Turns out, I was not ready.
I’d begun it with a fabulous cruise, full of sun and relaxation.
Only to have my mother suffer a stroke the day after I came back.
It was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without my partner. He’s always been amazing, but this year he’s been the best.
For a romance and erotica writer, I personally haven’t loved that many people in my life. I didn’t grow up with very many examples of great, or even functional, love and far too many bad ones. I think I read and wrote and consumed so many love stories because I needed to explore, discover, and teach myself what love meant to me.
I still do.
And, if all that led me to him, the journey, rough and winding paths and all, has been well worth it. He’s been my steadiness during the worry and work of my mother's recovery, my escape when the stress of it all became overwhelming, and my strength and support when I needed it most.
Like when my family turned on me and left me and my mother to fend for ourselves. Or when we found out our apartment had mold because we called city inspectors in when they wouldn’t fix our broken window for five months. Or when we had to fight with our landlord to get out of our lease. Or when our apartment began feeling unsafe, both structurally and on a security level. Or when we had to struggle to find and move into a new place. Whether I needed him to calm me, cuddle me, or kick me in the ass, he’s been there for me in a way no one else ever has and I am so grateful to and for him.
I’m also incredibly thankful to and for my amazing friends who’ve been so supportive this year, from being tireless sounding boards, to selflessly helping me move, to bringing me and my mom groceries when her doctor appointments and rehab schedule didn’t give us much time for all those unavoidable but hard-to-fit-in errands. They are awesome and I really want to make it a goal to set more time to spend with them this year. They are so important to me and I did not get to see them enough this past year. I've missed them terribly.
But mountains aren’t all cratering valleys; there have been some amazing peaks.
Like getting two new novels published, one weaving together stories from old favorite characters and another featuring a brand new world. And, of course I’ve been lucky enough to have more stories including in more anthologies and websites this year, as well as my very first Patreon requested story, which was so much fun to work on.
I also got to make some authorial appearances this year, which was amazingly fun. Doing panels at CONvergence was so much fun; it was so much fun to talk directly with people about the topics and subjects I love, like kink and consent and nerdery. And to get to do it all in costume makes it all the better.
Then getting the exciting opportunity to do a reading with Amber Tamblyn on her book tour stop in Minneapolis was nerve-wrackingly exhilarating. I’d never done a live reading like that before and to have that be my first was more than I could hope for.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I got to be on Deep Desires’s podcast and talk about my book Kinksters at Play. It was right in the middle of me getting ready to move, so I was so tired and frazzled, but it was a bright, fun moment in all the chaos.
I also got to see Hamilton, a show that speaks to me as a writer, a person of color, and an American. I love it so much and am so glad that my partner got tickets, right around July 4th, right when I needed a renewal of faith in my country. Like I said, he's the best!
He also took me and my friends to ValleyScare this year, even though he hadn't been on a ride since childhood and had never been to a haunted house, so a haunted theme park was definitely a risk. And, even though we found out that his enjoyment for rides doesn't quite reach mine, we still had so much fun.
As for the coming year, I’ve got a few more anthologies in the pipeline and am working with a new erotica app, Sunsette, which will hopefully launch soon!
Also, having had to take a bit of a writing break with all the craziness of this year, I can’t wait to dive back into it. I have so many stories that I want to tell; I can't wait to share them!
Moving has also reintroduced me to my outrageously fun wardrobe and I really want to get back into taking photos again, though because of all the FOSTA/SESTA TOS madness, that might only happen on Fetlife.
TL;DR: 2018 has been as exciting as it was exhausting and I’m hoping to tilt those scales in a more positive, less stressful direction in 2019. Keep the good, hopefully leave the bad behind. So less of a crowing “Bring it, 2019” dare this time and more of a cautiously optimistic “I’m keeping my fingers crossed” resolution.
Happy New Year!