A Year in Reflection

2019 has been a crazy year. A time of curses, crickets, community, creativity, and general chaos. But as it comes to an end, so many wonderful things happened and there will be only one regret I leave behind in 2019. Leaving Sadie in a year I’ll no longer be able to access will be the hardest part of moving forward, but as I reflect upon all the moments from this past year that she’s left a paw print on, I can’t help but wonder if maybe some part of her will travel with me.

Rewrite It Club

In January, Jen Davenport and I kicked off a new project called Rewrite It Club. Both of us were struggling pretty hard with our stories and how to execute deeper developmental revisions that could create a stronger impact. After reading books and articles online, we discovered that so many things seemed to hone in on grammar, word choices, or how to get the first draft down. There seemed to be a hole in the universe around how to approach consistent, hard-hitting revisions, so we created a community to talk about structure, pacing, character motivations, all the deep threads that step away from sentence stringing and talk about story. If you want to check it out, you can visit www.rewriteitclub.com or follow us on Twitter @RewriteItClub.

Writer In Motion

In spring of this year, I was in a random slack conversation with Jeni Chappelle and J. M. Jinks that sparked a crazy idea—a candid snapshot of what it’s really like to write a book. Not just vomiting the first draft, but the layers of revisions, emotional struggles and joyful aha! moments when something goes right, and how tough it is to take a book from the first spark of an idea to a polished, engaging story. So we setup a blog project using a thousand word short story framework, and before we knew it, we had this amazing community of writers ready to dive in head first. If you want to learn more about the project, you can visit www.writerinmotion.com or follow us on Twitter @WriterMotion.

Because of the Writer In Motion project, two really great things happened this year as a direct result:

  1. I broke a writer curse that has been on my shoulders for nearly two years.
  2. I wrote two incredible short stories.

Captain Khalon Riyath has only one mission: unlock the shield code to the planet and get his crew to safety. But when a stray bullet hits his leg, he’ll have to brave the inside of a dragon stomach for one last shot at survival.

Emmaline Harrington is not quite ready to forgive her fiancé. But during a repair of her grandfather’s snow globe, she discovers the necklace of an old frenemy and the truth about the worlds inside the glass spheres.

Freelance Work

This year has also been a huge leap forward in creativity. I’ve always toyed around with design work, but so much of what I create is more pulling together images to tell a cohesive story. But in 2019 my goal was to expand into design more commercially, strengthen some of my developer muscles, and grow the business a little. The truth is, this is the year something has changed with my artwork. Here are some of my favorites from the past twelve months.

The last two are part of the Reindragon Collection – a shop of holiday merchandise featuring both dragons and Reindragons. Keep your eyes on the shop as I unveil some new designs in 2020.

As you can see, 2019 has been a busy year. I’ve also pushed Winterviews to its own website with the help of my lovely partners Ellie Doores and Lexi Miles, and we’re just kicking off our fourth season as we interview other wonderful writer communities around the web. You can follow along on Twitter @13Winterviews.

It’s been a huge year for me, and what you see above is just some of the professional growth. 2019 has also provided a lot of personal growth, which I’m not sure I could have managed without the continued emotional support of S. M. Roffey, Sara Bond, Sarah J. Sover, and Jeni Chappelle. These four incredible ladies see me better than anyone, and their invaluable friendships have meant the world to me and I’m so glad we can all continue to be amazing together in 2020.

Tomorrow I’ll post the second part of this reflection series in where I’ll talk about 2020 and beyond. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m excited to be done with 2019 and move forward into the future.

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