It’s that time of year again, when I rehash the business of being. (Actually I’m a month later than last year, but who’s counting? No one, that’s who.)
Let’s get to it, shall we?
First Quarter: Ends and Beginnings
January 1, 2017 brought an end to my stint as Executive Secretary for the American Night Writers Association (ANWA). As much as I have missed working alongside an amazing Board of Directors and Executive Committee, I happily passed my duties off to my successor and started the year fresh.
Also in January, my critique group founded a blog, Novel Three. It’s supposed to update weekly. We get at least 2-3 posts a month for sure.
In February (-ish), ANWA put out a call for class proposals for the annual conference in September, and I submitted one for typesetting, firmly believing it would pass under the radar. It didn’t. They invited me to teach, and I spent the next six months convinced that someone somewhere had made a horrible mistake.
(Me. I made the horrible mistake. Haha.)
I finished the draft for Namesake, also in February, and wrote a novella, Brine and Bone, in March.
Second Quarter: Business Takes Over
I created an imprint, Eulalia Skye Press. This process included days upon days of brainstorming a name (it’s amazing how many odd combos are already in use). I registered it with the State of Arizona, bought up the corresponding domain name, and saddled myself with a block of ISBNs.
Looks like I’m in this publishing business for the long haul. Theoretically.
Third Quarter: Masquerading as a Professional
In July, I nailed down my class presentation info, but it was 40 minutes too long. Over the next two months, I whittled away everything but the most essential information.
I took Namesake through the publishing process, with an August release. It wasn’t all that different than what I’ve done with previous books, except there were more forms and registrations so that it looked all official.
(I probably did something wrong. Haven’t discovered it yet, though, so.)
September was ANWA Conference. A dear friend from Florida attended, which marked our first IRL meeting. (And neither of us ended up catfished, yo.) This was my fourth year in attendance, so a lot of familiar faces. Even so, I was grateful for my little nest of close friends there.
I wrote a whole blog article about my teaching experience, but I published an Average Everygirl post the following week instead. Long story short, my class attendees were wonderful. They didn’t scold me for speaking a mile a minute to get through all my info. I didn’t die. Hooray!
Fourth Quarter: Frolicking in Creative Chaos
I started drafting a sequel to Namesake. The working title is Eidolon. You can read an excerpt here, if you’re interested.
I also went to the UK again, and again didn’t die on a British Highway. But I made my traveling companion (the lovely Rachel Collett) drive. We visited Haworth (home of the Brontës), hiked to Sycamore Gap, tromped through Edinburgh, and stopped off in Gretna Green. 10/10, would go again.
The first two weeks of November, I worked on NaNoWriMo. I promised myself that I would keep writing once I hit the 50K mark, but the day after I got it, my brain was like, “Nope. We done.”
(I’ve written since, but mostly on Eidolon rather than the NaNo project. Oh well.)
Brine and Bone lingers in publication limbo. The book is typeset, but I don’t have a cover or a blurb. I’ve considered outsourcing the former, but none of the portfolio styles or pre-mades I’ve come across seem to fit. I’m normally meh about covers, but I keep getting scolded for phoning things in on that front. So now I’m gun-shy. Yay.
The blurb is just… I don’t know. It’s a retelling of “The Little Mermaid,” you guys. It shouldn’t be difficult, but everything I brainstorm is so obvious. Like, “Yeah, yeah, the prince washes up on the shore. Some girl finds him. Yadda yadda yadda.”
If I had gone full horror-genre like I was so sorely tempted, it might be different. But I don’t write horror, and I couldn’t venture into those waters without bungling it.
So it might be 2018 before that one gets its day in the spotlight. Or 2019. Or never.
(After I die, they’re going to find dozens of unpublished manuscripts under my bed, and I’ll be up in heaven laughing with my new bff Emily Dickinson. It’ll be lit.)
Looking Forward: 2018 and Beyond
I’m dedicating December to the business of creative organization. The weekly critique group keeps me writing regularly, so I should be able to knock out something in the coming year. But I’m slipping back into my non-goals state of mind, so that’s my main obstacle going forward.
My own worst enemy, as usual. Bring it, 2018.
You could do what some hardback novels do and just put testimonial/praise quotes from other authors in the blurb?
I am so glad you are safely back from your trip and that your group is keeping you active, even if motivation isn’t easy.
(also happy really belated Kwanza, happy belated Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and happy New Year!!!)
Testimonials/praises from others authors would require me to solicit same. Trigger my anxiety attack in 3… 2…
(But don’t think I haven’t been tempted to pull random quotes from random people and call it a day. The chaotic-neutral in me thinks that’s an awesome idea.)
Thanks for the Season’s Greetings! Happy Holidays to you, too. 😀