If I was to stand in this week back in 2013 and someone was to tell me of all the things I’m going to find myself in, I’ll have scoffed and said, “Yeah, right… That’ll never happen. Why would I make that much crazy for myself?” 🙂
Yet, that’s exactly what I did and made myself wrong in my assumptions. 😉
This year, like the ones before, have seen plenty of bad days of me, but the one thing this year had that the previous ones didn’t was the increase in good days. As the hours ticked by – some crawling, some echoing the sonic boom – I’ve made it through another year and marvel, yes – marvel, at all the things I’ve managed to accomplish. 😀
Some were planned, while others not so much. XD
But the surprises that lay in wait for me has made this year a rarity, indeed. Especially since I hadn’t made any goals for 2014. I was too battered by 2013 to even think about getting myself back into the swing of things. Add the possibility that my children may be asthmatic on top of it and my husband’s added responsibilities at work that were already above and beyond his job description, 2014 came with the impending feel of doom.
Either I crawl to the finish line, or it was going to kill me.
Oh… I’m crawling, but it is with a smile and a light heart instead of a heavy one. ❤
So… 2014, ladies and gentlemen, in review~ ➡
I joined Tumblr on January 14th and over the course of this year have made many friends who have become irreplaceable in my life. I love each and every one of them to death, and if the opportunity to ever meet them in real life ever comes up, I’m screaming “HELL YEAH!” before I’ve had the chance to inhale a breath. XD
I wrote a short story of Trent and Chase that spun off into its own little ending for Undisclosed Conversation… so that was pretty cool. There is a lesson to be learned here, dear writing beginners… never lament over “unusable” words. Ever. Keep every word. I know I say I delete things all the time, but I don’t. I have versions. Copy and pasting is my friend. If I wrote something that ends up putting me in a dead end at that moment in the story, I copy and paste it aside, write some notes to help me remember my line-of-thinking, and just leave it be. 😌
Sometimes, you’ll come back to that junction again, to that dead end, but from a different direction and point of view. And suddenly you realize… it works! So. Don’t ever delete anything. There’s no such thing as wasted words.
I turned 32 here, on the 24th and there wasn’t much of a celebration, to be honest. I had so much on my plate during this month of the year that I was struggling with severe depression. My parents were around, which was both a blessing and excessive taxation of my physical self. My little girl was getting into the swing of things with Pre-Kindergarten. There were ‘bouts of colds/flus and even pneumonia, and then the introduction of the Nebulizer and the mind-staggering medication costs that come with that because my children were showing signs of asthma.
In fact, this month was what drove me into the hiatus I had to take in March. 😉
A hiatus, because the world was literally doing me in. I do believe this was the only hiatus I took this year, which is surprising considering I average about five of these a year in the past. Then again, I suppose running away into the woods to play the role of a Tree Hugger multiple times a year sort of got eliminated when I had children. XD
“Break Me into Pieces” – a 30,000 word novella-length memoir about my experiences with DYFS and the hellish investigation I was thrown into on March 2012. It was my first finished project in the last decade – marking the 1 year passing of the event, and while I can’t say I’m proud of it since it isn’t really fiction… it helped me cope with PTSD, with the nightmares that refused to relinquish its hold for nearly a year, and eventually helped me to move on and pass it.
I also started a small project where I talk about living with Asthma. It’s a project I’d been toying with, seeing how many people in the world suffer from this incurable illness, but it never really took off the ground. I still write personal articles here and there about what I’ve learned. I hope people find it useful. 🙂
Jennifer Fallon made a call for Beta Readers. I applied. ✌ 😀
Debut of Undisclosed Conversation. Finally. Getting this project off the starting line was like trying to drag a building block for an Egyptian pyramid by myself.
Accepted as Beta Reader for The Lyre Thief. I’m still wrapping my head around this one. The experience, however, is awesome. I also found out that I enjoy being a proofreader (which is different from being a Beta Reader). Beta reading makes me nervous because people are looking for genuine opinions and… I have a hard time telling people – if it came to that – I didn’t like something.
I have long since learned that what I like and what the majority of the population prefers are typically on opposite ends of a spectrum. However, the difficult aspect isn’t the offering of an opinion (different people have different ones obviously), but rather finding a constructive suggestion that poses the challenge.
But proofreading I can do. I’m not talking about the nuances of punctuation and grammar/phrases/run-on sentences, but rather just making sure there’s consistency, usage of the correct word (affect/effect, then/than, etc), and minor details that can easily get lost in the vast sea of words.
I have been entertaining the idea of updating my resume to reflect this. I just might find myself in this profession sooner rather than later, and I’m all for extra income that is paired with having fun.
The name of a fantastic Original Character from the Gift aside, this month had been trying beyond words and served as a prelude to the rest of the year when dealing with family. What doesn’t break me only makes me stronger, right? XD
I’m sure we all remember the passing of Robin Williams. It isn’t lost on me that today marks the 4th month of his passing. I keep count on those days like none other, mostly because a week before he died, I had to fight to survive the depth of depression and crawl out of it.
I cried for five days. Puffy, bloodshot eyes for 5 days.
I still feel it. Every time I hear his voice over the radio or the internet, my eyes sting with tears. He is sorely missed by me. I loved his movies growing up, especially Dead Poets’ Society and Patch Adams.
NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH… NaNoWriMo for short.
My first year of participation – with heavy cheating – but I accomplished my goal: Finished the rough draft of Undisclosed Conversation. *pats self on back*
Honestly though, I owe getting this to a few people.
If you’ve been tagging along, there’s obviously Bitworks. He’s supported my writing since… 2001? I think that’s when I wrote my very first story by throwing people in the IRC channel I lingered in as the players. People actually read it, which was really cool. I don’t think Bitworks ever made it into that story, but he and I really hit off the writing platform after that. We spent the summer of 2004 co-authoring a story for us, complete with erotica. That was ridiculously fun, and it drove me into the pursuit for a BA in English with a concentration of Creative Writing beyond my original degree.
There aren’t enough words in the world or vocabulary I know that is good enough to talk about Bitworks. I can’t and won’t do this without him. There are so many people out there who accomplish writing without loving support, so I know this is an absolute blessing. That’s why I came back to it, despite the long hiatus. He’s made some serious sacrifices this year for me and took hold of a lot of responsibilities at home so I get some hours to myself when I needed to write. So, I write for him first and foremost. All those years of things we’ll talk about… I just have to put them down on paper somehow.
There were 2 other people who served to be the push/pull behind the “getting back to writing” direction. They didn’t do the pulling or the pushing. I just threw up my hands up one day and said, “Fuck it. They went. I’m going. What do I have to lose, right?”
I’ve mentioned Stark_Black before. She was the one who told me if I’d wanted it bad enough, I’ll find time to write. Like me, she’s a M-O-M. Unlike me, she’s served her country, works many jobs, and is a talented writer. We both make ends meet. In different ways, but we do. Money doesn’t fall out of the skies for anybody, after all. Budget sheets are like the bane of our existence the same time it is our savior.
I don’t know if she uses budget sheets. I do, anyhow.
Now… A. F. Henley.
He’s an author. Not an international icon like Jennifer Fallon is, but I’m equating him to the same status in my head. I’ll openly admit that I just about follow him everywhere – Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, Website, Tumblr (NSFW), Goodreads, y!gallery, and I’ll end the list there before you people think I’m obsessed. XD
I even comment on the mediums he is active on – Tumblr, Blog tours, etc… just because I can. It’s nice having an author talk back, and lately, even Jennifer Fallon’s answered some of my questions and liked comments I make on her Fan Page. It’s a hell of a lot of work on the side of the authors…
And it means the world to people like me. Queue the SQUEEING!
I read just about every word A. F. Henley’s ever written, because I don’t see people as professions. I don’t care if you’re the President of some country, a Monarch head of another, a dictator over there somewhere, an international bestselling author, a technician, a gopher, a deliveryman, or the thousands of other professions out there… I just don’t.
I see everyone as a human being. That list of titles is just achievements. Commendable achievements, to be sure. It’s not a person. It’s what a person does, aspires to do and gets there, or… simply does to have an ends to a mean.
Stories are awesome, but understanding the person behind the words makes something 3-D versus 2-D.
Bear with me. There is a point to this… I need to work my way there… XD
Henley started working with Less Than Three Press in 2012. Between 2012 and 2014, he has 8 published novels – one of which is a free read and written with Kelly Wyre, 1 novella, and a collection of short stories he wrote for anthologies also published by LT3 Press. In addition to all that, he has two more free read novels, countless prompts, and even more short stories that are posted on y!gallery. I think he also ported some of those over to this Blogspot account… yes, I check that too.
The whole point of this little spew is… In 2 years, Henley’s managed to get a novel published every quarter – averaged – without fail. That’s a lot of writing. He’s not a mainstream author, so I’m not going to sit here and assume that this man does nothing but write all day. He most likely has a full-time job and writes his wonderful stories when he’s off the clock – assumptions playing Devil’s Advocate here. Or can’t sleep. All writers are plagued by insomnia on one level or another.
You know who his track record reminds me of? Stephen King. Which means A. F. Henley has one helluva DRIVE.
If one wants it bad enough, one’ll find the time and a way to do it.
Living proof of that, if I do say so myself. It’s the motivation of these people. Seeing the proof of their hard work and dedication, wanting it bad enough, and it helped drive me.
Stop talking about writing. Write the damn story.
*gives self a swift motivational kick in the ass* XD
I won’t say I’m aiming to be published. Bitworks wants to see me there, so perhaps one day I’ll make it. On the scale of importance that I am published? Not very high. What’s important to me is finding that energy to restore my weary soul. I hadn’t stopped working my tail end off since I was 21. It crested at 26, and I haven’t stopped power walking like mad ever since.
But without something to restore my spirit and energy, I was crumbling. Writing helped me cope with life and getting back to it was difficult. Schedules needed to be reshuffled, and writing those first few hundred thousand words that never saw the light of day?
It’s like facing my biggest fear – needing a dentist – and needing a root canal done without Novocaine. But I made it. Getting words to fall off the tips of my fingers isn’t so difficult a task now, and making Insomnia work for me is like icing on a cake.
And so, while NaNoWriMo really isn’t such a big deal in and of itself, it becomes something rather big when I look at all the things that had to come together – be it by chance or bribery – for this to work… it’s pretty big.
And we close the year and look forward to a new one. Do I have goals for 2015? Sure. Books 2 and 3 of Closet Souls Chronicles are now in the works. I have a short story planned for February 2015, plus another story that’s based on a true story. I just might get that fanfiction for Monoshizukanohi off the ground. Might write something for my dear sister Lydia… but first, I’ll have to watch The Walking Dead. XD
Then there are Henley’s Blog Tours that I’ll be attending – every single one that I can. I don’t know if he’s got one coming over the summer… regardless, I’ll find a way. He has another book coming out February – Road Trip. That’ll be the birthday present I give myself.
I got book reviews to write, kids to raise, and a trip back to Taiwan coming Summer of 2015. It’s a hefty bundle to be sure, and after that particular trip is another one over to Ireland. The family over there is long overdue for a visit.
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I bid all of you merry holiday cheer. Drink and drive responsibly. Know that family is both a blessing and a curse, and may 2015 be a spectacular year for all of you!
❤ ❤ ❤