My big news, that isn't entirely "new" at this point, is that I've been approved to attend Jim Gunn's SF Writing Workshop in Kansas this summer. I'm still trying to get vacation details hammered out before sending in money. I'm hoping the financial backing comes through, but this isn't something I can't accomplish on my own. (Well, at least with help from the special lady friend. It just becomes a loan instead of a gift.) The feedback I got on my writing sample was... startling. One of those moments where someone gives you such a different criticism from what you're used to that you feel less confident about what you thought you were good at.
After the initial shock, I found value in it. But my confidence has really not been as strong since then. I'm sending off my entries to the PNWA literary contest anyway, but it is with more of a feeling of, "Well, at least I get a professional critique out of it."
In April, I'll be at Norwescon. I have a few authors that I'm acquainted with that I'm hoping to see, including my current teacher in the online course I'm taking. Sunday morning I'll be facing a firing squad. I received my workshop schedule, and I will be facing four people who will critique my workshop submission, Court of the Red King. When I dove into this, I figured I'd just be facing one person who had feedback for me. This is... a little terrifying. Tied in with my current diminished confidence, this promises to be test of my courage. I'll try very hard not to run out of the room.
We've also sunk down money on my attendance at the PNWA summer conference. I will have the opportunity to have a face to face meeting with an agent and maybe an editor. Between now and then I probably want to have a novel I want to pitch. On top of all the short stories I want to try and get together.
Class is going well. I've got a short story that I've began pecking out the opening salvos for, and I think it might pass for a Crossed Genres submission. It was for a genre that I wasn't jazzed about and didn't think I had anything for.
After I get my contest submissions off, then I mainly have to worry about getting through my class in one piece. So write the rest of one short story and try and club another one into shape for submission by the end of March. Then I can figure out if I want to write more short stories to have a better roster to take to workshop, or focus on polishing one of my novels before the conference.
Easy peasy, right?