Tag Archives: New Years

Looking Back to 2019, Hobbling Into 2020

Hi everyone!

In less than 10 hours, 2020 shall be upon us, and then all of the “2020 vision” jokes can stop!  Or, you know, continue undaunted ;)

As I always do, I’d like to take a moment to look back upon the past year, and see what’s over the horizon.  So come with me on a journey through time, from past, to present, and into the future!

2019 – Self-Publishing Success, NaNoWriMo, Home Purchase, Injury and Surgery

Photo by Beck Wasik

In November 2018, I took a gamble and published 2nd editions of my first two novels, along with an anthology of short stories.  It was a risky move – why would books that have already been out sell better as 2nd editions?  But the vastly-improved covers, the better edits, and the more aggressive marketing campaign paid off.

In 2019, I made more in sales and Kindle Unlimited reads in a single year than in all of the previous years combined!  If there is no other reason to, then that alone is reason enough to celebrate!

But there’s more – I started writing more regularly again, and with one last hurrah with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) I finished the first draft of book 3 of the Sword of Dragons saga!  By far, this was the most complicated story I have ever told, with countless moving parts and story threads, all converging in the final quarter of the novel.

I’m so excited!

Unlike 2018, however, in 2019 I barely traveled.  A couple of small road trips here and there, one of which was to see family, but otherwise our great focus was on finally getting out of apartments, and into a house of our own.  It was effort, time, and money well spent, and while our little corner of Earth may not be perfect, it’s ours :)

I wish I could say that all of 2019 was positive, but unfortunately, this was not so.  Towards the end of summer, as I walked through the kitchen, suddenly my right hip screamed in pain and I fell to the floor, unable to stand or walk.  While I slowly regained the ability to use my leg over the next couple of days, I knew something was terribly wrong.

After multiple visits to multiple doctors, x-rays, MRI’s, and CT scans, the doctors came to the conclusion that I had a hip impingement and torn labrum caused by a deformed femur joint.  Apparently I’ve had this all of my life, but over time it has been wearing on the labrum, until this year when it finally gave up and began to separate from the hip itself.

Which led to an arthroscopic surgery, my first major surgery ever.  In a way, it wasn’t too terribly invasive – two small cuts, one to stick a scope in, the other to stick instruments in to work on the hip.  But it required a lot of work on my hip, including ‘tacking’ the labrum up, reshaping the bone, and generally cleaning things up in the hip.  It essentially crippled me for several weeks, and a full recovery will take about six months.

It’s been a difficult time for me, someone who has always placed importance on my independence and ability to contribute around the house.  My wife has had to shoulder so much,  and I am so grateful for all that she has done.  She’s taken care of me, worked tirelessly to keep the house in order, and held me through the hardest nights.  My wonderful Starshine :)

2020 – Recovery, Publication, and Bringing Sentinels Back

What’s in store for 2020?  For starters, the long road to recovery shall continue.  As my hip and leg regains strength, it’s time to get fit again.  The injury was already starting to rear its ugly head in the 4 years prior to that terrible summer day, and I’ve exercised less and less as a result.

So 2020 will be a year that I focus on my physical health and wellness, getting back to the fitness level I once worked so long and hard to achieve.  Long hikes, climbing, that sort of thing, I miss doing all of it, and I’m looking forward to being back to my old self by summer!

Furthermore, unless I get horribly negative feedback from beta readers, 2020 will be the year that book 3 is published!  As before, it’ll be self-published, but the cover is already prototyped and ready for implementation, so it’s all a matter of editing and proofreading!

Images Source – http://bramleegwater.deviantart.com

As for the “Bringing Back the Sentinels” comment…I’ve had wonderful inspiration and ideas for revitalizing the Chronicles of the Sentinels modern fantasy book 1, Legacy!  I intend to write a more comprehensive blog on the changes coming, but I plan to fully re-write the first book to address the massive shortcomings of the original.  As an interested agent put it a few years ago, the premise was good, but the characters especially needed work.

There’s a lot of other great things ahead, including a trip for a Doctor Who convention, but that, my friends, is another story :)

Until then, Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2020 be the year of positive change for you :)

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

The Fall of 2018, The Rise of 2019

Hi everyone,

I usually finish up the year with a ‘looking back, looking forward’ post, and this, the last Sunday of the year, is no different…except this time, it is.

Nothing has been the same this year, and it’s been one of the best, and one of the hardest.  I think I said something similar at the end of last year…little did I know how aptly that would describe 2018.

It began with loss.

In the beginning of 2018, my mother passed away.  We knew it was coming, we had known for a long time, but nothing could have prepared me for how it would hit me, or how it has stayed with me throughout the year.

Even now, with Christmas, my birthday, and New Years, even when I’m not thinking specifically about her, I feel this immense, pervasive emptiness.

And perhaps the most frustrating part about it is that this should be one of the happiest years of my life.  This was the year I got married to my Starshine!!

Photo by Danielle Lirette

The saying often goes, your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life, and for me, it truly was :)  I don’t think I ever actually relayed the full story of our geeky, fun-filled, beautiful wedding.  The weather was perfect, the venue was fantastic, our hotel was great, and it was a perfect turnout, a small wedding like we’d hoped.

She is my squishy!

Then came the honeymoon, which was a mixture of good and bad.  We’ve already decided we need a do-over!  But despite the bad that happened, I hold a lot of fond memories from that week and a half, and for some reason today especially, I’ve been thinking a lot about our adventures in Orlando :)

By far, Disney World was the best!!  It was my first-ever Disney experience, and despite how bad the weather was most of the time we were there, it was a blast!  And exhausting, but in a good way :)

This was one of many trips I took in 2018, beginning with the trip to NM for my mother’s funeral, then Orlando for our Honeymoon.  Next came a trip to Los Angeles for my best friend’s birthday, and also my second ever Disney experience since we went to Nick’s favorite place, Disneyland!

While I definitely prefer Disney World due to its size and scope, our adventure at Disneyland was just about perfect!  The weather was great, there were surprisingly few people despite it being a Friday before a holiday weekend, and we barely waited 15 minutes in any line!  Topped by an amazing dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the food was fantastic and the company even more so :)

And then not long after came my fourth trip, a work-related trip that took me to Huntsville, Alabama.  Little did I know how much NASA stuff was out there, and being able to stand beneath a fully-erect Apollo rocket was an awe-inspiring moment!!  I only wish my wife could have been there with me for that experience.

To top off this eventful year, I ended things by publishing three novels at once!  What started as an attempt to refresh my work turned into a much longer, multi-year effort to rebrand the Sword of Dragons, and while I still am far from my goal of making a living off of writing, I’m happy to say that this venture has brought me a lot closer than I was before!

Now we come to it, the end of a truly roller coaster year (with lots of actual roller coasters!)  I look back, and realize why I feel so exhausted, and why my emotions are so crazy right now.  So much good, so much hardship.  Even my holiday from work for the Christmas and New Years holiday has been tumultuous.

What do I want for 2019?  Relaxation.  Am I likely to get it?  Well…

Looking Ahead to 2019

2019 may very well be another year without me publishing a new novel.  I’ve been working on book 3 of the Sword of Dragons series, and as of writing this, I’m 7 chapters in.  But Kailar’s story has been fighting me and I’ve basically scrapped my original plan for her in book 3.  Which means I’m kind of making it up as I go for her chapters.

I also don’t want to rush it.  I have a title and even a cover set to go for it, but I want to write the best story that I can, and I want to make sure it is as polished as possible.

What I AM happy to report is that I’m headed back to the convention scene, at least for one time.  My wife and I have officially been accepted as vendors in the 2019 Whimsy Con in Denver!  Our favorite Steampunk convention, and a worthy successor to the former Anomaly Con where Beck and I met, this will be our first table together, with me selling my books, and Beck selling her jewelry and her first book.

Yes, you read that right, Beck’s first novel will be available by Whimsy Con!  :D  Click here to head on over to her blog to find out about her latest adventures with her book, and her planned release no later than March 1st!

Shortly after that, comes perhaps our biggest move yet since we met each other – we’re planning on buying a house!  Mostly because we’re tired of dealing with sub-standard apartments in the Denver area.  Truly, there are inadequate protections for renters in Denver and property owners get away with a lot of inky moves.  We even ended up getting the FCC involved in our dispute regarding exclusivity enforcement by CenturyLink in our current apartment complex, only to discover that our apartment complex had  been lying to us about it.

So we’re done with apartments in Denver.

Beyond that?  I’m not entirely sure where 2019 will take me.  It probably greatly depends on where we land with a house.  I don’t anticipate any big trips this year, since we need to conserve money, so probably just hunker down and focus on writing and voice acting.

Did I mention that yet, voice acting?  I’ve decided to move forward with recording audio books, and depending on how that goes, I may try my hand at other related ventures.  I’m also slated to be the MC for the Whimsy Con costume contest this year :)

So, now it’s just time to take in a deep breath, and plunge into 2019.  Here’s hoping for a great year!

Thanks for reading, thanks for staying with me, and thanks for your encouraging words through the hard times.  I really appreciate all of you!!  (PS: I just noticed, 205 followers!!  We passed 200!!!!  :D )

-Jon Wasik

2017 Hardships, 2018’s Promises

Hi everyone!

7 hours from now (where I live,) 2017 will become a memory, and that memory is full of mixed feelings for me.  Some of my greatest joys, some of my hardest sorrows.  Today being the last day, I thought I would end things with my annual ‘glancing back, and looking forward’ blog :)

Writing Without Publishing

After two years in a row of publishing, 2017 was the first year where I didn’t publish a single new novel.  And for much of the 2nd half of 2017, that meant depression for me…I already had a plan moving forward for my writing career, but I knew nothing would be ready for publication in ’17.

However, a recent article I’ve read by another author has reminded me that there’s something more important than pumping out novel after novel like a factory.  Writing is an artisan career, and sustainable writing is more important than mass production.  But I want to spend an entire blog writing more on that.  For now, let me just pass on the word – you don’t have to write 20 novels a year to be a successful author.  That leads to burn out.  Just do the best you can, and don’t forget to live a little.

Burning Skies Cover Preview

On the bright side, I have made considerable headway this year, especially in the 2nd half, towards the 2nd editions of the Sword of Dragons books 1 and 2, as well as finally getting the Orc War Campaigns anthology ready for print!

I’ve learned a lot about the market, far more than I ever anticipated, and I think I’m a little more prepared to move forward in my writing career in 2018.

Engage!

One of the greatest highlights of ’17 was the day I proposed to my beautiful Starshine, Beck Stewart!  Since that day, we have moved in together and begun living and planning our lives together.  After more than a year together, and nearly a year engaged, I am happier than I ever thought possible with my relationship.

Fellow author, artist, geek, and weird like me ;) She has been my rock, my muse, my voice of reason.  She’s helped me keep the demons back, helped my writing move forward, and encouraged me every single day.  Thank you, Moon of my Life!

2018 – Three Books At Once?!

Rise of the Forgotten

With everything I have learned about writing, marketing, and cover art, I came to a decision in the last couple months: when I release the 2nd editions of the Sword of Dragons books, I plan to release them together, along with the Orc War Campaigns anthology.  That’s right, 3 books at one time!

As crazy as it sounds, it’s actually not a stretch, and in fact gives me the time I need to get everything prepared, and actually make the books look like they belong together, both with their covers and their interiors.

In fact, as of tomorrow, I’ll have finished editing Burning Skies!  At least, until I read through the proof copy.  I’m sure I’ll find more to fix with that.

But that’s my system – I have a proof of Rise of the Forgotten, and when I finish editing Burning Skies, I’ll order that proof while moving on to The Orc War Campaigns.  Once I finish that and order its proof, I’ll go back and read through Rise of the Forgotten’s proof copy, and so on.

When will these three be released?  I don’t know yet.  But I’m working quickly.

The Year I Get Married!

The first half of 2018 is going to be busy for another reason – my marriage is coming up fast!  And that means more and more of my time outside of work will need to be devoted to preparations.  I’m hoping I get proof copies of all 3 books before then, but I’m not going to rush.

That’s a difficult lesson 2016 and 2017 have taught me – rushing stories out isn’t the best idea.  Working under a deadline is one thing, but as I mentioned before, sustainable writing is more important.  I don’t want to burn myself out.

I know this is a writing blog, but I hope you all will understand if I indulge now and again and post news regarding my upcoming wedding :)

Happy New Year!

Thank you to everyone who visited in 2017!  Much to my surprise, my blog has received more new followers and views this year than in 2016, and I’m so glad you all have found your way here!

See you all next year!
-Jon Wasik