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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Looking Back on 2018

I'm not gonna lie... 2018 kicked my ass! I'm pretty sure everyone feels this way in terms of the state of politics in the world, but beyond that, on a much more personal and professional level, this has been a very not good year for me. I'm really optimistic about 2019, though. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's take a look back on the year and see what I accomplished, what I didn't, and what big changes I faced in 2018.

So, my original 2018 goals included: 

(1) Finish Eternal Curse, the first book in my YA paranormal romance series.

Status: GOAL MET!!

My Thoughts: Not only did I finish this book, it made the rounds with several beta readers, and I revised the heck out of it. I'm SO pleased with how this book turned out, and I cannot wait to share it with the world. 

(2) Write the sequel to Eternal Curse.


My Thoughts: I wrote almost 25k of the sequel, currently titled Eternal Bond, and then I stopped because I wasn't sure what was going to happen with book one. I didn't want to get too far into the sequel only to find out I needed to change a lot of stuff. I do have a clear idea of where the story is going now, though, and so now it's just a matter of writing it. 

(3) Write Meet Me at the Mistletoe, a sweet Christmas romance novella for the Christian market.


My Thoughts: This project is temporarily shelved while I focus on building my YA brand.

(4) Finish Deception, the first book in a new Christian romantic suspense series. 


My Thoughts: This project has also been temporarily shelved while I focus on building my YA brand.

(5) Take an inventory of all my half-started YA projects and see if any of them are worth salvaging.

Status: GOAL MET!!!

My Thoughts: Out of 9 started projects, there are 6 of them I think are worthy of pursuing, some of which will possibly be co-written with other authors. 

(6) Query something.

Status: GOAL MET!!

My Thoughts: I sent my first query for Eternal Curse in February, and I've been working at it all year. I've racked up a lot of rejections, but I'm happy to report I have one full and one partial still out with agents. *Fingers crossed* 

(7) Keep on Bloggin'


My Thoughts: There were some weeks when I was really on top of this, but not as much as I would have liked. 

(8) Read

Status: GOAL MET!!

My Thoughts: I'm please with how much I've read this year, which is much more than in past years. Here's what I knocked off my TBR in 2018:

  • Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy
  • Evernight by Claudia Gray
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
  • The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
  • There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
  • We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards
  • One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
  • The Cellar by Natasha Preston
  • You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston
  • The Cabin by Natasha Preston
  • Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards
  • Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
  • Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards
  • Campfire by Shawn Sarles
  • The Escape by Hannah Jayne
  • All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
  • Something About Forever by Kimberly Loth
  • Bloodlust & Initiation (Vampire Beach 1 and 2)by Alex Duval
  • Ritual & Legacy (Vampire Beach 2 and 3) by Alex Duval
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
  • Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
  • I'll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones

Out of 8 goals, I fully achieved four, kinda achieved two, and completely flaked on two. Those numbers could be worse--and they have been in past years. lol. In addition to all of that, there were a lot of other things I accomplished, both professionally and personally...

  • I wrote a total of 135,844 words on various projects.
  • Between here and the Anaiah Press blog, I blogged a total of 11,941 words.
  • For Anaiah, I edited 7 full-length novels and 3 novellas.
  • I freelance edited 3 full-length manuscripts.
  • I beta read 3 full-length manuscripts. 
  • I created and legally formed FireChicken Press, LLC, which is my personal self-publishing company.
  • I returned to working on my YA contemporary romance series, The Georgia Corbins, and have finally made a publishing decision on that. (More to come on that in my 2019 Goals post)
  • I've outlined a couple new YA projects/ideas. 

  • In January, I saw Black Veil Brides in concert with my oldest daughter for her birthday. I'm now a diehard fan of them, and they almost single-handedly fuel the playlist for my paranormal series! 
  • In October, I saw Twenty-one Pilots in concert again with my daughter and her friend.
  • Also in October, I saw Luke Bryan for the very first time! *internal squealing*
  • In November, I saw The Thunder From Down Under. 
  • I made a couple visits to NY to see my parents. 
  • My parents came to MI in November to celebrate Thanksgiving and early Christmas with us. 
  • I got a little red sports car! 

Despite the fact I didn't publish a single thing in 2018, and I didn't snag an agent, I accomplished much more than I realized. I'm calling this a pretty good year overall. 

What did you do this past year?
Share your success in the comments!