2016. Oh, all the shitty things I could say about you. I won’t, because thousands have already echoed my thoughts, but I could. Instead, I’ll recap the happy things in my life and ditch my usual snark. You’re welcome.
Early 2016, I had decided to pick up the manuscript entitled The Project that I had ditched for a year. And I rewrote it. And edited it. And sent it to betas. And edited it some more. In between this time, my three year old son turned four, memorized every dinosaur that ever existed, and constantly schooled me on the names of transformers and how gravity really works.
Mid 2016, I colored my hair purple, subbed The Project, and got an acceptance from Evernight Publishing. The Project turned into PRUDE and life, honestly, has not been the same since.
Aside from work, I also spent the summer of 2016 attending a handful of concerts. Now, with anxiety, major sensitivity to, well, everything, and just a general dislike for the basic human population, this was huge for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone, rocked out at places like Warped Tour and my brother’s punk concert, and then decided concerts may not be for me after all. Hey, at least I tried it.
Fall 2016 was full of work in the best way possible. PRUDE hit e-readers in September and around a month later I had completely written, rewritten, edited, and subbed EASY. An acceptance came at the end of October, my cover and edits came later. EASY was chosen as an Editor’s Pick and, a few weeks before that, PRUDE won Best New Adult with Evernight Publishing.
During this time, I got a puppy (a tiny chihuahua named Emma), got to see my son become even smarter and cuter (he takes after me), and my relationship with my main dude became stronger. I made truly amazing new friends, both on and offline, kept contact with some pretty great old ones, and embraced them all.
2016 was shitty for a lot of reasons (I don’t need to remind you about the election, do I?), but it was actually pretty good to me. I’m so thankful for the things my family has, for the opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of. If you would’ve told 2011-high-school-drop-out-16-and-pregnant-me that I’d fulfill my dreams and step out of the shadows of depression, I would’ve laughed. Or cried (I was pretty sensitive back then). But now, even against 2016’s wish of wanting to watch the world burn, I am happy. Genuinely happy. And I’m not just surviving anymore, I’m living.
Happy New Year, everyone. May all your wishes and dreams come true. I hope we make 2017 our bitch.
Jordan S Gray