Boneshaker by Cherie Priest).

Book-in-a-Week: Started to participate, realized it wasn't working for me, and opted out of BIW.

Joined the SF Poetry Association.

Paying work: Proofread books on San Diego and Linux. (891 pages proofread.)

Exercise: Did walk/jog intervals 4 days. Worked in garden 7 days. It wasn't all aerobic work, but it's progress.

Other than being good at keeping the subs out, the focus really hasn't been there this month. Since I'm heading on vacation for the end of July and the beginning of August, we'll see if I do any better this coming month!
eimarra: (Default)
Words for month: 27,064. Daily average for the month is 873 words, for the year is 425 words. Wrote 27 of 31 days. Words were split between M (6,703 words), Sundered Sword (4,406 words), and short stories and articles.

Outlines: Made limited progress on Tantalus (novella) outline.

Short stories: Wrote 6 stories for SAD, plus the first 621 words of another. Oh, and an article plus a book review for Vision (though I still owe another review).

Submissions: 18 short stories (including all 6 new ones), 1 poem, 1 article, 1 review.

Rejections: 13 short stories, 1 poem. (One of these stories didn't get resubmitted because I was waiting for a market that was re-opening June 1.)

Acceptances: "Banded Jade" by Aoife's Kiss, "Being Green" for Aurora Wolf print anthology, "Writing Comfortably" for Vision, and "Fifth World" by flashquake.

Read Daikaijuzine slush.

GSHW meeting: Went. Did not enjoy the speaker much -- he believes that all fantasy should be subversive, so if you're writing in an establish subgenre, you are by definition NOT writing fantasy. No, I didn't talk to him about my work. I did enjoy getting to spend time talking to other writers face-to-face, though.

Reading: 9 books completed this month. Vanished, by Kat Richardson; Bone Crossed, by Patricia Briggs; Vane Pursuit, by Charlotte MacLeod; The New Year's Quilt, by Jennifer Chiaverini; Battle for Skandia, by John Flanagan; Alcatraz vs. the Knights of Crystallia, by Brandon Sanderson; The Lover's Knot, by Clare O'Donohue; How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, by James N. Frey; Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Book-in-a-Week: Did not participate this month.

Paying work: Proofreading test. Proofread Boston book. Total pages proofed: 286. (Light month!)
eimarra: (Default)
Words for month: 5,080. Daily average for the month is 169 words, for the year is 309 words. Wrote 12 of 30 days. Words were split between M and Sundered Sword. Still trying for a page a day on M, but didn't do well on it this month.

Editing/submitting: Typed in edits on Sabra, wrote a synopsis and cover letter, did an audio pass, and sent off the partial.

Outlines: Made progress on Tantalus (novella) outline and Jekylls (novel) outline. Played with ideas for new cozy mystery series, but did no actual outlining work.

Short stories: Got the first line of a new one. Think it should be fun.

Submissions: 4 short stories, 1 poetry, 1 flash, 1 novel.

Rejections: 4 short stories, 1 poem, 1 flash.

Acceptances: None this month.

Crits: Short story for Temporus. Sent what I've gotten done so far on Myrddin's to him, and I'll look at his next draft.

Did not attend GSHW meeting this month, as family was here. Would've been a good one, too.

Reading: 8 books completed this month. The Nimble Man, by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski; Small Favors, by Jim Butcher; The Quilter's Legacy, by Jennifer Chiaverini; Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones, by Brandon Sanderson; On Writing, by Stephen King; Hunting Ground, by Patricia Briggs; The Life-Eaters, by David Brin and Scott Hampton; Something from the Nightside, by Simon R. Green

Other reading of note -- read over half of How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, by James N. Frey.

Book-in-a-Week participation was okay, as I set my goal low (10 pages). Did almost all of the writing on the final 2 days.

Paying work: Proofread two books. Total pages proofed: 675.

In-laws here for the first part of the month, then taxes took a chunk of time, too, so I think it's a pretty good month, all told.
eimarra: (Default)
Words for month: 12,351. Daily average for the month is 398 words, for the year is 356 words. Wrote 24 of 31 days. Most of the words were on M, but 3,132 were on Jim Bob. The page a day thing on M seems to be working reasonably well.

New cozy mystery series idea attacked me, so I've been making some notes on it.

Short stories: No writing on any.

Submissions: 12 short stories, 1 poetry, 2 flash. Only one story is new -- "Creeping White," sent to PARSEC.

Rejections: 10 short stories, 1 poem, 2 flash.

Acceptances: "A Pretty Bauble" accepted by Space & Time (though I'm still waiting for the e-mail from the editor-in-chief).

Crits: Epilogue left for MRockwell; no progress on Myrddin's (ack!).

Read Daikaijuzine slush.

Attended GSHW meeting this month -- good talk by Ty Drago, followed by lunch at the diner. Very enjoyable.

Did Holly's Crash Revision workshop on Savvy Authors. It's a variant on her one-pass revision, and it prompted me to start typing in edits from Sabra's redlined manuscript.

Reading: 7 books completed this month. Solomon Kane, by Robert E. Howard; Mean Streets (UF anthology); The Icebound Land, by John Flanagan; The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle; The Unnatural Inquirer, by Simon R. Green; Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, by Brandon Sanderson; Just Another Judgement Day, by Simon R. Green

Other reading of note -- read a good chunk of The Nimble Man by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski.

Editing/submitting: Finished polishing the remaining chapters of Christmas Tree Farm Murders and sent it off in response to request for full.

Book-in-a-Week participation was not wildly successful, possibly because Jim Bob is just not working at the moment. Will be starting Sundered Sword in April for BIAW; will also be setting less lofty goals.

Paying work: Proofread two books. Total pages proofed: 1,222.

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