Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year In Review

2008 has been an interesting year. Lots of ups and downs and some downs that were kind of up. My writing career progressed well.

My writing year in review:

PAST LIES was released in April. (Ellora's Cave) This was my 2007 NaNoWriMo novel.
Wrote novella LONGING FOR ETERNITY. Released July. (Book 3 Eternity series-Ellora's Cave)
Finished novella A HELPING HAND. Started in 2006! Released August. (Ellora's Cave)
Wrote novella DOUBLE HAPPINESS for another publisher and was rejected. Revised a little and sold to Ellora's Cave. Released October.
Wrote and sold a short story for Black Lace. THE SHOPPING LIST is in the SEDUCTION anthology. Release date Feb 09 UK/Apr 09 US.
Wrote and submitted another short story for Black Lace. Waiting for response.
Wrote and sold novella POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES. Release date February 4. (Ellora's Cave)
Wrote and sold novella HIDDEN HANDS. Waiting on edits. (Ellora's Cave)
Wrote and submitted novella FIGHTING FOR ETERNITY (Book 4 Eternity series-Ellora's Cave) Waiting for response.
Wrote 17k of new novella. Target Ellora's Cave.
Working on revisions of short story rejected by Spice for Ellora's Cave.
Worked on worldbuilding for a scifi series.
Did several false starts for Harlequin Blaze submission. I can't seem to strike a story that works. Maybe because I've been writing much hotter than Blaze.

The evil day job was a pain because there just wasn't enough work. I hated spending the day sitting in front of a computer with nothing to do. The days drag on that way. So it really wasn't much of a surprise when lay offs were discussed in October. The boss' evil boss and I came to an agreement. I took the severance and ran. My eventual goal of writing fulltime came way sooner than I expected but I looked at it as a blessing in disguise. Not having a day job, I could concentrate on writing and see if I have what it takes to make it as a writer. Yes, my poor savings would probably be reduced some but I was okay with that.

For October and November, I did really well at keeping a schedule and making sure I hit word counts. Didn't make NaNoWriMo this year because I was concentrating on novellas instead of a longer title. December I kind of crashed a little. With the holidays approaching, I was distracted. Still I managed a decent word count plus I've been mulling over a scifi concept for a good part of the month.

Heath-wise, life was interesting and filled with blessed relief. I had a lung cancer scare. Between CAT scans, PET scan and a lung biopsy, the pulmonary specialist said it wasn't cancer but an infection. We have to keep an eye on it for a while. Shortly after the relief of those results, I found out my thyroid wasn't working. Doc said hyperthyroidism. An ultrasound didn't reveal any additional problems so I'm on yet another pill for the rest of my life. But if that's the worst of it, I'm happy. It's not like I don't already take a bunch of pills! LOL

So as the end of the year approached, and the severance ran out, I started feeling a little paranoid about the budget. I knew I could make it but I abhor stealing from savings to live. The deductibles on the extra doctor bills pretty much guaranteed I would have to dip into the piggy bank. Then I hear from my counterpart at the old day job. She's found another job and was leaving the week of Christmas.

I was torn hearing the news. Thrilled for her, mind you! She had an hour and a half commute and her new job was ten minutes from her house. But what did this mean for me? I taught her most of the stuff she did and I'm collecting unemployment on this company. Legally, they could call me back full-time. If I refused, I'd lose my unemployment. Not that I thought my old boss would do that but hey, it's the company's right.

In the end, I called her and offered to come back part-time. We worked out terms, pay, hours, etc. For the most part, I'll work the first part of the month to close the books. The rest of the month, I'll be off with time to write. Plus it gets me out of the house some and the extra money will help me with the doctor bills! And I'm beginning to have a little cabin fever. *cackle* She doesn't really need someone full-time. I should be able to train some of the other staff for part of the responsibilities. The work may dwindle off or may end up just a week a month. What happens remains to be seen.

I dread the commute again. It's an hour trip one way on a back country highway. Then I tell myself to look on the bright side. I get a lot of good writing ideas during long drives. Need to make sure my voice recorders have good batteries!

So 2008 was full of the unexpected and it looks like 2009 probably won't change much. But that's okay. Life is an adventure and I don't want to know the end of the book before I've read it.

May your 2009 bring all your dreams home to roost! Happy New Year!

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