It’s 2024! I typically look back at my year and share some highlights. There were a lot of exciting things I did this year as well as some life events that carried grief. If you want to read all of my month summaries, start here. December 2023 Author Updates
Highlights of 2023 Writing Accomplishments
Debut Novel Released
Trials of the Innermost (affectionately known as TOTI) was released in May 2023 from Midnight Meadow Publishing! I wrote this with one of my best friends and we are so proud to have it in the world after a nearly decade-long journey, and we had fun getting out on the road to promote it with our first book signing events! Also, there’s a giveaway going on RIGHT NOW at StoryGraph so here’s your chance to win a free digital or print copy. Go go go!
And don’t forget to vote for it in the Queer Indie Book Awards!
Voting runs through Friday the 2nd, so please vote! TOTI is nominated for the following categories:
– best epic fantasy
– best supporting character (Vayriel)
– best romantic relationship (Zinvar and Kharnek)
– best friendship (Idrilia and Kalis)
– best worldbuilding
Cozy Winter Tie-In Story
Related, my coauthor and I released The Lady’s Crownbearer. It’s a cozy winter fantasy short story set in the world of the Etherea Cycle before the events of TOTI. We commissioned some beautiful cover artwork from Svan Dendragon and self-published the story through Amazon. Best of all: you can read it for only $0.99! Or gift it to someone who loves quick fireside reads.
Solo Fantasy Novella Signed for 2024
Also in 2023, I found a home for my RPG quest-inspired novella, Tavern Tale! This sapphic adventure explores a world filled with magic, intelligent reptile folk, and talking trees, all while embodying tropes that gamers and readers alike will adore. And then there’s the main character, Divine’s, problematic ex-girlfriend. Look for Tavern Tale to release in 2024 from Space Wizard Science Fantasy.
Cover to come.
2023 Writing Awards and Submissions
My goal for 2023 was to keep going, keep trying. I wrote a short story every quarter and submitted it to the Writers of the Future contest. Two of them got high honors! And I’m still waiting on a third.
Writers of the Future 2023 3rd Quarter Silver Honorable Mention Vol 40 for “Everfrost and Pomegranate”
Writers of the Future 2023 2nd Quarter Semi-Finalist Vol 40 for “They Came for the Bees”
I also kept submitting poetry and short stories to various online magazines, awards, and anthologies. Many of those didn’t turn out to have new publications but I’m getting better at not getting discouraged. I wrote at least 30 new poems (I participated in a poetry writing month) but lost count after that. Many of the poems for Imaginari were written this year!
I am still waiting to hear back from some other publications and contests, but I just got word that I will have two poems and one short story in an anthology about “Growth” put on by the Hamilton East Public Library. Look for that on February 26th! And I was the Winner of the CIWA April 2023 poetry contest for my poem Inflorescence (it’s about Gladiolus, one of my favorite flowers).
2024 Writing Goals
For 2024 I have several goals. Finishing writing book two of the Etherea Cycle with my coauthor (we’re about halfway done already), writing more poetry, and writing four short stories. I really want to release the poetry collection I’ve titled Imaginari which is a collection of fantasy and sci-fi poetry, but we will see what my free time affords me. And of course, see the successful launch of my sapphic fantasy novella, Tavern Tale!
I read more books in 2023 than I did in 2022 and enjoyed so many! My top reads were
Legends and Lattes
What Moves the Dead
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
We had some ups and downs this year. My brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly and our dog Poe had to be put down. I spent a lot of time thinking about life and memories and I have this renewed energy to create as much as I can during my time here in the universe.
It wasn’t all sadness, though. My family and I:
- Spent lots of time at the Childrens’ Museum
- Tried new tea and coffee places
- Went to Fairyville (bought a sword)
- Went to lots of playgrounds (and I dropped off bookmarks at Little Free Libraries)
- Got photos at a sunflower field
- Road a real train (twice!)
- Went to farms for fall and Christmas
- Walked/ran some races
I started a new hobby of watercolor painting. My goal is to create just to be creating and not with a goal for it to look the best it can be. There’s joy in making something, regardless of an arbitrary level of skill and proficiency. I hope to be able to make more art!
I also used my Cricut to create some crafts, including matching Published Author mugs for me and my coauthor.
I’m probably forgetting some things, and I’m a little late. How was your 2023? I hope it treated you well, and if not I hope that 2024 proves to be a good year for you. Also, thank you for your support. Many near and far purchased Trials of the Innermost and having my work read by you all brings me so much joy. If you haven’t, you can sign up to be on my advanced read copy list and possibly get early (free) access to my books in the future!