A Year of Creativity

Hey, readers. I almost didn’t write this post after looking back at my 2022 goals. I’d planned to write and publish two books last year, a short story collection and the second book of the Legends of Maderia series, but I didn’t publish a single title.

When I read Staci Troilo’s plans for 2023, I felt inspired to post this. I hope to look back in January 2024 and see that I exceed my goals. So, here they are.

Writing and Publishing

Menagerie releases next week and is now available for preorder, so I’m already ahead of 2022 on publishing. Writing these stories took most of the year, which obviously wasn’t a good year writing-wise (or at least productivity-wise). Honestly, the eight months I worked at my previous job were probably the hardest in my twenty-plus years there. Maybe it was because I’d planned to retire. It took a few weeks to “recover.” That’s behind me now, and I love retirement.

I’m ready to delve into the pages of Blood Red Dawn, the second full-length novel of the Legends of Maderia series. The goal is to publish it later this year. I had planned to write four Legends books, but I’ve decided to stop at three. I “might” write another short story to go along with the series, but I haven’t decided. Book Three’s title is Edge of Twilight. My plan is to write the draft this year and publish it in early 2024.

The previously planned fourth Legends book will become a stand-alone novel. I’m excited about it. I’ve not written a stand-alone book, save The Stranger which is novella length. I also have three stories that I planned to include in Menagerie, but when I began writing them, I realized they needed to be longer than 10K words.

One of those stories is part of a secret project that you’ll hear more about later on. As of now, there’s no release date planned. A second story will become another stand-alone novel, and the third a possible novelette or novella.


I plan to continue my Mystery Monday/Legends and Lore posts. I enjoy researching and writing those. The first one of 2023 will be next Monday. I also plan to make this a weekly post rather than twice a month. I already have a list of topics that I hope you’ll find intriguing.


Along the line of blogging, I love to support other authors, and I’m happy to do so here. If you have a new release and would like for me to host you, just contact me. A contact form is at the bottom of this page.


One of my goals for the year is to build my mailing list and publish a monthly newsletter. I’ve had good intentions on this for a while, but always fall short. This is going to be the year I succeed. If you’re interested in signing up, just click this link. Future plans for the letter will include some giveaways and possibly some unpublished short stories that I’ll send only to subscribers.


I’ve been thinking a lot about the word, creativity. As an author, I automatically think of writing when it comes to being creative, but the word encompasses much more. I’m declaring 2023 as the year of creativity and I want to keep my creative juices flowing. See you next week, and I hope 2023 is a productive year for you as well.

My 2022 Writing Goals

Hey, everyone. We’re already well into 2022, so this is a good time to list my writing goals for this year. I’ll also tell you a bit about the projects I’m working on this year.

A Book of Shorts (working title) is a collection of thirteen short stories. I’ve shared a couple of excerpts in past WIP Wednesday posts. To date, I have drafts of six stories completed. I’m currently writing the seventh story. The remaining ones are outlined and ready to write. (Yes, this panster is trying to be a better planner.)

The collection is mixed genre—some are ghost fiction, some are mystery and suspense, there is one military/family fiction story, and at least one romantic suspense. Two of the stories will have dual timelines.

Blood Red Dawn is the second book of the Legends of Madeira series. I’ve also completed a loose outline, and I plan to begin writing it as soon as I complete the short stories.

In Cold Dark Night, I introduced minor characters Connor Hughes and Abbey Lane. They’ll take center stage in book two. Like the first book, there will be dual timelines and a legend.

My goal is to publish both the short story collection and Blood Red Dawn this year.

I have a third project that’s been on my mind, but it’s still in the thinking/planning stage. Suffice to say, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but with plans to release two books this year, I don’t want to stretch myself too thin.

Last year, I joined Vocal. While I only submitted one story, I’d like to participate more this year. If you didn’t get a chance to read my submission, you can do so by clicking here. By the way, an expanded version of The Dare will be included in the short story collection.

As far as blogging, I’m continuing the Mystery Monday posts on the first Monday of each month. Those who have followed my blog for a while know that I did a series last year on the Native American names of the moons. To take place of that, I have a new series I’m calling Legends and Lore.

While somewhat similar to Mystery Monday, Legends and Lore will feature urban legends and folklore. I’ll post these on the third Monday of each month.

The first post is scheduled for next week, and the topic is a well-known legend from the city of Dallas in my home state of Texas.

I began sending a newsletter late last year and I plan to continue to write and send one every other month. To subscribe, just click the link on the sidebar.

Finally, a personal note. Big changes are coming for me. While I haven’t formally announced my plans (my immediate coworkers know), I’m retiring at the end of August. Needless to say, I’m getting excited. That means I’ll have more time to write.

Maybe I will do that third project…

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Happy 2020 everyone. It’s a new year and a new decade. I intended to write a year-end post earlier in the week, but unfortunately, both my husband and I are recovering from the flu. Not an ideal way to begin a new year and both of us had the flu shot. So, this post is a combo of reflecting back and looking forward.

Looking back…

All in all, 2019 was a much better year for me than in 2018. I was glad to get that one behind me as it seemed there was one thing after another—car problems, changes at my job, and health issues for both my husband and me—to name a few. But even ending 2019 with illness, it was a good one.

Writing-wise, I had a productive year, although I only published one novel. Unclear Purposes, the third and final book of my Driscoll Lake Series, was published in late May.

I began keeping a word count of everything I wrote last year—novels, short stories, blog posts, and even book reviews. Although some of the things I wrote will likely not see the light of day, the word count made me realize what I can do. I finished the year with 228K words. That’s more than three novels!

Beginning in August, I began blogging regularly and learned I could blog every day. I started regular features including Mystery Monday, WIP Wednesdays, and Thursday Thoughts. Because of my commitment to NaNoWriMo, I took the month of November off from blogging and most social media outlets. Due to various reasons, December was also a sporadic month.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I made the goal of writing at least 50K words on a new project. I still have about 25K words to go, but that I’ve never completed two-thirds of a novel in a month before.

In addition to writing, I also read more in 2019. I set a Goodreads challenge of twenty books and finished out the year with thirty.

Moving forward…

I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I do try to set goals. This is what I hope to accomplish in 2020:

  • Publish at least one novel. Cold Dark Night is the first of my new Legends of Madeira series. My goal is to publish it in late spring.
  • Woman in Black is a short (45-minute read) that is a prequel to Cold Dark Night. Initially, I planned to include it with a group of short stories, but I’ve decided to keep it separate. Look for this one also in the spring.
  • I still plan to publish a book of short stories—most likely in the fall. The name of the collection is still undetermined.
  • Ideally, I would like to publish the second book of the Legends of Madeira series in late 2020. The tentative name is Blood Red Dawn.
  • My reading goal for this year is twenty-five books.
  • You’ll also find me at Story Empire. We will celebrate our fourth year anniversary in late August.

In regards to blogging, I plan to continue Mystery Mondays. Tuesdays are set aside for book reviews and/or guest posts. Next week I’ll pick up with my Friday links posts. I probably won’t do WIP Wednesdays every week, but will post this feature at least monthly.

I’ll also continue Thursday Thoughts, but as with Wednesdays, I probably won’t post each week. One lesson learned in 2019 is the importance of finding balance. Writing is a priority for me, but I still hold a full-time job. I have some ongoing health issues that I need to see to (nothing serious), and more importantly, is to make time for family and friends.

I’m a natural introvert, and it would be easy for me to hibernate in my house and hide behind the computer screen. That’s not good. Everyone needs a break from writing and social media. It’s also important not to forget to enjoy being around those you love and care for.

So, there you have it. My goals for 2020. What about you? Please share in the comments.