Well, 2013 is on its way out the door, and I can't say that I'm sad to see it go. Looking back on this year, it was a rocky one for me. I had very high highs but very low lows. There was even one point near the beginning of the year that I was praying for a do-over. I have one piece of advice now to give to authors: If your gut is telling you a relationship with an agent or editor is not working out, please listen to your instincts.
With that said, there are some things worth highlighting this year!
I published two books!! Yes, two books. Published. Out in the world with strangers reading them. Kind of hard to believe that I got those books back from my agent in late May, revised them to age-up my characters into the New Adult age range, and then published them. REMOVED was published September 11th. RELEASED was published December 17th. I did everything I could possibly do to promote them on my limited budget including Facebook and Goodreads ads, attending a book signing, having a 99¢ sale, and getting a book trailer made for the series. I think I did a pretty good job and learned a whole lot.
Besides writing and publishing two books, I also guest posted on a few blogs, got interviewed by other bloggers, and had a piece on knitting and Japan published by Tofugu.com.
I knit a few shawls. Admittedly, not 8 in 2013 which was my goal. But when I set that goal at the beginning of the year, I had no idea I was going to be self-publishing two books. That really takes a lot out of you especially when you're juggling two kids and their schools/babysitting and normal everyday life. But the good news is that I love these shawls and wear them all the time especially now that it's cold outside. I'm grateful for my knitting that keeps me warm.
I went on vacation twice. We went to Ocean City, MD as a family and I went on my annual trip to Rhinebeck, NY for the NY Sheep and Wool festival. Both were much needed breaks from my madness. Oh, and KP and I went to Atlantic City for half a weekend. That was also nice.
I hooped outside, the girls ran in the sprinkler every day they could, and my youngest potty trained and transitioned to her big girl bed. Yay!
Now onto the things that didn't go so well…
I did not get the publishing contract I wanted but instead I self-published. All in all, I'm happy that I went this route even as I sit back and watch every author friend around me get the contracts. And this is not to say that traditional publishing is over for me either. I have an idea for a contemporary New Adult romance (a stand-alone book that's not a part of a series) that might be good for a publisher. The future is uncertain but I know it holds lots of books coming from my brain!
I was sick sick sickity sick from January (actually November, 2012) all the way through April with a continuous sinus infection that made me so miserable I cried almost everyday. Then it transitioned straight into spring allergies which I had never had before. Until late June. I am hoping this winter is kinder to me because that really bummed me out big time. I wasn't able to exercise, gained a little weight, and generally was angry at my sinus cavity morning, noon, and night.
Now, summer was a bit of a disappointment to me. The temperature dipped too low to go to the pool for almost all of August. AUGUST. I can't even believe that I can say that. When is it normal for it to be in the 70s in August? I'm a summer person through-and-through and this past summer did nothing for me (despite the photo mosaic above that has some good summer memories). Summer of 2014, you are hereby on notice! I better have temps in the 80s or higher or I will appeal to a higher power.
My grandmother died two weeks ago. She was my last grandparent and the one I was the most close to. She took me in when I needed a place to stay and always sent cards and doted on my children. She prayed for my books to be published, and when they were, she read REMOVED and had the funniest comments about it. I will miss her forever.
And I believe that's it for 2013! We had a good holiday and the kids are happy, and everyone is safe and well. Next post will give you a taste of what's to come in 2014.