Conclusions (Year-End Review): 2016 Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

2016 Merry Go Round Blog TourThis year was interesting for sure in the “May you live in interesting times” way (which it turns out is probably not a Chinese proverb/curse after all). Ignoring the political situation both in the United States and globally for the moment, my year stumbled through a bunch of family crises and big events. Some were good such as moving my youngest son to grad school and Shafter being included in a Story Bundle, while others were not so good, though most of those have turned out okay in the end. To top it all off, in December, I got a flu that knocked me out for most of time before the holidays, risking plans to finish the year on a high note.

Unsurprisingly, these affected my productivity and had me tying myself in knots to keep compelling stories and interesting content headed your way.

While quite possibly the most frustrating publishing year I’ve had so far, a lot of good came of it.


On the indie publishing side, I released four works, two full-length novels, a novelette, and a short story reprint:

The Captain’s Chair – A fun novelette in the Seeds Among the Stars world about a struggling indie trader with big dreams who is willing to take risks to get there.
When the Shoe Won’t Fit – A re-release of an odd fairy tale that originally appeared on Aurora Wolf and in the online magazine’s first anthology.
Life and Law – The Steamship Chronicles Volume 2 takes readers back to England and those Sam left behind. Henry and Lily might have retired to his country estate for Sam’s sake, but she’s gone now, and there’s no end to the trouble these two get into as they attempt to improve the lot of all Naturals in England.
Becoming Home – A sweet contemporary romance about a former runaway counselor and a country music star turned single dad as they learn to look past assumptions and open their hearts to love.

I also re-published Shafter and Trainee with their shiny new covers, and the first three Steamship Chronicles books with formatting changes along with a few corrections.

For those of you curious about the twists and turns, I’d hoped to get Apprentice out this year, but by March, when it should have been scheduled, I hadn’t finished writing the first draft. The year didn’t get any easier and so, while I tried for December, I won’t release anything that isn’t ready. It still has some editing to do. The good news is I had The Captain’s Chair already written and it’s a fun tale I figured you could enjoy while being oh so patient concerning Apprentice.

Similarly, Becoming Home (which introduces the new world of Foster’s Way) was slotted in when Isabella’s story (the next Uncommon Lords and Ladies) wasn’t ready in October.

Nor did I sit back and relax where other necessary indie publishing activities were concerned.

  • I completed four covers, two of which were both print and eBook (the novels).
  • I completed three rough draft novel edits.
  • I completed full edits on four novels and six short stories.
  • I wrote one full and one partial novel outline.
  • I wrote one full novel (90k), finished another I’d started in 2015 (101k) and got almost halfway into Traps and Treachery (28k), the sixth book in The Steamship Chronicles.
  • Shafter was available as part of a Story Bundle in March (as I mentioned above), which prompted the new covers for Seeds Among the Stars as well as new promotion images both for the bundle and displaying the new covers.

In traditional publishing:

  • My short story A Magical Brew released in How Beer Saved the World 2, published by Sky Warrior Book Publishing.
  • I received two Honorable Mentions out of four submissions to Writers of the Future.
  • I submitted seven other short stories to various anthologies and markets.

Events of various sorts also kept me busy:

  • I participated in five writing challenges (CampNaNo x2 and NaNo as well as Forward Motion’s March Madness and Story a Day).
  • I was a panelist at BayCon 2016 and Con-Volution 2016 (links to my con reports).
  • My books appeared at the Sands-Reno Comic Con (I didn’t because of a scheduling conflict).
  • I took over time slots in two Facebook release parties for the first time ever. Had some interesting discussions and have some fun ideas for my blog and Facebook author page in the future.

I also managed to read 56 books, most of which I have reviewed here. They offer a broad mix of science fiction, fantasy, romance (of many heat levels and subgenres), and non-fiction.

As you can see, it was a busy year with many high notes and some new experiences that have influenced the direction I’m going to attempt in 2017. Sure, it got rough at times, but one of the values in doing these round ups is to discover what you accomplished. It’s all too easy to get swamped by frustration and depressed by the struggles, but rarely is life a flat line, good or bad. Rather, it is a mad rollercoaster with us alternately laughing madly and holding on for our dear lives.

With that in mind, what’s something positive that came from your 2016? Did you try anything new?

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “Conclusions – review of 2016 goals and completed projects” — December’s topic in Forward Motion’s Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

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