The New Year, part 1: Looking back

Well, that was the end of 2015! At the start of the year, I set myself some 2015 goals. How have I done?

  1. Green Sky Series – keep writing! At the start of 2015, books 5, 6 and 7 were plotted or incomplete, and I hadn’t even started 8, 9 or 10. Now? I got published! Green Sky & Sparks was published in June and Grey Stone & Steel in December. High Flight and Flames is due for Spring 2016, and the fourth book, Salt Winds & Wandering, has just gone to Sammy for a first read. NaNoWriMo was incredibly successful, which was brilliant! Books 4-9 of the GreenSky series are complete, and 10 is in progress, so from the start of 2015 I’ve made considerable progress. I don’t feel like I’ve come very far but I need to keep reminding myself that I really have!
  2. Madcap Library / Duster – keep at it! This has happened; we submitted a children’s illustrated story, but for the moment, the series is on hold.
  3. Get more involved in the writing community. Yes! I’m still involved with Swindon Free Writers, I’m on Twitter @writingandcoe and using it fairly frequently, and I now have a Facebook page too. I’m occasionally on Goodreads, I have done quite a few book reviews, and I’m generally trying to talk to more people.
  4. Keep encouraging, critiquing and editing. Yes! I’ve read an amazing story by @Figures, and he’s promised me the next one too. I’ve had a serial story, ripped apart @O_T_Curtis‘s bits, done editing and critiquing for friends…and I’m also doing bits of editing work for Grimbold. I’m really enjoying being able to help others and read new things.
  5. Challenge myself. Well, yes. I’ve written over 75,000 words of Dresden Files fanfiction, which has definitely pushed me. I’ve written flash fiction and short stories in a variety of subjects and genres – and even if most of them haven’t been finished or worked, I’m still happy that I tried.

What else has happened? I visited Edinburgh with the boys and got quite a lot of inspiration there for a story series; I’ve had a short story accepted for an anthology; and I’ve been blogging several times a week for the entire year – mostly about writing, but other topics too. I went to BristolCon and FantasyCon, and was on a panel at BristolCon, which was both exciting and terrifying! I’ve been involved with Swindon FreeWriters, and generally caused chaos with writing friends (@Figures and @O_T_Curtis being the main accomplices there…)

Gaming-wise, we’re almost finished with one campaign and I started another – I’m GM’ing a major campaign for the first time! I hope to start the next arc of that in the new year and that will hopefully cover the next six months. I’ve learned quite a few new card and board games, too, which has been brilliant fun.

I’ve also been reading a lot of books, thanks to a Kindle app and a train ride. My favourite of this year is a tie between Darkhaven by AFE Smith (which I stayed up ’til 2am to finish…) and The Reluctant Prophet by Gillian O’Rourke. In second place are The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron, The Songs of Seraphina by Jude Houghton, The Copper Promise by Jen Williams, and Spark & Carousel by Joanne Hall. I also adored the Split World series by Emma Newman. If you haven’t got any of these, go get them!

In the more personal sphere, I’m doing ok. I started a new job in the spring and came off my anti-depressants; I also made a fairly major change to my life in the summer that left me calmer and wiser, so on the whole I’ve been a lot happier this year! Some bad news just before Christmas meant that I really haven’t been in the festive mood for the past week or so, but…ho hum, it’s temporary. Overall, I’ve done ok in 2015; I still have days where I struggle, but I’m able to face a lot more of the world than I was in 2014. Here’s to 2016 looking up!

And finally, a huge thank you to everyone who’s followed me, read this blog, bought my books, generally been a pain in the butt or otherwise helpful…you’re all amazing, and I really appreciate your support.

I’ll do another post in a bit about my 2016 writing resolutions and plans…so watch this space!