I have a reputation for cynicism in some circles. What I call realism, others call pessimism. What I call accurate observation, others call looking on the dark side. I do tend toward caution in belief where other people can see.
What most people don’t know is how much my facade, mostly in what I say and how I say it, serves as cover for my sometimes overwhelming expectations. I am a closet romantic, hopeless in my quiet, suppressed conviction that anything truly is possible, that love is worth giving whether it is returned or not, laughter is worth sharing even when it takes work to draw it out, that, in the end, things will be better than they began.
Throughout 2013, I had to remind myself again and again to temper my expectations. People rarely do as you would like, experiences can only be what they can be, and, in any type of creative endeavor, you must always anticipate failure first, or at least restrain your hopes for success, because the odds are rarely in your favor.
This year, though, I’ve had several occasions on which I got to challenge fear, I experienced such beauty, I was elevated, for brief moments, from the constant pressures of the world, I had moments with people that were genuine, and I watched in wonder as person after person discovered my writing and embraced it, something that means so much to me as someone who has been working very hard for a very long time in the pursuit of a dream that often felt only accessible in fantasy.
I have a lot of gratitude for a lot of people – Shawna, who has to endure my crazy (and there is a lot of it) and reads everything twice, Barbara Winkes, who has hosted me on her blog and posts about my writing all over the social networks, Dominique, who is always encouraging, Julie, who pointed me in the direction of the Rainbow Awards, and all those who have tweeted, retweeted, posted, and mentioned my books to friends. I especially want to thank those of you who have left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I am well aware of how precious your time is, and that when you leave a review, you are giving me even more of your time than you have already given me by reading my books. I know what it means to get a review from someone. Please, don’t think I take it for granted.
This year, I saw two of my books – Behind the Green Curtain and The Wish List – come this close to cracking the top ten in their categories on Amazon, and Black Forest: Kingdoms Fall take first runner-up in Lesbian Fantasy in the Rainbow Awards. It has been a good-year for this dreamer, sometimes skeptic, and I only hope I can keep up the momentum in 2014.
In that regard, I wanted to let you know that I have updated my Writing page with my first releases of the coming year. I do advise caution to those who have not yet read The Wish List. There are some minor spoilers in the synopsis for The Four Proposals.
At the beginning of June, I embark on the next grand adventure when we sell most of our belongings, put those things that must be kept in storage, and spend two and a half months in Seville, before going to Bodrum, Turkey for three months, with hopes of traveling on from there. It is a big world, I don’t know what adventure awaits, who I might meet, what might happen, but embracing the unknown becomes more freeing everyday, and if I can find as many shining moments in the next year as I have found in this one, I will be overjoyed.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year. May it bring you the courage to seek what you desire.