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Monday, December 30, 2019

Looking Back on 2019...

2019 was an...odd year for me, so much so that I'm not even sure what word to use to describe this past year. LOL. Professionally, in terms of my writing and publishing, it wasn't so great. But, it was really great in a lot of personal areas. 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 2019.

My original 2019 goals included: 


  • Rewrite/revise/write all three books in my Georgia Corbins Series.
  • Write Eternal Bond, the second book in my YA paranormal romance series. 
  • Write an untitled project for a potential editor. 
  • Officially launch FireChicken Press, LLC. 
  • Read and blog.



I didn't do any of this! 


I know that sounds horrible, but there's a good reason I didn't do anything I'd set out to do. This was the year that my life changed drastically...

In May, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. If you want to read all about my journey to that discovery, you can do so HERE. This diagnosis has led to a complete lifestyle change. I've started going to the gym 5 days a week, sometimes more, and I was on the Keto diet. I've since gone off that because I lost quite a bit of weight, and I'm happy where I am now. And seriously, the weight loss has helped tremendously with the pain management. 

This was me in April, with my daughter on her prom. I was 186 pounds. (Isn't my daughter beautiful, though??)




This was me on Christmas day, at a much healthier 137 pounds!





I feel like a completely new person.  


But, trust me when I say that none of this was easy. Far from it. There were days when I wanted to say "screw it" and go back to the way I used to be, to eating whatever I wanted and sitting on the couch. And there were days when the pain was just too much, and I spent all day in bed. It's taken almost all year for me to figure out what does and doesn't work, what my physical, mental, and emotional limits are, and how to say no without feeling guilty. I've had to learn to listen to my body and slow down when needed. It's been a year of self-discovery for sure. 

Naturally, all of this resulted in me not being able to work as much as I normally do, and I've had to learn that's okay, too, that self-care is more important than how many words I write, or how many books I edit. But, to make myself feel slightly better, and to prove I'm not a total slacker, here's what I did do this year:
  

PROFESSIONALLY:
  • I wrote a total of 112,475 words on various projects.
  • I wrote 25K of the first Corbins book, and then decided making it Christian fiction just wasn't working. So, now I'm back to the secular version, which will require another revision, but I'm excited about where it's going.
  • I wrote 35K of Eternal Bond, and I have two handwritten pages of plot notes, so I know exactly where the story is going. 
  • David and I revised, and then signed, Warped Remains with Anaiah Press. We spent several months in edits, and the book is now set to release on January 21, 2020. 
  • I wrote an entirely new book from start to finish!! Perfectly Imperfect is a contemporary YA Christian romance. It's set to release via Anaiah Press in May 2020. I love this story so, so much, and I can't wait to share it.
  • Between here and the Anaiah Press blog, I blogged a total of 5,784 words.
  • For Anaiah, I edited 5 full-length novels and 4 novellas.
  • I freelance edited 3 full-length manuscripts.
  • I took on a slightly new position at Anaiah Press. While I'm still the Editorial Director, I have a host of new responsibilities that I'm really enjoying. 
  • I've outlined a couple new YA projects/ideas, many of which will be co-written with the lovely Rosie Somers. 


PERSONALLY:
  • I turned 40!
  • In May, I saw Twenty-one Pilots in concert--again--with my daughter. They seriously put on the best show ever!
  • In June, I went to NY to see my second daughter graduate high school. She's now in college and working. I'm so incredibly proud of her. 
  • In July, my husband and I went to NY and moved my parents to MI. I'm SO thrilled to have them living close again. 
  • In August, I went to the Jackson County Fair to see Boyz II Men with my friend, Emily. It rained like crazy, but we had a great time.
  • In October, I saw Luke Bryan in concert for the second time, but this time I was with Emily. (She's my person. I love her!)
  • Thanks to all the time I've spent at the gym, I was able to catch up on several TV series: The Vampire Diaries (all 8 seasons), The 100 (6 seasons, and now impatiently waiting for the 7th and final season), Stranger Things (I'm going crazy waiting for season 4!), and now I'm on season 4 of Supernatural
Despite everything going on, I did manage to read a bit this year, too:
  1. Price of Silence by Staci Stallings
  2. The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson
  3. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
  4. Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout
  5. Opal by Jennifer Armentrout
  6. Origin by Jennifer Armentrout
  7. Opposition by Jennifer Armentrout
  8. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
  9. The 100 by Kass Morgan

So, once again, I didn't publish a single thing in 2019, and I didn't snag an agent, but that's okay. Moving forward, I'm focusing on staying healthy and in shape, spending more time with my family and friends, and just enjoying life. As for the future of my writing and publishing, well, stay tuned for my annual goals post :)   I