2016 was a good year for me. They say depression makes it harder to remember the good stuff, and I’ve found that to be true. To combat that, I’m reflecting on some of the good things that happened to me in 2016:
My novella, TO TERMINATOR, WITH LOVE, debuted April 2016. It was a silly comedy-drama that acted as a vehicle for pop culture references and OTT humor. Still, it allowed me to meet so many wonderful, supportive people, and went on to win 2nd place for best debut asexual novel and 3rd place best asexual novel at the 2016 Rainbow Awards. To be honest with you, it still hasn’t quite sunken in yet.
I also got approached by a publisher I admire to be part of a series with some of my favorite authors. This, along with the Rainbow Award acknowledgements, has increased my drive to do better, try harder, and work my ass off to improve my craft and be the best possible version of myself, not just as an author but as a person, that I can.
2016 saw me come to terms with my own asexuality. Even if I’m still not sure exactly where I fall on the spectrum, it’s a relief to know what I am and that I am not alone.
2016 was also the year I combatted my own internalized anti-blackness that had been building up since I was young head-on. I realized one of the roots of that problem was lack of realistic, positive representation of my people in the media and literature I consume. So, I decided to chip away at that anyway I could. Yesterday I realized all my current and future projects feature Black MCs. #blessed
After a breakdown late last year, I made the decision to seek therapy for my lifelong anxiety. It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m happy I’m doing it. In order to be the best version of myself, I need to tear down the parts of me that are rotting inside.
And lastly, I met so many awesome, supportive people in 2016. People I admire, and people that make me want to improve as much as I am able. With the aid of therapy helping me with my social anxiety, I hope to strengthen those friendships and forge new ones this year.
I also adopted a new pseudonym to reflect my new changes. You can read more about that here.
I know a lot of people think resolutions are pointless, or that they’re all doomed from the start. Maybe that’s true, but setting goals and striving to stick to them yields more results than not attempting anything at all.
So! What do I want to accomplish for the year? My goals are pretty simple this time around:
- Work on my mental health
- Stick to a set WIP schedule and resist the call of the plot bunnies when time doesn’t allow
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help, or be vulnerable
- Write and read diversely
- Support my fellow authors, because we all deserve a little kindness
What the heck am I writing now?
To celebrate the new pseud, I’m currently writing a free erotic short that takes place in an underground pub during the Harlem Renaissance. I don’t technically need a new reason to research black life in the 1920s, but it sure doesn’t hurt anything. Projected release date is early March, if nothing goes wrong.
I’ve been contracted by Riptide Publishing to be part of an f/f collection called “Rose and Thorns Ladies’ Social Club” with some amazing authors. Vanessa North talked about the project briefly here. I readied the outline once the proverbial ink was dried with the intention of beginning on January 1st. Current word count is 6.5k. Tentative release schedule is January 2018.
I’m also working on anthology for Open Ink Press! Without giving away too many details I can tell you it’s a topic I’m passionate about, and that I’m excited to write for it.
In non-contracted news, I’ve got a new WIP in the works. It’s a trans m/m contemporary about Finn, a clinically anxious man whose firecracker childhood best friend, Rhys, shows up on his doorstep after three and a half years of radio silence. It’s a road trip romance that deals with mental health, grief, love, and healing old wounds. This is probably the most personal thing I’ve written. I started outlining it after my breaking point where I decided to seek professional help for my problems. The current word count is 11k.
Future projects (aka, currently-outlined-but-on-far-on-the-backburner ,aka–aka, these-are-2018’s-problems) include the fantasy novel I’ve always dreamt of writing but never had the chance. Now that I have my projected graduation date (May 2018) I’ve begun the process of researching and outlining. I plan on starting it officially at the end of the year so I can dive in right away when I’m finished with school.
Final future project is a doozy: I am officially starting my illusive white whale. Before I was published, I wrote something for a LT3 anthology. It was too long, so I scrapped it for something else (that something else later became TO TERMINATOR). I’ve held on to it ever since, and it’s gone through so many changes that the only thing it has in common with its original are the names and the MC’s bad attitude.
Now I’ve finally found a formula that works for me. I currently have the outline finished. If you’re a fan of drama, dark humor, former cult members, awkward sixteen-year-old boys, and reality television, you’ll (maybe) enjoy DEATH RAY: A LOVE STORY. It’s not finished, so there’s no release date, but you’re welcome to check out the Pinterest board.
New pseud, new links.