Happy New Year and Hello 2021!

Friday, January 1, 2021 No comments

Happy New Year, lovelies! It's 2021!

With how chaotic and terrible 2020 was, I'm glad to have that year behind me. While I know 2021 isn't going to be perfect given everything currently happening, I still have the hope that things will get better. We'll make progress toward eradicating coronavirus and we'll heal as a society.

This year, I want to take steps toward more of my personal and professional goals. I tend to reach too high and become upset when I can't achieve what I planned on doing every year. This time I'm going to be reasonable with myself. My surgery may be over and I may be recovering on schedule, but I still have to pace myself.

Near the beginning of December, one of my recent story ideas popped back into my mind and I decided that maybe I should go with it. The story doesn't need a whole lot of research, planning, storyboarding, or mapping. It's a simple steamy forbidden romance standalone novel. I came up with character names and outlined (most of) it, so I'm hoping to make that my first book of 2021.

Other than that book, I have a few other ideas in the works. I don't want to go into too many details as these books are in the very beginning stages and may not be ready to write this year, but I will hopefully have more information to share about these upcoming projects soon.

Ultimately, I just want to take my time and write what I can when I can with no pressure to meet any major deadlines. My goal is to publish at least 3 books, but maybe more depending on how things go. Wish me luck!

I promise to keep you all updated with the latest news whenever it's available! Take care!

2020 Recap for Lilly Avalon

Thursday, December 31, 2020 1 comment

This year has been a year full of ups and downs. The pandemic put us all through a range of emotions and fears. Life was different and we all had to make adjustments. We've had blessings and losses. My husband's job has had down days and weeks, which meant going through the ridiculously long and painful trouble of filing for temporary unemployment to make ends meet. I had an emergency visit to the hospital where it was discovered that I had an ovarian cyst that I had to get removed just this month. On the other hand, my husband and I found success in our eBay business, which meant we were able to stay afloat and start paying down some debts.

Despite it being such a rollercoaster, I was still able to do a lot more than I thought was possible, especially when it came to making progress with regard to writing and publishing.

After nearly a year hiatus, I began writing a new series in November of 2019. I finished writing the first drafts of the novellas in early 2020, then began working on revisions right away. The first book, Desiring the Dancer, released on August 31st 2020. It had been a year and a half since I published a new book, so it was such a good feeling. Enticing the Escort and Seducing the Star shortly followed (on September 14th and 28th respectively).

Writing these books has been such a boost when it comes to believing in myself and my writing. For a long time, I doubted my ability to write a decent story. There were a number of starts and stops along the way, not to mention really (and I mean REALLY) crappy first chapters of stories I never ended up finishing. On my bad days, I told myself I should probably quit and focus on something I'm actually good at. Then on my good days, I reminded myself that I needed time to find my voice again.

The good days were what allowed me to achieve what I did this year.

Even though I haven't been able to start a new story since publishing the novella series, I haven't given up on myself. There have been some speedbumps and some learning about what sort of stories I have the most passion for, but I'm continuing to make progress. It may be slower than I wanted it to be, but that's okay. Good things take time. Good stories sometimes need time to become what they need to be and I'm happy to wait a little bit longer to find out what it is.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and for reading my words. You have no idea how much it means to me that my stories have brought smiles to the faces of my readers and fans. You're amazing and I hope that 2021 will bring you the blessings you deserve.

Lilly Avalon Monthly Writing Update #8 for December 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020 No comments

Every month I share an update about what I'm writing in my Monthly Writing Update!
Here's the latest for the month of December.

If you look at my November update, my main goal for the month was to recover from my surgery and outline some books.

Have I accomplished this?

My surgery happened on December 15th, went very well, and I've been recovering nicely. The first few days were difficult because it was hard to lift myself up from lying down. My husband had to assist me a couple times. Naps have been my best friend. I've slowly been doing a little more every day, but making sure to pace myself so that I don't overdo anything and cause myself any pain.

When it comes to outlining, I did do a little bit of outlining for a new project. Not a lot, mind you, given the fact that I had a lot to do before surgery and then not being able to do much post-surgery. However, I still feel like I've been making some progress despite having all these roadblocks and obstacles in the way.

Am I on track?

I still have plenty more to outline in this new story, but given the circumstances, I feel like I've been doing fairly well. Could I have outlined more? Of course. Does it bother me that I didn't? Not really. It was a rough month of various challenges and I feel like I did what I could and I don't want to give myself any grief for not doing more. Progress is progress, and I'm happy with where I'm currently at.

Goals for January

In the midst of surgery recovery, I was thinking about the goals I want to set for the new year. I began writing up an extensive list of things to accomplish. This was a larger than life and basically impossible type of list, lol, but I mostly wanted to get all the potential plans written down, even if I wouldn't be remotely able to handle all of them. Sometimes it's good to just brain dump everything you're thinking about.

As far as what I'd like to do specifically for January, I want to finish outlining my next book and begin writing it. I'm still recovering from the surgery, so I'm unsure how things will be next month just yet. Tomorrow marks two weeks since the surgery and I have a follow-up appointment next week with my surgeon. Who knows? Maybe I'll be feeling extremely well by January and able to do ten times as much as I can do right now. Let's hope that my recovery continues to improve every day so I can reach that point again.

Love you all lots and I wish you a happy and safe new year!

Lilly Avalon Monthly Writing Update #7 for November 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020 No comments

Every month I share an update about what I'm writing in my Monthly Writing Update!
Here's the latest for the month of November.

If you look at my October update, my main goal for the month was to participate in a half-NaNoWriMo by aiming for 25,000 words.

Have I accomplished this?

Unfortunately, no. And surprisingly it wasn't me sabotaging myself or losing motivation or inspiration.

On November 3rd, I found myself throwing up and feeling a sharp pain in my lower abdomen. My husband took me to the hospital and I found out that I had an inflamed bowel and an ovarian cyst. The former was treatable with antibiotics, and the latter will require surgery. For about a week after returning home from the hospital, I wasn't able to do much without aggravating the pain in my abdomen from the cyst. Even though I can do more now (most days), I'm still trying to pace myself so that I don't overdo it in any way and cause myself to go back to the hospital.

As of right now, I should be hearing from the surgery scheduler this week. My doctor told me that I should get the cyst removed by the end of the year, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get an appointment soon. My husband will have to take time off work to take me there and take care of me after. I've heard varying stories on recovery times, from a few days to a few weeks. I'm hoping I can be back on my feet as quickly as possible.

Am I on track?

I did manage to get 1453 words in before everything happened. After I was home and attempting to do work on the computer, I realized that I needed to take a step back from writing until I was more able to focus on it. Instead, I've been working ahead on my online businesses so that I can have as much done as possible before I get the surgery. I've also been getting all my Christmas shopping done early so that everything is ready to mail or drop off at houses.

Goals for December

My surgery is likely to be in December and that means most of the month is shot as far as writing goes. However, I did take a moment recently to plan out what I'd like to publish in 2021. It's a makeshift schedule, which I'll likely have to change around depending on how things go in the near future, but it felt good to make plans.

I would like to, at the very least, spend some time in early December writing outlines for 2021 books. I've changed my mind (yet again) about which book is next. But that's okay! I have ideas upon ideas, and sometimes certain ones take longer to fully form into complete stories.

If you could keep me in your thoughts and your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it. This has been a bit of a wrench in our life, but my husband and I are hanging in there and staying positive.

In the meantime, please stay safe out there! Take care and I love you all! 

Lilly Avalon Monthly Writing Update #6 for October 2020

Friday, October 30, 2020 No comments

Every month I share an update about what I'm writing in my Monthly Writing Update!
Here's the latest for the month of October.

If you look at my September update, my main goals for this month were to decide on which book to write next and get started on writing the book.

Have I accomplished this?

Sort of? I debated on which book to write next for most of the month, but then had an epiphany about which one it should be. For the last couple of months, I've been forcing myself to write stories I wasn't passionate about. They weren't bad stories... just weren't stories I needed to tell at this time. Stories that needed work. Stories that needed to be fleshed out more.

This new story is going to be a big task because it's much different than my usual stories. It will be packed with emotion, hard doses of reality, and will more than likely make me cry. It's still a romance, but will have a lot centered on my main character and how she discovers her true self outside of what society told her she needed to be.

Am I on track?

Years ago, I started to write an outline for this story. It was a really simple one, with only a few sentences per chapter. I pulled that back up and began tweaking it more to detail each scene, as well as coming up with all the characters I knew existed in this world. I created character profiles and setting profiles, and will be writing them down on index cards to have handy. I even created a secret Pinterest board (which I'll be sharing someday, of course) for inspiration.

After reading 2000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron, I know I can get back to writing on a regular basis and increase my daily word counts if I outline well enough. I'm hoping I've been able to outline this new story enough to start putting what I read into practice.

Goals for November

To start this new story! November is NaNoWriMo, so I'm planning on making the most of it by cheering others on and taking in all the daily motivation from my fellow writers. I may not get 50,000 words (spoiler alert, there's a 99.99% chance I will not), but if I can at least get some words that would make me happy. I would like to aim for a "Half-NaNo" with 25,000 words, but we'll see if I can manage it.

In the meantime, please stay safe out there! Take care and I love you all!