This year has been a rough one for me personally. My mother passed on December 29, 2018. I spent ringing in 2019 far from my home, though I did have most of my immediate family with me. My aunt, two cousins, two sisters, my father, and I were in MD Anderson in Houston, TX packing up our hopes that my mother would come home cured.
The drive from Houston to Phoenix with my father, aunt, and sisters was long and exhausting. We had to navigate not only the roads, but planning the funeral, wake, obituary, and eulogy all while in deep grief and shock. A difficult way to start the new year.
On the writing front, I had held back my book in late 2018 to do yet another round of edits before I sent the manuscript to the editor. The pre-editor edits took months for me to slog through while processing my mother's death.
In February, my favorite in-person writing class Story Expedition by Lisa Miller came into town. I was not feeling up to going. Yet Lisa reached out and encouraged me to come. So I trusted that I needed to be there and signed up.
I am glad I went. I didn't make a ton of notes on my yet-to-be-rewritten YA series, but I deepened the storyline. I was also able to be around other writers and offer suggestions to build on their ideas, which felt nice to be able to assist other's growth.
Lisa also teaches an amazing online class Story Structure Safari. I have taken it multiple times and still love it.
In March, I managed to snag a 20Booksto50K Las Vegas 2019 conference ticket for November. I was excited and happy to branch out and meet other working writers from around the world.
In June, I was able to get the manuscript to my editor. It was freeing to get that off my list. Liberated, I turned my focus to brainstorming my next stories. The muse bit me hard and I ended up worked three stories simultaneously for a few months until I hit a wall.
Yet no fear, in September, my manuscript came back from the editor with many, many edits. No surprise since grammar is not my strong suit. I received fantastic feedback that once again set me down the editing path.
As October rolled closer, I knew I wanted to have my author website live before I went to the conference in Vegas. Thankfully, Lisa Norman (AKA Deleyna Marr) was teaching Crazy-Easy Awesome Author Websites! at Margie Lawson Writer's Academy. In a little over a month, I had the bones of my website set up with ease, just like Lisa's class promised. 🙂
The beginning of November had me rushing around getting business cards printed and finishing up my author logo and branding designs to go to Vegas. Then the day before I was to leave, there was a spiral fracture in one family member and a back thrown out in another one, so sadly, I had to miss the conference.
The cancelation shook me for a while as I rode out the disappointment. The disappointment turned to an opportunity to do a writing retreat in early 2020. I then spent the end of November through December finally making through the notes from the editor. I can feel the end of the book and can't wait to finally have it published and off my plate.
How did your 2019 go?