Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. We’re ending out another year, so it’s time for another goals recap post.
I started out the year with a ton of projects going. If I was being honest, way too many projects going. This is a major problem. In writing terms, when you have too many plot threads going, the best thing to do is actually to start to close them one by one. In going with my focus word, FEARLESS, I decided I was going to be deliberately closing some of the open tabs in my brain.
Let me first go briefly over my projects and then I will talk about my goals for the year.
I had 22 total books that my brain was actively or passively working on, some of which I have partial or even full drafts of. I added one more book to that list this year. This is where they all started at the beginning of 2022:
Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding Umbrella
Oblivion Duet – New Adult Urban Fantasy – Angels and Demons / Gods and Goddesses
#1: Utopian Melody
I have a draft of this novel that has went through multiple rewrites and was in the querying phase as of last year. I stopped querying it in June of last year after attending a writing conference where I realized it was under of the worldbuilding umbrella of novels. It needs at least one more rewrite before I can query it again.
#2: Nether Harmony
The second book in the Oblivion Duet has a working zero draft. I never finished the draft of this novel because I wanted to get a solid draft of Utopian Melody because in my mind there was no point in working on this when things were going to inevitably change whenever I changed the first book. Good news is, I have a really solid idea on how this book goes and how it eventually ends.
Written in Blood – Adult Urban Fantasy – Vampires with Werewolves and Faeries
I started a zero draft of this novel at the beginning of last year and honestly didn’t get very far with it. It was told from two separate perspectives, and I was writing in first person for the first time, so I struggled with the voice. This too is under the worldbuilding umbrella, so even though I have a fair idea on how the vampires specifically fit into the worldbuilding universe, I for sure needed to do some more thinking about the main character and how she fit into the series, but also into the world as a whole. Some, if not most, of this thought work I have figured out now.
The original Written in Blood idea was a standalone, and that book has a full draft which has become the solid middle novel of what is now the Written in Blood trilogy. Though the original idea is going to stay in tact in many ways, it will not be able to do so totally unaltered. I technically have a draft of this, but until the first book is written, I don’t want to mess with the rewrite of this novel.
Before I even started writing book 1 last year, I actually outlined all three of these novels. Since I didn’t get a draft of book 1, and I didn’t get to rewrite book 2, I also didn’t get to start book 3. This has just the brief outline and hasn’t been started at all yet.
FATE of the WORLD – Young Adult Urban Fantasy – Gods and Goddesses
Fate of the World is a fringe novel that I wasn’t sure was part of the worldbuilding umbrella projects. In writing it, I’ve discovered it is. I am almost at the end of Act 1, and it has 14,000 words or so written in the draft. I am pantsing the writing of it as a deliberate experiment and really trying to take the time to identify what it needs, so this novel’s progress is very slow going in terms of how fast I’m writing it. I am trying to build in more and more subplot material because I tend to just follow a single plotline and that isn’t usually enough to build an entire story around.
Young Adult High Fantasy Books
#1: Book of Fire
I don’t talk about this series much because I haven’t actively worked on these books in a long time. I do, however, work from time to time, on a partial draft of a young adult high fantasy series called the Dragon Pact about a girl named Nitara who gets thrown out of the Fire Guild after the death of her mentor under the pretense that she has stolen the dragon egg that they were set to transport to the king of the fire nation. In order to prove her innocence, Nitara enlists the help of a thief named Rook, to find out who really took the egg, and return it to the new King in time to renew the dragon pact for his coronation.
Obviously, people don’t want her to take the egg back to the king, they’ve stolen it for reasons and purposes unbeknownst to a twelve year old fire mage like Nitara. In order to succeed, she has to overcome both her own adversity to fire magic and her fears. But the conspiracy runs deeper than she knows and success could put herself and Rook in even greater danger.
#2-#5: Book of ….
Books 2 through 5 are titled according to the nations that they represent. I have a vague understanding of where the plot has to go beyond the first book, but have not extensively plotted out the other books. Except to say that I do have some major character elements that I know need to happen, and approximately where they need to go.
Multiverse and Me – Children’s (4th-6th Grade) Science Fiction
#1: Eternal Inflation
Probably another thing I don’t talk about near enough. I have almost an entire drafted trilogy of wacky and fun science fiction novels for children. The idea is that three cousins get stuck in Granny’s house one weekend over the summer and are different ages and super bored together. They don’t stay bored for long though, as they eventually each end up starting their own adventure, with each child adventuring in a different style of multiverse. This first book has a full draft written about Bubble Universes but needs to be rewritten for children and for clarity.
#2: String Scales
The second book in the series is shorter than the first, which I think is unfortunate for three main reasons. First, if we were writing it to be the second part of a full length adult book, it serves as the middle of the book. This means that it should be the longest section of the book, and where we really build the most character development.
Second, it deals with my personal favorite character of the series. I positioned it second for the purpose of developing it more than I ended up being able to because I simply love and identify with this character the most of the three cousins.
Third, and maybe most significant, if any of the three multiverse theories presented has a possibility of being plausible, String Theory is the one that is the most likely and is the one we are trying to test. Scientifically speaking, it’s the most important of the concepts to get across and I know I need to do a major rewrite of this second book and a lot more research before I can adequately do so. This is absolutely my own failing, and I definitely need to work on fixing this book an doing it justice.
#3: Schrodinger’s Cat and Other Things
Which book has space pirates hacking their way through multiple instances of the multiverse creating ever-increasing entropy in an anything-that-can-happen-will kind of way? Oh, it’s this one. And I only have a few chapters written of this book, because even though I kind of know what happens to the main plot, I didn’t have quite enough whacky mayhem subplot scenarios for the book finale to finish these novels off. But I do know how the end of the book and the conclusion of the series ties together, so it isn’t about that. This multiverse is the weirdest and hardest of them all to explain, and, if I’m being honest, to even wrap my brain around.
So I have a zero draft of this that is unfinished.
Adult Historical Fiction
Hawaiian Monarchy Series
#1-#8: (Some of them are already titled)
I feel it’s necessary to start talking also about my Hawaiian Monarchy series. I was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, and though I no longer live in Hawaii, I learned a lot about the islands, their history, their people, and their culture, in the first 23 years of my life.
In the United States, they teach children the history of their state, and they often teach a foreign language. I learned Hawaiian History and Hawaiian Language, learned to dance the Hula, and took many a trip to the cultural museum or monarch’s palace where a child from another state might have gone to a national park or a bowling alley on field trips instead.
People in Hawaii watch the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival with more fervor than the Olympic Games. We have cultural fairs similar to the ones in Japan, where each class or grade level will work together to produce a cultural exhibit. In 4th grade I carved and polished my first ipu, a Hawaiian drum made from a gourd, and learned to make leis and baskets. I learned about the Monarchy of old Hawaii and about the majesty and the downfall of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
When I say that I have a project that is dear to my heart, it is true that there is no other than the story of the monarchs of Hawaii. I have had this project rolling around in my mind for a long time, and I of course want to do it justice, while also telling a compelling and accurate tale. Books are, as you’d imagine, not easy to find. But I have been thinking about this series very hard lately and it has been weighing ever more heavily on my mind and in my heart that I have got to tell these stories.
Eight monarchs. Eight Hawaiian islands. All the triumphs, majesty, disease and heartbreak in-between.
I haven’t started writing any of the books, but it’s been weighing very heavy on me lately that I need to give voice to these people and to bring eyes back to the little slice of land that I love still so much and still would call my forever home.
What I Accomplished in 2022
And so now that you know where I started 2022, you’re going to ask me what it all means and what I actually accomplished in 2022. What it sums up to is this:
I read through my previous draft and started (and finished) outlining the rewrite for the first book in the Multiverse and Me series, Eternal Inflation. That book got rewritten. I started outlining the rewrite for the second book in that series, String Scales, and also started drafting the rewrite during NaNoWriMo.
I started an outline for a completely new adult romance book. This is pretty much done, except I’m missing three scenes I thought I’d already figured out.
I went to a statewide writing conference in summer.
I moved my entire Etsy shop off of Etsy and onto my own website.
I kept up with the blog and the podcast every week without fail this year.
If you are a numbers person, the whole year (so far) amounts to 115,184 words written, 54,703 of which were for my main Work In Progress alone. This is very close to my best year ever on record since I began keeping track in 2014. The current record is held by 2020’s word count of 133,402 words. I don’t think I’ll make 15,000 more words this year, but I can say that I do feel less burned out than I felt in 2020, for making it nearly as far.
2022 is coming to a close. It feels like it went by in a blur. My personal life has been insanely hectic and I’m looking at that crazy word count this year asking myself how I even managed it. All I can say is that so many other things got shoved to the side in order to make that a reality.
I’m not even saying all of those choices every day were my most healthy or glamorous choices to make. I don’t know that I was always living my best self. A lot of times, the thing that got pushed to the side was taking care of myself or my living space.
Still, looking back on the year, I want to think I’m finally figuring my life out. Things that used to stress me out a lot aren’t as stressful anymore. I’m not holding as much anxiety as I used to, I’m asking for help when I’m overwhelmed, and I’m putting things in place now to move in the direction I want my life to take, instead of going with the flow and doing what society decides is best for me.
I had hoped I would get through draft rewrites of all three books this year. I got through 1.5 of the book rewrites I intended to, but still managed to rank 2nd in the top word count years. I did a lot of things I didn’t know how to do or was scared to take on. I just figured them out.
I’m still figuring it out. This year I feel closer to it than ever before. So here’s to a 2023 where everything falls into place. Where I figure life out and start living it in the best way possible for me.
- How often do you set goals and how often do you check in with them?
- How was your year?
- How many goals did you set and how many of them were you able to accomplish?