No, really. It’s only my usual Things I Do lists. This one’s subtitle is “things I made last year,” but that doesn’t make it a year-end summary. It’s about the action, not the annuality. And yes, annuality is a real word.
So what did I do?
A. I published not one, not two, but THREE audiobooks. Both my Restoration novels and my first of my Rough Passages Tale are now in a listenable format. Yes, your library can buy these as well, or they can be downloaded from Audible.com. You can even get it free from Audible without a membership if you email a request to me (dawnrigger at gmail dot com) for a free gift download while supplies last.
- Controlled Descent
narrated by Brandon McKernan: myBook.to/ControlledDescentAudio
- Flight Plan
narrated by Brandon McKernan: myBook.to/FlightPlanAudio
narrated by Tawn Krakowski: amazon.com/Extraordinary/audio
B. I published a combined print edition of two novellas I released as ebooks in 2014 & 15. Only $9.99 for a full-length paperback if you want to buy one for someone or to complete
your collection– or you can just put in a purchase request at your local library.
C. I contracted with local graphic artist Nicole Grandinetti for a new Flight Plan cover, I reformatted the interiors, and hired local editor Lynn McAllister to do a final proofing edit. Then I uploaded the results to Kindle Publishing and Createspace. Ta-dah!
D. I made some of my lovely words available to people who only download iBooks or Nook books, or who read through services like Scribd. All my Rough Passages Tales and the Partners Omnibus are now available from a cross-platform distributor called Draft2Digital.
- Weaving in the Ends books2read.com/u/47kr0j
- Extraordinary books2read.com/u/4N19e6
- Powerhouse books2read.com/u/3kZ1VW
- Nightmares books2read.com/u/3yPExv
- Lockdown books2read.com/u/3GM2Xn
E. I put serious time into a photo manipulation program and designed a new cover for Nightmares so the series would have a more cohesive look. None of my home-designed covers will win any awards, and I loved the original Nightmares graphic, but the new one better represents the storyline. That’s something, I hope.
But wait, there’s MORE!
F. I bought and registered a block of ISBNs to Dawnrigger Publishing and dove into the long, complicated, tedious process of entering my book information into the Bowker Books In Print database. I’m sure it’s a cakewalk for detail-oriented people, but oy, the details. Yes, it was expensive, but with 9 titles to register in multiple formats — and more to come for certain — it was time.
G. I finished the “final draft” of a novel I’d been fighting for nearly two years. It still needs revision, but it’s complete in more-or-less its final form, and that’s a point I’d nearly despaired of reaching.
H. And then I dug into the challenge of taking a story idea I was heavily invested in keeping short and letting it expand to become the length it wants to be. Heartwood will be at least a novella when it’s complete. I have no idea when I’ll finish it, but it will be finished next, whenever. One major lesson I have accepted this year: I can only aim my energy in one direction at a time.
When I look back, it was a busy year, but I never felt I was moving forward, never noticed the tally growing. Here we are running full tilt into the new year, and still it’s hard to believe. It’s a blind spot, what can I say?
It’s why I pause to record life every so often to remind myself that I ACCOMPLISHED MORE THAN BREATHING, BY GOLLY. It’s a good feeling.
Postscript: I once did a whole post being clueless about where I’ve been until I look back at what I’ve escaped. 2016 was a year of ugh, yuck, blergh and meh, but it was better in some ways than 2015, which was marginally better than 2014.
Why? Because I started leaking mental sand in early 2014. (No logical explanation. No external causes to analyze. No trauma, no villain. No narrative. Hello, biochemistry. But I digress.)
Everything takes more effort when the brain sand starts spilling out. It’s like running in knee-high water or going up a down escalator. I can keep moving, I’ll make progress, but it’s slow and exhausting. I could think and feel and create when I also clung tight to all those slippery intellectual and emotional grains and pressed them into a functioning mind shape. But whenever I relaxed my guard or got distracted, the crumbling started all over again.
This year was a struggle and full of dire badness, but ideas began sticking together without so much extra daily work. A bright point. I’ll take it. Hallelujah.