Looking Forward to New Beginnings
I'm not generally introspective, but recent changes in my life, some planned and some quite unexpectedly sudden, have me reflecting a bit. Mostly, I'm looking forward to new beginnings.
Previous New Beginnings
I began my solo author career in 2014 with the publication of Overload Flux, book 1 in my space opera romance series. Since then, I started a paranormal romance series and wrote 13 more novels and novellas, which averages out to about two books per year. But that disguises the fact that in the past three years, I've slowed down. End-of-life family issues pounced on me—twice—that added “estate executor” to my list of life experiences. The planet came down with a pandemic. Plus, we still have wide swathes of people who can't get the vaccine yet or won't ever. During that time, I had to send four of my six deeply beloved cats over the rainbow bridge because of illness and old age.
Not to mention, I've had a full-time job that kept me off the streets and out of the karaoke bars for the last twenty-five years. Lucky for my bank account, I was able to work from home during the lockdowns without any trouble, as 95% of my job involved working with team members in other states. Many of my friends in the restaurant, hospitality, and arts-related businesses weren't so lucky. And my teacher friends got trial by fire in learning how to teach classes online.
This month, that changes: I am officially retired from the day job.
Did you know that officially Retired Persons can take naps whenever they want? It's true, and I'm looking forward to them. So are my cats, who are quite convinced that humans don't groom themselves or sleep often enough. Also, too, I am reliably informed that being retired leaves me a lot more time to play with cats.
On the home front, my 9-month-long total basement remodel is complete. Hooray for my brand new, purpose-built office that isn't a spare bedroom. For the rest of it, all I have to do is figure out where to put the contents of a gazillion (okay, maybe fifty) boxes and storage tubs. Outside, I'm converting most of my smallish suburban yard to native-plant xeriscape. When I say “I,” that's really me cheering on the landscape company as they remove the water-loving lawn grass, place monstrously heavy pavers and rocks, and set up a drip water system for the low-water native plant selections.
Lastly, I'll have the opportunity to travel (pandemic notwithstanding). In June, I went to Cape Canaveral, Florida for the Space Coast Book Lover's Convention. I had a blast, and hope to go again next year.
Authorly New Beginnings
For me as an author, I'll obviously have more time to write. The plot bunnies in my Super Secret Author Notebooks have been quietly multiplying, and I'm looking forward to doing something with them. Plus finishing the big damn story arc in my flagship series. So many characters are clamoring for me to share their stories with you.
I recently assumed the helm of the Pets in Space® science fiction romance anthology series. Pets in Space 6 will be my first foray as anthology editor. I'll continue it as long as readers keep buying it. I love its dual mission of benefitting a fantastic charity, Hero Dogs, and expanding audiences for one of my favorite genres.
Though I probably don't say it often enough, thanks for reading my books, follow my musings here and on social media, and responding to my newsletters. Your support means the world to me. 💖 🧡 💛
P.S. All the artwork in the post is by a Thai digital artist who licenses his work under the nickname GrandFailure. He's amazing!
P.P.S. All the animations in the artwork are mine. You may blame my friend Narelle Todd, who introduced me to a highly addictive program called Vibrance.