2nd Blogiversary: The Highs and Lows of the Past Year

Wow, what a year!

This time last year I was celebrating the very first blogiversary of this blog, I can’t believe another year has past. So much has happened in this past year; these are some of the biggest ups and downs:

I took part in NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row. After finding it hard to get into the story I’d planned, I ended up writing a fanfic and reaching my goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. (The previous year I’d only managed half that.)

– The worst day of my life was the day I found out I had a miscarriage and lost my baby. I didn’t cope at all with the loss and sunk into depression. I found it hard to write for a while. I’m still struggling with the loss, but I’m writing.

After entering my completed YA fantasy MS into a couple of novel competitions and having no luck, I decided to put it aside for the time being, rather than following my original plan of querying it. I decided to focus on my YA thriller WIP instead.

– After the devastating floods in Queensland at the start of the year, I was compelled to submit a story to the anthology 100 Stories to Queensland. I was thrilled to first make the longlist and then the shortlist and have my story ‘A Penny for a Wish’ included in the anthology. The anthology has gone on to raise much needed funds for disaster relief in Queensland.

– I was surprised and thrilled to find out my story ‘Angel Blood’ was to be included in the Australian Literature anthology (and I also totally bawled my eyes out as it was to be my first story I would be getting paid for). It was released at the same time as 100 Stories for Queensland. I couldn’t believe my debut as a published author involved two separate stories being published at the same time.

– I jumped at the opportunity to get on board an anthology called Literary Mix Tapes: Eighty-Nine where I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with other authors and an editor (the fabulous Jodi Cleghorn). Working on my short story ‘Eighteen for Life’ has been a great learning experience for me as a writer. Eighty-Nine is due for release next month.

– I’ve had the honour of being invited to write short stories for several other upcoming anthologies (which I will tell you more about as the release dates come closer).

I found out I was pregnant again, but kept the pregnancy secret despite the fact I was suffering the worst morning sickness of all my pregnancies so far. Thankfully the morning sickness has now subsided. I’m nearly at the halfway point!

My family and I were all plagued by illness over the winter months, and in fact it got so bad my son ended up in hospital for a week (with me staying there with him) and my daughter ended up in hospital overnight. Even once we were home it was a long road to recovery (compounded by the fact I was also suffering horrendous morning sickness at the time). Needless to say my writing suffered during this time, as did my poor blog.

I worked up the courage to send a couple picture book (and one chapter book) manuscripts to publishers. So far no luck, but…

– Only last week I received the exciting news my picture book ‘Monster Sister’ was shortlisted for the CYA competition’s preschool category. (CYA = Children and Young Adult Writer conference, which is held annually in Brisbane, Australia.) I just found out the winner as I was about to hit ‘publish’ on this post. Unfortunately ‘Monster Sister’ did not win, but I feel so privileged to have even been shortlisted and to have had the opportunity for my story to be seen by a publisher.

Edit: Just had to make an edit, because I just found out that although ‘Monster Sister’ did not win the CYA preschool category, it did place second!

6 thoughts on “2nd Blogiversary: The Highs and Lows of the Past Year”

  1. What a rollercoaster year. Congratulations on your amazing achievements, as well as for making it through the hard times. I hope next year smooths out a little for you – there’s only so many highs and lows one person can take, I’m thinking.

    Happy blogiversary!


  2. Wow, what a year! Happy Blogiversary and congratulations, I had no idea. (I don’t know why I’m saying that, it’s not like I pass you in the street every day with a bump πŸ˜‰ I too hope your next year will be calmer. And good luck with your writing, it all sounds fab!


  3. Tamara – Thank you! The highs have been great and I hope they continue (especially in regards to my writing). Just hope I don’t get so many lows.

    Rebecca – It was awesome being shortlisted with you too. We’ll definitely have to go for that 1st place tie next year! πŸ™‚

    Catherine – Thank you! I mentioned it in the last pblitchat, but you weren’t there for that one πŸ˜‰


  4. A very full year, indeed, Jo, with so much emotion. Hugs. So glad that the year is ending with so much promise – and delighted that your MONSTER SISTER placed second at CYA. Much to look forward to in the new year, methinks. xx πŸ™‚


  5. Thank you, Kat. I’m extremely happy about ‘Monster Sister’ placing second and I’m looking forward to more exciting things happening in the coming year (*fingers crossed*). Hopefully there will be a bit less sadness and a bit less illness. πŸ™‚


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