Happy New Year!
2014 has been full of changes, hard work, and lots of fun.
This Year’s Highlights
Over the holidays, we moved across the country, from central California to the Florida Panhandle. I kind of love it here.
We welcomed a kitten, Daphne, into our family. ❤
Also, I began revising the manuscript I wrote in 2013, Good Girls, a story inspired by the Tim McGraw song of the same name. I blogged about Goal Setting, Gateway Books, and the Books I Read in January.
I made a Thirty Before 35 list (thirty things I want to accomplish before I turn 35 in 2016). I’ve crossed ten items off so far!
I made one of my *best* life decisions and started binge watching Friday Night Lights. I finished a month later.
We visited Disney World with some of our best buddies.
And saw a few Tallahassee highlights with my brother.
We made our first trip to the Destin beaches. Florida is lovely in the spring.
Good Girls was approved by my agent and went out on its first round of editor submissions. Honestly, I felt very good about it — high hopes. Additionally, I blogged about My Process, and talked about Books I Read in April.
We hit up a few minor league baseball games in Pensacola.
My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary –sort of. He was deployed, but still… It was a celebration. 🙂
I started a new manuscript, The Road So Far, which has since become my favorite of all the stories I’ve ever written.
My sweet girl finished 1st grade. ❤
We spent a week in Phoenix with my parents.
I started a rewrite of an old manuscript, Where Poppies Bloom.
Good Girls languished in Summer Submission Hell. I received lots of conflicting feedback (nothing I could apply to the manuscript) and decided to dive headlong into Where Poppies Bloom and The Road So Far. I co-hosted Ready.Set.Write with some other amazing writers, and raved about the Books I Read in June.
My mom and dad come all the way to the Panhandle to hang out with my girl and me (and, maybe, to enjoy our amazing beaches, too).
I finished my Where Poppies Bloom rewrite and sent it off to a few trusted readers for feedback before jumping back into The Road So Far.
I did more writing than blogging this month, but I did talk about the many fantastic Books I Read in July.
Such a busy month… My girlie turned SEVEN.
My husband FINALLY returned from Afghanistan.
I finished the first draft of The Road So Far, then dove into revisions of both it and Where Poppies Bloom.
We traveled to Oregon and Washington to celebrate my brother-in-law Sam’s marriage to my new sister-in-law, Kacie.
This girl started 2nd grade. How time flies!
I baked the most beautiful cake to ever come out of my kitchen.
After a long summer of being on submission with Good Girls, I accepted that it’s not going to be The One and, upon thoughtful reflection, decided that it might not be the right debut book for me anyway. While I’m very proud of it, it’s quite dark and perhaps not entirely reflective of my tone. So, I sent Where Poppies Bloom off to my agent. It was well-received (yay!), and is currently on its first round of submission. Cross your fingers! Furthermore, I blogged about Banned Books and the Books I Read in September.
We had family photos taken for the first time since 2008.
I started a new manuscript, a contemporary YA called Stars Like Dust. I adore it, and hope to finish the last 10K or so in the coming months.
My cutie pie wrapped up her first cheerleading season.
And I won National Novel Writing Month!
I visited New Orleans with my husband — so fun!
And celebrated a lovely Christmas with my family.
In addition, I completed my revision of The Road So Far and sent it off to my agent for feedback. Here’s hoping she loves it! Also, for the 4th successive year, I co-hosted the YA Superlatives Blogfest, participated in the Terrible Titles blog hop, and blogged about the Books I Read in December.
What I Learned in 2014
1. I can work on more than one project at a time.
2. CPs who say “screw that person who didn’t get your story” are SO important.
3. CPs who say “nope, your story’s just not there yet” are even MORE important.
4. Procrastination is most often my head’s way of telling me a story needs more time to bake, and that’s okay.
5. With each and every manuscript, my writing really does improve.
6. Writing a story that inspires me is worth any risks involved (like the story I wrote this summer… the sequel of a book that hasn’t sold yet — yikes).
7. Having an agent I trust, an agent who believes in my work and says things like “it WILL happen” is golden.
8. Making my goals public is the best way to guarantee I’ll accomplish them.
9. Family is my go-to source for true happiness.
Goals For 2015
An aside: I know I shouldn’t make “sell a book” a goal because I have no real control over editors’ tastes and the current marketplace, but traditionally publishing my stories will forever be something I strive to accomplish. I will write my fingers to the bone to make it happen, so…
There it is.
Here’s to a wonderful 2014, and an even better 2015. ❤