Update | Did we make it?

“Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.”

— Tony Hsieh


So… in the last post, I wrote that I *should* be able to make 350.000 words in 2022. I didn’t. I only wrote 5766 words in December, which gets me to 345.964 words. I kept looking for another story. Normally, when I get a monthly number that low, I’ve forgotten a story and find another 20-30k in another document. That’s not the case this time.

I did say I wouldn’t push, though, so I’m not too upset. What bothers me a little is that I’ve slipped down under averaging 1k a day. It wasn’t a goal as such, but now that I’m at an average of 948 words per day, I realise I want 1k a day. So new goal? *deep breath* Shit, can I do that? It would mean 365.000 words, that’s 19036 more than I did this year. Though, if the autumn had been a normal autumn, I think I would have managed that.

So, yeah, aim high, right?

Shall we summarise the year?

The goal was to publish 12 stories as Holly – one per month – and I did. 

  • January – One Would Be Enough
  • February – The Wingman
  • March – The Blood Witch
  • April – A Well-Functioning Cubicle
  • May – Perfect Rows
  • June – A Drop of Moonshine
  • July – Love in an Elevator
  • August – The Book Dragon’s Lair
  • September – Dear Diary
  • October – A Vampire Chew Toy
  • November – Returning to the Werewolf
  • December – Willow Road

As Ofelia, I was gonna do the either-or stories – I didn’t. I did The Cake Shop for the Rain or Shine call. Then I wrote Keep it Down! for JMS Books’ 12th anniversary, and then I wrote The Setup for the advent calendar.

The Drunken Dog was released in February, and it was for the Sugar or Spice call, but I submitted it in December 2021, so those words aren’t included in this year’s total even though the editing and marketing part fell on the 2022 side of the new year. 

So four releases on Ofelia. That’s what I aim for this year too. My goal is quarterly releases unless I suddenly find myself in a place where the words flow effortlessly. In that case, I might sneak in something extra.

Oh, and I forgot. We have the Naked Gardening Day box set and the 2022 Top Ten Gay Romance Anthology as well. So that’s two more releases – three if we’re gonna count the Top Ten on both Holly and Ofelia 😆 Oh-oh, I just realised, the 2021 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology was released on January 1st, 2022, so… that’s one more 🤣

Sales-wise 2022 has been my best year, but not word-count-wise. I wrote 377.038 words in 2020 courtesy of lockdowns and stuff. I might have been a bit frantic and tried to write myself out of the apocalypse then. 

I was so disappointed flipping through my bullet journal and realising I didn’t do a year-in-review spread last year. Why didn’t I? I love looking at those. So I have to do one before I publish this post, so I can include it. 

I scrolled back in my posts on here and saw that I wrote 289.333 words in 2021. 

So 2023…

The goal is 12 stories on Holly, though I’m already behind 😰, and four releases on Ofelia. That’s more a minimal limit than a goal. I want at least one release per quarter.

Then there is the word count goal. 365.000 words…. If I put that out there, I’m already behind. Sigh.

But let’s go!

Starting next month, I’ll do the update posts on Holly’s site. Most of the words are hers, so it feels a bit strange to post about them here 😊

2022 in review

Update | Fumbling

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

― C.S. Lewis


I just read through my last update post to see what I wrote then, and I realised Mum was still alive. The post was published on November 6th, and I wrote that I didn’t know how much we had left, if her health would decline in stages or be a slippery slope. She lived for ten days after that, and it was like falling into an abyss with nothing to reach for to lessen the fall. I hope you never have to live through it, but I fear some of you will.

As you might have guessed I haven’t written much. I get a total of 17.863 when adding everything up, so not great, but under the circumstances…

My total so far for 2022 is 340.198. I need to check my word count on the 31st, so I can see if I make 350.000 😊

I average 994 a day, and I have to say I’m disappointed I’ve dropped down under 1k, but ah well.

Any day now, I’m gonna sit down with a pen and paper and make a plan for 2023, a real one. It’s just the bandwidth is lacking at the moment. I’m trying to finish Holly’s February story and am stressing about not having started her March story, and then I wanted a release on Ofelia the first quarter and… 🥵

The funeral is on the 15th, maybe I can focus a little better after that.

Update | Still Here

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. 

-John Lennon


I opened a Scrivener file this morning. I didn’t write more than 124 words, but I read through what I’d written so far. Before today, I haven’t written a single word in about two weeks, and it’s not good for my sanity. I’ve been unable to focus and have only been doing the absolute musts on my to-do.

It’s not a good feeling, but what are you gonna do? I’ve spent time with my mother both in her home and in the hospital, so I haven’t written much. Every week is a decline, and we’re at a stage now where it feels as if it’s moving fast downhill. I have no idea what timeframe we’re talking, I don’t know if it’ll go in stages or a constant slope to the end.

What I know is that Mum’s changed. And I’m probably changed too.

Most of us will have to face the failing health of our parents at some point in our lives. I thought I’d have another twenty years before I’d be here, but we don’t get to pick our fates.

I have written 18.214 words this month, which is less than I wanted to but more than I thought I had, so…

My total is 322.335. I think I should be able to make 350.000 this year, but I’m not gonna set any goals right now. One day at a time. If I write, I write, and if I don’t, I don’t.