Bonus Blog – Achievements of 2013


Today I’d like to talk about all the things we achieved. Part of it is linked to the wonderful slips of paper from the Good Things Jar, but most of those things are personal. They are things that, while good for us, are mostly great for the brain behind us.

Confused? If you’re new to the blog you probably will be. If not, then… have you been paying attention?

The names Ileandra Young and Raven ShadowHawk are pseudonyms employed by one woman. We, that is to say, Raven and I, are two sides of the same coin. So while we have our own goals, the mind behind us has a life outside ours. And that is what the Good Things Jar was for.

Anyway. This post is to remind us of just how much we have managed to achieve through the course of 2013 and to show us that no matter how flat we feel, how tired we get, how rough the way ahead looks, we’ve done plenty to be proud of.


photo of meIleandra Young has:

Maintained and continued to write to this blog
Seems like a small feat when put this way, but raising twin boys (or any children, for that matter) is a full time job. I gave up my day job to be able to do this and though it is terrifying, I still feel that it was the right thing to do. I have more time now, than I would have done if still working, to do all the writing projects I want to do and I get to see my boys grow. Can’t fault that.

Entered several short story (9) and flash fiction (7) competitions
I only totted this up yesterday. Can’t quite believe that it’s been that many submissions. No wins, but the act of submitting is what puts me in the running and I’m proud of that. It gets me out there. It lets the world know that I’m here and that I have a story to tell. And one day I’ll win… one day.

Developed a system of establishing goals and meeting them daily/weekly/monthly with tangible success
My posts about goals are more for me than for you and the effect it has had on my out put is immense. You can see that by putting things into lists and breaking it all down, everything is advancing in leaps and bounds. The habit is something would recommend for all of you, in whatever form suits you best.

Built a strong collection of flash fiction and short stories suitable for submission/publication
It’s always useful to have a store of material. Things that can be modified for last minute competition entries, or put together into a collection at a later date. Most of these are from competition entries, but others are just small things I wrote in a quite moment. Each and every one is something to be proud of and one day they’ll all have a home. Even if that’s just on this blog.

Completed NaNoWriMo in 11 days and completed novel draft in 22 days (personal best)
Never in a million years did I anticipate such speed. And I put that down to having a working outline. Something I’ve never done before. It allowed me to whizz through writing the piece which, even in first draft, is far better than any other incarnation to date. Silk Over Razor Blades is now on its way to becoming a physical book that I can hold in my hands. The day is coming and it will be this year. I’ve never been more excited.


picture of me wearing my LARP hornsRaven ShadowHawk has:

Stepped out of the closet
Rather than ‘hiding’ behind me, Raven now has her own presence on this blog, Twitter, Facebook and, frankly put, anywhere else I poke my nose. It’s nice to have company out there, y’know? And it means that we’ve both met a lot of interesting and talented people.

Published ‘Vicki & Lara’
It might not make sense since Raven is my ‘other half’ but I’m very jealous of this achievement. In the space of a year Raven has stepped out from my shadow proven herself worthy and published through Little Vamp Press. And there are more in the pipe line. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the count down at the top of the blog, but Jan 31 is the release of the next story in that series. Look out for it!

Made decisions about future works and self publishing
Following the actions of Kobo and WH Smiths Raven has taken the massive decision to publish all of her work through our publishing label Little Vamp Press. The idea of control is attractive to her – go figure – and while we both know it’s a harder route to take, the learning curve involved is something we both anticipate enjoying. So well done her.

Really not bad over all. There’s a good deal more, I’m sure, but we don’t have all day. Consider this post the highlights of our achievements in 2013 and our promise to do more in the year coming up.

What about you? How are your achievements of 2013? Why not take a moment to sit down and look back at all the wonderful things you’ve done. I’ll bet you’ll find that you’ve done far more than you realised. ^_^
custom signature for Ileandra's blog posts

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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