2014 was busy


15301854-256-k210779I love doing a bit of naval gazing at the end of a year/beginning of a new one, because often I’ll think the year was terrible or I didn’t accomplish anything. And while this year was challenging (Aaron Allston’s death was & still is quite difficult for me) there was a lot of good there too. It just takes a review like this for me to see it some times.

So, writing?
Though I didn’t write as much as I would have liked to this year, it wasn’t bad by any stretch. Aside from seeing 3 of my short stories & one essay published (2 zombie romances in Soothe The Savage Beast & Monsters, “The Downfall of Dauntless” in Divergent Thinking, and “Coming Home” in War Stories), I also finished my flight school memoir which you can read here, & War of the Seasons: The Human hit nearly 300k reads on Wattpad. Oh, and I wrote a War of the Seasons novella (due out later this year), and finished writing Aaron’s short story for my War of the Seasons universe (also due out later this year). And yes, writing Aaron’s story was as difficult as you’d imagine it being. Because how can I ever even approach his genius? Hopefully readers will forgive me my shortfalls.

AD2-FB-coverLastly, I am doing something new! I’m co-editing an anthology! This is my first time editing an anthology (officially), and I’ve been co-editing with Maggie Allen (who is an absolute dream to work with – seriously, she’s amazing), and the project is just WOW.

Ginger's exclusive art for KS - athena 2.2In January 2014, we ran a Kickstarter that was successful beyond our wildest dreams. In just one month, the Athena’s Daughters (stories about women written by women) campaign raised $44,350 — 521% of our initial goal. During that campaign we achieved stretch goals that not only funded a companion anthology, Apollo’s Daughters (stories about women, but written by men), but also funded the production of a second volume… Athena’s Daughters 2 which would have an open call for submissions from any woman who wished to be included. Silence in the Library Publishing immediately began the work of putting together this second collection full of stories about a diverse assortment of female protagonists, all written by women.

Submissions for this volume opened in June, and we were flooded with great stories (over 130!) and then had to begin the difficult task of selecting 21 stories. That was hard. But I’ve got to say, it’s a fantastic collection (pre-cog nuns, superheroes going through menopause, talking crows that wish they were dinosaurs, zombie apocalypses, and so much more), and you should definitely check it out. The Kickstarter still has about a week left, and there’s a really awesome contest going on as well. And even if you only watch it for the hilariously brilliant video, head on over! 

So, how did the rest of my year go?

i-jgK7zXN-MWhat countries/states did I visit?
-Various cities in North Carolina for book signings/conventions, and of course 1/2 way through the year WE MOVED HERE!
-2 WDW Orlando trips – races
-2 Anaheim CA trips for Disneyland races
-San Diego for Comic Con (first time!)
-Utah to visit Family
-Atlanta, DRAGON*CON!
-Louisville, KY for Abbey Road on the River (FUN family time!)
-Columbus, Ohio for Origins
-New Orleans!
-Pensacola, FL (for a month)
-Pakistan (FIRST TIME!)
WHEW! that’s a lot of traveling!

i-KhSwQV6-LWhat dates from 2014 will remain etched upon my memory, and why?
-The Youngling’s official adoption.
-My first flight back in a C-130
-Where I was when I first heard about Aaron (the Gallery place/China town metro stop)
-My last day serving on Capitol Hill.
-My last night on my last Congressional trip, in Pakistan, with several congresswomen & PSMs who have mentored me over the years, and all of us crying and expressing our tearful love & appreciation for each other regardless of party or political affiliation. Women supporting women. <3
-The Marine Corps Ball with Ron
-Dancing at the Avenger’s ball with my friends.
-Seeing Paul McCartney, again, with my wonderful friends.

963760_600What song will always remind you of 2014?
Anything by Lindsey Stirling. I fell in love with her work, and then this summer the Youngling was like “Hey mom, you know she’s Mormon, right?” WUT??? 😀 😀 😀 I already loved her, and now this just makes it even better!

What did I do for my birthday?
I turned 35, and I went to work – it was actually my last day on the Hill. They threw me a goodbye party, presented me with a Meritorious Service Medal for my work on the hill, and Brasil played a world cup soccar game & won! Ron also threw me a big presidental election BDay party on the mall since I turned 35 & was finally old enough to run for President.

963561_600What is a life lesson I learned in 2014:
Don’t let pride come between you and those you love. When you say goodbye to people give them your full attention and love. It may be the last time you see them.

And stop wasting time on the internet.

I really want to focus on my spiritual and mental health this year. I think I’ve really focused on my physical health over the last couple years, and that’s great and all… but I think I’ve over focused on it. Plus, with my two major leadership roles coming over the next year, I think these things will really help me as a leader and for the 6 months I’m apart from my family.

964018_6001-Be as patient with my children as I am with everyone else
2-Be a more helpful and thoughtful wife
3-Read at least one church book
4-Read at least one article in the Ensign every month
5-Pay off bad debt, don’t incur new debt.
6-Read 3 books from the Commandant’s reading list by June
7-Read books I already own
8-Write Pride & Prejudice in Space (many false starts this past year, but that’s progress)
9-Start each day with one sun salutation per day. Prefer 3 (Aaaaaand I’ve no idea how long this will last, but I’m gonna try!)
10-KHyperbole-Interneteep my social media uplifting & spend a lot less time on it. I spend waaaaaaay too much time on it. Counsel that one of my church’s apostles gave in this month’s Ensign: “We should not exaggerate, embellish, or pretend to be someone, or something we are not. Our content should be trustworthy and constructive.” “Our messages should seek to edify and uplift, rather than to argue, debate, condemn, or belittle.” “Be courageous and bold, but not overbearing, in sustaining and defending our beliefs, and avoid contention…” “Too much time can be wasted, too many relationships can be harmed or destroyed, and precious patterns of righteousness can be disrupted when technology is used improperly. We should not allow even good applications of social media to overrule the better and best uses of our time, energy, and resources.”

And that, my friends, was my 2014. Here’s to 2015! 

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Want some free stories and an exclusive sneak peak at Athena’s Daughters 2? Here you go!