If I see one more decade-in-retrospective listicle, I’m going to shred my calendar. Entering the 2020s doesn’t necessarily mark the portentous turn of some cosmic page. January 1 has no more inherent significance than December 31, or any other planetary spin cycle. Silly humans, inflating the importance of our own arbitrary frameworks (ironic in this case, since our species hasn’t even unraveled the nature of time)! New Year’s has never been a big holiday for me, even when we ratchet up the tens place in the numeral.
Nonetheless, I’m excited for this next trip around the sun. Sudden, seismic shifts in life’s tectonic plates demanded my attention this winter, putting my author platform in the backseat (hence my hiatus from blogging and Twitter since Thanksgiving). More on that in another post. For now, let’s review my 2019 writing achievements.
After testing the indie waters as an e-book exclusive author, I took the print plunge. Both my debut novel Blue Karma and the omnibus edition of my Syzygy hexalogy arrived in ink this year. Despite some misadventures with IngramSpark, they turned out pretty well. Print copies opened up new distribution possibilities: there’s now a copy of Blue Karma in the library systems where I grew up, and my Laddie and I made a scavenger hunt of donating books to Little Free Libraries all over the country during our summertime travels.
Holding the trade paperbacks in my hand, I could finally grasp—in both a literal and emotional way—that I’d written a book. Books. Plural. Not just a monster PDF, but a brightly bound stack of pages that doesn’t look out of place on the bookshelf beside my favorite sci-fi titles.
Maybe I didn’t put out a new novel in 2019, but I did add to my publication credits. My short story Armed for the Future appeared in Brave New Girls: Adventures of Gals and Gizmos, a YA science fiction anthology. Authors and artists donate their work for each collection, sales of which support the Society of Women Engineers’ scholarship fund. Girl-power stories were a tremendous positive influence in my childhood, so contributing to one brought me immense satisfaction. Friendly, responsive coordinators ran the process smoothly, and the final product made a great gift for the daughters of several friends. Overall, the experience ranks among the most gratifying of my writing adventures thus far…but a whole new year is just around the corner!