Happy New Year, at last!

As I look back on the year, 2016 was both good and hard for me.

There’s been far more good than hard, though.

Good things:

I turned in two books: Due Diligence and Daily Grind, proving to myself that I could write two books in a year’s time.

Due Diligence came out in July and I’m really proud of that book. I know Just Business is more of a favorite for most people, but lovely, screwed up Fazil and his issues with self-worth are near and dear to my heart. As is the exploration of how we view our pasts and what we did, especially when we find out that maybe things weren’t quite what we thought.

I finally wrote my epilogue to Takeover. I still have a bunch of other Takeover shorts to write, but that was one I’d been wanting to get done for a while.

I contracted to write a poly romance for Riptide Publishing’s Bluewater Bay series. It should come out in October of 2017, and is tentatively titled Outside the Lines.

I blurbed a book! That was wicked cool! I ended up being ask to blurb Lilah Pace’s His Royal Secret and wow, what a good duology.

I went to New York and met C.S. Pacat (of Captive Prince fame) and hung out with Elyse Springer in May. The most magical thing of all was that El and me saw Hamilton because I somehow miraculously won the lottery. I still can’t believe it!

I started reading again, because I realized I hadn’t been and I missed it. It’s like a brain cleanse that helps me with my writing. I read a lot of paranormal m/m. I read all of KJ Charles’s Charm of Magpie books, and I’m working my way through both Jordan L Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffen books and Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop books. They’ve all made me want to get back to my own paranormal world of Close Quarter. Yes. I promise.

And because of that, I resurrected an urban fantasy I’d been working on, spruced up the six chapters I’d written, wrote a synopsis and gave it to my agent to see if I should stick it back in the trunk or not. It’s set in the same world as Close Quarter, but different characters and no romance. It stars one of the first characters my head ever came up with.

I came out as bi and genderfluid to my family. It went well. I’m all over the place on pronouns, though I do know I really hate Ms. And Ma’am. But other than that, I’m fine. I actually have different pronouns listed in different spaces, so whatever. When/if I settle, I’ll let yinz know.

I lost ten pounds this year and am pretty much where I want to be weight-wise now. It feels like I lost lot more, but I think it’s mainly because all my fat shifted around or vanished. People kept asking me if I was okay, because my face suddenly got much thinner and I dropped from a size 12 woman’s to a loose 10 (I’m 30 x 32 men’s) and I guess they were afraid I was sick…but I’m not much lighter than I was? It’s weird

I bought my first suit. I’ve also been wearing masc close to work, which has been wonderful. I finally feel more like me.

Things that were rough:

Daily Grind’s release got pushed back from December to February. Not my fault. Just something that happens, but it was still a blow.

I’ve been more up and down emotionally. It’s perimenopause, basically. No one says it’s kind of like reverse puberty, but it’s kind of like reverse puberty and it sucks. I’m doing a lot more self-care and I’ve been going to a councilor. My mom says I’ll feel a lot better once I’m on the other side of it.

I ended up at the ER twice, once for a bad reaction to a medicine (that I am no longer taking) and once because of weird heart palpitations, but the upshot is that I’m fine. I just need to be less stressed. (See also self-care and councilor.)

I’m still figuring out the whole genderqueer thing and what it means (like, the sudden realization that I’m trans was a shock). I’m still trying to find my way around me sometimes. It’s complex. I’m happy, though.

Goals for 2017:

I said this on Twitter, but I really only have two goals for next year:

  • Finish three books.
  • Stop comparing my career to anyone else’s.

The first will require me writing a lot, but I can do it.

The second is so much harder, but I really really need to accomplish it for my own mental well-being. I can’t be anyone other than myself and holding myself up to other people’s successes isn’t useful.

There’s always going to be someone who sells more. Is better at promo. Is on every list ever put out there, etc. It’s something I learned while driving—there’s always someone driving faster than you. Safest thing is to let ‘em pass and find their own way.

So that’s my major goal for next year. Drive my career and stop worrying about the people who are seemingly zipping past me. Because you know what? I’ve done really well for myself.

My books are good. People like them. And honestly, that’s what matters. I want to write more books that people like and get ‘em into your hands.

Happy 2017. May it kick 2016 in the ass.

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4 thoughts on “Happy New Year, at last!

  1. Love introspective pieces like this by authors I like – feels like I get to know them better, and then I usually enjoy their writing more (unless they reveal some major character issue I didn’t know😊) You were a new-to-me writer this year and have become an auto-buy. Can’t wait for Daily Grind and I’d really love for you to get that urban fantasy going!

    • Aw thank you! I really hope you like Daily Grind! I’m jazzed about the urban fantasy, too. It was neat to come back to if after a few years and get all excited about the world and characters again.

  2. Hey there! I have to say that I love your writing and you…are you. Nobody else you should be either. You do what you do, when you do it, and be happy you can do it at all!

    As for the perimenopause- it sucks! Like totally sucks the life out of you. I think we are both going through it lol cause I just don’t feel like myself anymore and hot flashes from hell!!

    I have loved having you as a guest blogger …here is to an amazing year!!

  3. There has to be some variation on “yinz” you can use as a pronoun. Everything else you do is so wonderfully Pittsburgh; it only seems right.

    Which brings me to the fact that no other writer is like you because you are SO GOOD at writing the books you do. You have heart and angst and strength and laughter and a whole lot of serious sexiness and, yes, a lot of yinzer pride. You *care* about your characters; you have beautiful non-WASP portrayals that make me think, “Huh. How interesting” and remind me of the complex lives of friends I’ve known.

    So don’t you worry your handsome little heart none. Being your kind of writer makes many readers very, very happy.

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