Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Looking Back at 2016 Goals

In a post dated 1/6/16 I noted my writing goals.

My 2016 goals are: 

1.) Finish Persephone #7.

2.) Hopefully spend some time doing the 'author/editor back and forth dance' on an unrelated fantasy novel that *should* come out fall of 2016.

3.) Finish and find a home for unrelated modern fantasy A or unrelated modern fantasy B. Or both. A has a good start, but short. B is 60% done...but the ending wasn't coming together...until, while watching a speculative TV show, something they said sparked a wild idea that over the course of an hour blossomed into the ending I'd been searching for.


1.) I did not finish Seph #7 but I have completed the plotting and did get it up to about 50k. I told people it would be out late 2016 or eaerly 2017, as my plan then was to self-publish. But other things have come into play with another publisher and until that is decided, no Seph. /sorry, I want it too!!!/

2.) I have done the dance. Publisher went through some internal changes to spring from just ebook to include print and distribution, so their pub dates were pushed back. I will do a cover reveal in the weeks to come for the book to be released in May 2017. -SQUEE-

3.) I have worked on both A and B and garnered some interest in both but, alas, I have no specific news to report on either.

While 2016 was not a rousing career related success, it was a spectacular success on the personal front.

At the onset of 2016, my goals seemed like a study of character internal and external motivations.

I was a single mom with a slightly-better-than-minimum-wage job with no hope of income growth. Although my workplace was a positive place to be, I was actively looking for something with better pay and benefits. I was also the only employed person in the house with two boys, a live-in mother and my nephew.

Something had to give and, honestly, it was me. It was always me. The octogenarian mother wasn't going to work. That was a no-brainer. The children weren't going to work. That only left me and a lot of weight on my shoulders. Looking back, I completely understand the inability to sleep and the depression.

My personal goals were:

Internal  I wanted love in my life. Someone to hold on to and be held by, someone to share everything: the good the bad, the laughter and the tears, the joy and the burdens.

External   I just wanted the time and focus to write well and the chance to continue building the career I wanted, the career I had for a time and seemed to have lost.

Neither seemed possible. Right after Christmas, with the taxes and the homeowners insurance bills looming, a leaking hole in the roof forced me to take some kind of action. After consideration, I had two options...and I pursued both. 1.) I worked two jobs in February and March. It felt like I would never get to write again...but people were fed and the house payment made, the leak fixed, and the heat was still on. That was most important, right? And 2.) I did something I didn't ever want to do: I hired a lawyer and sought child support for the first time. I had to assume that it would ruin the 'hospitable' relationship with the ex. With my boys "in the middle" that was not a decision I made lightly.

For the vast majority of creative people, this is the very thing that restrains: life and the the day-to-day responsibilities. Stress eats creativity like a ravenous animal with a delicacy -- no savoring, no consideration, just a one-gulp devouring of that stuff of dreams.

But I am stubborn. A writer is who and what I am. I cannot not write. But having touched the profession and being unable to maintaint my grip in that world left me feeling inadequate, fraudulent, and a failure. But, let me say it again, I am stubborn. I want what I want. And there are some things my spirit has not the capacity to give up.

That persistence served me well. Things began to turn around.

Concerning the external frontier, Ragnarok bought one of my older novels. It's been reworked a bit and will be released in May 2017. It is a story I am quite proud of.  The other books will be getting attention soon -- a lot of attention. I am once again in a position to write during a majority of my time. Now settled into the house and the new{old} routine, its all coming back to me.

Why? How? That al stems from the internal...

Concerning the internal frontier, a man I loved twenty years ago re-emerged into my life. This time, everything fell into place and fit like puzzle pieces. We got married and bought a house. It has been a whirlwind year, and I couldn't be happier (ok, well a NYT bestseller could make me happier, but yanno).

I love and am loved. I have met goals and made new ones. I know joy and I try like mad to spread it around. I wish this for you all, right now.

May you have the Merriest, Happiest, and Most Joyful Holiday with the people you love most around you, laughing, hugging, and making memories you will cherish.