I can’t believe it. 2018. It’s pretty much over. The hours turned to days, days to weeks, the weeks to months. Another year of my little life has come and gone. I had my share of sorrows and joys. In the end, I have a lot to show for.
Allow me to take you on a quick tour of Sara Francis’ 2018 journey.
The first month of the year was the most packed. I started a new job which would count as an internship for my Media Communications degree. My short commute of 35 minutes would drag to an hour at least, but the experience with this little media company has been worth it. Also, I wrote my first ADVENTURES OF WOBOT book, WOBOT AND THE 3 TECHNICIANS which began a new path of my writing journey.
It was also the month that I was shocked into reality; the reality that I don’t need to overwhelm myself with so much. January 11th, 2018, I got into my first (hopefully last) bad car accident. My brand new car--the first car I ever bought-- was totaled and my legs were banged and bruised. I thank the good Lord that no one was severely hurt, but I realize now that it had to happen. (A more in-depth post about my experience will come soon ;) )
It changed my mindset for the rest of the year as to what I needed to make priorities and what was unnecessary.
February - April
Of course, things happened throughout these months, but I can’t recall specific dates. I do know that two major events occurred within this timespan.
The first revision of THE MAINLAND had been completed. It was such an incredible feeling. The story that had been hidden inside me for over three years finally rushed out through my fingertips. I laughed, I cried, I intensified. It was a roller coaster.
The final spring event happened in April. On the 24th, I started a relationship with someone who would buy me books and be there whenever I had questions. This guy has been my source for all weaponry, history, bugs, animals, and grammatical issues (although I usually ignore him for that last one). He has been with me through thick and thin and is becoming my biggest fan (after becoming my proofreader).
[I know you’re reading this, Soren. Of course, I had to include it. Now hush.]
I released my first poetry book, STARDUST! I had been writing poems for the past six months and I finally put them together into a cute, little, poetry collection. [If you don’t have it, go get it. It’s great and cheap.]
I also released a second ADVENTURES OF WOBOT book, WOBOT, THE GEAR, AND MOTION which is the first science installment in that children’s book series. [Also great and a decent price.]
THE BOOK CON! This was the biggest event I’ve ever done in my writing career. The months leading up to it were chaotic and stressful. Trying to gather everything together and the anxiety of bringing it all into the Javits’ Center was overwhelming. I wrote a short blog post about it if you want to learn more. But overall, the event was fun! It wasn’t entirely fruitful monetarily wise, but I made many connections, sold some books, and had a great time. My family and my walking encyclopedia came to support me. It was amazing.
(My dad and my grandpa were a little bored after a while just watching their wives shop. But they still had fun too.)
July - August
During this time, I started crunching out the final revisions of THE MAINLAND. I sent them to my beta readers on vacation and started the final revisions.
I also finalized my book services! I know offer writing workshops, inspirational talks/presentations, Q&As, and book club visits! [Be sure to check those out too!]
Finally, I finished the study guide for THE ISLES! It is a FREE resource for teachers, home-schooling families, and anyone interested in learning more about THE ISLES! It has short answer questions and discussions (that could also be used as essay topics). It’s meant to have the reader think more deeply about the meanings behind the text and to get the most out of the messages. Enter the code TRUTH2017 on my downloads page to get yours now!
August 5th was also the day I entered the 20th year of my life. So long teenage years! I can no longer call myself a “teen author”. Young adult is my new title!
September 22nd was my second go-round at The Abbey Fest. Once again, it was another great experience. I wasn’t as successful as the first year, but I still sold books and made new connections. Wobot made a lot of friends too. I especially had such a blast spending time with these little munchkins. They were so much fun and they kept coming back to visit. Their dreams are to start a rock band. Hopefully, their new SF Publishing guitar picks will help them accomplish it!
October 25th I worked with Array of Hope at their annual Gala. There, I met best-selling author, Raymond Arroyo. I couldn’t get a picture with him, but my good friend got a video of us conversing (which I can't find at the moment, of course. But I know it's somewhere). Raymond now has a copy of THE ISLES and STARDUST. It was a lovely night and a great experience.
(I made that first ad with Raymond Arroyo. So, since I don't have a pic with him right now, there is a pic of him so you know what he looks like. :P )
November 25th was the book birthday of THE MAINLAND! After about 2 years, the second book of THE TERRA TESTIMONIES was finally brought to life. I have been dying to share the stories with the world forever and I still can’t believe it’s been done. It is the prequel to THE ISLES so you can finally learn about the “tale for another time” Mark is always talking about. It’s available on Amazon for Kindle and Paperback. Go check it out!
This was also the month I first attempted NaNoWriMo. However, with my book being released, I didn’t win, but I surprised myself! I wrote 30,000 words of book three of THE TERRA TESTIMONIES! I’m making progress slowly and it was definitely a great experience. Next year, I hope to win it!
Now, here we are. December of 2018. Another year has gone and, as you can see, it was filled with many blessings.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the happiest moments, but I’m also thankful for the saddest. It is in my moments of dark sorrow that my joys shine brightest. It is then that I realize how blessed my life is and how nothing should be taken for granted.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year.
God bless you! Love, Sara Francis (and the SF Crew)