I won’t lie: it feels presumptuous to be writing this post, even if I don’t mention “award eligibility.”
I have been writing and self-publishing for five years, but in many ways I’m still finding my voice and learning the ropes. It’s definitely not a quick or easy journey!
But, in the spirit of treating my fiction writing as a career as well as a passion, I want to get in the habit of reflecting on what I accomplished in terms of both writing and publishing, and use it to set better goals for the future.
So here is my 2021 in review, divided into three categories:
- The work I published
- The work I wrote but haven’t published or even finished yet
- Other writing-related endeavors
1. My Work Published in 2021
> SAND RUNNER SERIES BUNDLE (BOOKS 1-3)
My first series bundle collects the first 3 books in my YA near-future science fiction series about extreme racing and bionic tech: SAND RUNNER (Book 1), CAGE RUNNER (Book 2), and GHOST RUNNER (Book 3). Published in February 2021 exclusively on Kobo (for now).
> OF BUGS, DEBTS, AND DISTANT PLANETS
Science fiction flash fiction (995 words) published in Fifth Di… in June 2021.
Science fiction/ biopunk short story (1350 words) published in Hyphen Punk in June 2021. (The POV character, Mira, briefly appears in SAND RUNNER.)
> MUSIC THERAPY
Science fiction novelette (9950 words) inspired by neuroscience research on therapeutic effects of acupuncture — meshed with lab politics, secret romance, and irreverent humor. Published in Aphelion in November 2021.
> FRIENDS & FOES
Paranormal/ dark fantasy romance with a twist (short story, 1475 words) posted on Wattpad and my website in October 2021.
> THE GAME
LitRPG portal fantasy (short story, 2075 words) posted on Wattpad and my website in November 2021.
> SECRET TEETH, HIDDEN CLAWS
Dark fantasy about the writing process (flash, 960 words) posted on Wattpad and my website in November 2021.
> THE KISS
Paranormal love story (11,500 words) published on Amazon (for now) in November 2021.
2. My Work Written (But Not Yet Published) in 2021
> YA ROMANCE ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL THEATER
This is a new series and a new genre for me: contemporary romance without any speculative elements. Romance is all about characters and relationships, so my goal is to both expand my range and strengthen my craft.
Book 1 in the series is complete at 106,000 words. I am also 68,000 words into Book 2. My plan is to write 3 books in this series and edit them together, and then publish all 3 on a rapid-release schedule. I am also writing some tie-in short fiction to gift to my readers.
Here are the two main characters, Ana and Cory, as I imagine them. (Artwork made with Artbreeder.)
> YA SCIENCE FICTION ABOUT COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT
Same plan as above. Book 1 is finished (at about 80,000 words), but I want to write books 2 & 3 as well, edit them together, and publish the whole trilogy on a rapid-release schedule. It requires a lot of patience, but I believe it will be worth it.
> SCIENCE FICTION NOVELETTE ABOUT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
Currently on hold with a market I really love (fingers crossed).
Lately, all my short fiction grows to novelette length. No regrets in this case, though, even if it might be harder to publish. I am very fond of the characters, and I hope my readers will enjoy them too.
3. Other Writing-Related Endeavors in 2021
This post is getting too long, so I’ll only mention 2 things here, not to torture you, kind souls who are reading it.
> AUTHOR NEWSLETTER
I had an author newsletter before, but I’ve neglected it to the point of almost murdering the poor thing.
But an email list is still considered a key marketing asset, and I subscribe to a lot of author and writing-related newsletters myself and enjoy them. So I finally got over my resistance and reanimated Vera Brook’s newsletter in 2021.
You are welcome to sign up for it here: http://eepurl.com/cTQmKD! 🙂
> CLARION WEST WRITE-A-THON 2021
I loved, loved, loved participating in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon 2021, to support their amazing Clarion West speculative fiction workshop & other events. Participants set their own goals, write alongside the Seattle workshop participants, and help raise funds for future workshops.
In addition to a daily writing goal and a fundraising goal, I pledged to read a short story a day. You can see a partial list of the amazing short stories I read, with links to where you can read them as well, on my website. I also included some writing & publishing resources. I hope you will find them useful.
And that’s all she wrote! I’ll tackle my writing & publishing goals for 2022 in a separate post.
Thank you for reading, and all the best in 2022!