We're heading into a New Year. We're far from being in the clear and conquering COVID, but I'm so grateful! It's easier to focus on all the negative things that bring us down. We lose sight of what's really important, but the past two years have been a lesson in what's essential. I'm pretty sure that's true for all of us.
As I look back on this year, I find that I've grown and learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. It's always important to reflect on all the blessings in your life. But sometimes, the right words escape us—or maybe we never really had them in the first place... This year has been about discovering new definitions, labels, words and evaluating life retrospectively. I'm not ready to share some things because I'm still trying to wrap my head around it myself, but there's been a lot of good things going on even though I didn't publish a thing this year.
I turned forty! *throws confetti* Ron and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We did everything backward, but the best things in life are sometimes unexpected. We were planning to move in together outside Philly because his ex was going to move back down to New Jersey to homestead, we'd planned a wedding on the beach in Cape May, but COVID changed everything. We got married in the backyard by a Jewish prison rabbi instead. Hey, all I can say is that 2020 was that kind of year, and you take what you can get when availability is hard. So, mazal tov! We're officially living in Deleware County in the Philadelphia suburbs, and Widener gave me an even bigger scholarship this year despite postponing the move.
I have a 3.8625 GPA and aced all my classes this fall. This year put a lot of things in perspective. Before Thanksgiving, I also changed my major to Digital Informatics with a concentration in Graphics, Mobile, & Web Development and Computer Information Systems with a minor in Gender Women and Sexuality. Since the digital side encompasses a lot of design, I'll be taking a drawing class this spring which I'm looking forward to, and since I'm a professional writer, Widener is letting me make up my course for an independent study instead of English 102 because it's way beyond my skills. I'll probably take Digital Photography next year. I'll also take more math classes, including Discrete Math, this spring because I'm doing Computer Information Systems. My goal is actually on the CIS side with full-stack development as a career change end goal. After all, I'm just a humble midlist author, and an evil day job is still necessary. ;)
I also got my books back from a book distributor. It's a long story. I didn't write for a while because my ex was trying to take me for royalties during my lengthy divorce. I thought about starting a new pen name that he couldn't claim, but I didn't want to start over. Then a marketing friend tried to sell me on a new idea, and after eating a deposit with nothing to show for it, I scrapped the whole thing because it was not viable or realistic. The worst part was her telling me that a book I'd planned on releasing that's 90% written was "depressing as fuck" so I was in a writing funk for a while and started doubting myself. A critique partner read it and said it's the best book I've ever written. Most skills with practice get better or mature over time. :)
I'm still not ready to dive back into finishing the YA novel I was working on last year, though. I have my groove back, but I'm going to do things my way and in my own space and time. So, now that I have my books back, I'm releasing expanded anniversary editions. I'm also going to offer e-books directly from my website for the first time ever and sign print books for those of you who have been with me since the beginning. I'm also working on a new book with midlife hexes and magical shenanigans. Be patient! And thanks for sticking with me. I wouldn't be able to do it without my readers.
Happy Holidays! xoxo -AC