January 31, 2023

Monthly Author Check-In, Personal, The Beacon Campaigns

Monthly Author Check-In: January 2023

What I’m Writing: The final Beacons books!
What I’m Reading: Destroyer by Meg Smitherman and The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
What I’m Loving: Lego City: Undercover on the Switch (I know it’s so old, but I just got it and its giving me LIFE)

Seasonal WIP Excerpt

And then, without preamble, Montfort was besieged by snow.

It swept in from the north, pummeling first the plains and then the farmers’ fields. Next came the outer slopes of the city itself, chilling winds trailing ribbons of flakes through poorly patched roofs and beneath the crack of doors and windows; inside, people scrambled, interrupting whatever else they were supposed to be doing as they dropped what few rags they had to patch up the gaps as best they could, lest it turn to ice and wedge the openings wider. The storm clawed its way up the steep hill, winds battering shutters and tossing sheets of white in people’s faces. Travel became all but impossible, and still it pressed on.

Lanali watched it, nestled safe within the walls of the palace, high up on the crest of the crater that the city of Monfort was built on. The storm hadn’t reached the walls yet, only the faintest dusting to line the window ledges and coat the palace lawn, more like a kitchen mistake than anything to be concerned about yet, but the worst of it would come soon enough. Lanali, of all people, knew well how to watch for signs of impending disaster, knew that the relative calm of a situation now may only be the leading edge of a storm that could level your carefully arranged life without the slightest hint of mercy.

Hello friends! I hope your January has been treating you well, and that it sets the stage for a happy and productive 2023.

Mine certainly has.

I started the year with a full-home deep clean, the biggest I’ve ever done. Every closet emptied, every drawer sorted, just about every object that I own taken out, assessed, put back in a place that was more organized and tidy. At the same time, I did some decorating that I’d been putting off for literal years—nothing major, just some art on the walls I was going to frame but decided to put up anyway, some statues and knickknacks that had been in storage since I moved in, now set on shelves. But still.

The combined efforts of these two tasks means that my space is now the nicest, cleanest, and coziest it has ever been. This was how my office looked for most of 2022: Organized, functional—but sparse.

And this is what it looks like now:

I couldn’t be happier.

Some writing updates!

After taking December to work on a “Christmas special” novella for my Hopefuls universe (to be released later this year), it’s been back to All Beacons, All The Time here in the writing cove.

I’ll admit, it took me quite a while to really sink myself back into this universe.

For various reasons, mainly pandemic related, it’s been much, much longer than I ever intended since I released Whispers of the Ice, the previous book in The Beacon Campaigns series. So long that for a while there, I was honestly worried about coming back to it. I’d told myself repeatedly that I had mentally “moved on” from this universe, and while I was determined to finish writing them, I really didn’t know how well that would go. What would it be like, I worried, to come back to these characters after so long? Would I remember any of my plot threads? Would I still have the same “voice” needed to tell these stories?

Well, I’m happy to report that my concerns were completely unfounded. Yes, it took a while to pick it back up, to sort it all out in my head. Yes, it took even longer for me to really find my groove and be comfortable saying that I was back in the correct voice. But oh, I’m there now! These characters have moved right back into my brain, making themselves as comfortable as if they never left, and now every waking moment is consumed with daydreaming about their antics again.

It’s an absurdly good feeling. The last three books I wrote were all pretty challenging for me, in different ways, and honestly after all that I needed a book I could fully sink into like I used to. I’m so, so glad this book is providing that.

Lastly, I was fortunate enough to be a guest on the Strong Women, Strange Worlds Podcast a while ago, and my episode just dropped! You can give it a listen here!