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The Year-End Wrap Up

It's time for the year-end recap. The good, the bad, and the oh dear sweet and fluffy lord, why?

I came into 2014 with a really awful sense of dread hanging over me. I was so depressed. I didn't know why, but I was terrified something bad was coming. Surprise! Instead, I got news that seemed freakin' awesome.

Remember, Kensington picked up Lyrical. That was something else. Whoa, big house with my little fish books. The Convict and the Cattleman came out somewhat disastrously in January. The ebook didn't launch the day it was supposed to. Gee, that was a little awkward, but it was one of those shifting houses things. I spent most of January finishing another historical romance. And that nagging fear stayed on.

In February, though, that was when the bad news splatted through the fan. My mom's husband had terminal cancer. Things took a huge nosedive. I was trying to write a contemporary western romance and not having so much luck. I was still really depressed. Like, to the point where everyone was starting to notice and wonder if I'd derailed somewhere along the way. The upside was that Wildwood Spring came out—and sadly, almost no one read it.

He passed away in March and there was a lot of uncertainty about what was going on, because death is a tumultuous thing. I was writing very little although I was editing Eban a bit because I'd finished it too. I'd finished and contracted the historical by the end of March. In April and May, my sense of worth wasn't rising and things were looking pretty dire, really. I was fed up with work and my lack of writing and pretty much the whole world. The bright side: The Wrong Brother's Bride released in April and total strangers had a lot of really nice things to say about it.

Things went downhill for me around the first of June because there were a lot of hiccups in editing and my sense of self-worth and determination to win this publishing game just fell through rock bottom. We vacationed in June and I only did a little writing the very first day we were there. My husband said, “Wow, you needed this. You were actually happy and relaxed.” And very sunburned, but it was so worth it. I hadn't had a vacation in seven years. It was nice to get away from all the rush of social media, especially the BS at work, and life in general.

I started work on another historical romance and on Tell, but neither were working out very well. We actually did a lot more sightseeing and running around to places we'd never been before this summer than usual. It was a year for big adventure, but not in writing. I did write a contemporary western novella and that came out in September with six other authors in the box set Cowboy Up. It was great of my friend D'Ann to invite me to be in it.

I wasn't as excited this year for ORACon as in the past, which was sad. The good news was, I'd found a project I was thrilled to work on—Vikings. It was something new and different and I had a lot of fun with it. I pitched it even though I was barely started and I did a good job. I was proud of that. On the other hand, I submitted the first page of my newest western historical to an editor panel at ORA and they literally had nothing nice to say about it. Ouch.

I lost my SD card with 20k worth of Tell on it, a whole chapter worth of another historical, a chapter of the Viking novel, and all of that contemporary romance I'd started in February. It really sucked, but I was determined to make Tell even better. I set him up again and put him aside for November while I finished up the Vikings and celebrated the release of Wystan (The Heckmasters).

I didn't finish Tell in November. I barely added 15,000 words.

I signed the Viking romance, Her Heart's Surrender, to Three Worlds Press.

I've dabbled at another Viking novel, hemmed and hawed over the historical, added 4,000 more to Tell. I did finish a historical western romance short story right before I got the killer epizootie that's going around.

I lost my data entry sheet for my word count when my SD card went bye-bye, so I don't have a total for the year and that makes me sad. When I lost it, it was around 210,000 or so. Not bad, but not what I'd hoped either. I only finished 4 books this year and one was really a novella. My whip-crackin' inner editor hates me a whole lot for that sad display of wimpy writing. Earn that carpal tunnel, pen monkey, it screams.

So because of this sad excuse for a writing year, I have lofty goals for next: I obviously must finish Tell. I also must finish that historical romance, and I really, really must get to work on another western contemporary novella, like yesterday. Okay, maybe they're not too lofty. The novella needs 20k, Tell needs slightly over 50 for completion, and the HR about 25-30k. Not so bad. Everything else will work out given time. And I have 365 days to work out the rest.

On the super-positive side, that crushing depression isn't hanging around right now. Be gone, devils. Take that annoying inner editor with you.

I'm looking forward to 2015 and as always, I my hope for you is that you're on the path you need to be on. If it's not the path, I hope the path you're on takes you to that path. And if not that path, then the next one will get you on the right one. So on and so forth.

Happy New Year, kids!