By Jeff Salter
I don’t know where a year goes. When I still worked full-time, it seemed as though hours would last for days … and days could linger for weeks. Now that I’m retired, it seems like months zoom past in a few days and a full year whips past me like a handful of weeks.
Gosh, it’s a good thing I don’t exaggerate!
So now that a brand new year lies before me, most people expect a bit of reflection on the year just ended … and some notion of what we hope for the one ahead.
Okay: here goes.
The year of 2012 actually seemed longer than most of the other five years since I retired. I believe this is because I had two of my novels published by Astraea Press. The Overnighter’s Secrets took over 4.5 months from the beginning of pre-edits to the release date (May 24th). But that story was being proofed almost exactly one year after I first saw the silent movie actresses’ mementoes which inspired my writing of that novel. So those few months of editing back-and-forth seemed a lot longer than the full year which elapsed from ‘inception’ of my story to its ‘birth’.
But my second published novel [Rescued By That New Guy in Town] sped along like a high-speed train: submitted the query on Jul. 31st, received a contract about nine days later, and we zipped through the four edit phases. That book was already uploaded to Amazon by Oct. 3rd (hardly nine weeks after initial submission).
In the final months of last year, I worked diligently to overhaul a novel which I finished the first draft of in 2008 and significantly revised in mid-2009. No ordinary overhaul, this recent effort required removal of some 45,000 words from the 164,000 word manuscript. Let me tell you folks: that’s no picnic. After five additional drafts, I was finally able to submit it to my publisher on Dec. 30th and I hope/pray that she likes it.
In the fourth quarter of 2012 I also began a new blog, Write By Salter, on a new site Take Two … on Romance —which I share with author Vivian Roycroft.
Not related to writing but also very important to me: in 2012 I worked my fifth hitch as a helper in VacationBibleSchool and I began my fifth ‘school’ year teaching the 1st and 2nd grade boys on Wednesday evenings at church.
I don’t actually do formal resolutions, but for this new year, I hope I can achieve more effective promotion of the novels I already have published. I would love to have a growing number of readers who enjoy my stories enough to be eager for the next one to be released … and who enthusiastically tell others about my books.
I hope to have at least two books published during 2013 — Lord willing, ‘the creek don’t rise’, and my publisher is willing to offer contracts. Ideally, one of those would be the ms. I mentioned above, which I worked on so much near the end of last year. Another I hope to submit fairly soon is one of my two screwball comedies, already completed. It would be awesome if I could also publish a third book this year since it – already completed – deals with a real-life incident involving my wife’s ancestral family during the Civil War in 1863, exactly 150 years ago this March.
If I can get things moving to enter these two or three already-written manuscripts into a publishing pipeline, I hope also to do some NEW writing in this new year. I had several ‘starts’ last year, but no time to develop any of them.
I hope I can make time to do more READING this year … because I enjoy it so much.
I hope my physical pain is lessened somewhat this year … and that it might be a bit easier on me to travel. Because I’d like to visit my son and family in Louisiana at least once this year. Three of our grandchildren are down there and we don’t get to see them nearly enough.
I hope I’m able to help again with the kids in VBS and I plan to continue teaching the RA boys on Wednesdays at Church.
Last year’s post:
At this point on Hound Day last year, I had a few things to say about resolutions. Take a look if you have a few moments.
What do you envision for this new year of 2013?
Any special projects? Travel? Changes in your lifestyle?
Oh, nearly forgot: we have a brand new Fox here this new year … Iris Blobel.
That’s a pretty cool way to crank up a new year.
Sounds like you’ve got your new year planned out. Hell, I don’t know what I’m doing or writing from one day to the next. Congratulations on the releases and welcome Iris to the blog.
Thanks, Lindsay. My goals in previous years were considerably less specific. For example, one year my goal was to ‘place’ in one of the RWA chapter contests. One year it was to secure an agent.
Neither one came to pass, but I spent those years writing like a wildcat.
Cheers!~to a great year!!
Thanks, Tonya. You can see that my goals are not nearly as ambitious as yours … since you’re producing 4 or 5 novels this new year, plus launching a new series. I still don’t know how you do all that you do.
It’s hard to believe how much life sidetracked my writing last year. Though I was extremely productive, publishing 2 books with Carina Press, 1 self-published novella, and doing loads of freelance editing, I just couldn’t finish the novel I started on nearly a year ago.
My goal is to, well, finish that darn book! I can not project, nor will I as last year I did some projecting, how many books I will write. I do have a couple of novellas up my sleeve that I plan to debut under a pen name. I’m pretty excited about that. But first…I must finish that darn novel!
Congrats, Jeff, on such a wonderful 2012. Good luck on your 2013 endeavors. And welcome Iris!
You certainly had a great year in 2012.
That’s exciting that you have multiple novellas planned under a new name.
As for the novel that you haven’t finished … dare I suggest that it might need a few more months in the incubator? Sometimes a few extra months can give you fresher eyes on the project … and you will prob. “find” whatever ingredient you need to pull it together or complete it.
Well…it’s not that I’m having a hard time writing it. It’s more finding enough large chunks of time to write. I can freelance edit on the fly. I can critique on the fly. I can not write on the fly. I am challenging myself to be done by the end of February. Keep your fingers crossed!
As yes, I understand, Jenn. Some projects definitely do NOT lend themselves to 30 mins. here, 45 mins. there, etc. Some projects truly need a long undisturbed weekend … or a full week ‘retreat’ in the caribbean.
I hope you manage to make that family visit, Jeff. Last year I had i novella and 2 books published, I’d like to think I can match that again this year as I have several novellas in the works, a couple of full-length novels and now, two totally new projects, both influenced by a Christmas gift this year. Guess this lot should keep me out of mischief for a bit.
All the best for 2013
Two new projects influenced by a Christmas gift? Cool. That sounds like a story in itself. Can you reveal any details here … or must we wait for the announcement of those new projects?
I’ve got a little bit of travel planned for the year and hope to do a whole heck of a lot of writing. But first, there’s a stack of dishes desperately needing to be done so the kids can eat their cereal and allow me the time to do my writing uninterrupted!
Micki, I have two words for you: disposable bowls.
They make some out of the same material as a ‘coated’ paper plate. Holds up quite well for one use. Ha.
I’m sure you’ll meet your goals for the year. I think you’re on the right track!
Thanks, Jillian. I sure hope I can see better sales figures in this new year too.
amen to that!! Me, too
Jeff, you’re streaming right along with the time, as far as I can see! You have accomplished a lot and full steam ahead! I ,to, hope your health improves,(make that for both of us), and that you get to do what you now have time to do!
Thank you, Tonette. Eager to see what you have to say on tomorrow’s post.
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