On December 31, 2014, I sat in my parents’ old house in Gulf Breeze, watching Double Life hit #1 on Amazon’s Best Selling Space Opera. I mulled on how much had changed with me internally. I’d pulled myself out of a deep depression, I’d rediscovered my love for writing. Hell, I’d published a book and I was planning on quitting my job. I couldn’t imagine what 2015 would bring.
Little did I know…
My Year in Review
When I returned from Florida in January of this year, I began the arduous task of selling everything I owned, including my house. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I bought my Virginia house to share with The Ex “when we got married.” (see Empath for how well that worked out). Selling it and everything we’d accumulated over our 6 years together was the last, therapeutic step to getting over him. There was nothing but relief with every piece of furniture that went on Craigslist.
Also in January, with the Bubbas with Mom and Dad in Pensacola, I took the opportunity to do some business travel. The last week of January, I flew to Chattanooga, then the next weekend drove to Richmond. The next weekend was my blizzard-trip on Valentine’s Day to New York City (where I did NOT have a panic attack!).
Two weeks later, I was back on the plane to Pensacon, where I released Alliances. It was a huge deal–I got in the papers. More than that, my best friend and baby cousin spent all weekend with me, helping because they loved me. Yet again, I couldn’t wait to get back to Pensacola for real.
March saw a couple of changes. I chopped off 12+ inches of hair and I got an offer on my house. I also flew to Indianapolis, where I sold out of Double Life (80 copies) for the first time EVER. Then to Chicago, which was a bust. I held my last book signing in Virginia, where none of my friends came. Hence why most aren’t friends anymore.
April was where the shit hit the fan. I had thought that my time as a Consultant had drawn to a close. Imagine my surprise when the client was okay with me working from Florida. So on April 23rd, I officially sold the house and the last few things that reminded me of my ex. 3am the next day, and I was on the road.
A New Life in Florida
May and June were odd for me. I released Empath on the anniversary of our break-up, which was another piece of “getting over the Ex.” Writing it was the hardest thing I’d ever done, digging into the deepest parts of my soul and writing what I was truly afraid of, and why I had been so reticent to move on. Also, I was living with my parents. And while I am so grateful that they let me stay with them, I needed my own space. But hey, that’s what the beach was for…
But the MOST important thing that happened in May was my graduation to Auntie status with the birth of this little munchkin, who has my heart and usually my glasses now:
In June, I spent a fabulous day on the beach with Ashley Victoria Photography, and you can see how much fun in all the photos on this blog. I also turned 29 and realized that now that my life was really really good between writing and living in Pensacola, I was no longer afraid to turn 30. I’d accomplished so many things already, and I was really happy. I went to two more events in June in Lake Charles, LA and Miami, then switched gears and closed on my brand new Pensacola house on the 30th.
July and August was spent knee-deep in renovations. I painted, I tiled, I installed shelving while Dad and his team dealt with the termite problem. After taking down a whole frickin’ wall, they laid the beautiful flooring and put in a fence and a doggy door. One more unplanned trip to DC (which was a complete and utter waste of my time, thanks client), and I moved in.
August everything slowed down. I was in my new house, and I suddenly had all day to work on whatever. But, oh shit–I still hadn’t finished writing Conviction, the third Razia book, which was to be released on my former anniversary with the ex (reclaiming the date for something else). I didn’t want to push it, so I rushed and got it complete. I’m really happy with it, to be honest. I also traveled the farthest for a convention, to Spokane, WA to attend WorldCon. Sales-wise, it was a complete bust, but there were some key relationships established there with some new friends, and reconnecting with old ones.
September, I began work on Fusion, the fourth Razia book, finished The Island, and also began to prepare for quitting Consulting. The original date was mid-October, then November, then mid-November. When it finally came around, I left with a whimper. The biggest change wasn’t the sudden lack of consulting work. Rather, as I found out in December, it was that writing now comprised the “working” side of my brain, and there was nothing in the “play” space. So I decided to take up knitting, and have made something like five scarves already.
Now it’s December 31, 2015, and I’m reflecting on everything that’s changed in my life. I have four books published, two more completed and ready for publication on their scheduled dates. Beginnings is in a nearly complete first draft form, and The Chasm is coming together as deliciously as The Island. And, looking forward to the last quarter of 2016, my new YA fantasy series is on the horizon. So by December 31, 2016, I will have nine books published. Can you freaking believe that?
2016 isn’t going to be an easy year. The books are selling, but not nearly enough to give me the income I need. All of the conventions I went to this year need to start paying off a little bit more than they have. There’s a good chance that I’ll have to pick up some part time work in May or June unless something big changes.
But I live in a beautiful house in my favorite city near to my family and friends. I get to sit at a computer and download all of my ideas, which, to my complete surprise, keep coming. My dogs get me up and moving. I’m home for big milestones and celebrations. Life, in this moment, is absolutely perfect.
So bring it, 2016.