17 December 2023

by | Dec 17, 2023 | Personal Updates, Writing | 0 comments

Well, 2023 is almost a wrap.

In some ways, it feels so weird to write–or think–that. It seems to have passed incredibly quickly. But here of late… most of the years have felt like that, I suppose.

It’s been a while since I posted an update, and this will probably be the final one for 2023.

I never managed to get back on the writing horse after I hit a wall at the end of July. Oh, sure… I nibbled around the edges from time to time, but for the period of August through yesterday, I have written a grand total of 11,648 words. Today, I added 1,851 words to that total. It felt good, but started out kinda forced. I think the forced feeling was more from the fact that I hadn’t written in so long than any other explanation. I’ve noticed in the past that it takes me a rough start or three to get back into the swing of things when I let myself not write for a long period of time.

I want to do better in 2024, which is why I signed up for the “Sprint to the New Year with Kris,” which is a two-week challenge with Kristine Kathryn Rusch. It runs from tomorrow (December 18th) through the end of the year (December 31st). I’m looking forward to it, and it’ll be a lot of fun… especially if I get some of these words rattling around in my head onto a page somewhere.

Part of the reason my motivation to write faded a bit was that I didn’t have a reliable cover designer the past few months. A writer friend introduced me to one of her friends, and after a trial project, I have a new go-to cover designer. I’m looking forward to many future projects together. Right now, the “current” project is second book of a series I haven’t published yet. Because I’ve changed cover designers, I’ll be re-covering the entire Primogenitor Saga… simply because I cannot stand having two different cover styles for the same series. That’s honestly why I chose to make the second story arc of Drakmoor another series and end Histories with Skullkeep.

As of right now, I’m sitting at 280,621 words for 2023. I have not been able to crack 300,000 words in a year since 2021, but if the challenge with Kris goes well, I’m close enough that I might crack it this year. I’d love to routinely write one million to one-and-a-half million words per year. But like exercise, you have to work yourself up to that level of production. Who knows? 2024 might be the year I crack 500,000 words. We’ll see…

In thinking about my production for the coming year, I’ll probably only publish one or two Primogenitor novels and put the bulk of my focus on the series I have in the pipeline. The shared Contemporary/Urban Fantasy world currently has four or five series in it, plus my cover designer’s current project is part of a new Sci-Fi series I have in the works. It feels really good to be writing Sci-Fi again, and I’ve had a lot of fun writing the two titles I have so far (well… one and a half, as I’m still chipping away at the second book of the series).

As part of my prep for the coming year, I’ve also readied my 2024 Writing Log spreadsheet. I realize how utterly captivating this is for most of you (do mind that puddle of sarcasm, there), but I’m a very data-oriented writer in some respects. I value being able to look at a multi-tabbed spreadsheet and see what I wrote when if I want to drill down that far. Otherwise, the Annual Summary sheet is enough, once I’ve finished with a Log.

I also tagged this post with ‘Travel’. Most of November, I was on a trip out west. I attended 20Books Vegas (the conference’s final year), and I’d only be trying to make it to that event since 2019. At least I managed to attend the final one, right? I had a lot of fun, and it was incredible meeting everyone I met. The presentations I chose to attend in person were valuable, and I wish I would’ve attended earlier conferences.

I wasn’t in a touristy mindset on the trip out and back, so I don’t have a lot of pictures that one might accumulate on such a journey. The next time I’m in Vegas, I will definitely take the time to grab a pic of the “Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. I drove by it, but there was a horde of people in front of it, and I didn’t feel like stopping.

As part of my prep for the trip, I received both a flu shot and a COVID vaccine far enough in advance that it hit peak efficiency the day I left home for the road trip: November 1st. I feel that was a large part of why I successfully returned home without catching Con Crud or something similar.

But then my dad of all people gave me COVID…

Fortunately, it was the current strain that settles in a person’s sinuses as opposed to the earlier variants that absolutely loved the respiratory system. Today is the 8th day since my first full day of symptoms, and the doc told me after ten days I wouldn’t be contagious anymore. Yesterday, I started feeling pretty much like my old self again, so I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to get back to giving a damn in fairly short order.

I myself am fairly indifferent when it comes to holidays, but I know this time of year is pretty big deal for some people. If you are one of those people, I hope the season treats you and yours well. But I hope every day treats you and yours well, so I’m not sure how much weight you should give my ‘holiday greetings.’

Hrmmm… I think I’ve yammered on for long enough, and if I’m being honest, I’m not sure what else to write.  🙂

Be safe out there… at least safer than me!  🙂


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