Happy New Year, everyone! I think I can safely say that I’ve never had a year like I had in 2016, and I hope I don’t have another like it anytime soon. I’ve had upheaval in my personal and professional life before, but never at the same time. Everything seems to be stabilizing somewhat, and my landing a job in December (and a fantastic one so far) will go a long way to getting us back to where we were pre-2016.
With my almost year-long unemployment as the main recollection of 2016, I was surprised when I took a look at my writing accomplishments for the year. I published a novelette (The Lost Girl) and a novel (The Sleep Detectives Go to Washington), produced another audio drama which was performed at the book release for the novel, and completed a novella which I’d been presenting for the past two years at the Tamale Hut. The writing group I coordinate began its fifth year of monthly meetings, and we worked on two group projects: a round-robin story and a group prompt, the latter being presented at one of the Tamale Hut Reading Series events. I also wrote a couple of short stories and largely kept up with updates to this site, my monthly shameless self-promotion e-mail newsletter, and our family site, stephanieandmatt.com. I also promoted my work at the Printers Row Lit Fest, the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, and the Chicago Book Expo.
Looking forward, I’m hoping to get back to my pre-unemployment state, with much less worrying about finances and the passage of time, and more focus on creativity. I am currently three-quarters through “The Lost Ticket”, the third novelette in the Danny trilogy (after The Lost Night and The Lost Girl), and hope to finish that by mid-month. I have a two-part story in the works featuring Unca Lar and the gang from the comic store. My plan is to read that at the January and February THC Reading Series nights, and then begin the next long piece in March. The writers group is planning another group project, with an eye on the October Reading Series night to present it. I’m also planning to do more promotional events like I did last year.
Thanks for reading, and I hope 2017 will be a much better year for all of us!