2022 in Review

The last twelve months were about 2023. In other words, all the work I’ve done has been future-looking. I have felt as if I were paddling so hard, but in many ways, I’m in the same place I was last year. Or, to mix my metaphor, maybe I’ve edged a little closer to the waterfall, but I haven’t fallen over the precipice–yet.

In the last twelve months:

  • I revised Chick Magnet yet again, adding about 10K to the book (and then pruning it back). I also laid marketing groundwork, because, had I mentioned it?, it’ll release on January 24, 2023.
  • I wrote and revised Funny Guy. The polished word count is 80K, but I suspect I wrote and deleted at least an additional 10 or 12K. This will release on May 16, 2023.
  • I revised and rereleased the entire Political Persuasions series. This includes at least 15K new words, most of which went into “Aspiring” (in The One You Crave). That novella is my only wholly new piece of writing published this year. I also did some marketing for the series, and it’s currently in KU.
  • I researched and then wrote 25K words for a secret project. I’m not super happy with it, so I’ve taken a few steps back, and it’s marinating. Getting this finished and into a submission-worthy state is one of my key goals for 2023.
  • I began work on a major revision/rewrite of a series that’s on my hard drive, with the goal of going out on submission with it early in 2023. I’ve written at least 10K new words for this.
  • I read 56 new-to-me books.

In terms of my 2022 goals, I played piano most days (logging practices on Twitter with the #RomancePianists hashtag). I didn’t start jogging again, alas. I stayed off social media…in fits and starts. But I did write approximately 150K new words, which is my best writing year since 2016. Except I didn’t achieve my stated goal of writing two books. I may need to reevaluate whether two books is achievable for me these days, or whether I have to settle for writing one, plus revision/marketing and life-ing.

Taken as a whole, it was a year of labor that will bloom–or wither–in the next year. I’m not displeased when I look back, but on reflection, my primary emotion is anticipation.

(I’ve been producing some version of this post for as long as I’ve been blogging my writing. You can read about my 20212020201920182017201620152014, and 2013 respectively.)

Things I Really Liked in 2022

How is it the end of the year? I mean…how? It feels as if I just wrote one of these, and yet here I am, writing another one. What I can say for 2022 is that I survived it. But it’s been a low-hanging thing, more endurance than thriving. Despite that, my year was brightened by books and television and music, so let’s focus on the sparkles.

What follows is a list of cultural artifacts that I consumed this year and that I thought were pretty cool. As always, this isn’t a best of list because I simply don’t read, watch, or listen to enough stuff to write one of those. According to my Goodreads challenge, I read 56 books in 2022. That’s decent, but I read across genres enough that I don’t think I could–with a straight face–tell you what the best books of this year were. These are the just the ones I really liked. (And the same goes for music, TV, etc.)

If you’re curious, check out my previous year in reviews: 2021, 2020201920182017, and 2016.

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2021 in Review

There is a way of looking at this year that is triumphant, at least personally. But while I achieved some substantial and long-term goals, as I face the end of the year, my primary emotion is exhaustion.

This was the first year that I haven’t published anything since 2012. While I know that gaps are normal and healthy even, there’s some panicked part of me that feels like it was a year when I lost ground, but I know that’s just the 2021 speaking.

So in the last twelve months:

  • I finished writing and then revised Chick Magnet.
  • After that, I started querying agents. In April, I signed with Sarah Younger, and I can report that she’s AMAZING.
  • I then revised Chick Magnet again, and Sarah took it out on submission over the summer. In October, we announced that we had sold it (and another standalone contemporary romance) to Montlake. The expected publication date is early 2023.
  • Over the summer when I wasn’t frantically refreshing my inbox, I wrote about 15K for a novella. I also wrote proposals for Montlake, and, once they selected one, I began writing that book. I also worked to revise some things for rerelease (more news about that soon). All told, I wrote about 50K words in the last twelve months.
  • I read 58 new-to-me books.

All together, it was a year of sporadic triumph and daily struggle, which makes it pretty much par for the 2021 course. Here’s to hoping that the balance will shift in 2022, and we can all lean harder into the celebration side in the coming year.

(I’ve been producing some version of this post for as long as I’ve been blogging my writing. You can read about my 2020201920182017201620152014, and 2013 respectively.)

Things I Really Liked in 2021

It seems impossible, but it’s that time again! Time for my year in review posts.

This was a marginally more normal year for me in media. In less I sneak a few more in under the wire, I read 58 new-to-me books (see my Goodreads year in review here), not counting rereads, and I listened to LOTS of music. Here’s my Spotify top 100, though I think this is skewed by the fact I mostly listen in the kitchen, and so it doesn’t include the music that I really become obsessed with as I always purchase that. Some of the biggest, buzziest titles didn’t work for me, but the things that did really, really did.

I add my normal caveat that this isn’t a best of the year list, but rather, a list of things I thought were especially meaningful and cool. These are not in a particular order. And as always, you can look back at my previous year in review posts: 2020201920182017, and 2016.

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Things I Really Liked in 2020

This was an odd year for media consumption. I read less than normal and was more meh about books and shows that, in regular times, I’m certain I would have loved. I avoided some big titles because I suspected they would annoy me, but despite that, I found plenty to enjoy and recommend in 2020.

As always, this isn’t a best of list. I don’t think I watched, read, or listened to nearly enough stuff to put one of those together. This is, instead, a list of stuff I happened to really love this year, and it’s offered in no particular order.

One of my most fervent hopes for 2021 is that I’ll be back to normal as a reader and viewer. You can read my best of lists from 201920182017, and 2016 for a peek at what more enthusiastic Emma looks like. ; )

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2020 in Review

How do you spell “annualis horribilis”?

Oh 2020, you were stressful, frightening, and tragic, and no one will miss you. Before we journey on, however, a look back.

  • In 2020, I revised “Appassionata,” and, with my anthology-mates, released He’s Come Undone. The collection is now out of print, but if you simply must have my novella, you can obtain it here. I won’t leave this up forever, but in 2020, we all need free books.
  • I wrote a little more than 60K on a new contemporary romance. I intended to finish it months ago, and I wish I could triumphantly declare my writer’s block over. But…2020. So I’ll have to settle for diffidently telling you that I wrote 80-85% of a manuscript. I hope to complete it in the next week and to be querying by the end of January.
  • Between that book, revisions, and other scraps, I wrote approximately 75K, my best word count in three years. Despite…2020.
  • I also read 53 new-to-me books, my worst reading year in ages. But…2020.

Next year, my most fervent wish is not to have to write but…2021.

(I’ve been producing some version of this post for as long as I’ve been blogging my writing. You can read about my 201920182017201620152014, and 2013 respectively.)

2019 in Review

While it’s true that 2019 was a mildly better writing year for me than 2018 was, I continue to feel “off” creatively.

I’ve been trying to name the source of my writer’s block, per this wonderful post by KJ Charles, and to address the underlying issues that have stripped the joy out of my writing and frozen me.

Around the margins, it’s helped.

  • Genevieve Turner and I finished, revised, and released A Midnight Spark.
  • We finished writing Red Shift, which is currently marinating before we revise and release it hopefully next year.
  • I wrote and began editing a 25K short for a not-yet-announced anthology. Look for news on this in the coming year.
  • I also started and abandoned various projects. But I have two ideas that, at least for the moment, I’m excited about.
  • All together, I wrote about 60K and read 90 new-to-me books.

It’s not where I want to be, but I think I know how to get there, if that makes sense. So here’s to hoping that my 2020 year in review post is triumphant, and that it’s a year fecund with joy and success for you too, dear reader.

(I’ve been writing some version of this post for as long as I’ve been blogging my writing. You can read about my 2018, 2017201620152014, and 2013 respectively.)

Things I Really Liked in 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the moment just before we flip the calendar page when we can take stock and separate the good from the bad and the ugly. Here’s what I would keep from my media consumption this year , what I suspect I’ll reread, relisten to, and rewatch in the years to come.

As is typical, most of these things are recent releases, but a few oldies snuck it. Tell me what I should fill the gaps with in the comments; and if you need more content from me, see my best of lists from 2018, 2017, and 2016.

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2018 in Review

amc look promo

First, the fun part: Round Midnight is currently free. Yes, free! So if you haven’t read this duet of retro Christmas/New Year’s Eve romances, now’s the time. You can get it at AmazoniBooksB&NGoogle Play, and Kobo.

Also, Star Dust won’t be free much longer, so click fast if you don’t have the awakening divorcee and the playboy astronaut next door.

Now onto the disappointments!

2018 was the worst writing year I’ve had since 2011. I barely wrote any new words, I spent most of the year staring at my manuscripts while dread galloped around my mind, and I felt defeated by my desire to be a writer in a way that I haven’t basically ever.

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Things I Really Liked in 2018

As has now become my custom, this is my year in culture in review post. I’m posting it super early because I know I won’t get to read or watch stuff in the next month as I become a holiday wraith. (If you’re curious, I also wrote lists in 2017 and 2016.)

Below are things I listened to, read, or watched this year. Most were released in the last year to two years, though a few are oldies that I only just discovered. I tried to err on the side of more obscure selections, though a few popular choices slipped through. I make no pretense that this list represents the year’s “best” entertainment; it’s merely the culture I enjoyed the most in 2018.


  • Movement,” Hozier: it takes a few views to hear anything given the, um, visuals, but once you’re able to listen, the song itself is soulful, deeply felt, and dead sexy. Here’s to the full album next year!
  • Space Cowboy,” Kacey Musgraves: the title is a pun and it’s the perfect song for Dean and Vivy from Free Fall. But seriously, the entire album is gorgeous, grown up, and an absolute delight.
  • John Field, Complete Nocturnes, Elizabeth Joy Roe: I’m still years from being able to play nocturnes, but when I get there, I’ll start with Field. And maybe in a decade or two I’ll be able to pretend to play this well. It’s a lovely collection, made more special in that you don’t know it the way you do Chopin.
  • Redbone,” Childish Gambino: so I found “This is America” to be a bit glib (I know), but when it was everywhere, I dug into Gambino’s backlist and fell hard for “Redbone.” That Donald Glover has it going on.
  • Pristine,” Snail Mail: I almost, almost saw Snail Mail live this summer, and if I had, I would have properly been able to brag I knew about them first. I’ll have to settle for this instead: I love Lindsey Jordan’s voice and lyrics and I bet you will too.

Continue reading “Things I Really Liked in 2018”