Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

This year veered rather suddenly away from what I was expecting at this point a year ago. So hanging over it, especially over the early part of the year, was Musa's sudden closing. I was caught flat-footed by that, and it took a bit to figure out how best to proceed.

The other big change this year was that I took a part-time teaching job. I hadn't had any plans to do so at this point, at least not until my youngest was a little older, but decided to toss my name in when my kids' school said they needed a Spanish teacher. So that took up a significant portion of my writing time this fall.

Even so, it was a productive year. Here are my publications from the year:

Poetry

"Orthography in the Lands of Yahm" in Strange Horizons (also in audio)
"Seasons in a Moon Ocean" in Dreams & Nightmares #100
"The Alien Ruins" in The Pedestal (also in audio)
"The Exiles Pine for Home" sent exclusively to Spire City subscribers

Stories

"Among the Sighs of the Violoncellos" in Strange Horizons (also in audio)
"Apprentice in the Library of Steam" in Steampunk: the Other Worlds
"Seeds by a Hurricane Torn" in Ecotones Anthology
"The Gunpowder Resistance" in Every Day Fiction

Spire City

And of course this was the year for (re)releasing Spire City as a self-published venture, once Musa closed down. So, Spire City, Season One: Infected was re-released in its entirety, first as individual episodes and then as a full season bundle, in both print and ebook formats.

Spire City, Season Two: Pursued, which had reached episode 4 with Musa, wrapped up all thirteen episodes of its individual episode release this week (with the end of January as the goal for releasing the bundled version).

And also I released the Spire City novelette, "The Spire Singers," as an Amazon exclusive. Technically both "The Exiles Pine for Home," "Apprentice in the Library of Steam," and "The Gunpowder Resistance" fit here as well as Spire City-related releases this year.

So there you have it, 2015 in summary. Now go out and read some great writing, would you? (Doesn't have to be mine, either...but if it is, maybe consider reviewing it as well...) And get ready to read or write or otherwise create your own masterpiece in 2016.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Spire City, Season Two finale!

Just under three months ago, Season Two began. And in that whirlwind span, thirteen episodes have all come out on time, without any glitches. Hurray! Have you been reading along, keeping up as they release? Or are you waiting until the whole thing is out? Well, it's all there, now, with a climactic ending that sets us up for Season Three: Unwoven in just a few months.

Either way, subscribers now have all episodes, and you can get each one separately from Amazon or B&N, as you prefer. And if you want to cut out the Amazon intermediary, why not just sign up directly here? Subscribe now at paypal.me/DanielAusema, and I'll simply send you each of the episodes immediately.

In fact, I'll even drop the price for this week: receive all the Season Two episodes right away for only $5 US, or for $8 US get the complete Season One bundle plus all the Season Two episodes. Check out the Spire City tab for more details.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Updates on two projects

In the midst of the season's festivities and assorted chaoses, just a quick note on some things that I've mentioned here:

First, my thanks to the Wyrm's Gauntlet folks for running an excellent event. I ended up in second place in the contest, which is cool itself, plus I'm very pleased with the two short stories I ended up writing for it and will definitely be taking them back out in another month or two to revise and submit.

Second, the Ecotones anthology with stories by Ken Liu, Lauren Beukes, Tobias Buckell, and many others not only met its Kickstarter goal but is now available to non-backers. So if you missed the whole campaign, you can order from Amazon (among other sites). And if you have read the anthology (whether you were a backer or not), don't forget to leave a review at Goodreads (and elsewhere, if you wish).

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Wyrm's Gauntlet

Note: I wrote this up a couple of days ago, hit publish, and walked away assuming it had done so. Turns out some glitch meant it hadn't. So now the deadline is this evening, but my thoughts on the contest remain the same. Do keep your eye out for it next September/October and think about signing up. You have to sign up before the first round is announced if you want to join in.

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Original post:

Last year and this year I've had fun participating in an online contest called Wyrm's Gauntlet. It's a four-round, elimination contest that spans roughly two months (if you make it all the way to the end). Last year I did the first three rounds but missed out on the fourth--the winnowing is pretty intense, so by the time you get to round three, there are only five or so participating, and only three of those five make the final round.

They've hosted some fun, unconventional tasks for the contest. All writing related, but some are more focused on critiquing or reviewing works (by others or even by yourself), showing that you're able to think critically about writing. So it creates and odd but well balanced competition, which was a good way to push myself.

This year I made it to the final round and am really pleased with the story I turned in the other day. Can't wait to hear the results after Saturday's deadline (not sure exactly when they'll be announced, but probably a couple days after that). Wish me luck. But mostly I'm just glad to have been able to participate in all the rounds.