The Obligatory 2015 Year in Review Post

This year has been interesting. Trying at times and fun at other times. I’m going to break this up into segments just in case there is anyone out there actually still reading my blog. I will endeavor to do better in 2016.

WRITING
The year that almost wasn’t. By the close of 2014 I had all but given up. I was seriously down in the dumps about writing. My books were not selling. It didn’t help I wasn’t getting paid by my publisher. I had a very “I hate you” relationship with writing and I wasn’t even sure I was going to continue. I’d lost all my drive and will to create.

Then one day in January I got an email from Holly Lisle’s mailing list offering her How to Think Sideways course. I had always heard good things about it and after doing some soul-searching, I decided to give this writing gig one last ditch effort. I signed up. It’s not a cheap course, by any means, but I thought if it could help me get my writing back on track then it was totally worth it.

Even though I’d started taking the course in February, my attitude about writing had not really improved. Mostly I was trying to figure out what my goals actually WERE because I had so many people telling me what I SHOULD be doing (indie publish, traditional, small press…). I removed myself from every group on Facebook and even dropped out of a few Yahoo groups that I’d been involved in. I needed time to think about my writing and what I wanted out of it. And I decided to fuck everyone else and I was going to do what I wanted to do. I was going to write what I wanted to write.

I started writing short stories. I put out a little anthology, Flights of Fantasy, which had new fiction as well as old. I sold two copies. I also got his lovely review on Goodreads, though, where the reviewer was in love with the Dragons of Emhain. My intention was to write a tie-in novel, which I haven’t gotten around to yet (I will eventually). I continued through the HTTS course and discovered who I was as a person and a writer.

As I moved through the course over the next several months, I started writing a new novel. In the Tower of the Wizard King was born. By the end of summer, though, the story stalled. And that’s when I decided to do something crazy—I wanted to enter Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest, but the deadline was six weeks away. I dropped everything and wrote a book for them and entered. I made it all the way into the Top 25. I was pleased with that result. I didn’t make it any further, but I did submit the book to Harlequin and am waiting for a response.

I finished Wizard King in November with a final word count of just over 101,000. I really feel it’s one of my best books yet. But I could be biased. 😉 This book has definitely been a labor of love and it really made me get back the joy in writing. It’s currently out to beta readers.

I’ve also got back the rights to three of my novels. When I have the entire series back under my control, I plan to re-release them but it probably won’t be until late 2016.

I’m also working on a secret project at the moment. I hope to have more news on that in the next few months.

So, I’m back to writing. I didn’t give up after all.

TRAVEL
While the husband and I didn’t take a full length vacation, we did have several weekenders.

In April, we headed up to Chicago over Easter weekend. We took the kiddo with us. It was his first plane ride. It was a really fast trip but we had a great time. I got to see a miniature castle AND meet my friend/soul sister Misty Evans. I blogged about that trip here.

Then in May, husband headed to Los Angeles for a week-long conference. I flew there on Friday night and met him for a quick Saturday trip. Talk about a whirlwind! We walked over eight miles that day. We started at Warner Bros with a tour, then went to Hollywood to see the sign, then Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. I was in heaven at the movie studio. I loved every second of that. We flew home Sunday morning. Here’s where I talked about the LA trip.

Late summer arrived and the husband got a new truck. He wanted to break it in, so we headed down to Galveston/Houston for another weekend trip. We decided we wanted to buy a beach house so that’s now on our bucket list. We had some great food there and toured NASA.

By August, we had an unexpected trip to Houston. I’d purchased a Corvette and the owner lived down in Houston—so we hopped in a plane and headed down there to pick up the car. It’s a beauty, too. I really love that car. The Corvette was probably the best thing I got out of August. The rest of the month was kind of a mess. More on that later.

I’m not sure what, if anything, we’ll do in 2016 but I hope there’s something fun in the future.

ON THE HOMESTEAD
Oof. August nearly broke us. Our air conditioner broke not once but three times. After having the unit replaced and spending a small fortune we were finally cool. But, ouch, what a nightmare that was to be without AC when it was 110 outside in the middle of August. We also had siding put on the house in the hopes it would increase the value of our home.

This was also the year we bought a new dishwasher because the other one sounded like it was dying a slow death.

THE CORVETTE
CorvetteMy husband was kind enough to make sure I had the opportunity to purchase my dream car. Because someone at his work was selling his 2003 50th Anniversary Edition and I was hot to have one, well…it all worked out, didn’t it? And LOOK at it. It’s pristine! I don’t drive it every single day but I do drive it a lot. And I love it. It’s just…magnificent.

All in all, 2015 was just an okay year but I have high hopes for 2016. Bring it on.

By Michelle

I love dragons, castles, fairies and elves. I drink coffee, wine and martinis. Fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance author. Proud Texan.