Here are some of my goals for 2021, broadly split into Career, Math and Writing. Writing has the most under it, mostly because that is the one where I feel I actually have control over my success / failure.
My current job in Brussels lasts only until Summer 2022, which means that early in the fall of 2021 I’ll be on the job market yet again. For those who’ve never been on an academic job market, this eats up a LOT of time. As such, for the most part I’m not going to be making any major plans for the fall 2021.
It is always hard to set research goals, since unless you’re almost finished, you never know whether what you’re trying will work or not. On the more realistic side, I do have one finished solo paper that I’ve not yet submitted, and one co-authored paper where we plan on doing major revisions before resubmitting.
I’m setting end of February as an artificial deadline for me to upload the sage package for local computations in differential geometry that I’ve been working on. The code is finished, and I recently found out that one thing I thought a bug is actually just a difference in convention. What is left is documentation (examples really, since all the functions are documented) and unit tests.
I’m just waiting for some feedback before I start my own re-read of “Heir”, my goal will be to note the places where various problems / edit points are occurring so I can quickly jump to the correct spots when editing. This will be my first time editing a manuscript, so no idea how long this will take, but I hope to finish in late January or sometime in February.
I also plan on trying my luck with submitting. I’m in the process of creating a list of agents to whom I will be submitting. First pass of querytracker is done, and I’ve marked down a large list of agents who represent Fantasy / Sci-Fi and who have sold to reputable publishers (64, but not all of them are currently open to submissions), the next pass will be to check the websites of their agencies to see whether there are other agents there interested in adult fantasy.
Currently this is sitting at 6 chapters completed and chapter 8 (yes I’m writing some parts out of order, since PoV characters are in different locations) about half completed, maybe two thirds. My goal is to finish this, hopefully by summer. Current best estimate is 130-150 thousand words left to go.
If I finish this project early enough, I plan on editing it as well this year, but that is still a ways off.
A few days ago I submitted another short story to a magazine, this is my second attempt to write a short story. This one started out as a concept for a novel, but then I was convinced that it stands on its own. I would LOVE to get it published, but at the very least I’m aiming for 5 submission attempts before giving up.
Another short story that I want to flesh out and try submitting is actually the re-do of the old prologue for “Artaang”. I hope to get some feedback on it and do some editing, but I think it’s pretty close to being ready. As with the short currently on submission, I’d love to get it published, but 5 submission attempts is the goal I’’m actually setting. Note with this and the above, there is no guarantee that I’ll manage 5 submissions in 2021, since I have no control over the magazine response times.
I do have a couple other projects on the back burner as well, and some time this summer I hope to sit down and pick one, outline it, and world-build if necessary, some of them are in our world(ish), so that if I feel I have time for NaNoWriMo this year (see career for why I might not), I can have the prep done in advance. Below are a few of the possible projects for this
- Fallen Hero – a fantasy based on the premise of my short story by the same name. This would have two main story paths. The first one would be entirely linear, and fairly boilerplate, as we follow a her prophesied to defeat an evil tyrant. The second, interwoven with the first, would be non-linear, and would show that a lot of things are not what they appear. Part of the fun of this project is that I would be able to be as tropey (is that even a word) as I want in the first path, since I will have the room to simultaneously subvert those tropes in the second one.
- YA Urban Fantasy – not yet titled (even tentatively), but a fairly fleshed out concept. A teenage girl discovers magic, and we follow her adventures as she uses it. Will mix in outside perspectives on what she’s doing, and some of her everyday life. (Trying to be spoiler free here, so the description is vague.)
- Contemporary Science Fiction – Brief / abstract concept: “Everyone says that time travel is impossible – most of them are just wrong, the other few are lying.” This concept is probably the least fleshed out of the three, there are three directions I can see this concept going, and depending on which one it is, the conflict would be different. This might be a sci-fi thriller, but I’m not sure.