Here We Go, 2021

So this is 2021. It’s a little bit scary that this century is now old enough to drink. No good can come from this.

But I’m not here to ruminate on what the world will be like in 2021. I know there’s already a lot to talk about, but I’m going to resist. Let’s just stipulate that globally, the year is off to an inauspicious beginning.

So… onward.

A month or so ago, I shared a wee bit about my goals and plans for 2021, but only a wee bit. I was still planning and figuring things out.

Now I’m ready to share a bit more, and by a bit, I mean a lot.

I know that not all of this is relevant or even interesting to most of you, but I’m writing it down here so that I can revisit next January and see how things went. And also for the accountability factor… I’ve had mixed results with the whole public accountability thing before, but I figure at this point, what the hell?

So, without further ado, some status updates and progress reports and goals.

Goal #1: Recover From 2020

Let me first say two things about my experience in 2020:

  1. My husband did not lose his job, and I eventually ended up with more client work than expected, so we did not suffer financially in 2020.
  2. This past year was not even close to the worst year of my life. 2016 still holds that title, and I doubt it will ever relinquish it.

Those stipulations aside, 2020 was ugly. Like a lot of folks, I gained weight. While I wasn’t home all that much more than usual, and though I kept up with my exercise regimen (mostly), I ate more junk, drank more alcohol, and moved less. Having two high schoolers home for nearly a year at this point has put all of us on edge. The hubs has not traveled in a year, so with four of us at home (now five, with older daughter home from college for another week), tensions are high, and my waistline has suffered.

So goal #1 is to recover physically from 2020. That means reining in my diet, pushing my workouts a little harder, and trying to recover mentally from the immense social energy expended by being home with my family. I intend to get my weight back to where it was a year ago, get back into the full running stride, and make more time for mental health with reading and knitting and finding quiet time.

Goal #2: Finish Unquickened in 2021

I swear by all that is holy and good, I will finish this cotton-picking novel this cotton-picking year. I don’t have a publication date yet, but I swear to you all, it will be done.

At the moment, the blasted thing stands at about 130k words, give or take. It was up to the right length, and then I chopped a bunch of stuff, and now I’m adding back in, smoothing out, editing, and trying to weave it all together and tie up loose ends. It’s still a mess, but I am HOPING to have a beta-reader-ready draft done by the end of February, maybe sooner. So if it takes a month for my beta readers to get through it, and then another month to do a final spit shine and polish, maybe it’ll be out the end of April? Maybe? That’s my goal.

Goal #3: … And Write More Fiction in 2021

So, the thing is, if I want to make money writing fiction, I need more of it out there. Like, a lot more. So in addition to continuing to work on The Taurin Chronicles, I am going to try to publish a few more short pieces this year. I have in mind some more Ian Mac Roy novellas, and I am going to attempt to write some short stories that may or may not be connected to The Taurin Chronicles. I don’t have specific plans for those yet, so stay tuned. This piece is evolving.

And as long as we’re on the subject of making a living writing fiction…

Goal #4: Launch the Whole Promotion Project

My web developer and I are working on the new website, and lemme tell ya, it looks fantastic. The site is going to be FULL of good stuff–my blog, obviously, and a store, and some fun things for fans of The Taurin Chronicles. It also looks SO MUCH BETTER than this site. I cannot WAIT till launch. There will be a launch date soon, so watch for that.

Besides more fiction and a new website, I have other plans to connect and engage with my audience better:

  1. More social media: I don’t intend to add more platforms, but I do intend to be more active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads. (I’m not going back to Twitter, so don’t ask me.)
  2. More Taurin Chronicles: There may be a wiki sometime this year. I’m working on it. It started as a way for me to keep track of things for continuity purposes, but with the help of my amazing marketing/developer guru, we are going to try to turn it into something people can visit and read and share.
  3. More interactive media: As much as I resist the video thing, I am going to bite the bullet and do some of this in 2021. I may also do some live readings and AMAs.

Suffice to say, there are plans afoot.

But…

Complicating Factors

What would life be without complications?? None of these are necessarily bad things, but they do interfere with the fiction side of my business, so I share them here for your interest.

  1. Client work: My biggest client wants to send me more work this year. This is great! I love working with them, and the income is a good thing. I also have work lined up with other clients for the first couple of months of 2021, and who knows what else will come along? Client work is still my biggest source of income, so for this year, at least, it will remain the priority.
  2. Living circumstances: Oregon is becoming a challenging place to live for a variety of reasons, so we may very well find a new place to call home by the end of 2021. We’ll see. This is currently under evaluation.
  3. Life: Complications #1 and #2 are just the ones I know about. I mean, last January, none of us could have anticipated a global pandemic that would disrupt everything for a year. So I am going to attempt to embrace the idea that I can only plan so much, and life is bound to throw me curveballs that I can’t anticipate.

The Upshot for 2021

So that’s where we are right now. Some of these goals are firm, some are vague, and some are in the middle. But at least I have some sense of direction.

The one thing I would love to ask of you, my audience: If you want to keep up on all of the coming attractions, launches, and events, could you sign up for my e-mail list?

I promise not to spam you. And I promise that you will be hearing more news within the month.

Until then, here’s wishing all of us a productive, sane 2021. My advice to you? Turn off the news, breathe deeply, get some sun and some movement, drink lots of water, and take care of yourself. I intend to do likewise.

Until next time…

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