Year in Review

This is the last Week in Review post of the year, so I’m going to use it to sum up my year as well as my week. On the whole it has been a wonderful year. I didn’t accomplish all my goals but the journey of trying has been worth a lot to me.


I wrote more than 380,858 words this year. Stunning! All year I complained that I can barely scrape together a few sentences. To see the amount I’ve written summed up at the end of the year is just amazing. That includes novels, short stories, articles, blog pieces, journalling, and non-fiction. I am apparently a writing machine. Who knew?

I completed a detailed outline for my main historical novel, Whomsoever Saves One Life, and I’ve written 44,913 words of essential scenes in that book. I’ve also written 22,528 words of additional scenes that I ended up cutting from the book. I’m not done yet, but that is a nice bit of progress for has proved to be a very hard book to write.

I’ve written 15,125 words in my experimental SF novel, Ten Reasons the Pirates Always Win.

I completed 3 short stories and am closing in on my fourth for the year.

We were published in Pyramid Magazine at the start of the year, which was great. I submitted two short stories to other markets but didn’t get published. I should have continued to submit. That is something I plan to do more of in the upcoming year.


I lost about 10 pounds over the course of the year. It’s not a lot, but I’m on a much better trajectory now and I have a food plan I can stick to. In late January/early February I’ll be in Colorado to visit family and to attend the Superstars Writing Seminars. With the talk of chocolate on the Superstars Writing Seminars attendee Facebook page, I can already see that I am not going to be able to maintain good eating through that level of temptation. So I am giving myself permission to eat unhealthy foods at the conference as long as I maintain my veggies for breakfast. (Obviously, I will remain vegan. I’m an ethical vegan not a health vegan.)

I’ve taken up running. This week, I completed the second week of my Couch to 5K program and it is going well. I completed 2 miles in the run/walk system of the Galloway program. Since Steve is running quite a bit longer than I am, I’ve added stretches and core work to the end of my runs while I wait for him to finish. I hope this will lessen the chance that I get injured.

small gratitude clock

Time for Gratitude

I learned a great deal about writing and about the writing business. I will be doing a set of Best Of.. posts to talk about my favorite books and podcasts of 2018. Here, though, I want thank my teachers. I am grateful to Mary Robinette Kowal, Holly Lisle, William Alan Webb, and Dean Wesley Smith for their help. I would have walked into a lot more walls without the light you provided to illuminate my path.

I’m a part of three in-person writing groups and two virtual writing groups. The people in these groups are the wind beneath my wings. They buoy me up. They remind me of what it is to be a writer. They sympathize when I’m having bad days.  They celebrate my good days with me. Thank you! Thanks to the Memphis Writers for reading and critiquing my work. Very special thanks to Jenny, Jerry, Bree, Susan, Max, Rikki and to the Lady Astronaut Fan Club. I love you guys!

I’ve been amazed at how generous people are with their knowledge. Thank you for your help this year with my research Dr. Everett Beek, Dr. Aaron Beek, and Dr. Suzanne Onstine. Also thanks to Dr. John Oleson for responding so quickly to a question about ships boats on ancient Greek and Roman merchant ships. The world would be a much poorer place without the kindness and generosity of classicists, historians and archaeologists like these.

Thanks to my family and especially to my husband, who has supported me unswervingly this year. He has read and critiqued my work, listened to my whines, and encouraged me. I wouldn’t be who I am without him. He is an amazing person and a great writer in his own right. (Check out his book, The Sea in World History, which recently received some great reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Choice.)

New Goals for a New Year

I’ll be posting my new goals for the year and my new tracking chart at the bottom of posts in early January. Until then, I hope that your year has also been good and that your 2019 is going to be excellent!



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