Endings & Beginnings

First of all, the winner of the Madman's Daughter paperback and Her Dark Curiosity arc is Susan Terendy. Congrats, Susan!

And now, onto the 2013 recap. I love the end of one year and the start of another. I think writers are naturally introspective people, and it is such a good opportunity to evaluate what the last twelve months meant and look forward to the future. From speaking with friends, it seems 2013 was a tough year for lots of people. It was a mixed year for me. Some wonderful things happened, like The Madman's Daughter release, hearing from readers & fans, taking a trip to Ireland and learning falconry, selling a short story in an anthology, meeting some of my writing idols at YALL Fest & other book events, getting a dog. But there were challenges as well. It's hard to know what to expect with a debut, and as Alison Cherry wrote in this great blog post, there are ups and downs that come with the territory. I also had to push my second series back a year because I couldn't give it the time & attention it deserved. (I'm happy to say I'm working on it again and loving it!). 

I keep a journal and sit down at every new year's to write resolutions. Here were my main resolutions for 2013, and the results:

Less screen time. By this I meant less time both on TV and the computer. My husband and I cancelled our cable, so while I still watch a lot of shows (I can't help it, I just discovered Revenge!), at least I don't mindlessly flip on the TV anymore. I still spend a lot of non-working time online, but I've decreased my online presence in the last few months, and it's done wonders for my sanity and eyesight and social life.

Get outside more. This goes with the first resolution. I had envisioned hiking and camping and horseback riding every week, which hasn't happened, but since getting this cute pup I'm outside at least a few times a day for long walks, which is my new favorite time of the day.

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Greater variety of reading. Yes! Proud to have accomplished this and hoping for even more variety in 2014. If you're interested, here's a breakdown of my 2013 reading log

Get in shape. The same resolution every year, right? This year, amazingly, I actually did get in better shape thanks to a great gym and more time to cook at home. I'll admit I was a victim of the Debut Year 15. If you want to know how I tackled it, here's a blog post about it.

As far as my goals for 2014, I'm aiming for better balance. 2012 and 2013 were such wonderful years as they were the start of my writing career, but writing also consumed my every waking moment, thought, and worry. Now that I feel fairly settled into my writing routine, I want to recultivate old interests like travel and foreign languages, and pick up new skills (learning to sew and learning to fish are first up), and deepen my friendships. I'm so lucky to live in a town with wonderful people, and to have developed great online friendships, and I want to devote more time to those friends who make life so much richer.

Most of all, I'm thankful to all of you, friends & family & readers, for being a part of my life in 2013. I'm looking forward to a great 2014!