In March and October of this year I published two new books. The fourth book in my Mechanical Dragons series, and my first and likely last stand-alone novel Bounty. Both were personal successes for me but in different ways. MD:Air was a two year, yes you read that right, two year journey. I struggled with it terribly. When I wrote the first version of the book it was a mad rush, I wrote 50k words in thirty days and it was not my best work.
Even though my beta’s enjoyed it –for the most part- I was not happy. One beta told me flat out it was missing the mark in many places and I had to agree with her. I rushed through so much that I was explaining away events, missing opportunities to show adventures and misadventures of my characters. So I pulled the publication date of December 2016.
For the next year I struggled with the rewrites. I began to doubt myself, of my own abilities and wanted to throw it all out. But with encouragement from friends (two in particular) got through the rough spots and I was able to produce a book that I am quite proud of. Nearly two years to the publication date of the third book, the fourth went live. I try not to be too prideful, but I am very proud of that book, all of them really.
Now Bounty was a different kind of success. It was one of my quickest releases, I wrote this book mostly in the span of one month. I had about 20k already written and stalled out with it. Again, that self-doubt crept in and I sought solace in the arms of my friends to get me through my doubt. To my delight I was able to add a new friend in and she too played a huge role in helping me through my slump.
In one month I wrote 30k and to my absolute pleasure they were a good 30k. Not yet amazing (that never happens in the first draft). After long and exhausting discussions and much reluctance on my part I rewrote the ending to Bounty, this added another 20k to the book. But I’m happy with the end product and am glad I took the advice from one very persistent friend.
We had some pretty terrible news early on in the year about my Ninja girl. Her health was on a steep decline and she wasn’t given much time. We adjusted her food intake, gave her the medication the vet suggested and three months later with her next set of tests we were given wonderful news. Her health had improved, her kidneys were functioning better and she was starting to put some weight back on.
It was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. Every day that I get to have her in my life is a glorious day. (Even when she’s belting out her Denis Leary tune at 2am!)
This year has been a wonderful year for my friends as well and I am elated in their accomplishments and their happiness. My Kansas friend is making huge strides in her writing career and I have been honoured to be a part of that. She’s rounding out her writing with the completion of her third book!
The last two years I have been invited into her life and have borne whiteness to her personal and professional transformation. She went from fighting deep depression and only wishing she could write to the accomplished author and happy person she is now. I see the light in her eye every week that I talk to her and I have no words to the thanks I have that she has allowed me to be a part her journey. I couldn’t be more proud of her and I can’t wait to watch her reach all her dreams!
My Utah friend is new in my life. We met two years ago but it wasn’t until this year that I have gotten to know her. She is funny, beautiful, and so giving. I was given the opportunity to help her reach her goals of finishing her novel and she is now working on her courage of finding an agent. I have no doubt in the world that she will publish her book. I have no doubt in her abilities to accomplish what she sets her mind to.
Much like me she struggles with self-doubt, it’s a fear that prevents her from moving forward faster. But I believe in my heart that 2019 is her year, she has a second book on the bubble and a list of agents to query. I look forward to being whiteness to her accomplishments and victories that I know are in her near future.
Now my Ontario friend, no, no friend is not the right word to describe her. She is my ride or die, my soul mate, my sister from a different mister. I miss her deeply and a weekly Skype session just doesn’t cut it some weeks. Her laugh is infectious, she is so funny in the most sarcastic way, she’s strong, selfless and so freaking smart! Her talents are varied and this year has shown me how wonderful a friend she is.
Outside of my Hubby she has been by my side encouraging and cheering me on with not just my writing but in life. She has been my confidence when I have lacked it, my confidant when I needed an ear, and my strength on days when I didn’t have any left. I have been fortunate, given a true blessing when she was placed in my path.
I would be remiss to not mention my cousin, my Zen master, my guide on my own personal emotional journey. She has helped me to walk through some tough times. Her level headed thinking has helped me to see through my hurt and anger. I love her like a sister and I’m filled with joy that we have reconnected after so many years!
I’ve been given another wonderful gift; he came into my life 21 years ago. And even though not all those years have been great I wouldn’t trade them for anything. My Hubby is wonderfully weird, loving, and patient. He has afforded me the ability to stay home and chase a dream that can be on most days quite elusive. He rides out my mood swings on the worst of my days and laughs with me on my best. I may not say it enough but I love him with every fiber of my being.
Now you must be thinking, how are these accomplishments? Well I don’t think I said that this year has been all about my accomplishments, what I did say was that this year was pretty great. These people have made it such. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many people that have played a role in my life this year that I am thankful for but I would be here until next year still thanking them.
I leave you with this video from one of my favorite Christmas movies. Muppets Christmas Carol. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and an Amazing New Year!