I usually try to do a year-in-review post, and here it is twenty days into the new year. 2018 had plenty of ups and its share of disappointments — what year doesn’t have them? It started with my recovery from having another organ being removed (gallbladder) and ended with a giant health-related question mark, which still needs to be answered (hopefully at the end of this month).
Writing-wise, the year was much the same. In April, I received a full-manuscript request from an agent while I was at the NAFA I & E. You better believe I was jumping and quiet screaming in the hotel room when I received that email at 5 a.m. PDT. Then, months passed. Nothing. A quick email sent as a follow-up. No response. Concerned my email hadn’t made it through, I sent another via my work email and received an auto-reply that noted the agent was on sabbatical and to contact the agency’s owner with questions.
Apparently, the agent had a lot going on in her personal life and had needed to step back. She hadn’t passed along any of the manuscripts that she had received. I was crushed. The agency’s owner invited me to query another agent there, which I did as soon as that agent (the only other agent who accepted my genre) came back from her vacation.
It was hard to start back at square one, but I swore to myself I would. If it worked, stellar! If not, I would self-publish. I have complete faith in the story and its characters.
Perhaps the greatest impact of 2018 was a long bout of depression. It showed in my house. It showed in my habit of coming home and just huddling on my sofa, watching TV or Netflix. It wasn’t until Jan. 1, 2019, that I fully admitted I had been deeply depressed. For one thing, I woke up that day. Clocking in over 22,000 steps, I cleaned my house, peeled back the clutter, put things back into their proper places, and saw clearly again. I had checked out. I had refused to acknowledge it over the course of the year, but I had.
I seem to be on the upside of things again. I’m routinely reading books again and met my Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge — ultimately, reading 23 of 20 books. I hope to highlight some of my 2018 reading highlights this month. For 2019, I hope to double my total reading to 40 books. I probably read a lot more if one counts fanfiction — I do love reading fanfiction.
Progress is also being made on my writing as well. My historical fiction novel is fully researched, plotted, and outlined. I read what I had of chapter one to my local writing workshop, and the overly positive response that I received there fueled me to finish that chapter. I’m now into chapter two. I’m also dusting off the sequel to my sci-fi novel and have made good progress on it (now on page 101). Receiving a request for additional material on Heritage Lost, the first in the series, has given me more drive on this project; though the knowledge that my alpha and beta readers are also waiting to see the series and characters progress is never far from my mind. My goal is to have both — the HF and sci-fi — novels concluded by the end of this year.
So, this is where I stand. With luck, I will update this blog more frequently. I know there is plenty I want to talk about.