Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A little gratitude

Apparently you CAN take them apart
Thank you all for indulging my whining last week. I'm better now. Not everything has improved, but I had my day or two to wallow and I've shoved the problems in their own little boxes, and now I'm dealing with the boxes, one by one.

First box: vision. My follow-up with the eye doctor went well. He's pleased with how my vision is clarifying, and doesn't want to see me for another 3 weeks. At that point, we may be able to discuss a new eyeglass prescription. Fingers and toes are crossed!

Second box: sewing machine. Replaced that bad boy, then sat with my husband in the living room and took the broken one completely apart and realized that so long as you are careful in separating the two pieces of the machine body, you can get in there and do a lot more cleaning and probably make the machine last longer. English muffins don't have that many nooks and crannies.

Third box: the oven. That's next up. I was just not in a mood to deal with the phone calls and service visits when I was still feeling blurry, but I have no more excuses. Making calls today.

Miscellaneous writing box: I've pretty much finished edits on coming closer, I've started drafting the third book, and for any UK readers who haven't tried the Tudor Court series, Songbird, the first book, will be available on Amazon for 99p for the month of April.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Raining stones

Warning: may contain whining.

2023 has had more complications than all of 2022, and possibly 2021. I started this whole journey toward cataract clarity in mid-January. The plan was to be finished by the time my birthday rolled around on the 31st. Ha! 

We know how that's gone. I had my second procedure last Tuesday, and as far as the actual cataract removal went, it was the picture-perfect operation that the first one should have been. Ten minutes, done. The thing nobody explained to me, and I didn't think of myself, was that with my eyes original lenses being removed with the cataract, and being substituted with distance lenses, I lost all close vision.

Imagine, if you will, my reaction when, not seeing my phone clearly, I brought it up to my face and it went completely out of focus instead of the reverse. Panic ensued. Loud, annoying, somewhat frantic panic.

Add to this that my sewing machine died last Monday. It was a 6-year-old inexpensive Brother machine, so not worth repairing. I ordered another one, and it came yesterday. We're getting acquainted - I have the seam allowance marked with blue painter's tape so I can see where I'm going.

Beyond that, our oven has decided that it will not go to any temperature above 100°. It did that once last week, and we turned it off and reset it at 350° and it worked, but the other night, we decided to put a pizza in the oven and the oven laughed. And laughed.

I will deal with that later.

Vision-wise, I had a follow-up appointment the day after surgery and badgered my eye doctor into giving me an interim prescription that I then ordered from one of those 24-hour eyeglass places - which do not deliver in 24 hours, but it's still better than waiting the potential several months until all the residual inflammation goes down and I have a steady prescription. 

In the meantime, some of the inflammation has gone down, and I am able to read and function at a closer level than I was immediately after surgery. There's still a fair amount of swearing involved, but I'm not sure if that's frustration or just me.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Watch this space

I finished my final edits this week, formatted the ebook, then formatted the paperback. Then I cracked open the ebook file and found... a typo. And that's why I have other readers, because you can't see everything, especially after going over a book this many times. 

So I'll keep reading same make those few final final tweaks, and turn my attention to Coming Together, the final book in my Ava and Claire series.

It would be so much easier if I could make an outline and write in order, but that's not how my brain works. I've fought against it, but we've come to terms, my brain and I. I'll respect how it wants to give me the story, and it will keep giving me stories.

Because I write historical, there is obviously some outlining that can't be avoided; I need to hit certain historical marks or the books won't be taken seriously. So I put the points on the timeline that can't be ignored, and figure out what other things - often smaller or local - will impact my characters, and they go in, as well. Then I can think about the larger points of the story. For this series, I have a triple timeline, going down the page in three columns: one for Ava, one for Claire, and one for unavoidable history.

Once I have those events noted down, I let my mind wander. The book comes to me in snippets, often conversation or locations. I'll write it all down or dictate it, and later I'll try to put these bits in order. Most don't fit, yet. So I have an actual book document and a second document for snippets, which holds all those brain bits. I pull from that when I get stuck and need words.

At my worst, I've had 30k words in the snippet document. The challenge is to use all of them, in one way or another, in the final manuscript. For Coming Closer, I ended up with less than 50 words left in the document, so major win. Not all of them were used - some were rewritten, and some deleted, but all of them were thought about.

The third book will happen now. I know this because when I formatted the ebook for Coming Closer, I put an order link for the final book in the back. I can't do that without putting it up for preorder. If it's on preorder, it exists, I just have to make it happen.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Small Things

This will be a random update post, because a lot of small things are happening. First, and not small, actually, is my second cataract surgery is scheduled for March 14. I got my sutures out last week - which was a surprising non-event, considering how terrible it sounds - and the doctor said I had healed well enough that it was time to do the second eye. I didn't think I'd be up for it, but I'm at the point of wanting to get this whole procedure over with. Not only that, but season 3 of Ted Lasso premieres the next day, and I operate on a reward system. 

Second thing, it's contractor season. We had a warm day last week, and I was outside cleaning up the garden. In the side yard, I found a chunk of concrete. Which turned out not to be a chunk of concrete, but a chunk of stucco off the top corner of the house. Monday afternoon, the stucco repair guy came to fix that, and several other cracks. The day before, the electrician was in because the light switch in my sewing room was stuck in the off position. At least if it had been stuck on, I could have turned it off by way of the chain on the ceiling fan. But, no...

We're on the slippery slope toward craft show season, so I've been doing a lot of sewing of my new critters, whose name, I think is going to be Pet Frocks. It was suggested by a neighbor, and even though there were other suggestions, it's stupidly perfect. 

And last, but far from least, I am four chapters from the end of final edits of coming closer. Then I send it to my proofreading friend and do a final read-through on my Kindle, because I see different mistakes when I read in a different format, and then I'll upload it for publication on April 18. Despite all the delays caused by the eye surgery, I'm right on time. 

How are things going in your neck of the woods? Are your houses behaving?

Friday, March 3, 2023

Fabulous Fashion Friday #5

This snippet is from From This Day Forward, the prequel novella to the Ava & Claire series, available only as a signup bonus for my newsletter. You can find it here. To explain the difference in style, this was a 1918 wartime wedding.


Claire is calm this morning, as calm as a girl can be when her entire life is about to change. I’m glad the strange nervousness that kept her wakeful last night has faded. I wanted to stay up and talk, but the rare combination of silence and a soft mattress was irresistible, and I did not wake until nearly six.

Mama was already washed and dressed, sitting by the window. Her hair was still in its braid, and I got up to brush it for her. “Should I do something different?”

Her brows knit together. “Whatever for?”

I brush and twist and pin, and soon she is the mother I have always known, with a tight knot at her nape and a tatted collar around the neck of her new dress.

She talks to Claire while I wash. I emerge in my corset cover and petticoat, not wanting to wrestle myself into my new dress in the bathroom.

“Let me.” Claire drops it over my head and does up the buttons, smoothing the green fabric over my hips and straightening the high collar. “You look beautiful.”

“Look who’s talking.” My gaze sweeps over her gown, hung now on the outside of the wardrobe, waiting for her to put it on. The heavy ivory satin is like nothing I’ve ever touched, and the clever bodice, wrapping over a front panel of beaded lace to join with the hip sash, is a marvel of construction. The skirt is straight, with an asymmetric overskirt and a short train.

It is simple and elegant, not at all what I would have expected from Claire, who never met a ruffle she didn’t like. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

And that's probably a good thing

I'll be back on Friday with another update - and maybe some more Fabulous Fashions - but today I'm back off to the eye doctor again, this time to have the sutures removed from the first surgery 6 or so weeks ago. It's just an in-office procedure, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but I'm not actually sure what's going to happen. And that's probably a good thing.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Fabulous Fashion Friday #4

Another snippet from Coming Closer, from later in the book. Claire decides that her sister needs a little something pretty and Ava, proud as always, wants to refuse but is unable to once she gets her hands on a pre-war Japanese embroidered kimono which Claire got in Paris after her honeymoon.


     It’s a robe... no, a kimono. The word floats into my mind. I didn’t even know that I knew what a kimono looked like, but this is certainly one. “It’s beautiful,” I say inadequately.

     It is a pale, dusty pink, a color once called ashes of roses. I don’t know if that’s the right name now. Without thinking, I rub the fabric between my fingertips, judging. Silk crepe, the best quality I’ve ever felt. 

     Flowers spill over the shoulders and down the open front of the kimono, with pale tendrils ending just above the hem. The inside is a darker pink, making me think again of roses, though that’s not what these flowers are.

     “Cherry blossoms,” Claire days, reading my mind. “It’s Japanese.”

     “I thought you said it was French?” I take the kimono from her, spread it across my lap. It is simultaneously weightless and substantial. The embroidery is heavier on the back, pink-and-white flowers massed across the shoulders, interspersed with vivid green leaves. The silk thread has texture under my fingers. The flowers are so lifelike I almost expect them to have a fragrance.

     “We bought it in Paris,” she says patiently. “It’s from Japan. Stand up, let’s try it on.”

     “It’s too nice—” I try to fight her off but I’m afraid she will damage the kimono in her enthusiasm to dress me up. “Fine.”

     Putting it on, I look at myself in the triple mirror I normally avoid. The dampness outside has loosened my hair, and it falls in waves to my chin. My cheeks are flushed, my eyes bright. But for the telltale tightness around my mouth, I am almost unrecognizable.

     “I can’t wear this.” I slip it off regretfully, trying not to think about how it felt. How I looked.

     Claire bundles it up and thrusts it into my hands. “You have to.” She reaches into the box and throws the sash—pink on one side, green on the other—on top of the pile. “If you don’t take it, I’ll put it in the rubbish.”

     “You wouldn’t.” In spite of myself, I clutch it to my chest.

     “I would, Ava, and I will.” Claire laughs delightedly. “Now, will you take it?”

     It is the most beautiful thing I have ever touched, and I want it so badly I can barely breathe. I think of the skill and the hours devoted to the embroidery of all those blossoms, the many thousands of miles it has traveled to reach my hands; I can’t let her destroy it, and she would, just to prove her point. 

     “Fine,” I mutter. “I’ll take it.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Progress, of various sorts

This past Friday, I had another appointment with the retina specialist, and actually got some good news out of it. 

I've been seeing pretty well over the last few weeks, to the point where, when I'm outside, I push my glasses up on my head and try to manage without them. The right eye (the one that had the cataract removed) has healed and stabilized to a point where my distance vision is way better than on the "good" eye, the one that has yet to be fixed.

So my question for him was, if I'm seeing this well with no new lens inserted, why would I bother to have that done. Yes, I'll still need glasses, but I've worn glasses for 50 years, and I didn't go into cataract surgery expecting to stop wearing them. And I'll still need them for close work, and 90% of my life appears to be close work. So why?

And he... agreed with me. He said it still wouldn't be his choice, but that's mainly because he'd like to get me too 100% clear vision, not because what I want isn't medically sound. 

But what I want will get me something that both the cataract and the retina doctors want, which is for me to fix the left eye. By all estimates, the cataract isn't as severe (and so hopefully will come off without as many complications), and even if that's the case again, now I know what I've got to look forward to, and that a non-optimum surgical result still gets me a pretty good result visually.

So I'm back to the cataract doctor in a week or two, so she can look at my progress and we can set a date for removing the yellow film from my left eye.

I thought I was going to have all this done before my birthday in January. HA.

But still. It's progress. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it's only a little bit blurry. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Fabulous Fashion Friday #3

This week we have a snippet from Coming Apart, After Ava visited Claire in Philadelphia and made a dress for her.

The dress pictured here was the jumping off point for Ava's creation, but in navy blue bias-cut satin.


It is the first of August before I am brave enough to wear the dress Ava made for me. I haven’t even tried it on; what I saw in the mirror during the final fitting surprised and disturbed me enough that I put it in the back of the closet. But this is a special evening, and Prue Foster will be there, which makes me feel a bit braver.

For someone so buttoned up herself, Ava has created a dress far more daring than anything I have ever worn. The navy satin is staid enough, but stitched on the bias, it flows over my curves like paint. It is cut nearly to the small of my back, but in the front, a simple drape at the neck offers only a shadow of cleavage.

I look at myself in the three-way mirror, trying to decide if it will cause a scandal.

“My God.” Already in his tuxedo, Harry stands in the doorway. He takes off his glasses and peers at me.

A blush climbs from the drape all the way to my hairline. “Is it too much?”

He gives a tiny, stunned shake of his head. “You look amazing.”

“Ava made it when she was here.” I turn in a small circle. “I haven’t had the nerve before now.”

“She should visit more often.” Harry slides a hand down my satin hip. “I don’t know if I want to show you off or keep you to myself.”

I smile at him. “You lucky man, you get to do both.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Feels like spring

Just short one this week, to thank everyone for their kind words about Harriet, and for sharing their own stories of pets past and present. No matter how much it hurts, the fact that we're willing to go through it again - and again - says something about us, and them.

The weather's been in the 50s for the past few days, so despite what that pesky groundhog said, I'm feeling like spring. I've been walking a lot, looking at the green shoots of daffodils and crocuses popping up in gardens all over town, and holding myself back from clearing out the garden beds in my own yard.

Two more days until my next appointment with the retina specialist. My eye still gets tired and a little itchy by the end of the day, but my vision is so much better that even without the new lens, I've been walking around without my glasses. He told me there was a chance that I would end up with correctable vision, and that going through the second surgery to insert a lens might end up being optional. If that is indeed the case, I'll take the option of glasses, thank you very much. 

Not having to go through a second surgery on the right eye might make me a little more amenable to the idea of fixing the left one, say, next year.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Fabulous Fashion Friday #2

Another snippet from Coming Closer, this one from the very opening scene of the book. Because who doesn't love vintage undies?


I rummage through Claire’s underwear drawer, sorting by fabric even as I catalog the delicious colors: ice blue, orchid, butter yellow, ivory. A shocking black georgette slip with insets of handmade lace. One piece step-ins of peach satin with tiny bows at the straps. Bandeau brassieres in ballet pink crepe de chine with matching pants.

Pulling out a long, bias-cut slip in smoky lilac, I hold it against me, careful not to let my roughened fingertips catch on the satin. “Good lord, this is too pretty to cover with clothes.”

“It’s a negligee,” she says, ducking her head. “There’s a matching peignoir in the closet. With ostrich feather trim. Do you want to see it?”

“No.” I shake my head. “But something that lovely deserves to be seen.”

“Well, it is.” Claire’s color deepens. “It’s one of Harry’s favorites.”

It is my turn to blush. “I feel older and thicker by the moment.” I fold the gown and put it back with the rainbow of shining fabrics. “But I asked for it. If I’m going to sew for these women, I need to know what they wear under their clothes.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

And then there were none

A recent Harriet - not bad for an old girl

This was not the post I planned for this week. But if we all know one thing, it's that life does not go to plan.

Harriet was born in or near my backyard when I lived in West Philly. Her father was Vladimir Putintat, the tom of all toms, and her mother was named Alice. Vlad and Alice were an unusual couple - they would bring their kittens to my yard, he would disappear, and she would nap, knowing that the kittens were safe. Eventually, when the kittens got old enough, their parents didn't come back for them and I had more cats. This system worked well for a long time.

Harriet and her brother Nicky were the last of the old West Philly herd of cats. We lost Nicky in April, 2021, and we lost Harriet two days ago.

She was approximately 19 and 1/2 years old, and had been holding well. She was always small - one of those perma-kittens - but that just meant when she transitioned from being a fussy eater to not wanting to eat, the weight dropped even quicker. I'm not even sure if there was anything specific wrong. At a certain age, the wheels just come off the bus, and when a cat reaches that age, I'm not going to take her to a vet to have them figure out what's wrong. What's wrong is old age, and the one thing we can do for pets as opposed to people is to arrange to let them go before they're suffering.

Harriet in the jungle
On Monday morning, I called the visiting vet who helped Nicky along at our house, but they didn't have anyone available until Tuesday late afternoon, and that suddenly seemed like a long time when Harriet was deteriorating so rapidly. So I called around to my neighbors, found someone who could drive me to the local vet, and made an appointment. I don't have anything against the local vet, but having it done at home does save their last memory from being a ride in the car.

The only food she'd been interested in in 2 days was cream cheese, so I took some of that with me to distract her.

The tech pushed back a little bit when I said I was there for euthanasia, but when the vet came in, he looked at me, looked at Harriet, and said, "You've been doing this longer than me." He gave her a quick once over and said he could feel a mess in her abdomen, probably lymphoma, which explained the swiftness of her decline. It's also similar to what took out both Alice and her brother, so sad but not entirely unexpected.

He did what needed to be done quickly and compassionately, and Harriet passed with her face in a spoonful of cream cheese. Not a bad end, as far as that goes.

Tiny Harriet with Alice (mom) and Nicky
I am now a woman without a cat. Which hasn't happened in 38 years. I've always overlapped before, so there was never a vacancy. This is going to be really, really strange.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Fabulous Fashion Friday #1

Coming Closer (Ava & Claire Book #2) has a lot of sewing and 1930s fashion in it - two of my favorite things. 

In honor of my favorite fictional sisters, I'm starting a series of #FabulousFashionFriday posts on Facebook and Instagram to share some of the photos I've accumulated while researching this book, along with snippets, if there is one that applies. 

Obviously I'm sharing here as well, because, well, 1930s fashion? Is that enough reason?


 The sort of dress I would normally make for Claire—bias cut and sinuous, to counteract her primness—would garner the wrong reaction in such a crowd. My sister must look like the what she is, the beautiful wife of a prominent businessman, and her figure, while unavoidable, should not be on blatant display. 

But fashion leans toward the form-fitting. I spend the rest of my work day thinking about it, making bad drawings, and finally haul myself out to the drugstore to surreptitiously look at movie magazines for inspiration. And I find it, in an issue of Silver Screen—a profile of Joan Crawford, illustrated with photographs from several of her pictures, including Letty Lynton, where she is clad in a gown that seems equal parts ruffles and attitude.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

59. How the heck did that happen?

My birthday was yesterday. How am I 59? I don't  feel 59. I don't, on most days, feel 39.

I think it's the biggest trick our bodies play on us as we age, that our minds don't age at the same rate. I am continually surprised when my back hurts or my knees pop or - appropriately enough - my eyes don't work properly. Who said I could fall apart?

Last Friday, I saw the retina specialist and he was quite pleased with how my eye was healing. He reduced my eyedrops from four to two, and said he'd see me in three weeks (so February 17) to check my progress and hopefully give me a date for the second surgery.

The strangest thing is that as my right eye is healing, it's got better distance vision than the "good" eye, but I can't just walk around without glasses. (I tried, I tripped over a curb and almost fell on my face). No peripheral vision or depth perception (yet) on one side does not make for safe walking.

In other news, I've just about finished edits for Coming Closer, I'm making notes for the third book (because my head won't shut up), and I'm thinking that I'll add a regular book review feature to the blog because I've read so many good books lately it seems a shame not to share them! Also, many are by other indie authors and it's hard for them (us) to get the word out, so if it's a book I can genuinely vouch for, you'll see it here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Free Audiobooks!

Popping in briefly from my blurred state to give you a reminder about that audiobook giveaway I mentioned a while back. 

I still have a handful of free codes to distribute - 25 for Songbird and 25 for A Wider World. 

PLEASE let me know if you want one or both. (The only thing I ask in return is that if you enjoy listening to the book, to please leave a review on Spotify. It's a new platform, it's audience-building all over again).

You can leave a comment here or email me at karen @ karenheenan . com

Saturday, January 21, 2023

An unexpected detour

So, not quite as planned. I had my cataract surgery on Tuesday and what should have been a 10 minute procedure took well over an hour. The doctor, after the fact, told me that in her 13 years of practice, she had never seen a cataract of the size, thickness, and tenacity  of mine (isn't it fun being special?) and it complicated the process because my eye no longer has the structure to hold the new lens.

Apparently I've always been complicated structurally. Most eyes are round, but the more near-sighted you are, the more football-shaped the eye becomes. She explained it sort of like a hammock. You know the strings / fibers that hold the hammock at either end? Our eyes have similar fibers that hold the lens in place. Well, she said my cataract was so large that it was like replacing a softball in the center of that hammock with a bowling ball. Which snapped, and/or stretched a lot of those fibers so that they are no longer capable of holding the lens. She said she tried, inserted the lens, and I moved my eye and it went spinning out of place. So we get to try again.

Yesterday I went to their retina specialist, who looked over my eye, said that considering my cornea looks like someone played basketball with it, it was healing well and we just need to wait a MONTH or so for the inflammation to die down. Then he'll perform the workaround surgery of inserting the lens from behind and stitching it into place. I don't really want to think too much about that, because the tiny sutures that the cataract doctor put in are itching like I have an eye full of sand. But I have to do it, because right now, without my lens and cataract, everything is a blur on the right - but a brightly colored blur. I'm seeing blues I haven't seen in several years.

At the conclusion of the follow-up exam with the cataract doctor, I said to her that she shouldn't expect me to deal with my left eye anytime soon, my motivation is now somewhat lacking. She totally understood, and said that the cataract on that one is extremely minimal, so I can take time; I know now what it looks like when it gets worse, so I'll make the move when I have to; and she also would recommend waiting 6 months to hear simply for my right eye to finish healing before I do anything to the other one. 

So that means my regular eye doctor will have to get bullied into giving me a new prescription for a fixed eye and an unfixed eye, and if he doesn't like it, he can lump it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Coming Closer - Cover Reveal and Blurb!

This post is pre-scheduled because I am hopefully at the eye doctor today having the shield taken off my eye (assuming I haven't taken it off myself in the a.m. out of impatience) and finding out that that I can see more than 3 inches in front of my face.

Here's the finished cover and probably final blurb for Coming Apart, the second book in my Ava & Claire series. It's available for pre-order now, and I'm about 50% done with the edits. Then I'll let it rest for a week or two, so I can start drafting book 3 and then go back and look at it with fresh eyes to catch the last repetitive words and pesky typos.

I love this cover possibly even more than the first one. It's another family photo - my great-aunt Margaret again, slightly younger, but in a dress that absolutely fits the arc of Ava's story as a seamstress in Philadelphia during the 1930s.

What do you think of the blurb? It's really difficult to boil down two entire stories into a few paragraphs, but I've done my best. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Sharper Images

This is not quite how I see, but my photo
editing software doesn't blur any worse than this.
Four years ago, I had retina surgery. This is something I don't really like to think about - the idea of someone doing things to my eyes is squick - but it happened, and it kept me from having a far worse surgery, as it turned out.

My regular eye doctor, a lovely man who pays very close attention to things that most regular eye doctors do not, was the one who found the retina irregularity. He also, two years ago, told me that I was developing cataracts on both eyes. 

The right, he said, was far worse, but the left would catch up eventually. And my left eye is my "good" eye, the one that didn't have surgery, that has a much lighter prescription. The eye that's basically doing all the work these days because I needed new glasses after the retina surgery but there didn't seem much point when there was still work to do.

Last year, I thought seriously about getting my cataracts done. I was starting to see vague differences in color between my right and left eyes, and there was  noticeable blur on the right, but that being my "bad" eye, I didn't know if it was the cataract or just my crappy vision.

In December, I finally sucked it up and got a referral to a cataract specialist, and my consultation was on December 30. She did a full exam and referred me to their in-house retina guy to sign off on the previous work. I also had a physical (at an urgent care, because my GP retired years ago and I've been meaning to replace him). So I'm 4 appointments in and nothing's actually happened yet.

The first surgery is Tuesday, January 17, on the right eye, followed a week later by my left eye. The doctor thinks that she can get me to 20% of my current eyeglass prescription, which would be amazing. I'd had no idea that it would actually improve my prescription, but apparently removing that fogged up lens will do that. She wanted to insert a lens that would help with my mild astigmatism, but it's not covered by my health benefits, so we'll do that with glasses instead.

It's not that I'm bargain-shopping my healthcare, but the astigmatism lens would cost $3,000 out of pocket as opposed to completely covered for the standard lens, when it's the exact same procedure and same doctor. That makes as much sense as dental insurance covering root canal but considering a crown to cover the exposed root to be cosmetic dentistry.

But whatever. I can buy a lot of glasses with $3,000. Though right now, all I want is one pair that I can see out of, and maybe a pair or two of prescription sunglasses so I stop staring into the sun like an idiot and doing the same damage all over again.

Here's to 2023 being a year of clarity. Of vision, and everything else.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2022 Roundup

My word for 2022 was "push," partly to make up for what I felt was the sluggish pace of my former publishing journey, and partly, well, to push myself into actually doing all the things on my list.

How did I do? You tell me.

  • Published Lady, in Waiting in February.
  • Re-released Songbird's audiobook, finished edits for A Wider World's audiobook and learned to master audio so I could get that one up as well.
  • Finished writing and editing Coming Apart.
  • Formatted and released omnibus edition of the first Tudor Court trilogy in August.
  • Wrote a prequel novella for Coming Apart which was released as a newsletter exclusive. Haven't read it? Sign up here
  • Released Coming Apart in October.
  • Wrote a novella (Princess of Spain) which was included in the Alternate Endings anthology, released in November.
  • Six podcast guest appearances to talk about Coming Apart and historical fiction / writing generally. 
  • Two in-person visits with writer friends, which were hugely inspiring for all concerned.
  • Participated in a Zoom writing group (monthly until we fell off, but still keeping up by email) and a weekly writing salon on Twitter. Talking to other writers feeds the best, y'all.
  • Writing the first draft of Coming Closer, which is the second book in the Ava & Claire series. It's done, it's resting, and I'll start in on edits in a week or so. Release is scheduled for April 18, 2023, so I'd better get on it...
Still thinking about my word for 2023, even though it's 2023. I can't repeat push, I might injure myself.