So I hope that everyone had a great end to 2017, and that the start of this new year is treating you well. For me, well, 2017 was something of a mixed bag all around. It had some amazing highs in my personal and professional life, all stemming from the release of The Private Life of Jane Maxwell–which was just recently discussed/reviewed on, and can I just take a second to say that I have literally no idea how to process this? I mean, if you had asked me beforehand to put aside all expectations and questions of realistic and practical, and said to pick one website for my book to appear on–like, go ahead and shoot for the stars, girl, it’s just a game–I may well have picked

Yeah, so that was a nice start to 2018.

Life and my part-time job have released me from their clutches now, and I have been back to my usual schedule for about a week. I started off feeling really light and refreshed, full of optimism for how easy it would be to jump back into drafting my novels at full speed. That… has not happened yet. Which isn’t to say that I’m not working on them, I am, it’s just that The Beacon Campaigns 4 is a tangled mess of emotions to work on, and it turns out that Hopefuls 2 is going through about as many iterations as The Lady of Souls did. Which is to say: A LOT. My motto from the beginning of this book has been that I need to work out everything this story ISN’T before I can find what it IS. The good news is that (a) I am feeling more confident about the direction it’s taking, and (b) I have since learned to plan out everything in my notes rather than committing to drafting tens of thousands of words without really KNOWING where I’m going, so all of this effort of figuring out a story and then throwing it away repeatedly is being done in the conceptualization phase, and it’s SO MUCH EASIER/FASTER, you have no idea.

I’m chipping away at it, little by little, and in the space between I am consuming Helpful Media, the kind of books and TV shows and movies that get my brain spinning in all the right directions. It’s all part of the work. Art is messy.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get back to my blogging schedule from last year. I still have a list of topics I’d like to discuss, but I think I am going to ease back in first off by discussing some of the fantastic stories that I’ve discovered in 2017, and some of the ones I am most looking forward to in 2018. So look out for that, soon.

Also, I really don’t make formal New Years resolutions, but if you’re curious, here are some of the non-work-related things that I am trying to focus on in these first few months of 2018:

  • Finally getting through some of the unread books on my bookcase
  • Improving my drawing skills by playing with comics, because why not
  • Continuing to learn more about poetry and short stories
  • Try out several of the graphic novel series that I’ve been eyeing forever, hello
  • Get back to learning the piano

2018 is going to be about balance, I think. Wish me luck.