Well. That was 2017. Not as nasty a year as I dreaded it could become, but still fugly in many ways. One of the big dramas happened when my old email address abruptly died due to…oh, there are different stories, but the shortest version is that the previous ISP owner died. The new owner mucked things up and continues to muck things up. The [email protected] address is no longer valid. It’s sad because I had that email address since the mid-90s, and I’m still updating. Fortunately, email was the only thing I did with SpiritOne and I had been contemplating moving on to cut expenses, but dreaded the work involved. My hand was forced. But still…sigh.
One of the bright spots of the year was Mocha’s continuing to become healthier and stronger. As near as we can tell, she is now pain-free and has filled out/muscled up along her topline and butt. Early in June I realized that she was in sufficiently good enough condition to take to the local show, and so we went. Didn’t earn any blue ribbons but we weren’t last in most of our classes. She spent part of the summer being Auntie to two young fillies (whose dams were very, very happy to have a babysitter in the pasture with them) and one of those fillies is still pretty attached to her now. Our road rides extended from 3-5 miles to 5-9 miles, depending on the day and route. Flying changes started becoming possible again this fall, along with light collection. I felt the strength coming back and you know, that’s pretty darn cool. Moving her to Wallowa County was the best thing we could have done for her. She is now a happy herd horse, outside 24/7, going into her 18th year.
Teaching–well, I’m still doing the long-term sub online gig, and substituting occasionally.
Writing. Sigh. I started the year with ambitious plans, but for various reasons including the general nastiness of the political climate, the summer heat just doing a number on me, and other things, did not achieve many of my goals. On the other hand, sales of the various parts of the Goddess’s Honor series continue to sell. Even more encouraging, I’m discovering that apparently people are picking up one of the short stories–Birth of Sorrow, The Goddess’s Choice, Exile’s Honor–and then going to pick up Pledges of Honor, Beyond Honor, or both. Overall, my writing income was higher than it has been. That said, it was still in three figures…..
Another reason I struggled with writing this year was a choice this summer to work on two books simultaneously. That worked for only a short time. Then I started having problems, including hitting the wall and burning out. The other challenge was that, frankly, I’d forgotten that writing a full-length Goddess’s Honor novel takes longer than writing a full-length Netwalk Sequence novel. I wrote two full-length Netwalk Sequence books after Pledges, and both those books and the shorter Beyond Honor in Goddess’s Honor took much less time to compose and publish. Fantasy just takes longer than thriller sf, both in writing and in the pacing. Still, the rough draft of Challenges of Honor is complete and I hope to have it out by April or May of 2018.
The Netwalk Sequence series is complete with the publication of Netwalking Space and Learning in Space, except perhaps for some short pieces I might come up with that are tied into the series. I will be releasing a new version of Netwalk’s Children because I have a lovely new cover for it and perhaps that will make it more appealing.
All the same, when I look at what I’ve accomplished this year…well, okay, it’s not too shabby.
Shadow Harvest (new cover, blurb, targeted toward Western Science Fiction with the blurb of “A ranch war in the future…” because it IS a classic Western ranch war story)
Learning in Space: Bess and Alex (compilation of the Bess and Alex stories, all three which earned various levels of contest placements).
Short stories published by others:
“Teacher of Dragons” in Steam. And Dragons, edited by Leah Cutter
“Meeting with Dragons” in Steam. And Dragons, as “Lena Myrtle,” edited by Leah Cutter.
“The Notice” in Children of a Different Sky, edited by Alma Alexander.
Short stories published:
Breakthrough: A Transformational Urban Fantasy Short Story (republication of a short story previously published).
Exile’s Honor (Goddess’s Honor short story)
Inconvenient Truths (Netwalk Sequence short story)
Slow Dancing in 3/4 Zombie Time: A Post Apocalypse Survival Short Story (republication of a short story previously published)
I’m hoping to get much more done in 2018.