Monday, December 28, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

Can we just write this one off? Seriously. I had a bad year. I will chalk it up to a big change at work that had ripple effects that keep on giving. And then a couple writing wrecking balls that just compounded matters, shook my confidence and threw me for a loop. I am trying my darndest to adapt and finally making a bit of progress, but here is how things panned out.


ABNA did NOT happen last year. So while I got the book I intended to submit pretty ready (I've not had 2 rounds of feedback and think I can get it there) THAT threw a crimp in my plan... And my agent didn't like What Ales Me and fired me... we parted ways. Whatever. She was amazing to give me the chance she did, but she never really quite got me anyway. And then with the day job stress making the day job suck up all my energy, I just fumbled all year on the writing front. I failed at BuNoWriMo (first WriMo fail ever. (I have 12 wins to my record if I count both NaNo and BuNo), so Summer of Bones is only half done and one of the two mysteries I wrote I am really unhappy with. (the November one is a keeper)--so only one book in 2015 I am willing to call “written” and it is a few iterations from sharable. NO books editing to the point of being happy... In my frustration I also fell into several TV shows, which is fun and all, but bad for productivity...

The Recovery Plan to be shared later this week.


Weight lost in late 2014 gained back and new scale highlighted that the situation was much more dire than I'd even guessed.


The Childings, Christmas Eve

This stuff went okay. No big emergencies. My daughter is working. My son has gotten 3 college acceptance letters (one with a nice scholarship). My house is a disaster, but I've not historically aspired to neatness.


I was going to read a book a month from a writer friend... I think I came close, let's see:

Dragon of the Stars by Alex Cavanaugh
Nasty by Bret Wright
Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman (met through a local book event, not social media)
A Twist of Hate by VR Barkowski
City of Refuge by Diana Wilder
Tower of Bones by Connie Jasperson
Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter (who I met because she is localish, rather than social media)
Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman
Running from the Past by Alan Orloff
The Boy Who Fell From the Sky by Jule Owen (I don't know her but I won this through one of you, so I believe she is part of this blogosphere)

And am currently reading a Mary Pax Sci Fi western story, so should be done by the start of the year.

So that will be 11 by year end. Plus I discovered a few authors I really really love. Maggie Stiefvater—I read 4 of her books this year and eagerly await another. Andrew Smith—hooked not just myself, but my son, too. And that will be 26 books for the year (of published, as opposed to a couple pre-published I also read... That is a reasonable pace to me. And fails to count the re-reading of the Song of Ice and Fire series I am doing in prep for Winds of Winter.


I did not manage to be interesting. This makes me sad. I used to be so entertaining... When life is heavy it is hard to be light.

Shows the curls AND the fact I need to lose weight
Surprise Positives

I finally figured out what one does with curly hair. I've spent years in midwest humidity with just fuzz... I could see the potential for awesome but it wasn't to be. But in around March I read something and talked to a friend with curly hair and made some changes. I quit completely rinsing out the conditioner. I only run the comb through ONCE, when it is still pretty drippy, then use my fingers for all manipulation after, I use an olive oil product to keep the fuzz down. And I now have ringlets... real curly hair, not Hermione fuzz.

I also figured out how to make the DVD player play Netflix and Amazon Prime. I know. Small victories. But Netflix is having some awesome originals, so this is nice.

So Wednesday or Thursday I will share my hopes and plans for 2016, but I thoroughly expect it to be a better year...


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - life throws curve balls and I'm sure you'll overcome in 2016 ... so many of us are in the same boat - or similar. The kids look amazing and I'm so happy for them and you ... take care and all the best for 2016 - cheers Hilary

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm with you on saying goodbye to 2015 - it was a rough year around here. Good luck to us all in 2016! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry this year was such a bummer on the writing and work front.
Honored that my book was one you read this year. I'm also trying to read at least one book from each blogger buddy. Not by the end of the year, but before the end of my lifetime. I might actually hit that goal. And if you really want to hit twelve books this year, read one of Pat Hatt's kids book.
Hope 2016 is better!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's frustrating when you spend time writing something and then you're unhappy with it. I hope next year is more productive.

And my hair may be naturally straight, but it can friz out in humidity with the best of them.

February Grace said...

I hope 2016 treats you well. 2015 was a nightmare... glad to see it go.

Thinking of you.

xoxo bru