Wow, 2014 has been a crazy year for me. A great year but a whirlwind of insanity at times.
This year, I began graduate school to earn my MFA in creative and professional writing, and now that a full year in the program has passed, I can say that I love it and believe I made the right decision. I don’t think my parents were terribly pleased when I decided to change my course of study in the second half of my junior year from pre-med to English major, but I’m a lot happier reading and analyzing books and writing constantly than I ever was doing dissections and memorizing muscle groups (though biology and science still hold a special place in my heart and in my books). In 2014, I also became a graduate assistant at the university I attend, which means I help out the professors and put together the end of semester newsletter as well as work on the department’s literary magazine.
The best part of this year has been self-publishing The Earl of Brass. For years I had hoped to publish a novel and while those dreams until recently only considered traditional publishing, I know I made the right choice. I proved to myself that I could do it. I could write it, edit it, work with my artist to design the cover, format it, and market it. My writing has been one of those things that I take great pride in yet lack self-confidence sometimes. When I’m working, I love my work, but I’m often afraid of how others will react to it. Thus far (knock on wood), The Earl of Brass has been received favorably, which only makes me more eager to publish The Winter Garden next year. In the process of publishing and networking, I have met some fabulous writers, many of which are indie too. If you are a writer, talk to other writers. They are amazing people who are incredibly supportive and more helpful than I ever imagined.
For 2015, I am hoping to continue to get to know more awesome authors and hone my craft as I continue to work on book two, The Winter Garden, and the currently unnamed third book in the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. I have some tasks set up for 2015 that I will (hopefully) complete in the coming year:
- Finish The Winter Garden and have it published in ebook and paperback in March– I’m about 80,000 words into it currently, so what I’m hoping to do is write the ending by the end of winter break and then do my rounds of editing from January on.
- Work on my thesis proposal for grad school– This makes me sick to think about. It’s due around April 15th and is submitted to a committee who gives the yay or nay to my proposal. Ugh, the idea that my fate is in someone else’s hands raises my anxiety to astronomical levels. What I hope to do for my thesis is the third book in the series and finagle it to sound so good that the committee approves it without any major revisions. I’m already figuring out what books I want to use as part of my bibliography and possibly what storyline I am going for. It will definitely feature Eilian and Hadley as the stars this time.
- Work on my thesis– As the above post mentions, I need to write my thesis, which will happen from September 2015 to May of 2016. I think I can get it done (maybe not get through ALL of my editing rounds), but I should be happy with it by the time I have to turn it in.
Those are my main goals for 2015. As you can tell, my life revolves around my work and school, which at this point are practically the same thing. Along with working toward my goals, I will be attending the Steampunk World’s Fair in Piscataway, New Jersey (May 15th-17th) where I will be doing a reading from The Winter Garden. If you’re going, stop by and say hi!
Somehow, I feel like this is going to be an even crazier year. So, dear reader, what are your plans for 2015? Anything excited on the horizon?