2020 Year in Review

I want to say at the outset that it’s been such a horrible year I’m just planning to focus mostly on my blog and writing here. Many others (it seems) are posting more detailed analysis of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, so check those out if that’s what you’re looking for.

All I wish to say about Covid-19 is that I feel very fortunate that I live in New Zealand. When the community transmission was still only beginning here, the government declared a lockdown and closed the borders. To date we’ve only lost 25 people due to Covid and there’s been no community transmission for some time. The only current cases are people that have recently returned to this country and all are in quarantine. It does help my country is a group of relatively remote islands… Here we can attend events and go to bars and restaurants without worrying about being infected. That said, seeing what is happening overseas is horrifying with over 1.8 million dead, so far, and a new strain that is far easier to transmit. The good news is that there are vaccines now, but it will take some time before large enough numbers of people are vaccinated to have any dent in the transmission and death rates… Still at least we’re going in the right direction.

It was a strange year for me. I never really felt that settled until towards the end of the year. I had to move twice, was homeless for a little while, and there were several other dramas that I don’t wish to mention. I wrote a lot, but as I completed two novels the previous year, I felt like I did nothing substantial this year, aside from getting My Life In Darkness ready to send off to a publisher, if ever requested. The Sky-Pirates of Durn is still mostly unedited.

It was a year of growth for my blog. At the start of the year until around April the viewing rates of my blog were in steady decline, but as the year wore on the blog views began to increase again. October was the first month my blog had over 2000 views. My goals of getting to 900 followers was achieved in November, and my other goal of getting to 17,500 views for the year was achieved on the very last day of the year. Pretty amazing timing really.

Here are some figures:

Views 17,513 (+2,113 from 2019)

Likes 10,266 (+1,498)

Comments 2,217 (+196)

Posts 264 (-6)

I was surprised to find out I had done less posts than the previous year. I thought it would be more.

The top countries viewing my blog were from the United States (39.4%), India (18.5%), and the United Kingdom (10.5%). The views from my own country continue to slide downwards. In 2018 there were 388 views from New Zealand (8.8%), in 2019 it had gone down to 238 (1.5%), and now in 2020 it was down to 141 views (0.8%). I find that really disappointing.

I think my biggest highlight of the year for me was doing the 13 Days of Samhain in October. I did 13 days of continuous posts based on a prompt. I had never done anything like that before. In fact I did 17 posts over those 13 days as I was also doing my usual other prompt responses as well. Out of those posts, my two favourites were the The Dead Dance (which was a bit cruel I guess) and The Thinning of the Veil (which I think ended them well).

My repost of the poem Falling in Love was the most viewed post of the year, followed by Therapy, and Broken.

Future Plans and Goals

This year I want to do another weekly ongoing story like I did in 2019. At the moment I’m undecided whether to do Journey of the Sorcerer (set 1000 years before The Sky-Pirates of Durn, and is a sort of prequel) or Oracle (a science fiction story). If you have any preferences let me know.

I also left Dumb Vampires unfinished, so I plan to do the last four parts of that at some point.

I want to send My Life In Darkness to a publisher at some stage this year and also get the Sky-Pirates of Durn edited.

Goals for my blog this year include getting to 1400 followers, and getting over 20,000 views.

I want to thank everyone who reads, comments, or likes my posts. Thanks also to those who have given me advice or support during the year. I would also like to thank Charli Mills, Crispina Kemp, and Sammi Cox for all the wonderful writing prompts they’ve provided all year.

Thanks everyone! ❤️

Please donate! 🙂

©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Aalen’s Saga: The Hunter due out early 2021

All going well I hope to have the e-book of Aalen’s Saga ready in January/February. I’m not sure what platforms it will be available on yet, but I’ll keep you posted on where it can be found. If this project is successful, then I have further ideas for e-books, so this could be the first of many.

Currently I have a friend who is an artist doing a cover and some interior artwork for the book.

If anyone is able to provide links with step by step instructions on how to make and publish an e-book that would be greatly appreciated 🙂

Please donate! 🙂

©️2020 Joanne Fisher

My poem “Blackcurrants” in Catalyst 17



My poem Blackcurrants has been published in the latest Catalyst. I am grateful to the editors.




 you fill large enamel pots

with ripe blackcurrants

the warm air pungent

& sticky with their juice


I was never sure what

you did with them all


those bushes are gone now

along with your pruned roses

& the willow tree

& you


yet here I am always

looking up at you

your back bent picking

from the rows of bushes

with overflowing basins

at your feet



Joanne Fisher



Please donate! 🙂



©2020 Joanne Fisher


Pitch Wars Help Needed

I’m currently participating in #PitMad and have a tweet pitching my novel My Life in Darkness.

#PitMad is where writers pitch an unpublished novel to agents or editors who make requests to see the work by liking the tweet. So please don’t like the tweet, as that is for agents and editors to do. You can read more about it here: PitMad

If you wish to help me and you’re on Twitter, please consider retweeting my tweet to help signal boost it. My Twitter is @joannefisher63.

Thanks for your help 🙂

My DNA Test Results and Other Stuff


The only actual Christmas present I got was a DNA kit from my brother. I had to spit into a receptacle (which I found revolting by the way) and then sent it off for testing. Unfortunately they couldn’t extract any DNA from the sample I sent (which I thought was interesting) so they sent me another one and I had to do it all over again. Yesterday I finally saw the results and found it quite surprising:



What was interesting was my brother’s had around 17% Italian and 3% Spanish, and those are totally missing from my results. My mother’s side has Italian ancestry which it seems I have no DNA from. We don’t know where the Spanish comes from either. I have more Irish DNA than my brother (he had 21%). The best my brother and myself can speculate is that I have more DNA from my father’s side (Fisher-Stedman) and my brother and, presumably my sister, have more DNA from my mother’s side (Shortridge-Esposito) as they have the same sort of body shape and look. Ancestry makes it clear that Sam and I are definitely siblings, but our DNA is surprisingly different. At least my brother’s has a wider geographical spread; all my DNA comes from a small(ish) circle. I find it all very fascinating.




And I’m 5% Viking!


Other news:

*I found on a book publishers website that they have a Friday pitch, which means you can send them a first chapter and synopsis of your book and the in-house editors will take a look at it. I’m thinking about sending them a submission to see what they say. They don’t want any fantasy or science fiction at the moment (and presumably this covers horror too) but I thought if I sent them the first chapter of my vampire novel and state it’s a novel about a lesbian relationship with supernatural elements, that might help get my foot in the door perhaps. Something to think on.

*I approached a New Zealand poetry publisher about putting together another collection of poetry and he sent a me back an email saying that while he wasn’t into publishing that much at the moment he asked me to send him five poems to look at. So now I have to decide which ones I send him…

*I also sent a submission of poems to a journal for the first time in ages a month ago. I actually prefer to publish stuff here as I get more responses to it than I ever did in publications. The trouble with sending stuff to journals, from my perspective, is that you wait a long time to get a response, and if your work is accepted then you wait another long time for it to appear in the publication, and once it appears, then that’s it. In my experience you get little to no feedback once it’s published, and I always found that unsatisfying.


Have a great weekend everyone!


Please buy me a coffee! 🙂

Thoughts About My Durn Story


I was going to write a blog about my five favourite fantasy worlds, but I will leave that for another time. With all the writing I’ve been doing it’s not made me the most sociable person lately, not that I was before anyway. I live with six others in a house. I only usually see my flatmates when I go downstairs to get something to eat or drink and I’m usually lost in my thoughts. If they’re lucky I might remember to grunt a “hello” at them. After that I go back up the stairs to my bedroom. I think my flatmates have got used to Zombie Joanne by now, at least I hope they have.

Lately I’ve been having a conversation in the comments section of another person’s post, and it’s got me thinking about things, in particularly my Durn story, over the last couple of days.

When I first began writing the Durn story it began as a humourous fantasy story set in the fantasy world I created as a teenager (it was my setting for Dungeons and Dragons) that I was serialising. However 14 parts on and it’s getting very long and more serious and seems to be turning into a novel. My plans for it was to get to around 30 chapters which would be about 80,000 words given the chapter lengths, and once I’ve completed the story I was going to begin doing a second draft of it as the tone needs to be consistent, and there are some parts I’d like to rewrite or expand. So it’s getting all rather serious.

The issue I’ve been thinking about is that if I do want to turn this into a novel, is putting it up in chapters on WordPress something I should really be doing? Initially I started with the idea that Charles Dickens serialised his novels, and if it was ok for Dickens to do this, then it should be ok for me. But the publishing world has presumably changed a lot since Victorian England. An issue that was raised was would a prospective publisher be interested in publishing it if it had already be published episodically on WordPress, albeit in slightly different form?

My track history in finishing novels I’m working on is not good. There are several I have attempted in the past but stopped writing due to a number of reasons. I have found writing a serialised story on WordPress has actually been quite good for me as there is an audience willing to read each installment and that has helped me keep working on this story.  At the moment it stands at around 39,000 words, and I’ve certainly never got that far before.

Anyway that is where my head is at right now. Should I continue posting the Durn story on WordPress? Do you think publishers would care it’s been serialised on WordPress? Or maybe I shouldn’t care and just continue writing and publishing each chapter as I have been doing? If anyone has any thoughts about this please feel free to comment.

I’ll leave you with a random picture of a solar eclipse taken from the International Space Station that I found recently 🙂