The year 2015 in review

This post was supposed to go up before January 1st, but didn’t on account of me not writing it yet. With mere days left to the end of the year, I caught a cold and ended up going to the living room to hide away from the chill in my room under a pile of blankets with a warm heater nearby and a steady supply of citrus drinks to try and burn out this snotty bug. Today, it seems like I can breathe without drugs, so I’m declaring a tentative victory and venturing into my cold, cold room to finally do this post. This is my dedication to you. Witness my love for alla y’all.

How to begin? Well if 2014 was one of my better years, 2015 was certainly one of the worst. Right at the start, my husband contracted a staph infection and had to be hospitalized. Before the doctors could identify the strain, it had already gummed up the stents in his heart, and he had to undergo open chest surgery. He was moved from one hospital to the next, and no one had any answers about how effective the treatments were or when he might finally come home. Even after we had an answer, the doctors kept changing their minds and pushing it back. Poor hubby looked like a pincushion, and he endured so many treatments that eventually the doctors ran out of viable locations to put in new catheters.

Some of you may recall this, but I have multiple sclerosis. I’m mostly fine unless I move around too much. Well for the first two and a half months of the year, I did more moving around than I had in all of 2014 and 2013 combined. It wasn’t just travel to and from the hospitals, either. I had to wash hubby’s things and cart them back and forth. I had to clean the house and care for the animals, all stuff I’d normally done with his help. And when hubby got home, he needed a lot of help with everything. So even if I was exhausted and in pain, I just kept pressing on.

And then I got sick, and that was the final straw for my body. I still have not recovered from the strain, neither mentally nor physically. I can only do a little housework before I need a long sit to recover. I have brain fog even under light mental stress, so I haven’t been able to write or edit much. I haven’t even been able to read, so while in 2014 I hit a new record of 50 books completed, in 2015 I barely managed 20.

Sales were crap, to say the least. Part of that has to do with me not having the energy to get out there and promote my titles, but the other problem lies in my shrinking social reach. It’s been massively difficult to get any message out on any network, and even harder to get my titles reviewed. Amazon’s changed the rules for what books get shown to customers, and now I apparently need more reviews to be seen. In short, all the ways that I’d been using to improve my visibility in previous years have dried up in 2015, and so my one release of the year slipped out like a squeaky fart at a death metal concert.

I’m trying to look at this all in perspective and stay positive. This is not my worst year ever. Being totally objective, it’s possibly still in the top five, but it could have been worse. Having said that, I’m glad to be done with 2015, and I’m ready to start 2016 with hopeful prayers like “dear lord, not like last year, please?”

I can’t promise anything at this early stage, but I really hope to get back to a more regular posting schedule soon. True, it will be mostly book reviews, mainly because I’ve got a huge TBR pile to work through and an empty bank account ensuring there can be no new game purchases for a while. But who knows? Maybe my next few books will sell enough for me to have some free cash again. Even if they don’t I’ll still try to keep the reviews coming somehow.

I want to close this out by thanking the people who have stuck with me this year. I know I didn’t have much to offer you, often going silent for weeks at a time. But you’re still here, still checking in, and I really do appreciate it. To you I wish you a great new year, and I hope to keep you entertained, or at the very least morbidly amused throughout the coming months.

Happy belated new year, y’all. Let’s make it a year worth remembering.