Gary Hurtubise

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Category: author

20th Post – getting re-engaged with writing in 2018

Hello, and Happy New Year!

Now, I’m not generally a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.  However, I’ve been in a bit of a writing lull recently, and have been looking for a way to get my butt back into it.  So what better way is there to get motivated than to find inspiration in other people’s New Year’s blogs!?

…but first:

Recap of Writing; Fall of 2017

  1. Rejections, rejections, rejections. These little messages in my inbox are becoming quite normal now – in fact, part of me gets a little thrill when I read in the preview box:  “Hello, thank you for letting us read your story.  Unfortunately…
  2. CANCON 2017 in Ottawa. It was great to meet some local and international authors, and do some <ugh> networking.  Looking forward to next year’s convention!
  3. Working full-time. This is my excuse for not getting a lot of actual words written this fall.  Thankfully, that will all change in February, when I’m back to part time! Yay!  (well, it had better change, or Trevor will not be pleased with me…)
  4. Getting started as a ghost writer… more to follow in a future post!

Ok – onto the motivational part:

Getting Back to Writing in 2018

Two author-bloggers that I follow have done all my work for me for this post.

C. Hope Clark – ready to get writing!

First, Funds for Writers blogger and author of the Edisto Island Mystery series, C. Hope Clark, talks in her New Year’s newsletter about taking a break over the holidays, then getting back into writing – 500 words per day, as a “benchmark minimum”.

Here’s what Hope has to say about January:

This time of year excites me. The whole clean slate sort of thing. In reality the days are no different, but there’s something rejuvenating at having a new chance at making a difference. . . at becoming better. . . at making longer and more productive strides toward a goal.

Read her full post here, and subscribe to her great free newsletter here.

Second, David Farland – renown author of the Runelords series – talks about how he hates the word ‘resolute’, but finds himself always making yearly resolutions.  This year’s advice to others is to develop a new relationship with your computer.  Here’s an excerpt of his #writing tips for the new year:

            …many of your habits are subconscious. Some people teach themselves that the computer is for videogames, or it’s for checking email, or it’s for chatting on Facebook. So when they sit down to the keyboard, by force of habit they immediately begin playing.

But what if you trained yourself to make writing your habit? What if you tried something like this:

Close your eyes and think about something that excites you. Perhaps it’s the idea of getting your first novel published, or maybe it’s an award you’ve won, or just the joy that will come when you complete your novel. Think about it, and let the excitement build for 15 seconds.

Now, sit at your computer, open the file to your work in progress. Do not do anything else. Instead, open your WIP and write one paragraph.

When you’re done with that paragraph, get up from your computer and walk around the room for a moment, thinking about what you might want to do with your work in progress.

Repeat step 1, thinking about something that excites you, and letting the excitement sweep through you.

I like it!  Read David’s full post here, and subscribe to his #writing tips by clicking his banner below!

Ok – with that advice in mind, it’s back to my keyboard for another 500 words today!

 

 

First Short Story Published in Kzine Issue 17!

Well, the day has arrived – my first official published story was released on January 28th 2017!

… albeit in Kindle-reader format 😉    (but hey – published is published!!!)

The 17th issue of KZINE – a British sci-fi / horror / fantasy / crime magazine created specifically for the mobile reader – features seven short stories, including my tale Flesh.

Flesh follows the story of an octogenarian in his final few days of life, trying in vain to leave his past behind him.  Of course, there’s a nasty villain, a space station, a gun fight & a high-speed chase, and — just for good measure — a StarWars-esque fall down a bottomless shaft.

Anyways – I’m very excited, and seeing my name in (electronic) print has been a great boost to my recently lagged productivity at the keyboard.  Nothing like some tangible success to get the muse tapping at the window again!

Please check out KZINE, and consider purchasing a copy of the current issue here or here.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

My first published short story!

I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later.

After all, it’s a numbers game: send enough of my short stories to enough magazines and/or anthologies, and someone out there is bound to bite, right?

Well, early last week, a UK online magazine accepted my short science fiction story “Flesh” for publication for their January 2017 issue!  My first fiction writing success!

“Flesh” is the story of an elderly man who has given up everything for a chance at a new life.  But everything is not as it seems (dun, dun, DUN!!!).

I’m truly excited – this is a very significant step for me.  Now, I have a ‘publication history’; no longer do I need to leave that part of my submissions or queries blank!  I also get to have my fiction read by a much larger circle of people (beyond my husband, and the members of critters.org, to which I belong).

I had ‘set’ myself a goal of having my fiction published by the end of 2015 (fully aware that it wasn’t entirely in my hands); I’m pleasantly surprised that I was only off by a few months!  😉

Anyways – enough reveling in my success.  I have another set of agent queries to send out, not to mention crafting another couple short stories.  I’m also working on getting my freelance b2b copywriting career off the ground, by the end of the month…

Always lots to do, as a writer!

 

 

Becoming an Author: Getting Started

Well, that title is a misnomer actually.  I started this whole process years ago.  It’s only recently that I’ve taken writing seriously, and it’s only tonight that I’ve taken the step to put myself ‘out there’, as it were, via social media.

Here’s a summary of what’s happened with respect to my desire to be a published author, to date:

Sept 2013:

Taking writing seriously; goal: finish the novel ‘Tale of Two Eorldoms’ (working title);

Attended my first Writer’s Fest, in Kingston Ontario (Margaret Atwood in attendance!);

Nov 2014:

Finished 1st draft of my novel, edited by my trooper of a husband, Trevor;

Feb 2015:

Finished 2nd draft of my novel, and edited by a friend (he’s still a friend, btw!);

May 2015:

Began compiling a list of potential agents to approach; and

Sept 2015:

Wrote the synopsis of my novel, and accompanying query letter.

 

And two years later, I’m just about ready to start my agent search.  I have my list, in order of preference, and the requisite ‘bits’ (which just need refining for each specific literary agency).  Over the next week or so, I’ll send out the first 3-5 queries, and then… wait!

(Patiently, of course.)

Of course, it’s hard to express in writing the excitement Trevor and I feel for this step.  Even as I write this, my heart is beating faster than normal.  It’s not every day that I get to send out my first query of my first novel, to the first literary agent in my list…

Final note for this inaugural post: I would not be doing this today if it were not for the support of my husband.  Trevor had supported and motivated me from before day one, and any success I eventually achieve from this is due in very large part to him.  I love you, Trev!!  <3

 

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