Plans for 2024
Most years, but not all (looking at you, horrible COVID year!), it's fun to look ahead. I come from a long line of folks who are rather bad at looking back, so that section will be brief. The more interesting sections — to me, at any rate — are plans for 2024.
2023 Plans vs. Reality
Last year became, rather unexpectedly, my Year for Travel. In April, I went to Australia(!!!), which was planned well in advance. (Read about my adventures.) I went to Ohio for a week-long Tai Chi teaching certification workshop in June, which was semi-planned. Then came an opportunity to go with friends to Iceland(!!) in September, and I couldn't pass that up. In November, I went to a writer's conference, where I learned some things and got to network with both old and new friends.
As far as writing, I'd planned to release two stories plus a story in the Pets in Space 8 science fiction romance anthology. I completed one out of three. My writing process took serious damage after Real Life Events™ such as family losses and a global pandemic. I'm still trying to find my new normal. Admittedly, being gone for 8 weeks of travel, jet lag, and a case of COVID didn't help.
My house still has too damn much stuff. I have near-daily arguments with the part of my brain that tells me I should keep some random thing because “I might need it someday.” Le sigh.
On the other hand, my house has just the right number of delightful kitties. I am grateful beyond measure to have been in the right place and time to adopt them. They are best buddies and keep me thoroughly entertained with their antics. Fluffbot has a great deal of dignity, unless glitter puff-balls are involved, in which case, he has none. The Captain is a mad scientist who infuses drama into nearly everything. He dives into my lap, telling me he's in danger of expiring unless I stop whatever I'm doing and pet him. Fluffbot is his appreciative audience. That is, when they aren't enacting World War 437 in my living room. 🙀
Plans for 2024, for Now
Writing and Related
If the author gods and my muse are in benevolent moods, I hope to release a new paranormal romance, a long-awaited space opera romance novel, and a story for Pets in Space 9. If I'm very lucky, I might have another space opera novel well underway, too.
I already sell ebooks directly from my website, and plan to add some exclusive box sets. I also plan to try out Kickstarter this year. If you're not familiar with it, Kickstarter is a cross between a popup store and a crowd-funding venture. As an independent author, I can offer special editions, early releases, and fun extras to people who pledge to my campaign. Your credit card only gets charged if I meet my funding goal. It won't replace online booksellers. Instead, it's another way to connect with readers.
My grand plans for getting audiobooks for my space opera series and related novellas stalled during SAG/AFTRA strike. The narrators did a fabulous job for the first stories, so I very much hope we can re-start this process for 2024.
Author in the Wild
I will be a featured signing author at the Readers Take Denver conference, 18-21 April 2024. This is an amazingly popular convention. Reader tickets sold out in November, but you could sign up for the waitlist. If you're going and want signed books from me, here's the preorder form so you're guaranteed to get the books you want.
On 17-18 August, I plan to have a table and present a panel or two at Fort Collins Comic Con (my home town!). Not only do I get to talk to readers and say hi to old friends, but the event's proceeds support the local library system. Everybody wins!
Definitely less than last year!
In June, I'll fly to Portland for another week-long Tai Chi workshop. It will be a good challenge and keep me from sinking into my slacker ways.
I'm still deciding about going to Las Vegas for a writer's conference in November. I'm leaning toward yes, if friends will be there and the sessions look interesting.
Learn New Things
Learning soothes my sometimes overactive creative brain.
Last year, I spent time figuring out how to make generative A.I. art with services such as MidJourney and NightCafé. I've written various posts (see the latest) about my adventures. Considering how fast these services are changing, this will likely be a continuing education process for me.
I love taking short art classes (fused glass, simple clay construction, etc.) and plan to find more. Not that I need yet another hobby for which to buy supplies (cough * tie-dyeing * cough), but the chance to play is irresistible.
Here's wishing you many glitter puff-balls and the best year ever in 2024!
Illustration credits: MidJourney, NightCafé, and editing by the author.