1 Jan 2014

Happy Old Year: 2013

While everyone is busy celebrating the start of a new year, I've decided that I'm going to celebrate last year instead. I know, I'm such a rebel, but I feel like it would be wrong to move on without recognising all the good things that happened in the last twelve months. So, I've decided to list my top 13 things that happened in 2013.

1) I got my first contract with a publishing house (well, I got two of them actually)

At the beginning of 2013 I finally plucked up the courage to submit one of my books to Dreamspinner Press. After several weeks of anxiously waiting for a reply, I received my contract. On 26th August, No Angel was released; my very first novel with a publisher. Not only that, but I also signed a contract with Wilde City for the Zombie Boyz anthology. Hopefully that first step opens up the way for many more releases in the future.

2) I finished the first draft of a book I'd been struggling with for over three years!

In July 2010, I came up with the idea for a book about a serial killer. Over the next few years I had plenty of attempts at starting up the project again, but each time my productivity quickly ground to a halt. But on 29th December 2013, I finished the first draft. Hooray! I've sent it off to a couple of betas and am awaiting their feedback before I dive into revisions and submit the story to a publisher.

3) I completed a 10k run

Many people might not know this, but I've always had problems with the muscles in my lower legs. I have a condition that sporadically pops up and causes the muscles to tighten to the point where they become rock solid, usually in response to physical exertion. As you can imagine, this would make it very painful to walk on, and more often than not the trigger would be... Yup, walking.

I started running using the C25k program in May 2012 in the hopes that regular exercise might help alleviate my condition. By around Nov. 2012 I was able to run 5km without too much hassle. I then decided to take this one step further and go for 10k. I finally achieved this in April this year.

4) I managed to stick to my previous resolution of going to the gym more

I tell myself I'll do this every year, and for one reason or another always end up not going. This year, particularly in the second half, I've been going at least twice a week, sometimes up to four times. I may still have a way to go to get the results I want, but I feel like now I'm at least on my way there, and am confident I'll reach my goals sometime in 2014.

5) I made it through GRL without hiding from the camera too much

If you saw me in Albuquerque, you probably remember that I was fairly quiet and shied away from having my picture taken. When I signed up for Atlanta, I was determined to make the most of my time there and have plenty of fun. Well, I certainly did that, and there were many, many pictures of me popping up on Facebook and Twitter the whole time.

What's more, I think it's evident from the pictures how much fun I was having, and how I was feeling a lot more comfortable than the previous year. I still find it difficult to smile naturally when I know a camera is pointing at me, but I definitely look a lot happier, and I don't hate my pictures as much now.

6) I made a lot of new friends

On the back of that last point, I got to meet a lot of great people this year. I think I ended up with about 40 new friend requests on Facebook over the course of the week, and I hope to continue this trend in years to come, while continuing the friendships I've made this year.

7) I learned to make and flip pancakes

As we all know, the art of making and flipping pancakes is an extremely valuable life skill. While I may not have perfected this, I'm definitely getting the hang of it.

8) I taught myself Photoshop

Another important skill to have is the ability to manipulate images. Why? Because then you can
totally make yourself look hot on those dating websites and lure unsuspecting victims to your home. Or, you can do as I did and make some cool images. I love doing this kind of thing and wish I had more time to practice so one day I could do it professionally.

9) The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey

So this isn't something that happened to me, per se, but seriously this film was fricking awesome! This was the first book I read (not including books at school), and  I loved it. Seeing it brought to life on screen gave me multiple nerdgasms, and I'm dying to see the rest of the films.

10) Spidey and Flash

A few months ago I brought home two new additions to my furry little family. They're both rascals, but I love them. Mik and Ash don't seem impressed by the boys, but that will probably change come mating season.

11) I went to my first Pride festival

While in Atlanta I attended my very first Pride event. Had a great time watching the parade and then
going round all the stalls in the park afterward. Very fun, though I still don't get the whole bead-collecting thing. Why was everyone so obsessed with the beads?

12) I came up with more story ideas than ever before!

And I still don't know what to do with them all. Hopefully I now have my writing mojo back, as I'm going to need to do some serious grafting in order to start catching up on my to-write list. The one I'm probably most excited about though is a long series (maybe 10 books or so) about an amphibious shifter in a world where paranormal creatures are out in the open. The world building alone that I've been doing makes this my biggest project so far.

13) The end of the year came

Making it through another year is cause enough for celebration. Every year we survive, is another opportunity for us to grow and evolve. And I can't wait to see what the next twelve months hold for me.


Patricia Lynne said...

Happy New Year. You had a great year, and I bet 2014 will be even better.

BlueSmokey said...

Sounds like an awesome list. Hoping for an even better one this next year.


Poppy Dennison said...

Definitely a banner year, my friend! So proud of all you've accomplished. Can't wait to see you take over the world! :)

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