Hi all! I’m back to give you a recap of my 2019, since all the cool kids are doing it…
No one single major thing to share this year, but a number of disconnected things:
- Early in the year, my social dance community voted to move to gender-free terminology, which is more LGBTQIA-friendly and less ableist, among other things. I was one of the people who made that happen (including writing most of the text at that first link).
- I turned 40 in the fall and had a lot of big feelings about that.
- Two months ago, I started taking antidepressants after a lifetime of fighting with my brain (and yes, after trying therapy and all the holistic/lifestyle/self-care methods you might think of…many of which I’m still doing). It’s been really good so far, but also it’s early days yet. I think the reverberations will be happening for a while.
On the publishing front:
- My co-conspirators at Turtleduck Press and I released Love Shines Through, an anthology set in the Fractured World (the world of City of Hope and Ruin). Each of us wrote one longish short story centered around a romance. Mine is called “The Shadow of the World” and features a pair of queer lovers reuniting to save a child and their community.
- I won third place in the Queer Sci Fi annual flash fiction contest for the second time (!), with my story “The Woman With No Name.” The 2019 contest theme was migration, and you can read all the winning stories in the anthology of the same name. (The first time was a theme of renewal.)
- Back at Turtleduck Press, I’ve been writing Coat of Scarlet, a pirate/tailor steampunk romance in serial form. (Why yes, I did pick “tailor” just so I could geek out about allll the 18th-century clothing details.) It’s ongoing, and there are five installments up so far.
And because publishing is not all there is to writing, here’s what else has been happening:
- I beat my previous yearly record for submitting short stories to markets and contests. I was aiming for 12 submissions, an average of one a month; I didn’t quite hit that, but I did make it to 10. That represents 6 different stories; 3 of the submissions were reprints (already published elsewhere). Of those 6, 2 have sold, and 1 is still out on submission.
- I tried National Novel Writing Month for the first time in ages, after winning (i.e., writing 50K in a month) multiple years in a row, a decade ago. I did not win, but I finished November with 13K words on my first new novel in several years. Then December hit and I haven’t gotten any further, but I’m looking forward to working on it again.
- Aside from NaNo, I’ve been focusing on short stories – polishing up some older ones and working on a few new ones in various stages of completion.
There were some periods during the year when my writing dried up – see note above about antidepressants. I’m hoping that things will flow more easily now…
And some bonus news: I’ve already logged my first publication of 2020 over at Turtleduck Press – two poems in memory of Ursula K. Le Guin, along with an introduction explaining how they came to be. (In case you didn’t know, I also blog monthly over there, alternating with my three co-conspirators.)
This blog is likely to be updated haphazardly, though you can expect more posts than usual this January, as I’m still in “year/decade in review” mode. 😉 If you want to follow what I’m up to, head over to my Instagram. I’m also hoping to start an author newsletter this year, so stay tuned for that (and if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it!).
Wishing you all a happy 2020!