The Year of Panic and Boredom

Like most of humanity, I am beyond thrilled to see 2020 coming to an end. Plenty of good things happened this year: I switched to a new team at work, and love my job; my sisters and I got our parents moved to an independent living place (their brand-new apartment is larger than my entire house); I had my most productive writing day ever (17,732 words in one day…I still can’t believe I did that!); and I got back in touch with my two college roommates! But wow, am I looking forward to 2021. 🙂

This year I learned that I can spend the entire work day in my office, then continue to stay in the same room in the evening while I’m writing or on a video call. It’s like I’m an astronaut, and have adapted to being stuck in a tiny space—although it’s not nearly as fun as being an astronaut. I also learned that just because I spend most of my waking hours in my office, that doesn’t mean I’m going to spend much (if any) of that time going through the piles of papers and boxes stacked (mostly) off-camera. And boy am I glad I stopped coloring my hair two years ago, and didn’t have to deal with growing it out on top of everything else 2020 brought.

I realize that the end of the year is an arbitrary spot in time to pin one’s hopes on. The other day I was talking about this with a friend of mine who she pointed out that the Chinese New Year is in February, and other cultures celebrate their new years at various times throughout the year. I’m going to stick with my excitement for 2021. Even if this is an arbitrary date, it still feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think. 🙂

Lately I’ve been doing a LOT of editing, and not much writing. My thoroughly thought-out plans for 2020, which included a writing and publishing schedule that even had time added in for unforeseen events, were of course completely derailed. I ended up with a bunch of anthologies stacked on each other this fall: The Wild Hunt, Hauntings, the first ever Pikes Peak Writers anthology (which I’m working on with three other trusty volunteers), a magicky/witchy anthology that is almost ready to publish, the sixth faerie anthology, and the next issue of Amazing Monster Tales (which also got hammered by my co-editor’s unplanned life events). I’m finally almost caught up on all of these projects. I have to do edits for the last anthology, but I’m not going to start those for another week or two because I’m focusing on a few writing projects. I am off from the day job until next week, and set aside this time to write.

And speaking of writing, I am happy to report that my short story “Gilroy and the Kitten” is in a new collection called A Cat of Heroic Heart! This is book 7 of The Year of Cat, a series edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith. I have been catless for over a decade now, and will remain so until we built a utility room, since there is no good place for a litterbox in our house. I can’t make that happen any faster—we have a lot of remodeling projects that have to happen before we get to this one. So for now I have to make do with writing about cats. This particular story is about Gilroy, whose person is a witch, and the witch’s niece, who accidentally turns herself into a kitten.

The book I’m working on also has a cat…and a witch. 🙂 It feels kind of weird to be getting back to this project after so long, but it also feels really good. I’ve got first drafts of 1.5 books, and plan to write at least three books in this series (probably more, I just haven’t thought past book 3 yet). It’s a little intimidating to be working on a series of novels, but I know once I actually write multiple books in this series I’ll feel comfortable with the concept, just like once I wrote my first novel I realized I could write more novels. The first time I do something new writing-wise seems to be the hardest—which doesn’t mean subsequent projects are always easy. 🙂 But once I’ve done a thing, I know I’m capable of doing that thing again. Let’s see how much I can get written before the end of my week off!!!

Rosie and Jasper playing with their Christmas toys

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