2019 Blogging Plans: What’s Upcoming on This Site

I think it was sometime before Christmas that I mentioned I was going to spend a little bit of time thinking about what I want to share in 2019. I love blogging, I love this blog, but I don’t love how little time I have for it. Between blogging and writing books or stories, I’m always going to choose the later, so this year I’m going to cut back a bit more but at the same time try to be more regular with my posts.

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In 2019, I’m going to do a series, one post a month, about How to Be a Writer with a Day Job. Last year, I was lucky enough to be a full-time writer for four months, thanks to a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, but this year I need to keep my cash flow high, so it’s full time at the day job for me. Each month, I’ll do one feature post that focuses on one aspect of being a writer while also working a day job, full-time or part-time, that may or may not have anything to do with writing. The first one will be in two weeks.

Other than these feature posts, 2019 will focus on the same kind of things I’ve been doing for a while know, updates on what I’ve been reading and writing, writing prompts for the inspiring writer in you, and any other special posts I just happen to love and find the time to do.

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Another thing I’ve just recently implemented this year is a 600 words per day writing goal, which for me is pretty easy to maintain. This means that by the end of the year I will have written over 200,000 words, or two full novels plus some side projects at a minimum. I’m excited about this. This is much less than my goal a couple years ago of writing 1,000 words per day, or 365,000 words in a year (closer to 4 novels), but one thing I realized when completing that 1,000 words per day goal was that it left me little time to fit in rewriting. And this year I have a lot of rewriting scheduled, to the point where I hope to release 4 full-length novels (more on these in another post).

Yesterday, I had a mini-celebration because the night before I finished a draft on a project I’d been stalling on for some time (The Chain). This is the last book in the Artifacts of Avalum series, and that may be why I slowed down. Also, I was distracted by another shiny project. So far, the year is off to a good start, and I hope to keep this trend going in 2019.

All the best to you this year!

JEH

Update, Update, Update!

I have not been blogging, I know. Admission: I’ve been in hibernation mode getting The Circlet: Artifacts of Avalum Book 2 ready to go to my editor. I can’t wait to release this book near the end of May, beginning of June, I think you will really enjoy it.

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Otherwise, I’ve been working on my collection of short stories thanks to the Saskatchewan Arts Board grant I was awarded at the end of the year. I enjoy having this time to write and explore creativity more than I can say.

So what does that look like exactly? Well, I’ve been spending a ton of time trapped in my ‘basement office’, which is as cold and sometimes lonely as it sounds. But I find a few candles and a hot cup of tea are often enough to ward of the chill. But on the days it gets to be too much, I go out to one of Saskatoon’s beautiful and plentiful cafés to enjoy one of my favourite treats. I think I might actually blog about my favs sometime in the next week or so. Now that The Circlet is pretty much done from my end, I shouldn’t be as busy as I switch my focus to just my short stories. So you should be hearing more from me soon.

JEH

Books In Strange Places

I have that wonderful spring feeling again! Yesterday it was 7 above, things were melting, and I went out for a walk in weather was finally incapable of freezing me to death in hours. I had books on my mind (of course), and thought, you know, that my upcoming reads would probably like to get some fresh air too, so I decided to do a little book photo shoot for  your enjoyment. Featured books are ones I’m currently reading or am hoping to get to soon. But, of course, there’s never enough time for reading.

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My current “On the Go” Read, What Light by Jay Asher
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Air Awakens by Elise Kova
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Hiding the Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
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A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
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Reading On The Go, From Great Heights
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A Reader’s Self-Portrait

JEH

Stories and Adventure

Yesterday was one of those beautifully warm spring days, so I took the kids out for a mini-adventure. It reminded me that as a writer, how important it is to never stop experiencing, even if the experience—or maybe especially if—the experience is just around the corner. I put on my white mukluks, and off we went to the gutted truck I’d been seeing from the road for months.

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Not far from my house, the city is in the process of building a new dog park, which meant that in the fall they stripped out some of the natural woods to make a few walking paths. We used to go adventuring in the woods, when they were a bigger, more mysterious tangle, and never came up on the truck cab that was revealed during construction.

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Adventures come in all shapes and sizes and I’ve done a lot of traveling and a lot of adventuring. Some of these adventures have made it into my writing, and others are waiting to be spun into tales, and some are just journal entries in my photo books. But there are so many adventures I’ve had that just make me who I am, that make my characters who they are, and that just make me love life. So, we had a little adventure, I love it, I covered my boots in mud, and we came home and had a snack.

Yesterday was a great day, not just because of the adventure but because I bought myself that reward I discussed in my previous post for making it to the halfway point in my writing 365,000 words in a year goal. I bought myself a copy of Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth, which happened to be on sale at Costco. Yay, cheap books! And a sweater. Just don’t tell my husband. Wait, my husband reads this blog… too late! So, I have a new book on my shelf, which I likely won’t get around to reading for a while. It has a nice cover, but and even nicer cover if you take the wrapping off. If you haven’t done that and check it out, do. I won’t ruin the surprise by posting a picture here.

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I’m just going to look at it and smile.

JEH