I spent a lot of time in the last few years pushing myself too hard and neglecting my physical and mental health. You'd think I'd have learned by now, but I guess I'm a pretty rubbish student.
Those who know me well also know I'm prone to stress and I'm very hard on myself when things don'y go my way. Frankly I'm all too aware of the damage stress does to the body, so I'm happy to say that the combination of changing my sleep patterns, improving my diet, and being conscious of how I talk about myself and my career has left me feeling happier than I've been in a very long time.
My back still has issues (sciatica can go to Hell, for real), and I recently pulled a hamstring, so I'm still in some level of pain all of the time, but I'm counting all the wins I can get, and not letting this bring me down.
The GMing bug got me a little while ago and now I'm back at my favourite hobby. I'm starting a fortnightly WitchCraft campaign this week, which is an urban fantasy game involving lots of magic and monsters. And I'm getting a monthly Star Wars game going, using the Fate system.
I've also been chilling out with some video games. XCOM 2 is wonderful, and everything I hoped it would be. I'm waiting for the rest of the DLC to come out before I start my next playthrough, and am considering posting play reports on my progress. Shadow of Mordor, on the other hand, is a fun distraction, but very repetitive. I'm playing it for the Nemesis System and the vague plotline.
The girls own my heart. We're seeing them grow into real people and every moment is amazing.
So next up is editing and formatting. This is going to cost money, so I'm looking at my options. It's pretty much certain that I will need to crowdfund this, so I have to decide between Kickstarter, Indie Go Go, Fundit.ie, Gofundme, or Patreon. I'm leaning towards Kickstarter, as it has the higher potential audience base, but the other services also have their own benefits. If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears.
The other bit of news here is that I recently won a spot in the Date With An Agent event at this year's International Literature Festival, Dublin! I get a private pitch session with the managing director of the Watson Little agency, based in London. I'm pitching Lady Raven, because as much as I enjoy self-publishing, I don't have the reach or marketing expertise to spread awareness as much as I'd like. And while I can certainly gain that expertise, doing so will take time, and I want to follow every avenue I can to get my books into as many readers' hands as possible.
Here's to 2016
Let's be honest, 2016 has taken a lot from us. We've lost artists, actors, musicians, childhood icons. But on a personal level, this year has been getting better for me. And I'm thankful for that.
We've lost many great heroes. That just means it's time for the next generation to step up.
Here I go. Wish me luck.