Every January 1st, like many people, I feel like I have a fresh start. I’m going to throw away all the crap from last year and get twice as much done this year. I’m going to be more positive, eat less chocolate (yeah right), save up for that epic trip somewhere far and inspiring, and—most importantly—start living today and stop worrying about tomorrow. And of course I’m going to write, like, three books and sell them all.

But if 2014 taught me anything, it’s that this THING we hear all the time is very true. Your life can change very quickly. And when it does, you’re forced to take a good look at yourself and what really matters. Everything I had a year ago—all of my future plans, my life in Oregon, my comfort—I no longer have today. I thought I’d have Encore finished by March (ha). I was going to grad school, trying to get my M.Ed. I’d planned on rewriting this story I’m dying to get out to you all and FINISHING it.

But then life happened. And now I have a new reality. I live in Las Vegas again, a place I ran from screaming 10 years ago, because my mom, who is dealing with a lot of serious health issues, needs my love and help. I’ve also resumed my career in the multimedia field. So between uprooting my life, taking care of my mom, and starting a new job…2014 pretty much gave me no time to write. I honestly didn’t have any mental energy left to make ENCORE the book I want it to be. And I apologize, because I know how many of you have been waiting eagerly for ENCORE. I’ve gotten your frustrated emails and Tweets—believe me, I want this book to come out as badly as you want to read it. Probably more so 🙂

The good news? I’m starting 2015 settled. I’m moved in. I’ve fallen into the groove with my job. My mom will soon be getting a surgery that we’re hoping will change a lot and allow her to function again. And…I’m wrapping up ENCORE. I’d hoped to get it done as a goodbye to 2014, but I didn’t quite make that goal. So, while the release date is up to my publisher and I can’t promise anything, my hope is that Jasmine and crew will be in your hands very soon! Thank you so much for your patience, and I’m so sorry for making you all wait an extra year. I’ve put a lot of HEART into this book, so I hope it’ll be worth the wait for you 🙂

Even though this last year has been hell—I did learn some important things about myself.

1. I need to stop setting all these goals on Jan 1st and stick to one simple thing. One thing I KNOW I can accomplish. This year that one thing is getting up, brushing myself off, and continuing to be a writer. Because, being a writer is, you know, who I am. So, I’m going to write—and, most importantly, I’m going to stop editing myself so much because I no longer have the TIME to do that.

2. To be the writer I want to be, I need to give some things up. So, I’ve decided to take a hiatus from editing and other freelance work. And, you know, Netflix will still be there when I finish my next book.

3. My day job has shown me how much I miss video editing/production, making music, graphic design, photography—and all the things I used to do. Taking a break from writing actually makes me a better, more productive writer. So, I’m going to do my multimedia thing by day, write by night, and go to sleep feeling accomplished (as long as my characters don’t start talking to me—I hate it when they do that)

4. I will always eat too much chocolate. So, I’ll just do a few more jumping jacks.

Happy New Year, all! May you hear from me more often 🙂