I don't really write out a list of resolutions for the new year. What I do is to pick one goal and make sure that I stick to it. My goals are mainly hobby-oriented so that I can really gauge whether I've been successful or not. Over the years, they have ranged from entering contests (2010) to joining an astronomy group (2011) to getting published (2012).
In 2013, the goal was daunting: really publish my own book. It was an old goal that I failed to see through last year. A story of mine was included in a published anthology, so I thought mission accomplished; I could rest on my laurels. But I ached to have that one book that belonged to me and me alone, so when Mina V. Esguerra opened up an online writing class on Facebook, I was on board with the idea.
Because of that, 2013 turned out to be a really good writing year. Thanks to #romanceclass, I was able to release my first contemporary romance novella, Cover (Story) Girl in August. A few weeks after the e-book release, I had a few copies printed, which found their way to readers, giveaway winners, an online bookstore, and even brick-and-mortar shops in Aklan. The reviews and the feedback have been very encouraging. It introduced me to new people and new friends, pushing me to be more active on social networking sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. The class joined local book fairs and helped us connect with readers and even meet some industry bigwigs. I definitely wouldn't have predicted that last January.
Chrissie Peria and Miles Tan to write a holiday short story called All I Want for Christmas. It was the first time that the three of us have decided to enroll in Amazon's Kindle Select program and we were surprised by the results. At our highest ranking, we were #7 on the Kindle Store's Top 100 Free Titles, in the Women's Fiction NA/College list, #11 for Holidays, and #17 for Women's Fiction Romance. It even landed us a guesting stint at 5x5 Podcast! It was a holiday thank-you for our readers, but in the end we also felt very grateful to everyone who helped spread the love.
One of my speculative short stories, 'Rubbed Out Sky', is forthcoming in the maiden issue of Plural, the online prose journal of MFA grad students from De La Salle University. Please watch this space for more news.
What's nice about 2013 was that Cover (Story) Girl even made it to some readers' lists for their favorite reads/honorable mentions of the year:
• GMA Network Lifestyle Section
• I Like It Dog-Eared
• Bookish Little Me
• Book Junkie Joint
Despite all the challenges that 2013 has brought with it, I'm grateful that the writing part has been smooth sailing. I'm crossing my fingers that 2014 will be just as good!