Happy New Year! I think 2018 can best be summed up by my favorite Leonard Cohen lyrics:
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
2018 in review – in writing and in life…
My 2018 started with struggles regarding my third Shores novel that I couldn’t seem to overcome, so I put it away. I did have some accomplishments in the early part of 2018: a paperback anthology of the Wild and Precious series came out, I organized and had a wonderful time at a writers retreat in February, and I was invited to do a paid reading in March for the Pierce College QSA. The audiobook for All the Way to Shore was also released. In April I dusted off a draft that became The Kinsey Scale and it was published in November. I also attended the LA Festival of Books, and seeing the lovely Elizabeth North and other DSP staff and authors helped fill my writing well.
There is a crack in everything…
We enjoyed a family vacation in Santa Fe at the end of May and I was looking forward to participating with fellow Pacific Northwest writers at Eugene Pride in August. But in July, a big crack occurred in our lives with a serious health crisis for my husband Michael, which altered everything. Amazingly, I was able to finish writing the second Campus Connections story, The Player’s Protégé, in the middle of it but no writing has happened since. I would have liked to have submitted a holiday story for the Dreamspinner anthology and have written the 3rd Campus Connections story, but neither of these occurred. I also had to cancel being at Eugene Pride and GayRomLit this year.
That’s how the light gets in…
The light that has poured in since July starts with the support and love we’ve received from our families, friends, work colleagues, and more. Personally, I’ve gotten into counseling which has been so beneficial. My relationship with Michael is stronger than ever and our family of three (with our 23 year old Nathan) has grown ever closer. I’m ending 2018 present to an abundance of blessings.
As for 2019, my writing goals are modest. The Player’s Protégé will be published in June/July. I want to finish and have published the 3rd Campus Connections story and have a story in the DSP holiday anthology. Any writing beyond that will be a bonus. We are having our 2nd annual writers retreat at the Oregon coast later this month and I plan to attend both the DSP authors conference and GayRomLit this year. There may be other writers events, such as Eugene Pride and perhaps some readings in local venues, but these will be a bonus. I’m going easy on myself.
I need to sing the praises of Laura Lascarso. She is a phenomenal writer. I had read Andre in Flight and been impressed with her writing but hadn’t read any of her other books until recently. I just read In the Pines and Everything is Blue in quick succession. She does YA/NA characters so well. Her teenage boys are completely believable in both dialogue and actions. In the Pines is a murder mystery coupled with a sweet coming of age romance. Grief—and how one deals with it and gets through it—is threaded throughout the tale, but the ending is happy and hopeful. Everything is Blue is another great coming of age tale with a wonderful friends to lovers romance and lots of fascinating details about the world of surfing and skateboarding in South Florida. She weaves in rich subplots about the family dynamics, and I felt at the end like I’d had a complete and satisfying meal. If you haven’t checked Laura’s writing out, do yourself a favor and get on that!
Happy 2019 and may this be a year full of blessings for you.
Until next month,
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work, and her characters are travelers too, traveling into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intently at her laptop.
CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards. All the Way to Shore was Runner Up for Best Bisexual Novel in the 2017 Rainbow Awards.