What’s next?

I find myself asking that a lot. I guess when you approach life like a giant to-do list that happens. As soon as I finish a task, I look to what’s next on the list. Sometimes that’s a fun thing. On my to-do list for Wednesday is a date with my husband. We are  finally going to see the not-so-new Star Trek movie. Later tonight, on my to-do list, is sitting on the couch and watching the Food Network with my husband.  And from time to time, I have been known the throw the list on my desk and say, let’s go do something fun.

But usually, even if it’s only mental, I have a next thing on my list.

Well, I just finished the last big round of edits on the entire Triune Stones series. Yes, you heard that right. I finished on time and with most of my sanity intact! That’s a minor miracle right there. There were times I almost threw in the towel. Almost… and that’s what counts. But it’s done. Or rather the hard work is done.

I am not under contract to anyone. That hasn’t happened in several years. I have several partially completed projects but nothing ready to submit.

But that begs the question: What’s next?

I’m finding the need to really consider this. It’s no secret that I have seven kids. That tends to keep me busy on slow days. I haven’t been quiet about the difficulties I’ve had getting my almost 15 month old to take more than a 20 min nap or sleep longer than a 2 hour  stretch at night.

Um, I thought I would help you with lunch, mom.

Um, I thought I would help you with lunch, mom.

I’m also a hand-on parent and one of those wives who loves to get up early and make her husband breakfast and yes, I have dinner on the table at six almost every day. Some days, during extreme edits, I forget vegetables but my kids are troupers and have never once complained.

But at times the ends of the candle burn pretty close together.

I’m not willing to give up my career—Instead I gave up my dream of a guest-ready house—but I recognize I need to concentrate my efforts. I also have to admit I am only a book a year kind of girl. If that. And for now.

Let’s be honest. The sales for the Triune Stones…not what I hoped. Of course promo for the last book fell by the wayside with the guest-ready house. But I promo’d the first and it isn’t doing much better. I love my publisher. But it is best known for romance. My books are not romance… and that’s when it hit me.

I started out as a romance writer. My contacts, my CPs, everything was geared to romance. And then I started writing fantasy.

Why? I don’t know. That’s what the voices told me to write.

Seriously, it’s the genre of my heart. The first book can kinda be called fantasy with romantic elements, but the last four are straight up epic fantasy. You can find romance if you look hard for it… in three out of four of the books, but… yeah.

When I look at the tales I still have to tell…yup, urban fantasy, fantasy, mythical fantasy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love romance. I can never get enough romance, but I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, currently, I am not a romance writer.

So what’s next?

I think I’ve determined which story I’m going to finish.  And then I’m finding a fantasy agent. Or rather an agent that represents fantasy. Maybe both. I need someone to help me direct my career so I don’t extend my energy spinning my wheels.

Because spinning wheels might be interesting from time to time, but it’s no way to live.

Have you made any hard decisions recently? Redirected your energies?