Journal#23 – So that was 2022…

That was 2022…

In many ways this has been the most professionally creative year of my life. In others, it’s been one where I’ve had to master the art of patience (still a work in progress!)

Finding balance

I’ve never been great at this, but I’m getting better at being kind to myself.

I’m always the first to crack the whip at my own heels when things are slow or stuttering. Even when it’s just part of the game. I decide to start something new, turning the gears in a new and sparkling machine while the other one refuels or whatever. I beat myself up.

I’m trying to relax a bit, while maintaining my goals. The reality is that it IS hard work to balance a job, motherhood, a writing career, and living like a regular human being. Especially one that gets endless bugs as a result of her toddler going to nursery. But I’m also allowed to rest when I’m ill. This year has taught me that working when poorly is a motorway to disaster.

I’ll be trying to improve on this further in 2023. But for now, I’m allowing myself to stop sometimes and breathe. Appreciate moving at a snail’s pace when I have to. Sometimes slow can mean thorough, too!

Mothtown

I completed Mothtown. And it’s an EPIC. We’ve recently tied up the edits and even the front cover, which we hope to launch soon.

Mothtown was a strange book to work on. Right in the middle of it, I had a baby, which somewhat disrupted my flow a bit. 😛 But after four months of being pooped and puked on, I returned to the manuscript determined to finish. I handed my last draft off to my agent and publisher earlier this year and waited to see if the team there would be mad enough to buy it.

And thank goodness they were.

Due to be published in November 2023, I’m expecting quite a wide range of responses to this one. It’s… Unusual.

Foreign editions

It’s been an exciting year for foreign rights for Composite Creatures – Lithuania and Russia. There’s potential for more foreign rights, too.

I love seeing the different interpretations of the book, and all the various cover and title variations. Hopefully 2023 will see yet more editions appearing around the world…

Collaboration 1 – A new myth

This is the ‘in progress’ project which is closest to completion. It’s dark, gothic, folkloric, and – thanks to my collaborator – will be visually stunning.

I’m not going to put all my eggs in one basket, as it’s never a thing to do in the publishing world. But if this one happens, then it’ll be a life goal to tick off the list for sure.

Collaboration 2 – Something entirely different…

… And yet not quite. Sort of annoyingly, I can’t really say anything about this one at all. And when I say ‘this one’, I actually mean ‘these three’.

They’re something entirely new, and yet, in themes and tone, not so much. It seems I can’t escape the dark, the sad, the slightly trippy. I wrote these this year, in three creative bursts. I still don’t know where they came from, aside from the fact that they’re very much stories that need to be told.

These stories (yes, I can say that much!) are a whole new escape for me, and I’m learning all the time about how to do them justice. I love this part, experimenting and playing at new forms and seeing how far I’ve come since the first drafts.

2023 will be the year of reckoning for these stories. I have my wonderful collaborator and mentor on board, and hopefully we’ll have good news about these later in 2023.

The new novel

And then, finally, THE NEW NOVEL.

With tying up the edits for Mothtown comes the beginnings of a new journey. And as of today, I can say that I’m almost halfway through the first/second draft of the new novel.

Though this novel is as weird and speculative as the others – in some ways, it’s the most fantastical of them all – this is the first time I’m writing about something very personal. It’s a topic that’s somewhat taken over my life in the last couple of years, and yet when I searched for fiction exploring it there seemed to be nothing out there. It’s a tricky one to write about, and I’m not even sure if I’m doing it in a palatable way. But BY GUM I have to try.

More about this one when I post about my aspirations for 2023…

How has your 2022 been? Creative? Restful? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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