2014 Year in Review

Another year has come and (almost) gone! That means it’s time for that most precious of all New Year’s traditions: Brutal self analysis!

…well, okay. I’ll hold the “brutal.” Let’s just see what I did this year.


I read an awful lot this year. I read 41 books, in fact, and that’s pretty darn good for me. Almost all of that was fantasy and most of it was YA.

And yet, bizarrely, my favorite books this year were all MG. I only read The Luck Uglies a month or so ago, and it was seriously the most charming action adventure I’ve read in a while. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was also exceptional, though I may just be saying that because the villain is a little girl with a massive hat and a tragic backstory.

And yet, if we’re going just on Goodreads ratings, One Summer: America, 1927 and The Gift of Fear were the only other books I 5-starred this year. And they’re nonfiction.

So why have I not mentioned a YA book so far? Tragically, the YA I read this year just didn’t hook me. Some of it was good and some of it was not-so-good, but nothing really gripped me by the heart and refused to let go. If I was forced to choose something, I’d probably go with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and only because the writing was beautiful enough that I’m still thinking about it half a year later. I really didn’t enjoy the romance, but at this point it has enough brain-burrowing staying power that I may read the sequel anyway.

Oh, yeah. Almost none of those books came out this year. I just read stuff. There isn’t much of a pattern to it.

Short Stories!

In March of this year, I finally decided to give short stories a try. Considering that I had never written one before, I did pretty OK. Here are the stats, courtesy of Duotrope:

  • I wrote 6 short stories…
  • …Which are, together, about 14,761 words.
  • I submitted 15 times…
  • …Which led to 3 acceptances (for 2 pieces)!
  • And all those sales went to semi-pro markets.

That’s not a lot. But, hey! I didn’t write that many (I had a I MUST FOCUS ON NOVEL TIME crisis mid-year) but I sold 1/3 of what I wrote. That is not bad. Considering that I hadn’t published at all before these sales, I should really admit that it’s quite good.


Most of my progress this year had to do with Justice Unending, a novel that I have been agonizing over since I finished it in 2013. This year, I:

  • Got 4 new beta readers (and 4 wonderful reviews!)
  • Rewrote the first 1/4 of the novel, changed one entire character, and rewrote several scenes from scratch
  • Edited every word in that poor thing at least twice
  • Wrote a totally new query letter
  • And got a boatload of critique on the query and the first 5 pages.

And now I’m querying it!

I am also a little over 20,000 words into a new novel, a YA steampunk/fantasy. And that breaks my heart, because I put about that many words into an earlier, aborted draft of the same story. I REALLY wish I had gotten more done this year.

So that’s the goal for 2015: I am going to finish the heck out of that thing.

And that’s it! It’s been a busy year. I published my first things ever. I got a wee little bit closer to selling a novel.

So, to all the folks who follow this blog: I hope you had a wonderful 2014. Here’s to an even better 2015!


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