As the sun rises on 2020, it’s time to set goals

A new year approaches: 2020, the year of the double crit, and it’s time to set some goals and make some plans. 🙂

My primary, short-term goals are more of a “to-do” list than actual goals. I have things piled up from this year that will need to be taken care of before I can take on new things. Here’s my list of “things that are left over from 2019 that I have to finish before the end of February 2020“:

-Write, edit, polish, submit short story to the anthology I’ve joined

-Complete the two Kingdom scrolls I’ve been assigned to do (SCA project)

-Finish my Valkyrie hood so I can fight in it at Estrella (SCA project)

-Full construction and embroidery on a commissioned Viking hood, hopefully before Estrella (SCA project)

-Full construction and embroidery on a Hedeby bag for my husband (SCA project)

-Embroidery commission for some friends (SCA project)

^^ These are things that have to be done. I have set a firm deadline for them, so I’ve gotta follow through.

Then there are some less-deadliney things. These are more the goals/plans that I’m making for the upcoming year:


-Book 2 revisions/marketing/promotion (after back from beta readers–this will have a deadline because, well, publishing lol)

-Two current novellas-in-progress

-Potentially three more novellas (a trilogy)

-Teach more SCA arts classes

-Learn more SCA/medieval arts

-Get back into rapier fighting (now that I’ve lost enough weight that I feel comfortable fighting again–when I’m off restrictions, that is)

-Recertification for work

-Take better care of my mental health (and start asserting myself in those times where I normally back down and give in)

-Read more books

-Continue to build my social media presence as an author and build my brand

-Do more SCA (and mundane) sewing/embroidery/arts for myself and my husband

-Continue with my keto diet and weight loss, adding exercise as tolerated (once I’m off restrictions from my podiatrist)

-Work more with my co-author on our horror novel to get the first draft of that finished and in the editing process

This is by no means a comprehensive list, because, frankly, I haven’t thought about it that much yet. I’ve got so many things in the first list to get finished that I haven’t activated my “2020 vision.” Lol

But wait! 2020 isn’t just the start of a new year–it’s the start of a new decade. So, then, I’ve got 10 years’ worth of goals to devise. Let’s see what I can come up with here:

-Complete the 5-book ABNORMAL series and start on the ABNORMAL LINEAGE spin-off series

-Continue to take advantage of writing opportunities to participate in box sets/anthologies and grow as an author

-Expand body of written works to include more genres/standalones/etc

-Find an effective way to save money for attending conventions/book signings as an author–and then attend more signings and conventions 😉

-Strive to achieve Laurelhood before 2030 (which is, oddly enough, both within my ability to achieve and totally beyond my control haha)

-Work on overcoming (or at least adapting to) my social anxiety to where I can function better at social events, like conventions or SCA events

-Continue building an author network

-Learn more about generating graphics for book covers, book marketing, and other things

-Maintain the weight I’ve lost, get to a healthy weight, and try to find an exercise plan that works for my lifestyle

-Learn how to pattern more complex clothing (Viking I can do, but that’s too easy–I want to learn the concepts behind patterning that get me from measurements to finished garment without necessarily needing a manufactured pattern)

-Accept my grey hairs wholeheartedly

-Find a better balance between work/home/SCA/writing that encompasses all the things I need to do as well as all the things I want to do as well as omitting the things I don’t want to do lol

-Take more vacations

-Make my health a higher priority, in as much as it comes to calling out when I’m sick and not trying to “soldier on,” taking time off when it’s physically or mentally needed, and recognizing when I’m taking on too many projects for my mind and body to handle

It’s a tall order, but these are my goals for the next two months, the next year, and the next ten years. Note that I’m calling them “goals” instead of “resolutions.” I make the distinction because I’m not “resolving” to change things, but rather setting what I hope are realistic goals that will improve my writing career, further my SCA learning/experience, and keep me mentally sound through it all.

2020 is just another year, but at the same time it’s not. As long as I make an effort to do the things I want to do in the coming year/decade, 2020 is whatever I make of it. 🙂

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…to Buy ABNORMAL

Guess what, ladies and gents? It’s December, which means it’s officially the holiday season! Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice–whatever holiday you or yours may celebrate–it’s a great time to buy ABNORMAL for those friends and family members who may not have gotten the chance to get a copy yet!

Think about it: Not everyone can afford to get their own copy of ABNORMAL this year. Why not gift it? Bonus tip: You can discuss ABNORMAL with your friends and family after they’ve read it! 

Okay, so my motives may not be entirely altruistic…but c’mon, if you loved the book, they might love it, too. You know you want to share the excitement, adventure, and romance. 😉

In other news, first quarterly report came back. Barnes and Noble needs to get to stepping with their reporting/payments! Of course, by now it doesn’t matter; I won’t see any of the “first quarter” hard copy sales until the second quarter at this point. So much for the hopes of a teeny tiny bit of holiday spending money. I was hoping to at least get myself a Frappucino or something. Oh well. Gotta pay the bosses for all the work they did to edit and design.

I’d write more, but I have a certain Rory-cat who is very needy this morning–and kneady. I don’t know what the hell he wants, but he won’t leave me alone. Lol

TL:DR – Buy my book! 😉

What a difference a year makes

A lot can happen in a year. You can move, change jobs, cut your hair, gain weight, lose weight, start a new diet…

…You can sign with a publishing company…

That’s right: it’s been a year since I signed with RhetAskew Publishing! What a whirlwind of a year it’s been, too! Edits and revisions and frustration and a trailer and marketing and promotion and cover concepts and decisions and book launch and signings and Tucson Comic Con–whew! Now my second book is in the hands of the great people at RhetAskew, and I can’t wait for my next round of edits–and my next year of publishing.

The whole thing is still pretty surreal. I mean, I have a published book. In bookstores. Online. At a con. I have a sequel in the works. A series in the works.

I wonder what the next year will bring… The sequel, of course. More cons? Maybe, maybe not. Tucson Comic Con was close to being worth it, financially speaking, but not quite. I still have books in the back of my car that I need to sell. There’s a smaller local con in February that I need to talk to my husband about. It’s much cheaper than TCC, and it’s close to home, but I don’t know if the logistics would work out. 

There’s also the possibility of another TCC. I’ll get an offer of the same table rate as this year because I was already a vendor, but again, it’s a matter of logistics. I want to try to get into TusCon, which is a sci-fi-specific con, but I’m afraid to even check the prices on tables for that. It’s gotta be more expensive than TCC was. Still, it would be a good opportunity. Hmm…

I still gotta work. Still gotta do all the things. Laundry, grocery shopping, bills, etc. Life’s not going to become all sunshine and roses and unicorn farts just because I’m signed with a publisher. It would be nice if things worked that way, but nope. Not quite. Lol

RhetAskew has been great to me this past year. They give great advice, and they listen to their authors. I don’t really feel that I had to really sacrifice anything to get Abnormal published. The book is great. The cover’s great. RhetAskew really does whatever they can for the author. They even give marketing and promotional advice–something I would have been lost on before!

I suppose I should get back to Book 2 before I have to go to work. I’m a little bit stuck, but I’ve made progress in the last week or two. Not as much progress as I’d like to make, but progress is progress. Who knows? Maybe next year I can add “NYT bestseller” to my list of annual accomplishments…Lol


The time has almost come! After work today, my husband and I will leave for Tucson, and in the morning we’ll get up bright and early to go over to Tucson Comic Con and set up our table.

The Con Jitters hit me just last night.

I was fine. Honestly, I was. I was excited but prepared. Business licenses procured, books procured, bookmarks made, PayPal reader set up, etc….but as I was printing flyers and what have you last night I started to get that THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP in my chest that indicated the start of anxiety. I’m not entirely sure why I’m so anxious. I have almost everything I will need. The only thing I’m really missing is cash and change, and that I can have the hubby grab from a bank before the exhibitor hall opens to the public.

Booth setup shouldn’t be too long. I just have books, bookmarks, and some signs. Small, 8.5″ x 11″ signs, that I can either tape or pin to the tablecloth. I’m a little worried that the tape I’m bringing won’t be strong enough, but it’s what I have, and to be honest I could probably just set the signs down on the table and be fine. Still, I’d like to affix them to the tablecloth somehow to get them to stay put. But safety pins are packed. Tape is packed.

I’ve got an apron for keeping my phone, PayPal reader, and markers close at hand. I’ve got receipt books (for whoever might actually want a receipt, though the days of the written receipt are going by the wayside). I’ve got a notebook to jot down any notes that I haven’t already thought of, with my Tucson business license info and the TCC exhibitor packet and some sundry other items in it.

I’ll have my laptop Friday and Sunday, and while my husband has it at an SCA event Saturday I’ll have his tablet. Why the laptop and tablet, you may ask? Well, someone gave me the brilliant idea to have my book trailer playing at the table. To conserve battery I might not have it on a continuous loop, but I can at least pop it on for those who might be interested in the book but are iffy on buying it. 

Books. I have books. I have bookmarks. I have a tablecloth. I’ll have a portable battery for making sure my devices stay charged. I have embroidery to do that I can use to keep myself occupied if things get slow, so I don’t waste battery power on playing with my phone. I have sell sheets and author info flyers. I have my clothes for the weekend packed and ready to go in the car.

I’ve got all this stuff…so why am I not feeling ready? Why am I so anxious over the whole thing?

Anxiety’s a bitch. She gets you all worked up but doesn’t tell you why she’s got you all worked up, and she doesn’t follow the rules of logic. If I’m pretty much ready for the con, why am I anxious? Who knows. Maybe once I clean out the car and pack it I’ll be better off.

Who am I kidding? I’ll be nervous until the con’s well and truly started. Lol

Clare Speaks

Now that I’m mostly free of this cruddy cold that’s had my brain all muddled the past few days, it’s time to update y’all with some news. 🙂

First off, both Arizona and Tucson business licenses have been procured! Yep, I can officially sell my book and bookmarks at Tucson Comic-Con. Now I just need those pesky books to arrive and I’ll be all set.

Secondly, TCC exclusive Abnormal bookmarks have been made! They feature the neuron image from the cover design. 🙂 I’ll have a limited supply, so if you’re planning on stopping by at Tucson Comic-Con, make sure to make Table AA147 one of your first stops. I’ll be near the escalator on the right if you’re facing the concession stand across from the escalators. Here’s a pic:

Thirdly, the character interview of Clare with The Protagonist Speaks went live last week, but because I was in a cough-syrup-induced haze I forgot to post the link! I’m super excited to have Clare’s voice out there in a new place, and I need to get onto all the social media and post it. I mean, I’ve retweeted and stuff, but I gotta post the actual linkage and stuff.

Preparations for Tucson Comic-Con are still underway, but it’s mostly little things. I know I have a receipt book somewhere, just need to find it, and also make sure I have plenty of hand sanitizer and other such things ready to go.

Five more days. Four and a half, really. This is gonna be fun!


Three more days! Abnormal will be available for Kindle download and to order for paperback and hardcover on Amazon and in bookstores in three days! (Kindle preorder link right now is if you want to preorder it now.)

I’ve recovered from last night’s embarrassment of not comprehending what exactly a “release date” entailed, and I’ve decided to go ahead with both the private and virtual release day parties…I just have to rethink how I’m going to do them. I obviously can’t do signings that day, so that part’s out. I can’t go visit bookstores and take selfies with the book on the shelf in the background. Those will have to wait. But I can still have some friends and family over for snacks and drinks and a good time.

It’s been a long journey these past two and a half years or so since I started writing Abnormal. When I wrote the first words I had no idea that I’d end up with a series on my hands, and I just assumed I’d have to self publish. I even started sketching a rough cover design mockup on my Wacom tablet. (RhetAskew Publishing came up with a much better cover. Lol)

To the writers out there keep dreaming. Keep writing. Keep at it. It might take a while, but it’ll come. Just keep going.


Four. More. Days. This post originally said five, but somebody may have gotten slightly distracted by her work on Book 2 yesterday and neglected to post that day’s countdown. Or for some reason, it didn’t actually post to the site until this morning. Regardless (barring another snag in posting), it’s four days until Abnormal’s release.

Hey, look, I made it bigger than Sunday! Yay for small victories in figuring out how to post on this new site. Lol

I’d say I’m super excited, but right now it doesn’t feel “real.” I feel like, I don’t know, like four days is forever away. I mean, I’ve got a mostly-full work week, I’ve got Book 2 revisions in full swing, and I’ve got a few pressing embroidery projects that have to get done. It’s so surreal.

This is happening. This is really happening. I’ve written a book, it’s being published, and people who don’t know me want to read it. They want to read it, and they want to read the book I’m working on now.

Mind. Blown.

Ebook envy

I’m jealous of my ebook. You see, it’s available for preorder on Amazon Kindle already, but the hardback and paperback aren’t…yet.
Yeah, I know, it’s not fair. You might want me to autograph your book, and how can I do that with an ebook? I mean, I’m not above signing a Kindle (on the back, of course, or if there’s a margin around the screen, sure–never over the words though 😉 ), but a Kindle also doesn’t come with that book smell. You know the one.
It’s only just gone live for preorder, so I know I should be patient, but when it comes to this book I’ve worked too hard to be patient. I’ll be stalking the Rhetoric Askew link all day until the other two versions are live, too, so don’t worry–I’ll let you know.

Cover reveal

Here it is, ladies and gents! The cover of Abnormal! The preorder link is going live very, very soon, at Rhetoric Askew … As soon as Amazon puts it up for preorder, that is. I’m waiting and draining my phone battery in an effort to notify people as soon as it’s active.
I’m extremely excited, and I can’t wait to get a few copies in my grubby little mitts.

I can almost taste it….

It’s cover reveal and pre-order day, and I’m going crazy waiting for the things to share. I have to be patient, though. Just be patient.
Being patient is not easy. Normally I’m quite patient, but this? This is maddening. I mean, all I’ve got to show you is this:

The worst part? Even I haven’t seen the final cover design! I’ve seen versions of it, but all I’ve seen from the final is what you see above.
I. Am. So. Anxious. Not worrying about how it’s going to turn out, but anxious to be able to share it and the pre-order link. I’ve been talking it up for days now, but I’ve just got the one image so far.
Oh well. Back to the wine tasting.