Happy New Year – 2015!
Happy New Year, everyone! I wanted to finally update my blog. 2014 was definitely a tough year full of trials and tribulations, but I’m eager for this new year and hope it’ll be a year of finding equilibrium again. This post will recap some of the bad, some of the good, and some of what I look forward to. I hope everyone has an amazing year!
2014 – The Bad Stuff
I feel it puts the good into perspective to acknowledge the negative things that I’ve gone through with the attitude that I’ve worked past them. 🙂
Last year was a tough one, and it began quite early on in the year. In January, we lost our 20-month-old kitten, Dorian to Feline Infectious Peritonitis. It put all of us into a bit of a tailspin, and it was a struggle to get ourselves together again. Unfortunately, that was the first of a total of three cat deaths for 2014. The other two were Little Boy at the end of April and Mama Kitty at the beginning of December. Both of them died of old age. It’s been a very difficult year with our pets, many of whom are just getting up there on years, so nature is just catching up with them. We also had a scare right before Christmas with our 3-year-old black cat, Victor. He’s the one we took in around the same time last year when Dorian was sick. He needed emergency care to clear up his urethra, which had gotten blocked. He’s all right now, but the expensive care right before Christmas was a difficult monetary blow to the household. We love our Victor-kitty, though! It was definitely worth saving him.
My writing really suffered this year as everything else became more important (or, if not more important, then at least more pressing). I was poked into co-writing the trans* short story “The Best Thing on Eight Wheels” by the wonderful Kathleen Tudor. Without her prompting, I never would have finished the piece for the Sweethearts & Seduction anthology, but it was an amazing experience and my first trans* story. I then acted more as muse than co-author when S.L. Armstrong and I wrote “Of the Flesh” for the gay vampire anthology, Blood Embrace. And… that’s been it this year. It’s rather pathetic, I know, but I’ll be making more of an effort this coming year.
2014 was also a year of making a very difficult decision. With S.L. Armstrong’s (Saundra’s) health on the decline, we had to choose between keeping Storm Moon Press running strong and continuing our efforts with RainbowCon. In the end, RainbowCon won that proverbial battle, and we’ve decided to close SMP down to outside submissions, merely keeping the press around for existing books to see out their contracts. I’ve been making contact with all our authors since the decision was made, though, to make sure everyone who would rather have their rights back to shop the stories around to other presses or self-publish them has an opportunity to do just that. It isn’t their fault that we’re shutting the press down to a minimal operations level, so I’ve been doing what I can to get everyone where they’d like to be with their works. It’s been particularly stressful for me, since I’m the one at the press who’s in contact with all the authors individually, but I really want every author to get that one-on-one so they know every single work with us is important.
2014 – The Good Stuff
On the flip side of the coin, there were a few awesome things that went down last year, and those deserve to be celebrated!
The largest triumph of the year was RainbowCon. Saundra, Roger, and I created RainbowCon to be a time and place people could gather together to celebrate everything about QUILTBAG media. Our first ever conference was in April 2014, and while there were still some kinks to iron out (first time jitters ^_-), the event went on without any major hitches, and most of the attendees had a great time! That’s all you can ever really hope for as a con organizer, so we were all exhausted but incredibly gratified by the process. We’re already planning 2015’s event, and unlike 2014, where the conference was centered only around fiction, RainbowCon will expand to include comics, webcomics, television, movies, and more.
Following RainbowCon last year, we also adopted three kittens (two immediately: Joshua & Gray; one a month later: Daniel). In the wake of losing Dorian, they were such a comfort to us all, and they’re the sweetest things.
I’ve also had the good fortune to work on some amazing pieces of fiction this year, despite SMP cutting back so drastically at the tail end of the year. I was Saundra’s cheerleader through the process of her finishing Human Rights, which has gone on to be an amazing bestseller on all our third party vendors! I took a large part in putting out our Devout anthology, which showcases gay priest-kink (a personal kink I really enjoy reading), and it was a joy working with the authors involved, several of which are long-time favorites of mine. You know it’s going to be an awesome anthology when the team consists of Kathleen Tudor (aka D.K. Jernigan), Annabeth Leong, Ann Anderson, Angelia Sparrow, and the incomparable Cari Z. I’d definitely check out that anthology if you can! I’m also mid-proofread on Ren Thompson’s Dead Heat, and while post-apocalyptic zombie lesbian horror isn’t anywhere close to my usual fare, that book is worth looking out for the next few weeks as well. 😉
Lastly, a tiny little triumph of mine was actually reading not just one book all the way through, but three. I read The Hunger Games. I was skeptical of them at first but actually greatly enjoyed them. But it’s the first time in at least a year, if not two, that I’ve actually read a book cover to cover. That it was an entire trilogy just makes it even sweeter.
2015 – Looking Forward
So, there are several things I’m really looking forward to this coming year. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, challengers and triumphs, and unexpected events, but there are a few things I know I’ll get to enjoy, so here’s a little list!
- First Cruise Ever – My bosses at my day job (massage therapy) gifted me a two-night cruise to the Bahamas for two. So, in 2015, I’ll get to take my first ever cruise! I’ll be wisking Saundra away for a little vacation filled with awesome food, plenty of relaxation, and an afternoon spent in the Bahamas (hopefully NOT during hurricane season). What a wonderful treat that’ll be, especially now that Saundra and I have determined that our anniversary date is December 16th. We might have a unique asexual relationship that’s emotionally and intellectually deep, but it really works for us, and we’ll be able to celebrate together.
- Kittens Kittens Everywhere! – I mentioned Joshua, Gray, and Daniel earlier, but we believe Joshua is pregnant! Joshua and Gray were both supposed to be boy kittens, but when we picked them up, they were girls, so we keep using male pronouns and always say they’re our genderqueer kitties who deserve to have their life choices respected. 😄 Joshua should be giving birth to his kittens in January! Joshua is a black/white tuxedo kitty, and Daniel (who knocked him up) is orange and white, so we might get any combination of colors, too, which is super exciting!
- Visiting my Family – In February, I’ll be taking a trip back to my hometown, Flagstaff, Arizona. This’ll be my first trip back since my parents’ divorce, which’ll be a little weird, but I’ll get to see my mom’s new digs, spend some quality time with her, and then it’s off to California to spend time with extended family, including my two grandmas. It’ll also include spending my mom’s birthday at Disneyland. Bonus!
- RainbowCon 2015 – In July, we’ll be holding our second Rainbow Conference, and I’m already stoked. We have Alex Woolfson and Adam DeKraker as our guests of honor, and they’re the creator and illustrator of The Young Protectors, a web-comic featuring a gay protagonist and antagonist. It’s an awesome comic, and I can’t wait to have them and everyone else in Tampa for more panels, workshops, community, and fun! Now, if only I can get NOH8 to show up for a photoshoot. Fingers crossed! I’m working on it! I’ll also be talking to a bunch of local GSAs at the high school and college level to spread the word about the conference and also promote QUILTBAG awareness and get people to celebrate artistic diversity in their own circles!
It’s going to be a packed year at this rate, and the fun has only just begun. I apologize to everyone following the blog, since I totally fall off the wagon again and again. When you’re the marketing director of a press that is currently trying to close its doors, everything becomes much more important than your personal blog, y’know? Nevertheless, I’ll be making an effort to post a bit more often and perhaps write a little fanfiction or freebie flash fiction to keep my writerly juices flowing this year. It’s time to get back into writing after such a long hiatus. Saundra and I have more than enough ideas, just little oomph to get them down onto paper. Here’s to getting to a place during 2015 where that isn’t the case!
I hope you all will join me on along the way. Thanks for being here thus far. ❤