The end of 2018: A year in review

Wow, I can’t believe this is the third “Year in Review” post I’m writing on my blog! To continue this little tradition, which was inspired by my friend’s blog post, I wanted to take a little time and space to reflect on 2018 and emphasize to myself how much (or little) I accomplished this year. I started doing this to force myself not to obsess over things I didn’t do, but to think of the milestones I’ve hit and my achievements this year.

New year 2018 change to 2019 concept

Of everything in 2018, I’d like to highlight the following:

  • Launching my new thread of blog posts, “Put the Sci in your Fi“, and posting seven entries in that series over the past year. Seven might not seem like a large number, but for the amount of time required to research each topic and fact check everything, I’m happy with what I’ve put out so far. I’m especially proud of these seven posts because it’s something I said I’d do in my 2017 year in review post, and… I did it! So, here’s to more in 2019!
  • Wrote a guest post about the Sights, Sounds and Smells in a Lab for author Dan Koboldt’s similarly-themed “Science in Fiction” blog series!
  • Rewrote my first book, Project: Yggdrasil, almost from scratch in about 5 months.  This was a bit of a painful rework, but in the end, I think I ended up with a much better and more focused story than before. And, to top all that, I’ve reshaped the query letter, synopsis, and various pitches to fit this new, reworked 252-page manuscript. For these accomplishments, I must thank my trusty CPs KJ Harrowick, SM Roffey, KS Watts, Ariel Ryan and Tasha Livingstone as well as several beta readers and friends (Sonu and Yuuhiko) for their constant support and guidance.
  • In June 2018, I began writing my second book, Project: Eos, and very nearly finished Act I! At first, this story was completely disconnected and unrelated to my first book. But after a lot of brainstorming and fiddling with a timeline, I’ve found a way to weave together Yggdrasil, Eos, and now, several other stories into a sprawling series that spans across decades and different planets. I can’t wait to get started writing the other adventures and tying them together, Avengers style.
  • I attended the Authorpreneur Workshop in Redbank and met the lovely Marisa Corvisiero and Kelly Peterson, agents from the Corvisiero literary agency. And, I met many wonderful, like-minded Twitter friends in person for the first time!
  • I entered into Michelle Hauck‘s FallFest contest… and actually got a mentor! The awesome Aden Polydoros helped me shape up the first 250 words of my manuscript and hash out a brand new query letter!
  • It’s admittedly been a slow year for music, but I did manage to squeeze out two new tracks this year, as well as a music video for an Assassin’s Creed cover. For anyone who’s missed the audio fun:
    • Katerina’s Lullaby, inspired by a fellow writer’s fantasy manuscript, Death’s Song
    • Snow Maze
    • Main Theme to Assassin’s Creed
  • Went to several scientific conferences and workshops as I continue to grow in my career! One of these workshops was in Boston and I met one of my CPs in person for the first time!
  • Discovered the wonders of audiobooks! I know, this isn’t exactly an accomplishment, but it has enabled to me to read a lot more than I was, and that I do consider an achievement. I never really pursued audiobooks as a way to read because I always thought I’d tune the narrator out. Sometimes I do have to rewind a fair bit because I’ve zoned out or started daydreaming, but overall, it’s enabled me to plow through a good number of titles on my TBR list, and certainly in much less time than it’d take for me to find the time to sit with a book. I can read on my 40-minute commute twice a day, and in the gym, too, if I get real desperate to know what happens next! Special thanks to my friend Alex Land for pushing me toward this wonderful audio route and giving me my first ever audiobook.
  • Last but not least, through much effort and time and patience, my little Kiwi bird is so much more comfortable in her new home. This time last year, she was still shying away and unwilling to leave her cage. Now? She’ll come around the whole house with me, perched on my shoulder, and it’s sometimes an effort to get her back in her cage when playtime’s over. She’ll fly over to me (and some of my friends, too!) and land on us. She’s also discovered a particular love for glasses, so… those wearing glasses around my house may find a bird on their face at some point.
IMG_20181208_203942_202-2
Kiwi, making herself comfortable on her bird warmer, aka my laptop

And now, looking ahead…

road

For 2019, I hope to continue working on my beloved projects, hit more milestones and meet more friends in these creative adventures. I’d love to:

  • Get at least another 6 music tracks out for a second CD for MAGFest 2020
  • Upload at least 1 music video
  • Post at least one “Put the Sci in your Fi” entry per month—and get some friends in on the fun with guest posts!
  • Finish at least Act 2 of Project: Eos
  • Continue querying literary agents with Project: Yggdrasil and participating in pitching/mentoring events!

If you are so inclined, I’d like to invite you to share at least one moment that made 2018 great for you. I’d love to hear them.

Thank you everyone for a wonderful 2018, and happy new year!

 

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