NEW DAY JOB!
I didn’t talk about this a lot outside of not really existing on social media in 2021, but my job absolutely sucked. Like -1000 out of 10, do not recommend. I finally was able to find a new job that has stuck! I’m now a newspaper designer and I get to work from home! It’s great being back in news in a much less stressful capacity now. It has made it a lot easier for me to make an attempt at recovering from the hardcore burnout I was dealing with.
I did so. much. art this year and I am so thrilled with it all. I did art for Season of Love by Helena Greer! I drew and designed an entire sticker in Procreate (which was new to me this year!) and I love it! I also did some fanart, some of which I have shared and some which I haven’t. It’s been great to rediscover my joy in creating art this year.
I basically learned how to crochet this year and I’ve gone from not being able to figure out how to do any of it to making myself clothing and selling bookmarks and making plushies for fun.
I hope to be able to offer some more stickers next year, so if you have ideas you’d like me to design, please let me know!
SAW HADESTOWN LIVE!
I used some of the money I had extra from working 70+ hour weeks at old day job to get myself a ticket to Hadestown when it came through Seattle and it was every bit as glorious as I thought it would be. I highly recommend going to see it if you can! It also reignited my hyperfixation on Hades from Supergiant Games, which I am not at all sorry about!
RAISED MORE THAN $90,000 FOR TRANS CHARITIES!
I started Happily Ever After for Trans Kids this year and we raised more than $90,000 across five different charities with your help. I am so thrilled to have been able to use my skills to help trans charities help trans kids that need them. You can find out more about this project on our website, because we’re not done yet. I highly recommend signing up for our alerts only newsletter, because you’ll want to be a part of the next bundle and social media’s current issues make it really hard for us to keep in touch with everyone otherwise.
TOOK MY BOOKS WIDE!
Some of my books have been wide for a while, but the majority of my catalog was in Kindle Unlimited. I decided that, since Amazon continues to be Truly Terrible, I would take the rest of my books wide this year! And almost all of them are. Read through to the In-Progress section below to find out what’s happening with the last two.
The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells – Everyone and their siblings have been telling me I would love this but somehow I didn’t manage to read it until this year and WOW WERE THEY RIGHT. It somehow manages to be cozy while also dealing with corporate espionage, many many attempts at murder and figuring out who you are! I actually had to stop myself from doing a whole series re-read later in the year, but I make no promises for the new year!
D’Vaughn and Kris Plan A Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins – I am not linking to this out of support for the Harper Collins strike, but I’m sure you can find it. This book was absolutely everything I ever dreamed it could be and then some. It’s swoony, it’s real, and it is absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t read this yet, PLEASE DO. And then go support the Harper Collins strike fund because HC is being absolutely shitty and has left people striking for AN ENTIRE MONTH without any form of communication.
The Singing Hill Cycle by Nghi Vo – This series is stories within stories within stories told to us, the reader, through the eyes of a nonbinary cleric who I absolutely adore. These books are like poetry in prose form and I could not stop listening to them all the way through. I think there might? be more to come in this series and I’m very excited to read whatever those might be. I also need to read Vo’s other work. They have a Gatsby retelling that is calling my name!
The Tea Princess Chronicles by Casey Blair – These books are ones that I kickstarted because they sounded great and then forgot about because life got in the way and then got really excited about when I rediscovered them. If you’ve read Legends and Lattes and Cybernetic Tea Shop, these would be my next recommendations for cozy fantasy. They’re incredibly queer and big on fighting the patriarchy. What could be better than that?
The Radio Voice by Sass Everett – This is written by a friend of mine, so I’m biased BUT I really love it so I’m including it. This short story is really short and lyrical and spooky and queer and just… really wonderful. It’s also great in audio!
One Heart by Chace Verity – Y’all know Chace Verity is one of my favorite authors ever, right? Right. Also my friend which never fails to delight me. This book is a nonbinary/m romantic murder mystery where the murder victim comes back as a zombie and gets to help solve his own death. Also there are demons and so many hilarious jokes that I was giggling as much as I was reading. I think about the line “top me, wifey, i’m cursed” regularly and just giggle in the middle of nowhere. My husband tells me this is part of the reason he can’t take me anywhere, and I’m not sorry.
Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki – This book surprised me in so many ways. It is a really intense book dealing with a lot of hard topics so PLEASE get content notes. I loved it a lot but I was flinching at some of the transphobia and racism and just.. horribleness that the main characters had to deal with. If you feel it’s something you can handle, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Ghost Mountain Shifters by Audrey Faye – These were my last reads of the year, and like Murderbot, they deal with a lot of really hard topics. Some of them are common to PNR/shifter stories and some of them are just common to real life, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like these books. I’ve got two of them left for the new year and can’t wait to finish all my chores for the day so I can climb back into bed and keep reading!
My life was so chaotic that I spent nearly all of it re-reading old favorites, and I’m not even sorry about it.
Back in the Day by Katrina Jackson – If you’re on twitter, this was part of a bit of a kerfuffle a few months ago. It spurred me to grab it on audio and re-read it and LORD I did not regret a second of it. It’s a romance told in stories from a father to his son while they move him out of the house he lived in with his wife. The love in this story is unreal and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Katrina Jackson is an autobuy author for me for a reason, but this is a whole new level of beautiful for me. Go read it and come talk to me about it PLEASE.
I re-listened to Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series all the way through twice. Its one of the most comforting series’ I’ve read and I love it very much.
I also listened to the entirety of the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead after falling right back into that obsession with the new Peacock TV show. (If you watched it please come yell with me about it on social media PLEASE).
Some other highlighted rereads – Ilona Andrews’s Hidden Legacy series. T Kingfisher’s Saint of Steel series, Stephanie Burgis’s Harwood Spellbook series and last but certainly not least, Helena Greer’s Season of Love.
I highly recommend every one of these except for the Vampire Academy books. I see why I loved them when I was a tween/teen but hoo buddy there’s a lot of mess in there.
Things in Progress:
As mentioned above, nearly all of my books have gone wide this year, making them available at all retailers. There are two that have not – Hugs and Quiches and The Best Places from the Second Chances anthology.
I had some major issues surrounding the Hugs and Quiches release that are mostly my fault and also entirely my fault for not checking other people’s work more closely. These issues led to a nonbinary side character being misgendered by the text constantly. I was able to update it quickly after release, but I know there are things I missed during my mad dash re-edit. With that in mind, I have a new editor going through the manuscript with her eagle eyes to help me make this the best book it can be before I re-release it to new channels. I miiiight even have a new cover for you all when it’s all said and done.
As for The Best Places, there is nothing nearly so dramatic with it. I knew when I wrote it originally that I wanted to expand it once it was outside of the anthology. I love this story a lot, but I feel like all of our characters needed more time and space to grow. With that in mind, I’m hoping to turn it into a full novel with tooons of new words in the new year. It’s gonna turn out beautifully, I just know it. But first, I have to finish another project!
Some of you have seen me mention that I’m going to be a part of the Clover Hill series. This is a shared world, queer small town series that I love very very much. There are already four books out in season 1, and season 2 is well underway!
Well, I have spent the last year and a half writing the same book over and over again trying to get it right and I am still not there. I have written twelve drafts of this book in varying levels of completion since I started it in…. I think late-2021. BUT, I am on the right track finally. I’m doing some really big revisions to get it both right and in the right word count range, but I really love this book. I hope to have it out sometime late this year, but that will depend on a lot of factors!
One way or another, I am going to have a new release in 2023. For now, though, I highly recommend you check out the rest of the series that is already out there! They are all great and season 2’s books are gonna be great, too!
I have mentioned this a few times on social media, but my husband and I are moving back to the east coast this spring! We love Seattle, but we miss our families. This is gonna be a huge move, but we’ve done it before! In a blizzard, no less! So we’re hopeful that it will be way less stressful this time around. Or at least a little, since we have more time to plan it than the last one. Cross your fingers and toes for us!