Tag Archives: ace in the hole

The Inevitable New Year’s Post

First thing’s first:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks for being here, reading, clicking, sharing, generally being lovely, etc.

This is the time of year when I like to look back and see what I’ve been up to. So here goes, a list of my 2014 accomplishments and 2015 hopes, both professional and personal.

Professional Accomplishments, 2014

  • Became an admin for the site, Calming Brits & Irishmen, which my friend started in an effort to cheer me up after my back diagnosis just over a year ago.
  • Wrote ACE IN THE HOLE, a one-act play with an all-female cast, commissioned by Ingenius Theatre. (Available as part of Short Frictions – purchasing link to your right).
  • Wrote a first draft (which I’ve subsequently revised a bit) of a novella as part of a long-term project with @sareliz.
  • Created new cover art for a number of the books I have available on Amazon.
  • Completed a month of blogging every day.
  • Started a new job in a new city, with more creative freedom and more responsibility.
  • Started a writer’s group on Facebook with a group of very talented people who I’m looking forward to growing with over the next year.

Personal Accomplishments, 2014

  • Despite a bad back injury, I kept a (mostly) positive outlook throughout the year during my recovery.
  • Made some major strides forward in dealing with my own mental health.
  • Moved away from New York City (I KNOW!) and adjusted to life in the country (still in progress).
  • I HAVE A NIECE! (Okay, all I did to accomplish this was be born to the same parents as her dad and then wait around for 30 years, but still.)
  • Lost a bit of weight by making healthy life choices (and a bit by being in too much pain to move, during the first part of 2014).
  • Got my finances more or less under control.

Professional Goals, 2015

  • Revise, rewrite, and finish the aforementioned novella, which seems to be growing into more of a novel-shaped thing.
  • Finish my sitcom pilot and outline the subsequent scripts for the first “season”.
  • Write another play. No idea what. Just write another play.
  • Write three short stories…and send them to actual publications.
  • Stretch goal: experiment with YouTube/vlogging. (Ain’t gonna happen, but you have to aim high, right?)
  • See more theater.

Personal goals, 2015:

  • Maintain healthy habits
  • Travel more
  • Meet my niece (hoping to knock that off the list in a few weeks)
  • Pay more attention to my personal life.

And there you have it! What did you accomplish in 2014, and what are you hoping to do in the coming year? Whatever your answers…congratulations, and good luck!

SHORT FRICTIONS, Coming Up Shortly!

A robot I met some time ago, on the Upper East Side. Not in any of my stories. But doesn't he look dapper?

A robot I met some time ago, on the Upper East Side. Not in any of my stories. But doesn’t he look dapper?

For the last month or so, I’ve been receiving helpful comments from wonderful people who’ve taken time out of their lives to prepare for advance reviewing of SHORT FRICTIONS – my upcoming collection of short stories. Their assistance has been invaluable, and the book you’ll eventually read has already been made leagues better thanks to their thoughts and comments.

So when do you get to check out this fabulous new collection of stories about vampires, robots, evil corporations and more?

One thing’s for sure: it won’t be long, now!

I’ve met with the designer – the stylish Sarah Hartley (who was responsible for the gorgeous cover of HOT MESS) and she’s working on some frankly brilliant ideas for the SHORT FRICTIONS cover. I hope you’ll like it. I know I love what she’s thought up so far.

I really can’t wait to share this collection of shorts – and a play! – with all of you. Most have been written in the last few years, with one outlier that dates back to my college days. Some, you may have seen in other places in the past. Others are fresh and new and clean and excited to be allowed out into the world.

The e-version will likely debut in August on several platforms, shortly ahead of the print one, and don’t worry – I’ll keep you updated. Just enter your info into the subscription widget – upper right hand side of this blog entry to make sure you don’t miss the new release. Or give me your email address (I’ll never sell or share it), below:


Congratulations to the Short Frictions Giveaway Winner!

2014-04-07 11For the last month or so, I’ve been running a giveaway for a gift code from ThinkGeek.com…and now it’s time to announce the winner!

Congratulations to Patricia Salyers!

It was cool to watch how every day, Patricia was on Twitter, tweeting the promotional tweet to get additional entries for the competition – and clearly the work paid off! I’ve contacted her privately to arrange for her to get her ThinkGeek code, and send a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who took the time to enter.

If you didn’t win, but still want something free (and who doesn’t want free stuff) then remember, I’m also looking for advance reviewers for Short Frictions, and am rewarding those who step up with both a free e-copy of the book in the format of their choice and a thank-you on the book’s acknowledgements page.

Having lots of reviews is one of those things that helps us indie writers sell books, so not only will you get free stuff if you sign up – you’ll also be doing me a solid.

A Victory Lap

BgLHoe9IEAAVXSsWhile there are obviously some things that aren’t going my way right now (hello, back injury!) there are some things that have happened this week that are nothing short of great. Here is a quick rundown:

Costumes are being designed for “Ace in the Hole”…

And we announced that you can go to see scenes from the play at First in Three scratch night (Newcastle, UK): 


The niche Tumblr I run with @aboleyn got mentioned by a major online site:

…which resulted in our getting over 1200 new followers in a matter of days.

So yeah. The back thing is still a bit of a struggle, but at least there are happy things going on at the same time!

Writing Rewards

I’ve been writing for the last two months. Big deal, I hear you say, you’re a writer. Writers write. Which is true, but some writers do other things, too, like eating and sleeping and talking to other human beings, and I haven’t done much of any of that stuff since the end of October. Well, aside from the eating.

IMAG2507The other thing – what makes the last two months really notable – is that I *finished* complete first drafts for two pretty major projects in those two months. Which, for someone who’s still trying to put together a short story collection about robots months later, is really what’s worth celebrating.

If you’d come to me last year and said by January 2014 I’d have finished a novel and a play, I’d…well, let’s just say I’d probably have snapped something at you about best-laid plans before skulking off to a corner and spitting fire in your general direction. (Creatively, the end of 2012 was Not the Best Time Ever, whatever that old blog entry says.) But here I am, and here they are, two stacks of paper staring back at me, only they’re not really staring back at me because they don’t have eyes. Also because they’re in a drawer. Also, so far I’ve only printed one out.

It’s been a little over six weeks since the end of writing the novel, and in two weeks I’m having an editing kick-off with Sare on that one. Until then it’s just me, my blog and the sense of self-satisfaction that comes from having two projects well underway this early into the new year.

Now, you might be thinking, wow, Rachel has really pushed herself. She really deserves a reward. Would you believe I agree with you? And here’s what I’ve decided would be the best reward for all that hard work: getting to meet a band whose music I’ve gotten a lot from in the past couple years.

See, there’s this band I like.

Twenty one pilots have a fast, lyrical, melodic style that caught me up from the first time I heard their singles “Semi-Automatic” and “Car Radio” (thanks, Spotify!). Their song “Heart of Gold” makes me go all mushy when I hear it. They make me think of what might happen if The Streets crashed into an awesome, practically ska-ish pile of indiepop incrediblity. They’ve played New York a couple of times since I started liking them, but a bunch of other people must like them too because their shows keep selling out.

Enter @aboleyn, musical tastemaker – and, very lucky for me, a friend of mine. She spotted their name on a festival bill – then spotted a contest for VIP tickets and meeting the band.

So that’s what I want, internet and faithful blog readers. I really really want my friend to win this contest so she and I can meet twenty one pilots, because I’ve been working really hard the last two months and cannot yet afford Rowling-style cash to hire bands for private performances. And this is where you come in.

The way we win this contest is by having the most people click onto THIS PAGE. Once a day, if you feel so inclined.

That’s it. No registration, no spammy emails.

Just click and move on with your day. If we win, I will come up with some kind of appropriate thank-you, probably involving embarrassing photos of me fangirling at the band.

All you have to do is click. And maybe ask your friends to click, too.

Which you and your friends can do – and I hope, will do – once a day between now and the 12th.

So that’s where things stand as of January 2014, folks. A commissioned play and a first novel, ready to be put through the rewrite wringer…and me, sitting here, hoping really hard that I’ll get to meet these guys:

And one last time in case you missed the link: click HERE once a day to help us win!