2019: The Year Things Looked Up

Bidding farewell to a fairly memorable year. Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Well, now.

From “My Big Fat Year of Womp-Womp and Fail” at the end of 2018:

“I’m hopeful that if I’m still no closer to my dream of an agent and/or a book deal, I will at least be able to say by the end of 2019 that I’ve worked hard at these workshops and improved my craft. When you get right down to it, those are the only things that are truly under my control.”

I was in a pretty bad place when I wrote that entry last year, and no wonder. After the highs of 2017, 2018 seemed like one rotten egg after another. 

I’m happy to report that my hopes for better things in 2019 came true.

First and foremost: My dream of a book deal became a reality. I still have to pinch myself whenever I remember that Tidepool is on its way out into the world. Getting that news in August and getting to share it in October were the high points of the year. Seeing my writeup in Publisher’s Marketplace was almost surreal. Christmas parties were a lot more fun this year for getting to talk about The Book Deal. 

I also attended two writing workshops, a major step out of my comfort zone. I got great feedback from respected professionals in the field as well as up and coming writers who you’ll definitely be hearing more from soon, and I made some friends I hope to keep for a long time. When I got back from Futurescapes, I sat down and gave Tidepool one last polish. That’s the manuscript Parliament House got, and I truly believe the things I learned at Borderlands Boot Camp and Futurescapes were the final touches the manuscript needed to become publishable. 

While I’m still not having a lot of luck with The Keeper of the Key, the YA horror I’ve been querying, I did get a few requests from agents. 

Towards the end of the year, I got back into my Weekly Knob groove and got more short fiction posted, and for the first time I won one of their Power Prompt prizes with this story.   

And beyond writing stuff, this was a pretty cool year in general. I’ve never been to Utah, and it’s gorgeous. In June, we went to New York City on the way to a family event. At an interactive exhibit at the Rubin Museum, I set the intention to write a new novel in 2019, and I did. In early December, Bill and I traveled to Montreal to see Kid Koala’s Storyville Mosquito. We had a great time at the show and in Montreal; I even managed to speak French well enough that a restaurant host gave us a French-only menu, although the jig was up when the server came to take our orders. I read French pretty well, but speaking it? Even when I know what the person talking to me is saying, I can’t quite summon up the words to respond.

In early October, Bill and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary (!) and adopted this goofball.

Leo says “Hi” and also “Feed me.”

While Leo is not integrating into our cat family quite as smoothly as I might have hoped, he’s a sweetie and with time, he is starting to settle down.

This year was not all leaping from triumph to triumph, alas. I didn’t get into any of the mentoring programs I applied to, and I still don’t have an agent.

And in a weird coda to 2017, the job I got just before I got into Pitch Wars with Tidepool is going away next year. And that sucks, a lot; I genuinely liked that job and all the people I worked with, and I’m not sure what’s coming next employment-wise.

But you know what? It’s going to be OK. Everything worked out for the best last time; I really believe it will again.

And I have a lot to look forward to next year. I’m anxious to move Tidepool along in the publication process. I will be returning to the Borderlands Press Boot Camp in late January, and I’m really excited to see Tom Monteleone, Doug Winter, Paul Wilson, and Ginjer Buchanan again and make some new writing friends. 

And I got some fantastic news just before my birthday: I was accepted to the Ghosts, Witches, and Craft writers workshop happening in Salem, Massachusetts in early August. And holy cow, am I excited about that. I’ve never been to Salem, and I can’t wait to get together and talk writing, ghosts, and witchy things with other writers. So if there are some scary unknowns coming up, there’s a lot to anticipate too.

Thanks, 2019, for leaving me in a better place than I was when we first met.

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