Goodbye 2020

I don’t know what this year has been like for you, but mine has been rough: loss of friendships, loss of family members, loss of a pet, almost a full year of isolation as my yoga business closed (at least temporarily), and lots of changes in the works as my family and I try to sort out what the new normal is supposed to look like. The good news is I’ve gotten a LOT of writing done, and that has been a really wonderful thing. I’m busily editing Odessa Moon so I can get it off to my wonderful editors, and I’m looking forward to the next thing, not just the third installment of the Icarus Project Series, but maybe another project entirely. My heart is so heavy these days that, while I love the world I’ve created in Absinthe Moon and its sequels, I find I’m in the mood for something a little more light-hearted. Maybe I’m finally learning not to take myself so seriously.

I’ve actually spent much of this month, so far, working on some short stories. Parade is finally out and available, and I really enjoyed the time I have spent rereading my old shorts and dreaming up some new ideas. I have a couple of ideas I’ve got in the pot, and I’m excited about what that might look like were I to pursue that. In the mean time, I’m really proud of the new stories I’ve been able to add to the collection that was Sixteen Seasons. I’ve taken out the weaker stories and added a few more.

Miss Happenstance is a historical romance piece that was inspired by a piece of Regency literature I found to be quite a delightful escape. My books are often described as Regency when in fact they are late Victorian, but I figured in this instance, why not give it a shot? I really enjoyed it, and the endeavor has sparked some further inspiration in the way of maybe writing a full-length piece.

The Break is a contemporary story about the end of a marriage and the beginning of a new relationship. I wrote it some time ago, and sort of kept it tucked away in a drawer, but I’m actually fairly proud of this story, so I thought I would at last share it.

Deer in Winter came to me by way of a dream, actually. I’m always marveling about the seeming coincidences in life, how everything (in the words of Dirk Gently) is connected.

I’ve been wanting to tell the full and detailed history of Absinthe Moon‘s hero Robert Mayhew for some time. It’s hinted at in the first book, but in the second volume, where I had hoped to include his story, it only seemed to clutter the plot, which, as it turns out, centers around Emeline’s history. And so I thought I would just offer it as an addendum to the series, but also as a standalone story and an introduction to the books. Hopefully it offers the new reader a taste of what the series is about and they, therefore, do not have to invest too much at the outset before they decide whether or not it’s for them.

While the world has been in lockdown, I’ve also spent a lot of time really thinking about what it is that motivates me and makes me happy. In the past I’ve worked several gigs at once just to make ends meet, and because I thrive on diversity and variety. But I think, of all the things I do, it’s the writing that makes me happiest. I would love to give 100% of my time to this work. This pandemic has given me the opportunity to find out if that’s sustainable. The jury is still out, but Iv’e not yet given up hope.

I’m also learning that, no matter what I choose to pursue, I have to attend to my self-care, which I’ll have a little more to say in an upcoming post.

I’m often nostalgic at year’s end. This has been a hard one. I’ve changed a lot in the years since I first began writing. I have new and different things to say. I’m a different person in a lot of ways. I’ve learned to stand up for myself, not to apologize any longer for who and where I am. I’m becoming quite strong. Trial will do that, to you, I suppose. I suspect I’ll look at this time similarly as how I look at 2015-2016, when my father became ill and my marriage ended, and though Dickens said it first, it was sort of the worse of times and the best of times at once.

I hope that, for you as well, 2020 has had some bright spots. I’m looking forward to a brighter 2021, even if it gets off to a rough start. May you all find much to celebrate this holiday season, and thank you for your readership. It really has meant the world to me.