Monday, December 11, 2023

Top 5 of 2023, an open book blog hop post


Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Tell us the top five best things that have happened to you in the past year. (Focus on writing, but other things are allowed)


I'm not sure these are in order, but here are five great things about my 2023 in writing: 

1. Day job success: 

This might seem off topic for a post about my writing successes, but my day job as a content strategist at a big financial company (a new career which I started in May of 2022) is going well. I like the work, but it doesn't drain me dry like teaching did. It pays better, too, which alleviates some stress. 

And all of that makes for a better writing life. It's hard to focus on your imaginary friends if you're worried about feeding your real family, after all. 

2. Convention time feeds my inspiration and energy

I went to several conventions and events this year, promoting my published work, networking, and just enjoying feeling successful and just a little bit famous. My work sold well at several of these, and I got to participate in some great panel discussions, and meet a few writing world celebrities. 

Highlights include having someone who had not read my work before buy the $100 omnibus edition of the Menopausal Superhero series (what a show of faith!), talking with horror author Gabino Iglesias about Puerto Rico and parenting while writing while we shared a signing table, and visiting the Poe Museum with Esther Friesner, a comedic fantasy author known for Chicks in Chainmail. 

In front of the Poe Museum with writing friends

Now that I've been doing "the con circuit" for eight years, I've got this whole family of writer friends and it's a joy to get time to spend with them a few times a year. 

3. Travel! Puerto Rico, Beach, PNW

The opportunity to travel is one of the great joys of my life and I had three lovely trips this year: to Puerto Rico with all the Bryants (including the elder daughter's partner), to the beach with my youngest kiddo and a few of their best friends for birthday aquarium fun, and to the Seattle area of Washington with my mom to visit my sister. That's a lot for one year!

The family in a park in PR

Travel always sets my brain and spirit alight, and that's got to be good for my wordsmithing. I wouldn't be at all surprised if El Yunque or the beach or Rattlesnake Lake shows up in something I write soon. 

4. Two new publications

I didn't publish a lot this year--my focus has been on the series-ending novel for the Menopausal Superheroes series, which hasn't left me much time to focus on submitting short stories or writing other new pieces. So, I was pleased as punch to still manage to get two new stories into anthologies this year!

My new anthologies!

You can read "The New Guy" a bit of science fiction set on an off-world botany lab in Breaking Free, an anthology from my critique group and "The Other Jack" a horror piece with urban legend vibes in Tangle & Fen from Crone Girls Press, a small feminist horror press I've had the pleasure of working with several times now. 

If you check them out, remember to leave a review! More reviews = more visibility, even if they are brief. 

5. Progress on that series-ending novel

The first Menopausal Superhero novel, Going Through the Change, came out in 2015 and I've been writing in that universe ever since, seeing three more novels, two novellas, and a collection of shorts into the world, as well as that omnibus edition I was telling you about. 

I love my heroes, and have enjoyed writing these action-adventure-comedy-women's fiction books, but it's time to move on to other projects, so I'm also happy to be wrapping it up. 

But writing a series-ender is a different sort of writing task than writing "the next one" and it's taken me longer than the others. I feel like I'm near the end now, though, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to share the finished series with you in 2025! (That seems far away, but it'll also go quickly, I know). 

It'll be the end of an era, and I'm hoping to celebrate with a big publication party and maybe a book tour. We'll see what me and my publisher come up with :-)


So, that's my year in words. I hope 2023 was kind to you as well, giving you a lot to feel grateful for as the year comes to an end. Don't forget to check out the other posts in this blog hop and leave me a comment letting me know how your 2023 went. 

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  1. Getting into two anthologies is a great accomplishment!

  2. Congratulations on the publications, ending a series is a daunting prospect.

    1. It has been daunting. I'll deserve a party when I get there.

  3. Well done for getting your work published in two anthologies. Good luck with your series-ending novel!