Summer Writing Projects


I’ve gotten a bit behind on my writing projects of late, which makes me a bit sad. Apart from being a writer, I’m also a student trying to get into Grad School. That’s going well for the moment, so I’m returning to writing projects I need to get done. I’ve included a couple of pictures of my hometown in the post, just so you have an idea of what type of place I’m writing in.


Top of UNBC hill in Prince George


  1. My cyberpunk novel is actually finished being written, revised, and beta-read! It took almost forever, and right now I’m on the editing stage. As you know, I find editing tedious but necessary to the final project. The novel is at 58K words right now, and I will be submitting it as soon as I finish my editing rounds. As I’ve discovered, I really like putting unnecessary words like “started to” and “began to” at the beginning of sentences and have to take them out. It is time-consuming, but I’m hoping to be done editing by mid-May.
  2. My ace dragon story is already outlined at over 40k words, and these types of things have a tendency to get away from me. So I’m guessing that it will probably end up around 50-60k words by the time I finish. As I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done this summer, I’m hoping to have the writing bit finished by the end of July.
  3. I keep saying I’m going to write for collection and anthology calls, but the things I write end up being longer than expected. So I’m going to try and fit in a short story for the Bisexual anthology call Enchanted Soles with Less Than Three Press. I find short stories the most difficult to write, so hopefully I won’t get carried away!
The road at the bottom of UNBC hill

The road at the bottom of UNBC hill

As usual, I have plot bunnies running around breeding profusely inside my head as well as projects I put on the back burner. I’ll try and stick to my guns and get everything finished. Summer writing projects are fun. Two summers ago, I was in Vancouver, and I managed to finish off Hakusan Angel while writing in posh cafes. Prince George is slightly less posh, but hopefully, that won’t curtail the writing flow!

On Not Giving Up


Okay, so your submission to a publisher came back with a rejection. Not only does it happen to the best of us, it happens to all of us. The vast majority of writers have publishers reject one of their works at some point or another.

It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad writer, necessarily. There are many reasons for a publisher to reject work.

One of them is that the work that you’ve submitted isn’t exactly what that publisher is looking for right at that instant. Sometimes it’s harder to figure out what a publisher is looking for when they have a general call out. Try again. Just because that publisher rejected it, it doesn’t mean every publisher will.

It could be that the publisher has limited space, and that they can’t publish everything that comes their way, even if it is good. It might be just that they’ve decided to go with authors that they are already familiar with, or that your work is similar to another author’s, so they went with the other one. It happens.

And I know you dread to hear it, but sometimes it is because of the writing.

So, I have a couple of questions for you, if you suspect that this is the case.

How long have you been a writer, and how much are you practicing? I’ve been a writer since I actually could write, and I get feedback from fellow writers at regular intervals. Are you taking any writing courses or following any writing blogs? Getting advice from others who can give you critical feedback?

The only way to get better at writing is actually writing. I’ve looked at some of my old work, and it’s just horrendous. But that’s looking at it from now. You can only get better with practice. That, and reading. Please read as much as you possibly can, because that’s how you can tell if you’re improving.

Don’t give up on writing because you got one rejection letter.

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • is my story predictable or typical? What can I do to change it up a bit, to make it different from all the other stories?
  • did I revise my story? How is the pacing, are there unnecessary scenes, or did you leave any out?
  • how’s your opening chapter? Do you have a good hook? What kind of scene do you open with? A lot of editors judge a book by its first chapter, and if that doesn’t impress them, they won’t read any further.
  • did you edit properly? Remember when I said editors can tell if you didn’t edit it? Yeah, they really really can, and dislike it immensely.

Any way you look at it, you shouldn’t take a rejection letter as a cue to throw in the towel. It is not a sign of failure unless you give up afterward.

Never think that writers are born. Writers create themselves.

On Editing, as Torturous as it May Be




Editing is indeed terrible. Hang in there!

(I am writing about editing, which is tedious in the extreme, so in between telling you about editing, I will put in pictures of my Great Pyrenees puppy Rupert to make you feel better about editing.)

Editing is one of the most boring parts of finishing up a novel.

That is also the part of my novel I’m at right now, editing so that I can send it in for publication. It is tiring work, I’ll admit, but very necessary. I have to stress that a writer should NEVER send in a first draft for submission. Editors can tell. It’s not hard to tell, because not editing something is like sending a leaky ship out to sea. I generally do at least two editing runs before I submit my draft for publication, with the expectation that the editors at the publisher will do even more.


I am biting this bone and pretending it is editing.I generally do at least two editing runs before I will even contemplate sending it in.

First thing to look for is obviously spelling and grammar. Don’t rely on a program to fix this for you, because more often than not, there will be obvious mistakes that it missed. Also make sure that your tenses all match up – I tend to get very excited while I’m writing and accidentally switch into present tense. I blame university essay writing. Another thing to watch out for is dangling modifiers, which is when the subject of a clause is made ambiguous. Sometimes this is done for some effect, but generally it is a mistake to watch out for.

The main purpose of editing, however, is to take out unnecessary words and tighten up the writing so that it’s more brief and concise. Look at the beginning of your sentences for words like and, then, but, so, and also. If there is a way to take these out, do so.


If only editing could be buried in this snowbank.

Try and take out words that don’t add anything to the sentence. Take the sentence: “He felt a warm touch at his side.” Usually, you don’t need the word “felt” in any sentence. While you’re writing, it’s easier to just write a sentence with “felt” in it, but in editing, it must come out. Tighten this to something like this: “Something warm touched his side.” Another example: “She felt a branch clawing at her shoulder” can be changed to: “A branch clawed at her shoulder.”


Pretend this mountain is editing, and you are on top of it.

Another way to tighten up prose is to look at verbs with an adverb and find another verb which is stronger so that you can take out the adverb. Example: “Run quickly” versus “dash,” “sprint,” and “rush.”

Sometimes sentences are arranged poorly, and while the meaning is clear, it is awkward to read. If you find any instances of these, rearrange the words to try and make the sentence flow better. Sometimes sentences can be broken into two sentences to make them less confusing.

That is just some of the advice I can give to writers who have to edit something. Editing is certainly a process, so good luck to anyone else who is at this particular stage of one of their projects.

Autumn Writing Projects


I’ve been pretty busy recently, so I’m really behind on my writing projects! Oh no!

I recently got a full-time job as a Social Media marketer for an ESL school which is taking up a lot of my time and energy. So I haven’t been writing a lot since I started 40 hour work weeks. Who knew that it was so much work full-time adulting?

Things that I would really like to get done before I do my next seasonal update:

  1. Hawker’s Quarry – this one is set in a steampunk fantasy world with sky pirates and the Royal Navy and lots of other fun things. I was going to finish this one for Camp NaNaWriMo, but then I started working full-time. I still want to finish it, it just needs some work.
  2. Weekend Girl – my English boy works as a waitress at the campus pub story. Yes, it involves cross-dressing and shenanigans, and is not meant to be a very serious story at all.
  3. My NaNoWriMo 2013 story that I still have no title for – this one is a cyberpunk story. I’ve got 65k words finished, but revising is pretty tough. I’m almost finished it, though!

I think I should just focus on those three for now, considering that they’re all pretty big writing projects. The cyberpunk one will possibly be almost 70K words when I finish it. I’ll have to edit it down again. Weekend Girl is planned to be about 40-50K words, 6K words of which are written already. And Hawker’s Quarry is actually looking at 80K. So I’ll be busy.

Anyway, that’s it for now, I’ll tell you how it goes.

Summer Writing Projects


I did a Spring writing project post, and I decided it needed updating, since three months have passed since then.

Projects fully completed since last time:

1. My trans girl unicorn story was submitted and accepted by Less Than Three Press. It ended up being 10.5K, which isn’t that long, but hey, whatever. It was finished, and I finally have a trans* story in my (soon-to-be) published work.

2. My short story Insanity Girls is now available in the Rocking Hard Volume 3 anthology in print format.

What I am working on currently by priority:

1. My submission for Less Than Three’s “Damsels in Distress” f/f collection call is just over 20K words in to a 25K word project, so almost done. I have a beta for that one.

2. I completed my nanowrimo novel (I know, it’s May and I started it in November) and need to revise and edit it before submitting. That one is m/m and almost 60K.

3. I seriously need to keep working on Weekend Girl, which is an m/m story with a British university student studying in America who is cross-dressing in order to get a job as a waitress in a pub. It’s fairly ridiculous, but I don’t give a flying fuck. Cross-dressing.

4. I want to write a story about wendigos eating people. People can tell me that it’s not romantic when people are dismembered, disemboweled and decapitated all they like. Wendigos.

That’s all for now, but once I get a few of these projects finished, I can clear space for some bigger projects. Yes.