The Case of the Missing Blogger

The police were stumped. What appeared to be just an average month for Caffeinated Fiction turned out to be an unsolved mystery. *gasp* One day the blog was bopping along perfectly happy, with posts here and there and everywhere, and then bam! Out of the blue the posts just disappeared. Not a clue was left behind with only an occasional blurb over a six week period, which–let’s be honest–really did nothing but raise the hopes of the readers that another blog post just might actually appear. But they didn’t. They were just…gone. Where, you ask? Never fear…Detective Laura L. Zimmerman is on the case and ready to investigate…

Or maybe not.

Clearly there’s no need for investigation since I’m the missing blogger! *peeks from behind a pile of books in the corner with a cringy smile*

Oops. Okay, so in case you missed it, I haven’t been too active on this thing, as of late. And yes, I have been contacted by others to ask where in the world I could’ve gone? Was I abducted by aliens? Lost in the Bermuda Triangle? Joined the Witness Protection Program? Finally put my awesomely amazing ninja skills to the test?

As much as I think that last one would be cool, none of those are the answer to my absence. Actually, I just took a vacation. Back in August. For a week. But as these things happen, that week turned into three. No big deal, I thought. Everyone deserves a vacation. I’ll start blogging again in September. And I did. Once. But as vacations are so very hard to leave, mine was equally just as hard. And before you ask, nope. I have no excuse for being lazy this far into the month. I have a list of things to discuss for my Caffeinated Convo column and can certainly come up with a thing or two to discuss in Caffeinated Speculation. And let’s not even talk about the Friday Flash Fiction–sooo many stories have gone unwritten (yet still bonk around inside my head and not on paper.)

All this to say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve been lazy and absent and confusing. I still want to report what I learned at Realm Makers and I’ve just got stuff to say. I will admit that I’ve made the decision to give myself grace when it comes to the “weekly” columns. Yes, I’d love to get a CC or CS up when I can, but I’ve learned recently that one stressor can sometimes become a block for my writing. I feel too much pressure to get my blog posts done. So from here on out I’m going to write as much as I can, when I can. And hopefully not take another extended vacation for a very long time.

So, there you have it. Apology given and case solved! Having said all that, how have you been? What have I missed over the past 6 weeks? I’d love to hear any news you’d like to share or just hear a shout out from anyone who has ever had a tough time coming off vacation.

Now, go drink some coffee and get on with your day! *imagines fireworks in the sky as she slinks away to write*

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A picture of my cat to make you smile!

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2015 Year in Review – Caffeinated Fiction

Is it my imagination, or did we just celebrate New Years Eve a couple months ago? I feel like I blinked and another year is gone. In reflection of all the changes that have occurred in my life, I thought a Year in Review was in order for the blog! Enjoy!

2015 Year in Review – Caffeinated Fiction

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The Blog – I wrote 54 blogposts this year and had just over 1200 visitors to the site. Not bad for it’s 2nd year in existence!

My Books – I wrote two complete manuscripts this year. One that will likely never see the light of day – that’s ok, because it was my first exercise in learning to be a “Pantser” – and another which I hope to see published in the near future! I also edited a book I had written a few years ago and got good feedback from my beta readers. That book is on the shelf right now, since it needs some major revision before I will pursue publication.

Conferences – This year I attended three different Writers Conferences: Lancaster Christian Writers Super Saturday in April; Greater Philly ‘Write His Answer’ conference in July; and Keystone Writer’s Conference in November. All were integral in changing the way I write and how my perspective has changed regarding my journey (both past and future.) I hope to get a couple more conferences in before we move to Hawaii!

Groups – One thing I gleaned from the LCW conference was the need to really get connected with other writers and organizations. In the spring I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, which put me in touch with 2 separate writing groups that help encourage and keep me accountable – one for writing and one for editing. My writing has drastically changed, thanks to these groups! I’ve continued to attend Lancaster Christian Writers on a regular basis, and I also joined Scribes Oasis – a weekly writing group where we encourage and critique each other’s work. Once a month I try to make it to Re:Create Art Initiative’s writers group, too!

Publishing NewsWhat? Did you read that right? The answer is… well, maybe! After the Philly conference, I realized my passion for writing had nothing to do with whether I ever get published (traditionally) or not. I decided to focus on getting better at my craft and allowing God to do the work. In November I had the opportunity to turn my most recent manuscript over to an agent who in turn asked to ‘meet’ with me to discuss ways I could ‘clean up’ my work. We had a 45-minute conversation and I was extended the opportunity to resubmit my work to see if this agent would like to work with me. So… maybe! I must admit, I’m very excited for this ‘maybe’! And I’m not lying when I say, even if the answer that comes back is a flat ‘no’, I will still be thrilled! I had an agent appreciate my work and tell me I had something to work with, so I couldn’t be more pleased. We shall see what 2016 holds in regards to publishing news! 

Reading – I read 41 books this year, according to Goodreads. Not a lot in comparison to other years, but all I can do right now. I love to read but know it needs to take a back seat if I’m going to focus on my writing now.

The Move – And of course, my family has felt a call to move far, far away. No, not to a another galaxy, although that would be super cool! But to the island of Hawaii. The plan is to leave sometime in the late spring. Hopefully I’ll be blogging the second half of the New Year from the beach!

Overall, I did and I didn’t meet the goals I had set for 2015. They actually changed throughout the year, which made it hard to meet some of them. But what I did accomplish (with God’s help) certainly surpassed my expectations! I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for my family and my writing!

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How about you? How was your year and did you accomplish the goals you had set? I’d love to hear feedback in the comments section!

Happy reading, friends!