December Status Report

 
Photo by  Florian Klauer  on  Unsplash
 

Hello, friends!

What a ride it’s been since my last update! I fully intended to post in December, but too much urgent stuff piled up and posting took a slide down the priority pile. I’m here now, though!

I thought I’d start with a quick summary of the past quarter so you can see what I’ve been up to:

October:

Moody social media memes led up to the official launch of Dragon Ascending and an amazing launch party and book signing where I got to meet lots of you super fun people.

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Plus, I was interviewed on Dungeon Crawlers Radio! Squee!

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November:

Orson Scott Card said some very nice things in his review of Dragon Ascending AND happened to be in town for a book signing, so I got to meet him. I was excited to get a personalized signature on my copy of Ender’s Game, and completely floored by his enthusiastic response to meeting me.

And, of course, Dancing with the Viper was released!

 
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December:

In December, we did a fun 12 days of Christmas countdown and gave away free digital copies of Dancing with the Viper in honor of Jolabokaflod. I got to spend some time with my family for the holidays and then wrote my little tail off trying to meet the deadline to submit a short story to an upcoming anthology of forgotten fairy tale retellings. My contribution is a retelling of Through the Fire, by Mary de Morgan, from her 1877 book, On a Pincushion and Other Fairy Tales. My version is set in the same universe as the Vanir Dragon Series, but in the distant past before the Breaking and the fall of the fae. I made the deadline (just barely!), but it’s too soon to know if my submission was accepted.

On a more personal front, the fourth quarter of the year brought with it a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. Between the beginning of October and the end of December, we encounter three Holidays—Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas—complete with all the celebrations, decorations, and presentations that accompany them. During the same time period, our family also experiences the anniversaries of a death in the family, two pregnancy losses, and my stroke.

I think we’re all happy to have a new year and a fresh start.

Over the holiday school (and homeschool) break, I read The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months, by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, and have integrated their planning methods with my trusty Kanban board for the upcoming quarter. I’m excited to see how things play out.

Thank you again, dear friends, for your friendship and support in this exciting adventure of mine.

Currently Working On: 

  • Vanir Dragon Series, Book 2 - Progress has been slower than I’d like. This book isn’t coming together as quickly as I had hoiped, and I’m in the process of adjusting some of the plot lines yet again. But the more I get into it, the more possibilities open up, and the more fun I have with it. I think it’s going to be a fun book when it’s done.

  • Self-education - I’m still in the process of learning the intricacies of the craft of writing, and am also trying to fill in some gaps in my knowledge of my chosen genres. (I’ve always loved reading fantasy and sci-fi, but there were a number of years in there when all my limited reading time needed desperately to be used to absorb as much non-fiction as I could on topics like autism, anxiety disorders, ADHD, sensory integration, social skills education, and other related real-life topics.) If you have suggestions for books every author of sci-fi and fantasy ought to have read, I’d love it if you’d leave them in the comments below.

Currently Waiting On: 

  • Anthology response. When the call for submissions for the Forgotten Fairy Tales anthology first came out in September, I decided that with two books about to launch, two sequels in the works, and a crash course in business and book marketing falling down around my ears, I really didn’t have time for writing short stories. I was happy when the dust finally started settling about two weeks before the deadline, and I was able to write a story for this after all. I’m excited to see if it’s accepted for the collection, but I know there are a lot of considerations in choosing works to include in an anthology. So, fingers crossed!

Currently Most Distracted By:

  • Trying to balance All The Things.

  • Homeschool (Proud of my daughter, who is making good progress, and who has decided to participate in the competitive robotics team at the school she attends part-time.)

  • Helping my special needs son work toward getting his driver’s license. (This is a BIG DEAL for him, and a little more complicated than the standard road to vehicular freedom. Wish us luck!)

  • Pet problems:
    1 - The death of the mentally imbalanced beta fish my daughter used to have in her aquarium. (We think there was a brain injury there due to overheating during drying out process after the Great Flood of ‘17.) She is both saddened and relieved at its passing.

    2 - A swarm of neon tetras decided to pick on one of the larger fishes in the aquarium, resulting in a middle of the night retaliatory “incident” in which one of the neons lost half its face (but survived and seems to be doing fine). The tetra gang has been re-homed with another family, and peace seems to have settled over aquarium land once more.

    3 - Zoe the Dog is getting “older” and needed to have her teeth cleaned and a little oral surgery done. She was very grumpy with me for a while because I had to feed her soft food (if there’s anything more insulting than kibble, it’s soft dog food) and take away all her rawhides and hard chew toys until her mouth healed. I discovered she must have some stashy places I don’t know about, because three times she showed up with stubs of old rawhides I hadn’t confiscated, and I had to take them away. Now she gives me the side-eye every time she’s got hold of anything hard and I wander too near.

    4 - The lizard (named “Fluffy” or “Archimedes,” depending on who you ask) has developed an infection in its eye, so we’ve had the adventure of visiting the herp vet, who hadn’t seen this species before and had to look it up (we were very popular as all the techs came in to say hi and see the cute new lizard). My daughter bravely took on the task of administering the meds (topical antibiotic ointment applied by poking the lizard in the eye with a cotton swab, as well an oral analgesic that involves annoying the lizard until it opens its mouth to threaten you, and then squirting the tiny syringe as quick as you can). When the infection drained the other day, the poor critter was literally bleeding out its eye (EW!), but we’re relieved to see that although it’s not completely cleared up, it’s looking much better and its eye seems to be intact and still responsive to light and motion.