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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The 2011 Plan

UPDATE: Feb 2, 2011  
I keep losing my connection so I'm going to hunker down for a few days and wait for this ice storm to pass.

I'll swing by your blogs if I have power. If I don't, I'll be swigging tequila shots and fighting the dogs for a piece of the covers.

maria-cicle, signing off


The year is off and running. Have you made any plans for 2011?

I've been offered some fascinating writing proposals, and I even had a well-known (and successful) agent query me for a change. How's that for a switch?

This is probably due to the fact that I am abysmal at sending queries out and she must have gotten tired of waiting. --I can write queries, but I loathe going through the process.

In the end, it didn't work out for either of us, but I was rightly chuffed by the conversation and her enthusiastic interest. Should I shift direction, she will be the first on my list.

This year, I am going to try for novellas. I've even started what might be a new series for me, involving angels and demons. Not the same stuff currently making the rounds, but something uniquely mine.

If you thought the world of the Nephilim was interesting in True Believers, you'll probably like this series too. This one will be a little more fun and sexy--at least that's the plan.

The sequel for Touch Of Fire (Apocalypse Rising) is awaiting its cover and after I finish the novellas, I will start edits for the sequel to True Believers. In this book, we go deep into how the Nephilim were created. This time, we go off-world.

:Subliminal message: Go buy my books. And if you have my books--tell your friends to buy my books, cuz you know I'm a nice person and I luvs my dogs. Thank you. :End subliminal message:

On the homestead, I am awaiting a little warmer weather so I can start incubating eggs for new chicks. I'm excited! I'll be sure to do several posts on incubation and hatching. 

We are still counting on goats in the spring, but for some reason the new goat pen has not magically appeared. Hmm...I better check with my djin, Greg, and see what the holdup is. (Oh Lord, I can already hear him muttering curses at me.)

Now that the greenhouse is in place, I will start my seedlings this week and get them out there in time for March planting. Last year, we had a freak snowstorm on the first day of Spring. Never mind that we got back in the 70s later that week. A frost can kill young plants, so I will wait until the very end of March before I plant outdoors.

Last week, my niece and her (shiny) new husband came down to visit us. We had a blast with them. It was so much fun to see them get excited about living out in the sticks. 

We visited the neighbors' alpacas, my chickens, and a host of woodland creatures that caught their citified eyes. Greg taught them to shoot. My niece made bread, and we had a big spread of munchies while we watched the Chicago Bears lose the playoffs.

Sadly, during their visit, there was blood involved and innocent dogs were molested. My nephew-in-law is very tall and smashed his head on the jutting edge of the chicken coop roof. And Iko...well, Iko doesn't bite, but he has other defenses to keep people from pawing at him. LOL.

All in all, this year is off to a great start. I hope it continues. And I hope my niece and her husband will come back--despite the injuries to flesh and pride.


Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh dear, your poor nephew-in-law--LOL
2011 is going pretty well for me. I feel really focused for some reason. :)

Angela Felsted said...

I hope they come back too.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: Oh, I felt so bad. But he really cowboy-ed up. I was impressed. Still, it was a nasty gash.

Angela: It was so much fun to have young people around. They reminded my husband and me how we used to be.

Joanne said...

Don't you love getting off to an energetic and positive start with the year? I'm working on a couple of projects, fiction and nonfiction both, while I query, too. The to-do lists are written and the check-marks accumulating :)

While the snow doesn't let up. 4-8 inches tomorrow, with a Nor'easter predicted for Wednesday, on top of our over 2 feet on the ground already. I'll be sending out an SOS soon :/

Angelina Rain said...

Congrats on an agent contacting you for a change. That must have been very nice.

Good luck on writing your new series. And a sequel to True Believers *jumping around happily*. I can’t wait to see the cover for AR. I love seeing brand new book covers. I will buy Touch of Fire sometime closer to AR’s release date, so that I could have all the details fresh in my mind.

Sorry to hear about your nephew-in-law. I hope they come back.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: You poor thing. That weather up north is awful. I feel so bad for you guys. We're expecting some cooler temps later this week, but nothing like yours. I hope your area thaws out soon. Enough is enough.

Angelina: Thanks, hon. I'm glad you liked True Believers.

--I hope I didn't scare my niece and nephew in law away. They were such fun.

Bookewyrme said...

A new series, huh? You must be super excited! And the agent thing is pretty cool too. Here's hoping at least most of your plans work out in 2011! ^_^


Darke Conteur said...

Aha! Here you are. I deleted my old account before adding you to this one.

Trying a new format for writing is exciting! I feel it help a writer to grow if they branch out and try something new. Good luck with it and I expect regular updates. :)

Linda Leszczuk said...

Okay, I was impressed by the agent querying you, not so thrilled by the words "woodland creatures" and "taught them to shoot" in the same paragraph, and very interested in the new series and coming sequels.

Subliminal response: Bought your books. Already recommending your books. Not so sure about the nice person part (always knocking my groaners). And I luv your dogs, too. :End subliminal response:

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

AWWWW! I want chickens SO BAD! But our neighbors (who are already atrocious) would make our lives hell if we built a coop. Sigh, one day, a hobby farm.
Also, i have some of your books on my birthday list, so hopefully i will get them!

Rula Sinara said...

I had to laugh at the subliminal message :). I just finished Touch of Fire! Loved the world's twist and can't say more without spoiling it for others.

I'm feeling energized for 2011. Hope it's a great year for all!

Maria Zannini said...

Lia: After floundering rudderless for two years, it feels good to have focus and direction.

Darke Conteur: Novellas are new for me. My peers keep telling me they're more lucrative too. We shall see.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: They shot at targets, not animals. LOL!

Ooh, I've never gotten a subliminal response before. I feel so New Age now.

And I am a nice person! A nice person with taste. :P

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: Will your community allow chickens? If so, the heck with your neighbors. LOL! There are some very nice small coops.

This site is the best for chicken coop designs.


Rula: I have no shame. Glad you liked Touch Of Fire. Hope the sequel does well. :crosses fingers:

Kaye Manro said...

You sound like you are seriously off to a great start this year. I like writing novellas too. And I am going to read your books!

Sherri said...

Yay. Cool. Can't wait. :buy anything with Maria Zannini on it: Check. Sounds great. Careful, djin are unpredictable. We've got crazy temps expected this week too. Sounds like a nice visit and OUCH.


Mike Keyton said...

Alpacas, blood and Nephilim. Interesting post - an even more interesting novella :)

Maria Zannini said...

Kaye: I would love it if you'd write a post on how you write your novellas. Why you like to write shorter and the differences between novels and novellas. So little is ever said about it.

Sherri: I might have to hire you as my permanent subliminal PR agent. LOL.

Mike: I hope I can write to my expectations. They won't be your average angel and demon stories.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Probably hopeless, but I plan to write a new manuscript in a different world ... and rewrite one of my old manuscripts.

Meghan Schuessler said...

Glad to hear your 2011 is going well so far! I hope it continues looking up :)

Maria Zannini said...

Kaye: You can do it! One year, I wrote two books in the same year. I didn't think I could ever do that.


Meghan: I feel the universe owes me for kicking me in the teeth for so many years. LOL. Nah, I'm just grateful things are blowing up on me.

Melissa McClone said...

Good luck with your 2011 and new series. Sounds exciting.

I purposely didn't make any plans or resolutions for this year. But I'm amazed that January is almost over. How did that happen??? And how come we haven't gotten any snow???? Pressing questions, when I really should be writing ;)

jackie b central texas said...

Maria sounds like your silver lining is finally appearing, good and about time!

I can just picture the scene now, head out to the chicken coop nephew and check out the cluckers... He gets to the door and from behind this cold wet nose makes him jump just as he hits the doorframe thereby causing said gash and blood!

Not sayin it was Iko now, it could have been one of the wild woodland critters that were paying you guys back for homesteading on their former playground!

Very glad though to hear good things are coming to pass in 2011 for you Maria, I luvs your dogs too!

Maria Zannini said...

Melissa: No snow? Where do you live? I know a lot of people who'd like to move there. :)


Jackie: Iko (nor Tank) was not responsible for the smack on the head. --I don't think. LOL

Ref: woodland creatures
Aside from the coyotes, the rest of them pretty good--especially the birds. I give them extra grub.

I'll stop by and visit you in a bit. First, to chores.

Victoria Dixon said...

Oooh. Very nice having the agents query you. I could be so lucky. LOL Well done. Yeah, we were rooting for the Cubs/Jets match up since I have relatives in the Chicago area and my beloved Chiefs just can't make it past that first game! *___*

Ellie said...

Ouch. Your poor nephew!

Congratulations on an agent approaching you - that is brilliant.

Okay. So my 2011 plan was to finish writing my sci-fi novel, Dreaming of Sleep, plot my horror novel, The Devil's Song, and keep up with my short story submissions. Phew. However, as I won an amazing full manuscript critique from a talented author (you may know her name. LOL), my number one priority is now Dreaming of Sleep.

No pressure then. LOL.

200 Followers Q & A Competition

Maria Zannini said...

Victoria: Rooting for the Cubs is like waiting for hell to freeze over--though by the looks of this weather, they might have a good chance this year. LOL.

Ellie: Take your time. I'm not going anywhere. :)

I'm looking forward to it!

Marianne Arkins said...

NO FAIR talking about warmth and gardens and spring ... not when I'm buried in snow drifts taller than I am.

::::mutters and scuffs toe:::

Melissa McClone said...

Maria - I'm in the Pacific Northwest near Portland, Oregon. We have snow in the mountains but not where we are. It was predicted to be a bad snow winter, but we haven't seen it. At least not yet. I'm still hopeful!

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: We've got to get over this arctic blast you guys sent us first. Ice everywhere, too treacherous to drive.

Melissa: I'm sure Marianne would be glad to send you some of her snow. :)

What weather we're having! It's bizarre.

Liz Fichera said...

I feel very lazy in comparison, Maria! Wow. Lotsa stuff going on this year.

Are you rooting for the Packers? After they obliterated The Team Who Cannot Be Named, I threw my support behind the Pack. Gotta root for the Midwest guys.

Grandpa said...

Hi Maria, I hope the storm passes over. Stay cool, okay...

I have an Award for you over at The Farm, so if you don't mind dropping by

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I bought True Believers. It's keeping me warm on these freaky cold days in TX!

TerriOsburn said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start on 2011. I'm sure you'll do great on the novellas. Sorry about the bump on the head, that does sound painful.

I just finished revising my first full MS and plan to start the next one after I get a couple short stories done and submitted to Woman's World. Would love to write two books in one year. A new goal!

Can't believe I forgot to thank you for that birthday card. Best. Card. Ever!

I'm in Va Beach and it's 72 degrees with rain. All my friends are sitting under FEET of snow. Weirdest weather ever.

Jayne said...

Ice-storm? Yikes. Stay safe!

And you sound like you have made a fantastic start to 2011. I'm full of optimism about the year but need to come up with some serious plans about where I want to be and how I want to get there - and stick to them!

Anonymous said...

Lots of excitement, eh?

Best of luck on reaching your writing goals!!!

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: I'm not a big sports fan, so when the home team lost, my heart wasn't in it anymore.

Grandpa: Thanks! I'll stop by as soon as I can.

Barbara: Aw, I hope you like it. More importantly, I hope it keeps you warm. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Terri: Where have you been hiding, woman? But then I see your to-do list and I guess I have to forgive you. :) Glad you got the card. I thought it was cute.

Jayne: We are so unprepared for weather like this. Even the north, who is geared for weather like this is feeling the hurt.

You always strike me as so put-together. I expect great things from you this year, Jayne.
(no pressure) :grin:

lbdiamond: I had two years of lying fallow. I could use some excitement. :)

TerriOsburn said...

I grounded myself until I finished revisions. Wrapped up Sunday afternoon. Now I'm back to the living. For now. LOL!

Maria Zannini said...

Terri: Actually, that's a good plan. Since I keep losing connectivity it's forcing me to write more and surf less. I might lie low until Monday. I've got a lot to work on.

India Drummond said...

Novellas, huh? I'd thought it was a dead form, but I've actually started seeing (and even bought a few) on Amazon lately. I think the a-little-more-than-bite-sized length can be just perfect, if it's a pacy read.