Jan. 1st, 2014

Revitalized

Jan. 1st, 2014 07:53 am
devarae: (labyrinth)
I love reading other folks' year-end reviews and plans for the new year ahead, so here's mine!

I think the best word to describe 2013 for me is "revitalizing."

I started off 2013 in kind of a low place, feeling as if I was flailing in many ways. I was struggling with ongoing anxiety and depression, and sad that I was in a publishing dry spell. But I finally sought treatment for the anxiety/depression (and I am telling you all this in the hopes that it will encourage other folks to do the same, if you are hesitating). It took time and effort, but by the middle of the year I was actually enjoying life again.

The second half of 2013 was excellent! I went on a lovely writing retreat with one of my long-time critique partners where I got to hang out with a bunch of other awesome writers, swim in a lake formed by a meteor, and spend my days writing. Bob and I visited both our extended families in Minnesota. I explored more of Maine, picked strawberries with my best friend, went sea-kayaking with my brother, and started playing a new LARP campaign with a crew of amazing people. And I got to go back to my beloved Paris for ten days, with my husband and my mom, where I ate all the pastries, saw heaps of beautiful things, and spent hours wandering magical streets.
From Paris 2013


By the end of the year I think (hope!) I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have any new books under contract. It helps to read posts like this one, by Jessica Spotswood (author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles, the third book of which I am dying to read after gobbling up the first two this summer), and be reminded that the only thing I can really control is the writing itself, and that the best reward is the joy that comes from falling in love with a story and trying to record it as faithfully and truly as I can.

It also helped that the end of 2013 brought me some of the coolest reader feedback on my published books I've had so far, including my first actual paper fan mail. Circus Galacticus is on the Sunshine State list in Florida, and I've had some lovely correspondence with readers and teachers and librarians there. I am truly grateful that I do have books out there in the world, and that they are reaching readers.

I wrote 135K new words this year on fiction, a little more than last year. Some of them were on a revision of a book that is searching for a home, but most of them were on something new (still in progress, after a number of false starts). The past two months have been especially good, possibly due to the fact that I started motivating myself with cute stickers:



Hopefully I can keep it up in 2014. I have plenty of stickers!

I wish you all a wonderful New Year!
devarae: (labyrinth)
This was the year I really fell in love with reading ebooks. I do still love paper books. (Reading in the bathtub is one of my favorite indulgences and I am not quite brave or foolish enough to read my tablet when submerged in gallons of slippery, soapy hot water). But it's just so convenient to be able to read my tablet in bed without a light, especially if I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep. I find myself avoiding large, heavy hardbacks and fat fantasy novels that I have on my to-read shelf, partly because I just don't like having to balance them awkwardly in my hand.

I knew I had passed some sort of threshold when I was trying to read a physical book this fall, and I tried to tap the right edge of the page to make it turn.

There are things I don't like about ebooks: that my library is spread across five different reading apps, that sometimes the formatting is wonky, that I can't lend most of them. But overall, I expect I will continue to buy more ebooks in 2014, and save my physical book-buying for nonfiction, books with pictures and particular favorites.

Some overall reading stats for 2013:

Total books read: 73 Books (not including a half-dozen manuscripts for critique).

Breakdown by Source/Type:
25 owned physical (14 of these were re-reads)
23 owned ebook
22 library physical
1 library ebook
2 audiobooks
1 ARC (advanced reader copy)

Breakdown by Type:
44 YA Fiction
15 Adult Fiction
6 Middle Grade Fiction
4 Graphic Novel (various age levels)
2 Non-Fiction
1 Picture Book Fiction
1 Poetry

My full reading list for 2013 is over on Goodreads.

This was a really enjoyable reading year. I read more of what I wanted. I re-read a lot of beloved favorites. And I think I found more books I really loved because I did a TON of ebook sampling on my Nexus tablet first.

About 20% of the books I read this year were by diverse authors or featured prominant diverse characters. This is comparable to last year, but not as high as I want it to be. I want to make more of an effort in 2014 to seek out diverse books, and especially books by authors who are diverse. I also want to make an effort to read more Middle Grade fiction in 2014. And I want to continue to re-read. I really enjoyed the chance to revisit some of my favorites, and I think the best books reward you over and over again.

April 2017

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