So tonight is the winter solstice. The longest night of the year. The true turn of the year. From this point until Summer Solstice, the days will slowly get longer and longer. Earlier tonight, a friend pointed out an article from a fellow writer suggesting that we stop beating ourselves up for all the things we didn’t get done this year and instead celebrate the things we did do. I thought that sounded like a stress-busting idea, so why not? I’ll divide my 2015 accomplishments into professional and personal.
- I don’t think it’s terrible to say that this one kicked my ass while writing it. Every release has challenges, but this one had extra challenges. The fact that I wrangled this into a book-shaped finished product is kinda amazing. No matter what, I give myself a high five for accomplishing it. (Let’s set aside whether or not I should have accomplished it, because the fact is that I did.) It was Rainbow Award runner-up in Erotic Romance.
- Indra Vaughn and I co-wrote this book. We started in, hm, March, I think? And we had a finished product out in September. I think Indra deserves a lot more credit than I do because she wrote her parts while undergoing serious life-upheaval that might have undone anyone else. I’m incredibly proud of her and I’m proud of what we accomplished together. I think this is one of the most romantic books I’ve had the honor to write. In fact, I know I shouldn’t say this, but it might be my favorite book that I’ve had a hand in making. It wasn’t without difficulties. Co-writing–no, writing–never is, but, hey, look-it. It’s there. It’s just out there in the world being all romantic and lovely and I love it so much.
- Yeah, that’s right. Three novella-length installments of a new serial, co-written with Alice Griffiths. Our goal is for each installment to be “worth it”, so each of them is at least 30,000 words, but most are closer to 35,000 words. I honestly have no idea what that translates into with pages. As a writer, I think in terms of words, but I know that it’s not easy to wrangle words into behaving, and I feel like the pacing and beats of the first three episodes of this serial are fun, funny, and ultimately romantic. I’m having a wonderful time with them. Also, look at Dar’s gorgeous covers! I am proud of what we’ve accomplished, but this one is harder for me, since there is still work to be done, and my main stress in life right now revolves around accomplishing miracles with the timing of the next three releases. BUT THIS IS ABOUT HOW AWESOME 2015 HAS BEEN SO…YAY WILL & PATRICK!
- I was able to re-release Levity (originally Earthly Desires) and Flight (originally Love’s Nest). Keira re-released Rise (originally Ascending Hearts). I didn’t really have to do much. I considered adding and expanding, but decided that the past is better left in the past, and it was better to move onward. So, these books are out with new covers and the names we’d originally planned.
- I worked with Juno Publications to release a French translation of The River Leith (Le Retour de Leith).
- I worked with Monica Rivero to release a Spanish translation of Smoky Mountain Dreams.
- I attended the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City and had an amazing time meeting readers and re-connecting with other authors and bloggers. It was a wonderful experience and I wish I was going to attend again in 2016, but I’ve got some intense writing goals for the year, so I’ll have to pass.
- I attended Rainbow Con in Tampa, Florida. Here I am with Eli Easton. I had an absolutely fantastic time with other authors and with the readers who showed up for the event. There’s nothing like bonding with other authors!
- I beta read a bunch of books. Like a lot of them. And I think I did a good job at it. At least, I hope I did. I was, if nothing else, honest as hell. And sometimes that might feel like hell. But, hey, yay, I told you before the readers did, so WIN!!
- I set up a newsletter! And I’ve sent out a message a month! I’ve enjoyed cultivating recommendations and letting readers know when I have a new release.
- I’m sure I accomplished other things, too. But this is good for now. I feel like less of an abject failure, at least. *high fives self*
- I learned how to cook this year. More than that, I learned to enjoy it. That is huge, utterly massively huge. It’s something I’d never have expected and yet I managed it.
- I learned that parsnips are AMAZING and that my life was incomplete without them. Yes, this is related to #1, but PARSNIPS.
- My daughter is thriving.
- My husband is doing well. Though, honestly, I feel like I should set a goal for 2016 to improve the time we spend together.
- I got Christmas accomplished! Well, kind of. I mean, it’s not over yet and it’s possible I forgot something. We’ll see.
- I tried very hard not to suck as a friend. I guess my success at that should be determined by my actual friends’ opinion, but I did try not to suck. I feel like I failed sometimes and not because of my efforts, but because of life.
- Hmm, maybe I need to do better with personal goals. Like, say, exercise. And being present. And not obsessing about getting books out.
All in all, 2015 was a good year for me. There were some personal struggles because so many people I love dearly are going through hard times, but as far as my day-to-day life goes, it was pretty darn good. So here’s to 2015. You were kinda cool. I loved a lot about you. I wish that you’d been kinder to some of my pals, but I can’t control that. (Boundaries! That’s another thing I’m getting better at as I age, and 2015 was pretty good with boundaries. Most of the time.)
Thank you to all the readers out there! Being a writer wouldn’t be half as much fun without you!