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Let's Catch Up

Hoo boy. I definitely haven't blogged in a while, so forgive me if I'm a little rusty.

Last time was April of 2021, when I shared the cover for TARGET, by debut Young Adult fantasy novel. Since then, I've attended two large conventions, multiple small book fairs, and released both TARGET as well as the second novel in the Unbroken Tales, SUMMON.

My goal has been to write a general update every April--as that's the month I started writing books back in 2011--but I skipped 2022. There are very good reasons, none of which I'm comfortable sharing on the internet, but suffice to say I had a lot going on and I was not in a very good place in general.

Now, it's November 2022 and I'm happy to say I'm doing so much better.

I just got back from Dragonsteel 2022, where I had a booth on the exhibitor floor and got to be on a couple of panels (one on retellings and another on self-publishing). I was blessed to get to spend time with my fellow Sanderson Beta Team friends as well as the incredible Peter and Karen Ahlstrom. I got to meet and get to know Howard and Sandra Tayler, who are the sweetest people, and my husband got to be on a panel with Emily Sanderson and Dawn Wells, talking about how to care for their authors. Two groups of readers got tickets to come hang out with me at meet and greets, not to mention the dozens of people who stopped by my booth to chat, to buy my books, and to fan-out over Sanderson's works with me.

The entire weekend felt like a dream. An out-of-body experience. I'm still a little shocked it all happened. And grateful it did.

I have so many thoughts right now, and none of them seem like the right thing to say... but typing like this often helps me sort through my own brain, so I'll just ramble for a bit about a thing that's been on my mind.

I've been thinking recently about my focus words. This year, my word was RISE, and boy have I needed it. A lot has happened that has knocked me down farther than I could've predicted, and some days it's a struggle to keep getting up, to keep pushing forward. A lot happened this year that I wasn't sure I'd be able to do, but I did. Looking back, we did it, my husband and I. Even when we didn't think we'd be able to.

Looking forward to 2023, I'm not sure yet what my word will be. Sometimes the word latches onto me and won't go away, and other times it takes me weeks to figure out what I need. And at least once, I changed the word at the very last minute because I realized I'd need it. Looking back, here are the words I've used since I started doing this:

2015: Believe

2016: Gratitude

2017: Wait

2018: Reach

2019: Persist

2020: Breathe

2021: Ready

2022: Rise

Eight years of words. Each one, I chose without knowing what the year would bring. And with each one, it ended up being exactly what I needed so many times. I don't know why this works so well for me, but I know it does. I'm going to give some thought to 2023 and I'll post my word of choice on Instagram January 1st.

I don't know if anyone will read these posts, but if you do, welcome. I'd love to blog more, if only just to get my thoughts out of my head. This won't ever be a place for updates (that's more reserved for my newsletter, Discord, and social media accounts), but if you want to get to know me better, this is probably the best place.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving--if you celebrate--and a lovely holiday season. The new year is close, so hopefully I'll think of my 2023 word soon. Wish me luck.



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