So, despite all the bad in the world in 2016 (and there's lots), I had some good things happen to me this year. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia back in March which, on the one hand, sucks because now I have this nifty lifelong chronic pain condition. But, after months of waiting for a diagnosis, finally having one and having a method of treatment that keeps symptoms under control is definitely a good thing.
I also got into the University of Rhode Island's PhD, which was by far my top choice, with a full graduate teaching assistantship--and I got a 4.0 my first semester! I also got to move to Rhode Island, which is both a place where I really wanted to live and a thousand times better than being in Arkansas.
My first book, Queen of Pentacles, came out in August. I also had 30 publications this year, and passed my 50th publication of all time.
And, in September, TJ and I decided to have a baby, so this is also the year that I conceived my first child which has been an experience--ups and downs, for sure (ups: spiritual/instinctive connection to my kid from day one; downs: morning sickness; etc.), but I put that in the win category.
I also have some book manuscripts I finished this year, and one that I'm currently writing that I'm really excited about.
Which brings me to 2017. First off, I'm really excited for tomorrow night. For New Year's Eve TJ and I carry on my mother's tradition of doing frozen appetizers for dinner. We picked up mozzarella sitcks, pigs in blankets, pizza bagels, and taquitos (with the hopes that I can tolerate most of those). I might see, too, if we can find the Times Square special for free online.
I'm going to hear back from a publisher about Devils in the Valley supposedly by March, so I'm hoping really, really hard that it gets picked up.
I'm also planning to send my new poetry collection and my short story collection both out to some publishers to see if I can get those picked up.
I'm planning to finish my WIP YA novel, which has a bi main character and a lesbian love interest disabled with fibromyalgia, set in a school that was born out of the darker ideas of fairy tales. I really have a lot of faith in this book, both in its concept and in its ability to draw agent interest.
Then, while I'm editing that and sending it to agents, I'm going to return to the first draft of an adult fantasy based on a group of goddesses (with more queer romance, because fuck it I can).
And I'll be continuing to work on some baby/motherhood-centric poems. I don't know that I'll finish that collection next year, but I'll work on it some.
All of this, of course, has to work around the fact that I'm having a kid in June 2017. I imagine towards the end of my third trimester and then shortly after I give birth there might not be a lot of writing happening. Exhaustion, new baby, etc. etc. From what I've heard of people's plans, I think we're going to have a lot of visitors next year, especially because of the impending child. (This is the first grandchild/great-grandchild on both sides, as TJ and I are the oldest. So it's an especially big deal in our families.) As a side note, I'm ridiculously excited for the Baby Heffers' first Christmas.
And, of course, I'll be teaching and taking PhD classes in the spring and fall semesters. I only have three more semesters of coursework--Spring and Fall 2017 and Spring 2018--then I spend a year taking comps (tests), and then the year or two after that I just work on my dissertation--all while teaching, of course.
So yeah. It's been a big year for me, and next year is going to be even bigger.