I had intended to post a “2014 in review” blog post at the end of the year, but between my step-daughter’s holiday visit (which was wonderful) and the unexpected loss of my cat Samhain (which wasn’t, obviously) I just didn’t get to it. So now I am going to combine my “Well, that was an interesting year” post with my “What’s coming in 2015?” post. We’’ just pretend I’m being efficient, shall we?
So—a brief look back at 2014:
This was the year of Finally Publishing a Novel. In fact, it was the year of Putting Out All the Books, which meant that it was also crazy busy with writing, editing, proofs, and promotion. Maybe a little too busy, in fact, since there wasn’t much time for anything else.
To review, these are the books that came out in 2014:
April (Llewellyn) The Witch's Broom
April (ePub re-release by me) Circle, Coven & Grove
(Which I might have some good news about, but that's another blog post.)
August (Berkley) Wickedly Magical (novella)
September (Berkley) Wickedly Dangerous: Baba Yaga 1
December (Berkley) Wickedly Wonderful: Baba Yaga 2
I also wrote half of another novel (a romantic comedy) which is currently out on submission, signed a contract with Llewellyn to write the book for an amazing tarot deck and started working on the descriptions for the illustrator, and wrote a few articles for Llewellyn annuals. You can see why there wasn't time for much else.
I did make lots of gorgeous jewelry for the holiday season at the shop, observed the Pagan holiday cycle with Blue Moon Circle, attended the opera in Cooperstown with writer pal Nancy Holzner, and went to the New York Faerie Festival with Robin and the kids. But most of my focus was on career and not personal life, and I hope to have a slightly better balance this year.
Overall it was a good year, although I dealt with a number of frustrating health and house challenges, and of course, lost my little Samhain at the end. Ups and downs, like every life. But overall more ups than downs, and I am grateful for all of it.
2015: The Year of Peace and Plenty
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. What I do, however, is chose a theme for my aspirations for the year, and make a list of goals that will help me to work towards fulfilling those aspirations. I tend to focus on “self-improvement” in various forms—mental, physical, spiritual… And, of course, there are always the writing goals.
In general I am feeling reasonably good about where I’m at in life. Not that my life is perfect, or that I have everything I want. I still struggle with health issues, and finding balance, and getting my writing career to move successfully forward. But I have a family who loves me, great friends, four wonderful cats, a day job I like, and the most amazing fans/followers/online pals that anyone could ask for. That's a pretty decent place to be starting the year from.
So here are my goals for 2015. Feel free to check back in and ask how I’m doing. You can keep me honest...
- Work towards health and balance in all aspects of my life (this includes doing more exercise, yoga, meditation, and just plain play), try and encourage a peaceful mind
- Spend more time with friends and family (see above)
- Be more careful about money (at least until I find out if I have another book contract or not)
- Read or get rid of the gazillion books on my To Be Read shelf, instead of buying so many new ones (see above, oy)
- Take the time to learn a few new skills (or, you know, how to use the electronic gizmos I already own)
Maybe I should have made this the "Year of Learning to Live with Uncertainty."
But for now, here is what I have for the writing goals:
- Promote Everyday Witchcraft coming from Llewellyn on March 8th. (In theory, this is my 8th and last book from Llewellyn, not counting my contribution to their new Sabbats series, but you never know.)
- Enjoy finally attaining my goal of being featured on the cover of Witches & Pagans Magazine (out any day now)
- Run a couple more giveaways, including one more for the Baba Yaga books, one or two for Everyday Witchcraft, and who knows what else...
- Finish the Tarot Project as quickly as possible, so I can
- Write another novel before the end of the year
For the moment, these are the ones I am considering, although I doubt I'll make it to them all. Be sure and let me know if you're going to be at any of them!
- Pantheacon, San Jose CA -- February 13-16 A great Pagan convention I've attended a few times before. If I go, I'll be giving a workshop on the modern witch's broom and leading a ritual for bringing love into your life. I'll also get to stop in San Diego on the way and visit my parents, sister, niece & nephew, see my step-daughter, my writing partner Lisa, my Llewellyn editor Elysia, and lots of other great authors and fans. I'd originally cancelled this because of Samhain's declining health, but now it is looking more likely that I will go.
- Romance Writers of America National Conference, NYC -- July 22-25 This member's-only conference is huge, and a great place to meet up with author friends I never see anywhere else, as well as being able to attend interesting workshops (and maybe give one or two), chat with my agent in person, and finally meet my Berkley editor. Its a really expensive conference (and means a 5 1/2 hour bus ride in either direction) but it is also probably the most useful for my career.
- RoberCon 2015, Binghamton NY -- September 26-27 This one is only about an hour from me, and a fun SF/Fantasy gathering. Last year I took part on a lot of panels, which was fun.
- World Fantasy Convention, Saratoga Springs NY -- November 5-8 This is one I haven't been to before, but this year it is in Saratoga, which is only 2 hours away from me. And I'd probably go with author pal Nancy Holzner, which would be a blast, and get to meet some of my "online only" friends like writer Carol Berg.