Taking Stock

Well, not that kind of stock, but it looks inviting,  doesn’t it?

We’re in the last collective gasp of 2018, and while the house is semi-quiet, and outside it’s cold and dreary, it seemed like an opportune time to put my feet up next to the lit tree while I’m semi-lit from a couple of sips of Grunch (don’t ask), and ruminate on what I did these past twelve months.

Positive: I kept to my diet pretty much, but then, I always watch what I eat…except when it comes to Nutella, croissants, brownies, cookies, coffee cake, ice cream, apple pie, ice cream sodas, and Blizzards. Do you notice a pattern here. 

Negative: I didn’t lose any weight, but then again, I didn’t expect to.  See positive. 

Positive: I resolved to make 2018 the year of novel writing. I was determined to finish my long aborning passion project come hell or high water. And I did, and now it’s out in the world trying to find a good home, and I hope one day that it will be available for all to read.

Negative: I’m still on the hunt for an agent.

Positive: I persevere. Hope is like Santa’s endless bag of presents. Just when you think you’ve reached the end of your rope, someone throws you a lifeline. 

Negative: I need more rope. Lots of it.

Positive: I signed contracts for two picture books to small presses. Completely unexpected, not on my radar, and a great confidence booster. 

Negative:  I’m still looking for a home for my passion project. Patience, grasshopper.

Positive: After fits and starts and delays, my personal website is up and running. I had a lot of help, you know who you are, and I can’t thank you enough.

Negative: I have not mastered Scrivener, and I doubt I ever will.

Positive: I started writing two brand new books, one a contemporary MG set in a seaside village with a unique tourist attraction, the other a magical YA fantasy re-imagining of  The Prince and the Pauper.

Negative: I have more ideas than I know what to do with. Ideas are like seeds, the more you sow, the more your back aches from all that bending down.

Positive: I’ve made many new, supportive, writing friends. They’ve picked me up when I’ve been on the mat, and I’ve celebrated their successes.

Negative: I haven’t won Powerball or Megamillions.

Positive: The Blue Wave is real and very much alive.

Negative: Trump is still President, but hopefully, not for much longer. 

Positive: I’m still in relatively good health, aside from my sinus, allergies, weak stomach, and bum knee. 

Negative: Hard lesson learned, don’t screw around when it comes your health. My husband was loathe to get a routine colonoscopy; finally, around Halloween, he got it done after a ton of nagging, and to our shock and surprise, the results turned out to be anything but routine. Flash forward a few scant, whirlwind weeks later, he had major surgery and thankfully is now on the mend, but it wasn’t  without a lot of upset, fear, and worry.  I’ve earned every gray hair this year, trust me.

As for 2019, my goals remain the same: write, write, write, get an agent, sell more books, keep my family happy and healthy, and ice cream. 

First Page Giveaway

BLUE LIGHT IN AISLE FOUR!!

To celebrate the grand opening of my website, I’ve decided to do a first page giveaway. That’s right, FREE! No stamps required. But there’s a catch. (Yes, there always is, and why should I be any different).

The first 25 lucky souls who spread the word about my website wins the golden ticket: I’ll critique your first page. Could be a query letter, synopsis, outline, screenplay, picture book, middle grade, young adult, adult, new adult, old adult, porn, Amazon wish list, last will and testament, you name it.

Leave a comment below, show me what you did in gory detail, I’ll approve, and when I do, voila! Once I give you the all clear, you can send the material to pjmacwriter @ gmail.com

So get your fingers clacking far and wide,  by carrier pigeon, tweet, or Facebook share,  let the world know that PJ McIlvaine is open for just about anything.

first-page-of-the-bible-0-pleasurable-inspiration-catalogue-number-3