2019 is almost here. I unwrapped my new calendar for the coming year, thrilled and yet baffled by my choice this time. For the past few years, I’ve learned that buying fancy calendars makes me ridiculously happy. I’ve been getting Parisian calendars because the photographer featured was Irene Suchocki, and after, Georgianna Lane, and they made Paris way more charming than I remember it being. Which made my room that much more charming. Then I moved on to patisserie calendars, making me drool over the pretty desserts I uncovered as each month passed by.
This time, there were no patisserie calendars to be found. So threw my aesthetics out the window and committed to a Mystery Science Theater 3k calendar:
So what does that say about how different the new year will go for me? All I know is that perhaps it will be a little less pretty, but infinitely more zany and fun.
It’s been such a long time since I blogged here! I’ve been enjoying social media in all its forms, but especially Instagram which continues to serve as a photo diary of what I’ve been up to during the year. It’s hard to remember to blog since I feel like I’m doing it daily on there.
When I saw that my last post was in 2017, I realized I had to put together something before the year changed. So here we are.
When I look back to the beginning of 2018, I can’t believe how much has happened. I have to begin with Jennie Dunham of Dunham Literary, Inc. In February, she became my literary agent. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve spent querying agents and how much I learned from the process. It still feels like a dream now that I’m working with Jennie, but I’m happy to have begun a new chapter in my career with her.
Waiting is still very much a thing. Sometimes even more than it was before. And I found that with all the time I had, I could make 2018 a year to break a record.
Up until this year, I’ve had to juggle writing new material and revising old material – all under deadlines. This time, I could write new material all year round. No hitting the brakes. No screeching halts to pick back up another project needing polishing. This was the year I wrote more than I ever thought possible. I finished the first drafts of THREE manuscripts.
Here are the stats:
1. MG #1 (60,573 words)
2. YA Book #2 of 3 (91,249 words)
3. MG #2 (59,170 words)
That’s… 210,992 words for 2018. Woah. WOAH.
I don’t know if I can follow this up with 2019’s goals. But it’s kind of tempting.
People and Places
My gosh, I met so many people this year. From left to right:
1. E.R. Warren. That’s right. THE E.R. Warren of Figment. Or as I like to call her, Emily (we’re friends, you know. Privileges). We met on Figment.com, the teen writing site that changed our lives forever. I’m pretty sure we met sometime in 2011, around the time we all joined and the site was still new and growing. That’s a long time, right? Well, because of my trip to Disneyland, I finally got to meet Emily in person! Was she awesome? Heck yes. Was it awkward? Not at all. It’s like… we left off right where we were through our texts and phone calls. In fact, we talked so much that our waiter pretty much gave up on taking our orders for at least an hour haha.
2. Joey Chou. Thanks to Epcot’s Festival of the Arts, I got to meet one of my favorite artists. He was signing his prints at the festival. I wished I had a million blank walls at my house so I could purchase the canvas sizes and hang them up at home (alas, I’m all out of wall space). We had a fun conversation about art and how I wasn’t an artist (not since high school at least, when I traded in my sketchbooks for novel-writing) and his experience illustrating books.
3. Tim Tracker and Jenn Tracker. I can’t even remember when I started watching Tim and Jenn’s vlogs on YouTube, but it wasn’t soon enough. I love watching their adventures in Disney, Universal, and some of the other theme parks we have around Florida. As slim as the changes were, I’d always hoped I’d run into them at the parks. However, I finally got to meet them in person at MegaCon in May. Jenn was helping a friend with her booth and Tim showed up later. I loved talking to them about how much I loved their videos of Tokyo Disney that they had just posted. I also got to ask Tim and Jenn about the Roger Rabbit ride at Disneyland, the ride was most looking forward to for my Disneyland trip (not a surprise – they said it was awesome… and it was).
4. Black Panther. This counts, right? We had a lovely conversation in Disneyland about Florida weather and how great the Incredicoaster is – especially the tunnel where they pump the smell of freshly-baked cookies.
Last but not least, I got to meet two actors from Gotham, one of my favorite shows. And by “meet,” I mean like all of five seconds to have my picture taken with them. You know how conventions work. But it’s amazing how much can be packed into such a small moment: I got to shake both their hands. They were both very kind.
Sean Pertwee (left) plays Alfred Pennyworth and David Mazouz (right) plays young Bruce Wayne on the show. I got to see them talk about the show on a panel beforehand, which was really fun because they both talked openly about their roles and what it was like to step into another version of the Batman mythology.
I don’t know how I’m going to deal in 2019. The 5th and final season will be airing in January 2019. The story will be over. I’ve been watching the show since it first aired and it’s surreal to think it will end. But these things do happen. I can hardly wait to see how the show wraps up.
This year has been good in some ways, but kind of a disaster in others. I think everyone had challenges this year, but we made it! We’re almost on the other side.
My workshop buddies and I were talking about the new year and how we thought making our goals real – like, by writing them out – would give them more power to come true. So I’m going to share a few of them here in the hopes that we may be on to something.
1. Find a new home for my stories.
2. Write another MG book.
3. Finish the 3rd book in the YA trilogy I alluded to.
4. Spend less money lol.
5. Make significant progress with my TBR pile to free up more room on my bookshelves (the pile is a monster. It keeps growing).
6. See more of Central Florida.
7. Fill the house with more white and teal/seafoam/turquoise/mint colors. I’ve committed.
8. Ride every ride at Universal and see every show and eat all the food (Making the most of my UOAP pass before it runs out in like… a year and a half).
9. Try new things at Disney (tours, restaurants, rides I haven’t gotten fast passes for yet, etc.).
What are you proud of from 2018? What are some of your fondest memories? And what do you hope 2019 will bring you?