The Year In Review

We had an incredible cold spell here last week. The coldest it’s been in sixty years. And it took out my internet. I still had a connection, but almost no sites would load for me. (One of those times when I can be grateful my main email account is still Hotmail, I guess, because it did load.)

I finally got working internet back yesterday and was ridiculously happy. I could watch my streaming channels again! I could drown in Twitter threads. I could check my sales…

Okay, that sales part made me kind of sad. Luckily (?) for me, some of the days I was offline were also shit sales days but I didn’t see them until they turned themselves around.

Overall it’s been an ugly year in that respect. I am mildly comforted by the fact that I don’t appear to be alone in that, but it’s still rough. The kind of rough that makes you question your life choices.

As I said on FB the other day, I am like that person who had the stable marriage and went off and had a torrid affair with an artist and now that the affair didn’t work out can’t go back to the stable marriage. (Not that I want to.)

You’re supposed to make the bad life decisions first and then find stability, not have things be just fine and then walk away because you couldn’t face a lifetime of boredom doing things no one should care about as much as they do.

For the record, I don’t actually regret that choice at all. I am a much happier person now and I think a better person than I was before I walked away from the good career. It was a fool’s game I was never going to win. I don’t think anyone wins it actually, because it’s never enough. It’s like seeking approval from people you don’t know instead of finding self-acceptance. That’s a recipe for never being happy.

Anyway.

After a heart-to-heart with my vet this year I made the decision to stay doing what I’m doing for at least the next six months to a year. I want to be here for my dog until the end and, as bad as my life choices have been, they haven’t been so bad that I can’t make that happen for her.

(Of course, having made that choice she’ll now defy all odds and live to be sixteen, but if that’s what happens, I’ll take it.)

It’s a bit scary, that choice. Knowing you’re on a precarious path that’s not going to get better but still staying on it. That adds a whole level of stress that just taking risks doesn’t. Give me a perfectly good plane to jump out of over this insanity any day of the week.

But thanks to a childhood that sort of trained me out of actually experiencing fear or anxiety (because you just drown if you try to feel those things in real-time when someone you love could die at any time due to their illness), I am fortunately still fully functional in my bad-choice-making existence.

So.

Enough self-pity, especially when it’s all my own fault. It’s December 27th here. Close enough to year-end to look back and see if I accomplished anything.

And…surprisingly given the fire and moving again and how the year felt like being stuck in mud…I did!

I published five new non-fiction titles this year in addition to two collections and two re-releases with better titles. I published a cozy mystery as well as a collection of three cozies. I published a holiday romance short story and a collection of four holiday romance short stories. I published seventeen audio titles (8 short stories, one collection, two novels, and six non-fiction titles). And I also published three video titles.

(See the very end for the list.)

All in all, it was actually a very productive year for me. I’d set out to “close loops” and I did that. The cozy was the last in that series. The AML book was one I’d been meaning to write for a couple of years to accompany the Regulatory Compliance title. The Affinity books closed that series out that I’d started in 2021.

I also tried something new with the audiobooks and found I really enjoyed it. Not just the challenge of learning something new, which I always love (go Learner), but the actual acting part of it, too.

Of course, narrating a novel is a whole level of difficulty above writing one. The words not only have to work but so does the acting and the sound quality. If you have a shaky foundation with what you wrote, then putting it in audio just highlights all of those issues.

But for one of the non-fiction titles doing audio brought in more listeners than that book had had readers. (Something that was also true with the very first audiobook I ever released almost seven years ago now. That one I did not narrate, I hired someone.)

As in most years, I didn’t get everything I wanted done this year.

I still want to write another fantasy novel, but it just didn’t happen. The fire derailed me and I retreated to what’s safe for me, non-fiction.

Also, I have been working on some other non-fiction that will publish in January that I’d wanted to publish in November. But that got derailed by the new laptop I bought that turned out to be a time-wasting piece of you-know-what.

Of course, that project opened a new loop as did starting to narrate the cozies in audio. If I carry through with both of those that means seven more cozies in audio, two short stories in audio, and another six titles to write and five collections to publish.

My mind being what it is, I’ll close them next year. And then maybe that fantasy novel? Haha. Sigh.

I’d like to say I think 2023 is going to be a better year than 2022, but…hm. I am one of those people who believes that bad luck comes in threes and I think at least one domino will fall next year causing the beginning of a chain of unfortunate events.

Then again, I’m pretty sure I thought that in 2021 and then it didn’t happen. So I carry on and when things go to shit, I’ll adapt.

Anyway. I hope you each accomplished something you wanted in 2022 and that you have an even better 2023.

Non-Fiction Book Releases

Affinity Publisher for Ad Creatives

Affinity Publisher for Basic Book Covers

Affinity Publisher for Non-Fiction

Affinity Publisher for Ads and Covers (collection)

Affinity Publisher for Book Formatting (collection)

Sell That Book (re-titled re-release)

How To Gather and Use Data for Business Analysis (re-titled release)

Undisclosed Pen Name Title

AML Compliance Fundamentals

Fiction Book Releases

A Puzzling Pooch and Pumpkin Puffs

Maggie May and Miss Fancypants Mysteries Books 7 to 9

Holiday romance short story

Holiday romance short story collection

Non-Fiction Video Releases

Affinity Publisher for Ad Creatives

Affinity Publisher for Basic Book Covers

Affinity Publisher for Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction Audio Releases

Regulatory Compliance Fundamentals

How to Gather and Use Data for Business Analysis

Sell That Book

Secret Pen Name Project

AML Compliance Fundamentals

Data Analysis for Self-Publishers

Fiction Audio Releases

4 Holiday Romance Short Stories & Collection

4 Spec Fic Short Stories

2 Cozy Mysteries

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is a former securities regulator, registered stockbroker (although only briefly), and consultant on regulatory and risk-related matters for large financial institutions with expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering regulation, mutual funds, and credit rating agencies. Since 2013 M.L. has also been a published author under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at] gmail.com.

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