2016 in Review

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Here you go, 2016, have some lobster Jello…and two of the books I worked on this year.

Let’s do this again (here’s 2015, 2014, and 2013)! In the past 12 months, I have done the following things:

  • With Genevieve, I finished/edited/released Earth Bound, wrote/edited/released A Midnight Kiss, wrote Star Crossed, and knocked out a big chunk of Fly Me to the Moon 6. Whew.
  • On my own, I finished a secret thing. I should have an announcement about it soon. (And it is EXCITING.)
  • I finished another secret thing, which led to signing with an agent. I am currently ripping this secret thing in half, which is a pain, but when I’m done, I’ll have two books.
  • Total words written this year: somewhere between 150K and 200K.
  • I read 70 new to me books for my Goodreads challenge. (Plus re-reads, beta reading, current events, and student papers. My eyes consumed a lot of words.)
  • I ran a 5K. Jogged, really, but still: did not walk.
  • I started playing the piano again.

In 2017, Genevieve and I will probably release two Fly Me to the Moon books, and I’ll have at least one thing on my own. Here are some of my other goals: I want to get Deidre a manuscript she can start shopping. I want to finally do some self-publishing on my own. I want to run another 5K but faster. I want to write damn good books. I want to credibly play Bach.

This has been a breath in, breath out year, but one paragraph, one measure, one step at a time, I’ve gotten through it. Here’s hoping 2017 is productive and joyous.

(And not to be all self-promo-y, but if you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve read, may I suggest Round Midnight?)

Things I Really Liked in 2016

Poor 2016, so maligned, so deeply sad. A prelude to tragedy, perhaps. But–in an utterly selfish way–it was a decent reading/listening/viewing year for me. I don’t write proper reviews on the blog. It feels a bit weird. I have strong opinions, and I often share these on social media and in real life, but if I’m not willing to be critical, then it feels wrong to write formal squee! reviews. So this isn’t that, it’s just a list of things I really liked.

Some of these are late 2015 releases that I didn’t consume until 2016, but most are from this year. I tried to stick with things that were, in my opinion, under-buzzed; things that, in other words, you may not have heard of. A few big books/movies/etc. slipped in anyhow. Cheers, and tell me yours (or link!) in the comments!

Continue reading “Things I Really Liked in 2016”

2015 in Review

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Let’s do this again! In 2015,

  • I released Party Lines, a book I’m fiercely proud of;
  • Gen and I finished writing Star Dust, plus we edited and released it;
  • Gen and I wrote, edited, and released A Midnight Clear;
  • I got the rights back for Brave in Heart;
  • I finished a novella in The Easy Part series, though whether I’ll publish it is unclear;
  • I wrote 20K on a standalone novella (and I may have figured out what to do with it!);
  • Gen and I wrote a good chunk of Earth Bound; and
  • I wrote a good chunk of two other books, each of which would kick-off a new contemporary series.

My total words written this year is again in the 100K-range, which isn’t where I’d like for it to be, so I need to get that side of things in gear. I also read 50ish new-to-me books (plus I did a lot of comfort re-reading).

My goal for next year is to publish (or republish) four projects, to query agents with the contemporary romance I’m writing, and to work more consistently and happily and with less self-consciousness.

I’m wishing you, dear reader, a happy and healthy 2016.

2014 in Review

2013 was a fantastic one in my writing life: I sold and released Brave in Heart and sold The Easy Part series. 2014 was more measured. Don’t get me wrong–wonderful things happened. For example:

  • I released Special Interests. Some people read it. Some peopled reviewed it (and some of them liked it). All of this shocked and delighted me.
  • I edited and released Private Politics. Ditto with readers and reviewers. Ditto ditto with shock and delight.
  • I wrote and edited Party Lines, which’ll be out in a few weeks. I’m nervous about it but I also love it and I think it’s different from everything else I’ve written–hopefully in a good way. (Don’t forget to enter my giveaway, which ends tonight.)
  • I wrote many beginnings and middles of books, both historical and contemporary…but none of them sold, or are scheduled, or are even finished.
  • I read lots of wonderful books and wrote many blog entries.
  • I defended my dissertation.

My words of fiction written this year total is probably in the 100-120,000 range, which is less than I had hoped. So my goal for next year is to write consistently.

I hope to have more releases next year after Party Lines: watch this space for updates. But in the meantime, I’m thankful for the people I’ve gotten to know writing. Most of all to Gen Turner, who is awesome beyond belief, but all the people I talk to on Twitter, the people who’ve read and reviewed my books, and everyone who has edited and promoted them: you rock!

Here’s to hoping for words and inspiration and joy in 2015.

2013 in Review

The last twelve months have been strange, which is to say stranger than normal because the baseline in my life is, well, strange. At the start of the year, I had many goals and most have not been achieved. But here is what I did do!

  • I wrote about 100,000 words of fiction, which included finishing the book that’s now called Special Interests, writing a sequel to it, and starting three other projects. I also wrote innumerable words of non-fiction, emails, and blog posts (some highlights of the latter).
  • sold a book and then, because that had been so much fun, I sold three more.
  • My first novel, Brave in Heart, came out in July, whereupon I discovered convincing people to read your book might actually be more difficult than writing one.
  • But the sting of that faded because working with critique partners, beta readers, and editors who take you and your work seriously is awesome.
  • I revised Special Interests and now I can’t wait for you to read it (April 7, 2014; mark that down someplace).
  • I read many wonderful books, and even more articles, blog posts, and tweets about books. I generally came to feel like contemporary print culture is a vibrant place that I want to contribute to in as many ways as I can.

But for the past few weeks, I have been feeling very doldrum-y. My writing and creative process is like a tide. I’m the sun-bleaching-the-coral moment, waiting for inspiration to sweep back in. I know this: next year, I want to read more words, to write more and better words, and to work more productively and consistently.

As Yul Brynner once said in a movie, “So let it be written; so let it be done.”

I’ll see you in 2014!