2018 Holiday Poem

‘Tis The Season…

 

 

To set the table and lay the feast

However plentiful or meager –

The intent matters more than the amount

 

To welcome those who bless us with their presence

However long or short the stay –

The quality matters more than the span

 

To celebrate the good and acknowledge the bad

As they affect us in equal measure –

What matters is how we grow from them

 

 

So lay out the cookies and milk for Santa with cheer,

And fruit and nuts for Dasher and the reindeer;

Lay out bread and water for the holy husband, mother and child,

And wine and cheese for the roaming revelers wild;

Lay out fishes and meat for the loved ones living,

Leave equal amounts for the dear departed, midnight-visiting.

 

Light a candle in the window,

Leave a seat at hearth or table,

For the homeless wanderer or

Neighbor in need, as far as you’re able.

 

“For whatever you do for the least of these,

You do for me.”

May the light and love of the season bring you

Love, Hope, Peace and Prosperity.

 

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS,

 

HAPPY HANUKKAH,

 

JOYOUS SOLSTICE,

 

AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

FEBRUARY 2017 BY THE NUMBERS

I did a horrible job of posting to my own blog in 2016. My intent is to do better this year, by at the very least tracking my own writing and reading. Hopefully some of these posts will inspire folks to comment and chat a bit. Today’s post is basically a “by-the-numbers” accounting of my writing, editing, submitting and sales in February.

WRITING

At the end of 2016, I set myself a challenge for 2017: write at least 5 days a week, and write 1,000 words a day. I’m using a pretty simple spreadsheet to track “new words written” by day and week, with a column for notes (about projects worked on, totals for week/month, etc.). I’m tracking my writing week as Sunday to Saturday.

February started in the middle of a week, so:

February 1 – 4: I wrote on three days, and totaled 2,639 words.

The first full week of February: I wrote on five days, and totaled 4,696 words.

The second full week of February: I wrote on four days, and totaled 5,224 words.

The third full week of February: I wrote on six days, and totaled 5,358 words.

February 26 – 28: I wrote one day, and only 300 words.

I decided, after advice from various writer friends who weighed in, to give credit to some editing time as writing time: if I in fact, during edited, wrote new paragraphs into a story (regardless of how many words I may have deleted at the same time), then I count those paragraphs as writing time. For instance, the 300 words on February 28 were added to a story I was editing from the previous month.

Each month’s goal is roughly 20,000 words (1,000/day x 5 days/week). In February I wrote 18,217 words. That’s a few thousand up from January’s total, which is a good thing. In the process, I completed two stories that had stalled in 2016, wrote a brand new story from scratch, and started another brand new story (that I’m still working on in March).

EDITING

I did a much better job of working in editing time in February than I did in January. Part of that was because I allowed myself to count some of the editing time (when I found myself adding entirely new paragraphs or scenes) as writing time. And part of it was the realization that if I don’t go back and revise/edit my first drafts, then they’ll never be ready to send out to editors.

According to my notes, I did fairly heavy editing on two different stories, including the one I mentioned last month that had received detailed feedback as part of a rejection letter from a very busy editor.

SUBMISSIONS

On average, I had 6 stories out at any given time throughout the month of February, which was a step up from January. My goal by the end of March is to have 10 stories out making the rounds at any one time, reprints included. I have nine stories out on submission right now, including the two I spent part of February editing.

SALES

No sales made in February, although there were a few very nice personal rejection letters that make me think maybe I got close.

And that’s about it for February’s writing, editing, submissions and sales numbers.

2016 WRAP UP POST

A couple of folks have asked, so I’m finally putting together my wrap-up post for 2016: what I wrote, what was published, and what I read.

WRITING

Not much to report on this front. 2016 was not my most consistent year for creating new content. I didn’t blog much, and I didn’t really track how much writing I was doing, other than knowing that there were a majority of months where I didn’t write or edit at all. I finished a couple of stories, including “Chasing May” which sold to the anthology Kepler’s Cowboys from Hadrosaur Productions. I sent out a few attempts at getting reprints sold, as well, but not much came of that. (Admittedly, I didn’t make the strongest effort I could possibly have made.)

PUBLISHING

2016 saw the release of three anthologies with my work included:

  • “Threshold” appeared in One Thousand Words For War from CBAY Books
  • “Stress Cracks” appeared in Galactic Games from Baen (My first professional-rate story sale!)
  • “Yeti” appeared in Robbed of Sleep, Volume 4 from Troy Blackford.

I also sold one story, the aforementioned “Chasing May,” which releases in just a few weeks from this writing.

READING

I set myself a variety of reading challenges in 2016. I managed to complete a few of them.

On Goodreads, I challenged myself to read 100 books. I read 105.

Here’s the breakdown of what I read:

  • Fiction: 97 books
    • 4 anthologies
      • 1 noir
      • 2 horror
      • 1 fantasy
    • 1 single-author collection (1 urban fantasy)
    • 17 graphic novels
      • 11 super-hero
      • 4 YA adventure
      • 1 YA comedy
      • 1 comic strip collection
    • 12 magazines (all issues of Lightspeed magazine)
    • 43 novels
      • 1 crime
      • 1 mystery
      • 1 noir
      • 1  Fantasy
      • 1 historical fiction
      • 1historical fantasy
      • 2historical romance
      • 3historical urban fantasy
      • 3alternate history
      • 3 horror
      • 1 literary
      • 4  pulp adventure
      • 2 science fiction
      • 13 urban fantasy
      • 1 YA urban fantasy
      • 1 YA science fiction
    • 8 novellas
      • 2 horror
      • 3 fantasy
      • 1 science fiction
      • 1 urban fantasy
      • 1 mystery
    • 1 picture book
    • 1 playscript
    • 10 short stories published as stand-alone ebooks
      • 4 urban fantasy
      • 3 mystery
      • 1 modern romance
      • 1 thriller
      • 1 historical fantasy
  • Non-Fiction: 8 books
    • 5 Memoir/biography
    • 2 History
    • 1 Writing Advice

Other Book Stats:

# of Authors/Editors: 86 (including graphic novel artists); 34 of these were female authors. (I didn’t do a good job of tracking other sub-group metrics, such as writers of color, queer writers, etc. I’m going to make a better effort this year.)

Shortest Book Read: 20 pages (Forbid the Sea by Seanan McGuire)

Longest Book Read: 496 (Feedback by Mira Grant)

(Interesting that the shortest and longest read were by the same author, albeit one under a pen-name.)

Total # of pages read: 24064

Average # of pages per book: 229

Format Summary:

  • 4 audiobooks
  • 28 ebooks (5 Nook, 23 Kindle)
  • 73 print
    • 17 hardcovers
    • 56 softcovers

On my Livejournal, I challenged myself to read 365 short stories (1 per day, basically), but I only managed 198 this year. I did not read as many anthologies or single-author collections cover-to-cover as I have in previous years.

Those 198 stories appeared in:

  • 5 Magazines
    • Asimov’s
    • Cemetary Dance
    • Daily Science Fiction
    • Disturbed Digest
    • Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
    • Lightspeed Magazine
    • One Story
    • One Teen Story
    • The Dark
    • The Strand
    • Three Slices
    • Unbound
  • 10 Anthologies
    • Candle in the Attic
    • Clockwork Phoenix 5
    • Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop
    • Dark and Dangerous Things III
    • Ghost in the Cogs
    • In Sunlight or in Shadow (Stories based on the paintings of Edward Hopper)
    • Robbed of Sleep Vol 4
    • Shattered Shields
  • 1 Single-Author Collection
    • Two Tales of the Iron Druid by Kevin Hearne
  • 8 Stand-alone (self-pubbed or publisher-pubbed in e-format)
    • Seanan McGuire (mostly from her website)
    • Jordan L. Hawk (email newsletter)
    • Lawrence Block (purchased in e-format via Amazon)

Those 198 stories were written by 166 different authors. 82 of those were women (again, didn’t do a good job of tracking any other author-identifying metrics). The work was published by 26 different editors, roughly (there were a few for whom I’m not sure who the editor was / who to credit).

So there you have it: my writing, publishing and reading, by the numbers, for 2016. (I was going to include other media consumed, like music, movies, and television, but I didn’t do as good of a job compiling those numbers in 2016. Oh well!)

 

JANUARY 2017 BY THE NUMBERS

I did a horrible job of posting to my own blog in 2016. My intent is to do better this year, by at the very least tracking my own writing and reading. Hopefully some of these posts will inspire folks to comment and chat a bit. Today’s post is basically a “by-the-numbers” accounting of my writing in January.

WRITING

At the end of 2016, I set myself a challenge for 2017: write at least 5 days a week, and write 1,000 words a day. I’m putting together a blog post about why I made this particular challenge, and why the same challenge might not work for anyone else.

I’m using a pretty simple spreadsheet to track “new words written” by day and week, with a column for notes (about projects worked on, totals for week/month, etc.)

The first week of January I wrote 3 out of 5 days, and managed 2,198 new words.

The second week of January I did no writing at all.

The third week of January I wrote 3 out of 5 days and managed 4,833.

The fourth week of January I wrote 5 out of 5 days and managed 5,225, words.

In the three days of January 29-31 I only wrote 1 day, but wrote 2,580 words.

Each month’s goal is roughly 20,000 words (1,000/day x 5 days/week). In January I wrote 14,836 words. In the process, I completed a previously stalled short story and wrote a complete second story.

I’m feeling pretty good about those numbers, given how little I wrote in the second half of 2016.

EDITING

Where I’ve dropped the ball in January is in editing/rewriting. I have three stories that I received really valuable feedback on from beta-readers/critiquers in Nov/Dec., and those stories are still waiting to be reworked with that feedback in mind. (One of them, the feedback was actually part of a rejection letter. Not a “revise and resubmit,” but still very personalized feedback fromvery busy editor!).  And of course, I now have the two stories written in January that will need editing/revising. First drafts are great, but they’re rarely ready to send out.

I clearly need to find a balance between the writing time and the editing time. I’m going to work harder on that in February, as I continue to work on that writing goal mentioned above.

SUBMISSIONS

I have three stories out on submission right now, one of them something I co-wrote with a more well-known author. I could have more, but I was as bad about submitting stuff in the second half of 2016 as I was about writing or editing. Hey, at least I’m consistent.

SALES

A few days ago, the ToC for KEPLER’S COWBOYS, edited by David Lee Summers and Steve B. Howell for Hadrosaur Productions, was announced. I’m very glad to be able to say that my story “Chasing May” is included, alongside work by authors like David L. Drake, Jaleta Clegg, Gene Mederos and others. You can preorder the Kindle version here, or the print and other ebook versions here. I loved Summers and Howell’s previous anthology, A KEPLER’S DOZEN, and anticipate this new anthology will be just as fun.

And that’s about it for January on the writing front. A separate post about January’s reading will follow tomorrow.

2015 WRAP UP - Happy New Year 2016

Welcome to 2016.

Okay, yes, I know, the year is already almost a week old. We’ve all gone back to our day jobs and school and all the other fun stuff we have to do when it’s not the holidays (and which some of us have to do even during the holidays). But it’s my first post of the year, so welcome New Year!

2015 Wrap-Up

In 2015, I lost track of exactly how many stories I sent out to various open calls and limited open calls and such. But I do know I sold 5 stories: four originals and one reprint. The reprint was “Chasing Satellites,” which is now in audio form on the great StarShipSofa podcast. The four originals should all be out in print and ebook in 2016:

  • “Stress Cracks” in Galactic Games from Baen in June (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt)
  • “Threshold” in A Thousand Words For War from CBay Books in May (edited by Madeline Smoot and Hope Erica Schultz)
  • “And All Their Tearful Words Will Turn Back Into Steam” in Shroud Magazine when the next issue is released (edited and published by Tim Deal)
  • And the fourth story’s venue I haven’t yet received permission to announce yet.

I also know that of everything I submitted in 2015, I still have 6 submissions that I’m still awaiting responses on.

I also wrote and recorded one new song, “Done,” with John Russo of the band Reverse Order. It’s available on my Bandcamp page, and all proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organization Reverse The Trend, which provides anti-bullying and pro-self-esteem concert programming to schools around the country.

On the non-writing side, I read 100 books (this includes graphic novels, plays, and singly-published-as-ebooks short stories and novellas) and 366 short stories (some as part of the aforementioned 100 books, most not). I met my Goodreads Challenge(100 books) and finished the To Be Read Challenge hosted in 2015 by RoofbeamReader.

2016 Goals

My goal is usually to double the number of story sales from year to year. In 2013 I sold 3 stories, so the goal (which I missed) in 2014 was to sell 6 (I sold none). I carried that goal over to 2015 and sold 5, so my goal for 2016 is 10. Of course, I’d love to sell more than that, but the official goal is 10 stories sold during the 2016 calendar year (regardless of when they’ll be published).

I’ve got the aforementioned 6 stories still out, and I’m in the process of editing stuff I wrote first drafts of in December to get then out into the world. I’m also stepping up my writing regimen a bit (given the realities of day-jobbery and other life commitments).

My Goodreads reading goal remains 100 books this year. I’m working on my own To Be Read Challenge since RoofBeamReader is no longer hosting his, and that’s overlapping with a few other reading challenges I’m setting for myself. I’m considering posting about those here as well as on my Livejournal.  Likewise, I’m considering cross-posting book reviews here, as well as the short story reviews I post in my 365ShortStories community on LJ — but I’m still not sure about posting book and story reviews on what is supposed to be my author website, so I’d appreciate any thoughts you all may have about that.

Of course, I’m also aiming to be more active here. I’d like to start posting author, actor, singer and artist interviews again and host guest posts from folks. I need to start reaching out. For now, I’ll be posting about my writing and reading progress.

Here’s to a great 2016 for all of us!

NEW MUSIC "DONE" - Anthony Cardno Music

I’ve co-written and recorded another song!

“Done” is  now available on my Bandcamp page.

Words by me, music and production by John Russo from the band Reverse Order.

These songs of mine never actually sell much, but any proceeds I do garner will be donated to John’s non-profit organization Reverse The Trend, which brings anti-bullying and self-esteem programming to schools around the country. Please check out their page if you’d like to book the program for your school or if you’d just like to donate to a worthy cause. You can also help them by turning your Amazon page into a SmileAmazon page and setting “Reverse The Trend” as your charity of choice. The great thing about that program is: you shop the way you normally do, and Amazon donates to your choice charity.