Yes, this is pre-pandemic.


 

As the last blog post of the year, I think it’s fitting that I share some exciting updates as well as reflect on some of the positives that have actually wriggled their way out of the chaos of 2020. Positivity is important. If it just exhausts you, then read no further.

My latest short story, “A Somnus Christmas,” is available to read on this site. If you haven’t checked it out yet and you’re into dark humor and urban fantasy, you might enjoy it. It isn’t the first Somnus story I’ve written, but it is the first one I’ve shared publicly. Somnus won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (what angel of death is, right?), but he’s a much-loved character of mine that I always enjoy incorporating into my stories. He's featured in four other stories of mine that will eventually be published as an anthology with other selected works. While “A Somnus Christmas” is a much lighter and more humorous story than others in the series, it captures the essence of Somnus’s character well, so I’d love to hear what you think of him!

I’m also close to completing the final edits of my main work in progress, a Young Adult high fantasy featuring dragons, demons, and plenty of death. Yes, it borders on grimdark. Currently, it’s 128K words long. I hope to reduce this by at least 8K words by the time final edits are through. Book two is already under way. I have a lot of illustrations and concept art in progress for this series, as I do for the anthology mentioned above, and I’ll be posting more in my Books section as soon as they’re done. I’ll also be querying soon unless I come across a self-publishing option that seems like a better fit for this series.

Yesterday, I revamped my review site, Kayla C. Reviews. While I've been reviewing books for over a year now, I started my official review site in June 2020 when I received my first independent review request from Alysia Lyons, the wonderful author of the uplifting self-help book Good Moms Don't: Lies, Truths, and How to Conquer Mom Guilt. I'm very happy to say that now, six months later, Alysia's book isn't the only great piece of literature I've reviewed on my site. 

JUDD by J.D. Toombs and Erika Schulze, What If by Rodolfo Ponder, Addiction by Robert Reddic III, and Charlie's Cheeky Chickens by Nicky Gaymer-Jones are just a few more amazing books I've had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Reviews for them and more are available on my site at the links. You’ll also find the books I reviewed for Readers’ Favorite, the latest being Constellations of Scars by Melissa Eskue Ousley, another new favorite. The reviews I completed through OnlineBookClub.org (where I started my book reviewing journey) are available here.

All in all, while 2020 has been the latest cherry on top of more than a decade of personal horrors and trials, it’s also been one of the most proactive and productive years I’ve had in a while. Ironic, I know. I pushed myself to socialize online and wound up meeting a ton of wonderful people (two words I never thought I’d mention in the same sentence) on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I also came across a lot of wretched beasties (the human variety), but, hey, that’s just life. I set up this site and my review site. While they might not be the most popular places online, I'm proud of them. I read a ton of epic stories and wrote some myself. Well, I hope my stories are epic, anyway. The journey certainly has been.😁

Over the course of 2020, I proved to myself that I could obtain the goals I set for myself with the right opportunities, hard work, and perseverance. It was a lesson I learned before while homeschooling myself but had forgotten, so I’m thankful I’ve been reminded of it. I'm also so very thankful to all the authors I mentioned above and to everyone else who's supported and encouraged me. You're all awesome (from what I know of youπŸ˜‰) and I wish you the best. This year, I learned a lot, taught a little, and I’m looking forward to learning more in 2021. Hopefully the lessons won’t suck.

On that note, have a Happier New Year! I hope 2021 finds most of you (yeah, not all; I did mention meeting some wretched beasties and I’m not the most forgiving person 😏) safer, more at peace, and stronger. Unless I fall off a cliff or something else horrible happens, I’ll talk to you again here next week, which will also be next year. That’s an appointment I can’t wait to keep.

*Llama hugs!* 

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