A Look Back at 2014

This year has been a very productive one for me, fictionally speaking. I’ll recap some of the highlights.

I started this blog at the end of April in an attempt to keep myself from slacking off in my editing work. I’ve had some success with it, while at the same time let it slide now and then.

I finished two novels in 2014. The first one, temporarily titled “Adventures in Pithea”, was started in November 2013, and finished in February 2014 at 105,000 words. The second one, titled “Pursuit of Power”, was started and finished in November 2014, the first draft landing at 101,000 words.

I participated in my 5th year of NaNoWriMo, and won with 107,234 words, passing the 50k word mark on the 12th. I was also more socially active than past NaNo years, even if most of that was online, and set a huge daily word count record for myself with 10,516 words on the 15th. It was a good year.

And here at the end of the year, I even had a very writerly Christmas. Here are the writing-related gifts I received this year:

doctor who notebooks

From my in-laws, a set of small notebooks, Doctor Who themed.

I have a larger version of the notebook on the right, but the one in the middle takes my focus. River Song’s spoiler-filled notebook is a great addition to my notebook collection.



From my younger sister, a t-shirt with a reminder to never stop writing in some form or other.

I created this motto and image to go with it earlier this year, for use as a banner in some places. Then I went to Zazzle and slapped it all over several items and set them for sale. I hadn’t bought any yet myself, but hoped to one day. This is the t-shirt, which I did want more than the other items.


NaNo notebook

From my mom, a medium-sized, lined notebook with the NaNoWriMo logo on the front.

This blank notebook was a new product in their store recently, and I’ve wanted a blank notebook from them for years! I was one (among many, I’m sure) who suggested they create a blank notebook instead of the confusing (to me, at least) notebooks they already had that seemed to have filled pages and maybe blank ones, but who knows without buying them. I love the look with the shield in gold against the black. I have grand plans for this new addition to my notebook collection.


mug all

From my older sister, a mug she made herself.

The mug was brilliant. On the front is the motto I made up earlier this year to remind myself that every day should include some time for my creative pursuits, whether it be dreaming up new ideas, planning a story, or writing a story. The sister who made this is one of two who make up the Tri-County Sisterhood of the Traveling Book with me. That is what I call our little group that meets on Skype weekly to work on the editing of “Adventures in Pithea.” When I turned the mug to see the side and back, I laughed so hard.

Now this month, I have taken an initially unintentional break from my writing projects, which turned into a necessity as Christmas grew closer. Near the beginning of the month, my husband and I went out of town for 5 days, and the days before and after that were busy with preparation and recovery. Then wrapping, shopping, and other Christmas-related activities took up my evening time. Now as the season draws to a close and the new year is set to begin, I plan to delve back in with a fervor. I’ve done heavy revision on 1/4 of my first novel, so there is still a lot to go. Considering that that 1/4 took most of this year, it’s difficult not to get discouraged about how long it will be before it’s ready to attempt publishing. But I’ve not given up yet.

Just before this break started, I had begun a challenge to write/edit 500 words every day, and I am eager to get back to that. I’ve also dropped off on a plan to do one writing exercise from my Now Write! book per week, so I hope to have time for that again too. Those are my plans for this year. That and have as many mega meetings of the TCSTB as the others will allow.

To all of my fellow writers out there–whatever, whenever, and however often you write–what were your highlights for this year? What are your proud or disappointed moments from this year? And what are your plans for the coming year?


December 4


Words: 1693 total. Most of it was several pages of “Adventures in Pithea” I got through revising. (Missy has been corrected in her accusation toward Evan, though he still found a way to be a jerk.) The rest of it, though only a measly 135 words, was original writing, and requires a longer explanation than 135 words probably should.

In October, my husband and I went to a con in Ohio called Ohio Valley Filk Festival. It was our first con. We were only there for one afternoon, and it was a small con. However, in the dealer’s room, there was a wide selection of books. We spent quite some time there. I came away with a book that has already changed the way I think about plotting, creating characters, writing, and even sleeping. It is called Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror and inside are “lively and practical insight and exercises, straight from the top speculative genre writers working today”.

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I have decided to start going through the exercises in the book. Not all of them actually pertain to me (most of the horror-related articles, for example), so I’ll skip those. But I plan to try to focus on one article per week, and see how that goes. This week’s article involved using random images as story seeds, forcing two images together and developing a story idea or even new story world from those. This morning, I wrote with that in mind, with two images I’d generated a few days ago. It didn’t produce quite what the exercise was expecting, but I do already have an entire world I’m writing in. It was still an interesting idea I may pursue in one of my storylines someday though.

December 3


Words: 998 deleted from NaNo ’14 manuscript (“Pursuit of Power”), and I have now removed all of the “NaNo fodder” as I call it now. I am done with all of the words, phrases, paragraphs, or scenes that I had kept in for word count but marked to delete later. I will now most likely be going back to revising “Adventure in Pithea,” perhaps maybe still thinking through some of the bigger plot/character problems in “Pursuit of Power” when I need a break from the other story or something.

December 1


Words: 1124 deleted from manuscript. It’s not as quick as it sounds. I have to find the areas where I’d marked words for deletion during NaNoWriMo, then figure out what words exactly need deleted. I didn’t just strike through everything I didn’t want to keep, because it takes longer. I put an end bracket to mark a spot and moved on. So now I have to figure out where the bad words start so I can delete them. This is probably a confusing explanation, but the point is, it’s a lot of searching and then some reading. It’s the first step in revising my novel, and possibly the only one I will do for now.