Year in Review: 2016

The year 2016 has been a roller-coaster-ride of a year. Between wars, crazy politics, and the huge number of celebrity deaths (on that note, I’m not a religious person, but isn’t there something in the bible about good people being sent to heaven right before the apocalypse, leaving only the sinners left on earth to suffer? Anyway…) a lot of us are ready to kiss 2016 goodbye.

But it wasn’t all bad! This year, I’m proud to say I became a published author, one of my life-long dreams. So below is my Year in Review for 2016, highlighting the milestones (some writing-related, some not) that have defined my personal journey this year.

I really encourage you all to sit down and make a similar list. What were the moments in 2016 you were proud of? No matter how big or small, try to remember every moment that made you happy. Did you reconnect with an old friend? Get acknowledged for your hard work? Meet a fitness goal? Find a new favorite movie?

Make the list, and if you still feel rotten about 2016, do what my friends and I are doing on New Year’s Eve: build a bonfire and burn 2016 calendars. I think it will be pretty cathartic.

The Collaborative Writing Challenge

I believe I’ve mentioned off-hand in previous blog posts that I’m participating in the Collaborative Writing Challenge Steampunk Challenge! I’m very excited about this project, which officially kicks off on December 30th.

The Collaborative Writing Challenge is a project where multiple authors (approximately 30!) work on a story together, chapter-by-chapter. All participants were able to submit their ideas for Chapter 1, which were due for this project on December 2nd. From there, the admins of the challenge selected their favorite three chapters. The participants are now voting on which of those chapters will become the official Chapter 1 of our story!

From there, 4-5 authors at a time will write submissions for subsequent chapters, which will then be voted on by all participants. Each chapter writer will receive the full Chapter 1, the full chapter prior to the one they will write, and a synopsis of every chapter in between. The writers will also receive thorough notes containing a list of characters, locations, and highlights. The result will be a 30-chapter novel written by up to 30 different authors!

There’s still time left to join the challenge if you want! Otherwise, stay tuned for news as the project moves forward. The final chapter submissions will be due in August 2017. From there, the novel will be edited and then published!

I also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Yule, Io Saturnalia, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Newtonmas, and Happy birthday to myself ­čśë

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network Christmas Sale

This weekend, December 17th and 18th, the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network is hosting their annual Christmas Sale!

All weekend, authors of fantasy and science fiction novels, novellas, and short stories will be having awesome deals. Books will be either discounted or free, and there will also be giveaways and chances to talk with the authors! The sales will be posted in the Facebook event and on the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network website. Grigory’s Gadget is on sale for $0.99 until the end of the month on Amazon and Smashwords!

I’ll be hosting the event on Sunday December 18th from 12 to 1 pm EST. You’ll be able to find me on the Facebook event page, or on Twitter using the hashtag #FSFNet. Feel free to ask me any questions about Grigory’s Gadget, writing, reading, or anything else! I have some questions/prompts ready to go to get the conversation rolling, but feel free to chime in with whatever topic you want!

Connecting through Twitter Chats

As writers and readers, it can be difficult to connect with people that have similar interests. Both of those activities are generally solitary. If you want to talk to someone about a certain book or genre, or writing tips and tricks, how do you find them?

One great way to connect with like-minded people is through Twitter Chats. Twitter Chats are just that – chats that happen on Twitter. People tweet to the conversation using a designated hashtag about a wide range of topics. Many Twitter Chats are scheduled weekly or monthly, digitally bringing together a group of people to have a discussion.

Some of my favorite Twitter Chats for reading and writing are:

  • #BBChat, which brings in authors to talk about their process for writing
  • #StoryCrafter, which is a great resource for all sorts of writing advice
  • #k8Chat, another chat which brings in authors to talk about their process
  • #NaNoCoach, which is a chat specifically centered around the annual NaNoWriMo challenge

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of a Twitter Chat conversation on your regular Twitter newsfeed. That’s why Twitter has the TweetDeck. You can set up a column which shows all of the tweets using the designated hashtag – easy! There are also websites like Twubs available, which show the tweets in a format that’s more akin to a chat room.

Next Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be hosting a Twitter Chat as part of the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network Christmas Sale. We’ll be discussing our favorite fantasy and science fiction novels and authors before diving in specifically to discuss steampunk. You can follow along using the hashtag #FSFNet between 12 and 1pm EST! My twitter handle is @EA_Hennessy. Hope to see you there!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Summary

Well, November has come and gone, and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has come to an end.

I did not reach the goal of 50,000 words, but I still made a good effort and ended with 40,176 words.

nano2016

I got hit with pretty severe writers block right as Thanksgiving arrived. Between traveling, spending time with family and friends, and binge-watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I didn’t have time to properly work around that block. I was able to recover a bit at a local write-in that word-sprinted to midnight on the 30th, but still fell short of 50k.

That doesn’t mean my NaNoWriMo journey this year wasn’t a success. I feel much more confident about my story than I had on November 1st. Characters have become better-developed, the plot is more filled-in, and I’m actually excited about the sequel to Grigory’s Gadget now. (For a while there, I berated myself for setting up a sequel. Why did I do that to myself? WHY?)

So now I’m neatening-up what I did write during November, and will be posting the new scenes on Wattpad shortly.