I’ve never been one to make—okay, fine, keep—new year’s resolutions. I’ve made goals and set deadlines, sure, but year-long ones? What am I supposed to do when I get distracted by something shiny, as is my nature?
This was such a problem that my mother called me “magpie” when I was a little girl. That, and I used to walk around Macy’s picking up the straight pins that fell from the mannequins. (I wanted to be a fashion designer, so I collected them. I’m in a slightly different field nowadays, as you can see.) The nickname still applies today—I love to hop from one project to the next, and I love the excitement of diving into something new.
The secret to success is consistency, I’m told. And there is so much truth to that! There is no better way to improve at something than to do it over and over. Practice makes perfect, right?
Of course, there is also no better way to assure I’ll be bored.
My word of the year addresses this. It’s not about abandoning a project on a whim, or even “going with the flow” without any sort of plan. (I mean, this is me we’re talking about. I don’t not-plan. Usually.)
My word of the year is flow.
In its noun form, it’s the action or fact of moving in a continuous stream. That’s exactly what I hope to do in 2021. If I can move continuously, flowing through one project and then flowing right into my next, I can ride the waves knowing I am progressing steadily towards my goals. Everything will come in its time. I’ll get to it all without stressing.
Easier said than done, of course. Isn’t everything?
If I were to pick a secondary word of the year—not a runner-up so much as a co-winner—it would be habits. Or maybe it would be systems. Yeah, that’s the one. Developing both systems and habits will be key. I have a few already: I’ve been writing every day in my bullet journal since January 4th, and I visit Disney Springs every morning before my day job starts to write and work. But both of those could be refined, and I’m sure there are more I’ll implement.
Systems and finding a flow are what author Rachael Stephen talks about in a video I’m obsessed with. (I’m obsessed with everything she does, but that’s a discussion for another time.) She talks about flow as a state you can find yourself in when you’re so absorbed in what you’re doing, you don’t have to think about it. You fall into a rhythm. You’re on autopilot and relying on muscle memory, or your subconscious, and not distracted.
I want to be on autopilot. Not brain-dead, but present in the moment and flowing through the moment. I’ve been there before, and I want to return again and again.
But anyway, you’re here to learn about what I’m releasing in 2021, aren’t you? Let’s get to the good stuff.
Megan Fuentes’s 2021 Flow
I am currently hard at work on a secret collaboration I can’t wait to talk about! But we promised we’ll reveal all as a group, so mum’s the word on that. Suffice to say, I’m very excited about it, and I think you will be, too! The fruits of these labors will be available come summer.
Hey, remember Earhart & Noonan’s Last Grand Adventure? No? Well, it’s the Big One, the novel I hope to publish through a traditional publisher. I’ve been intimidated by it because I’ve long believed that the book is smarter than me. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But this is the quarter that I finish the remaining edits. I told myself last year I wanted to get a literary agent, and now I’m telling you this year that I will get an agent. Or at least try my damnedest.
My next World’s Fair novella, In Charleston With You, will be published at the end of April. I’ll likely spend this entire quarter feverishly writing the whole thing, as I am prone to procrastination (though I’m hoping this whole flow thing will help with that).
What I’m about to say may sound naïve to some, but I intend to go to a conference—Orlando Reads Books—in August provided that it is safe to do so. At the conference, I want to be able to have the book after In Charleston With You ready to go.
Pssst! If you want to know which World’s Fair comes after Charleston, there’s a reader treat that will reveal all.
Do I dare reveal what I want to tell you now?
I’ve been debating it for weeks. It’s part of the reason why this blog post is so late. I have had a hell of a time trying to decide whether or not to pursue this project. It’s not a romance. It is historical, but it’s the latter half of the twentieth century. It’s so much more fun, and not as literary as you’re used to reading from me.
Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. I want to write a historical, witchy cozy mystery series. Nearly anyone I ask will tell me it’s not a good idea to start this now because I’m not done with my first set of World’s Fair romances. But to hell with it. I want to work on—and potentially publish—at least the first book in that new series.
Emma Fontaine’s 2021 Flow
Though neither will publish for months, I am working on two sequel stories to Sense & Sensitivity. The first to be published will be about Adeline and Quilo’s experience at Once Upon Academy’s Winter Ball, and the second will be a story that explores Quilo’s perception of himself and his place in the world.
I’ve also been working on getting paperbacks up of Sense & Sensitivity and The Price of Magic (which will have “Blood—Not Rose” and its new, pretty cover on the reverse side), so be on the lookout for those.
My stretch goal for the spring is to write the fairy tale retelling Emma’s newsletter subscribers voted to see next: Adeline’s birth parents’ love story.
This will be such a satisfying project to complete. I first dreamed up a retelling of “The Princess & the Pea” when I was in grade school, and now I’ll finally get a chance to see it published. I am in love with the cover, in love with the concept, and very much in love with the real start of my series of fairy tale retellings taking place on the continent of Winnedor.
As I mentioned above, Orlando Reads Books is in August, and I’ll attend as both Megan and Emma. I will undoubtedly have my hands full. It’s August or bust for the release of the retelling I mentioned above, really, so I won’t commit to another Emma Fontaine publication.
Autumn contains my birthday and the start of the holiday season, and that’s going to keep me plenty busy already, never mind what I want to do for the Megan Fuentes side of things!
I want to use this time of the year to rest and plan ahead. 2022 will be absolutely amazing if I manage to do exactly what I’ve done here, except earlier than mid-January. Ideally, I’ll know how 2022 will play out by the start of the winter. I’ll keep my fingers crossed—hope you will, too!
It’s my hope that revealing all this to you will reduce the number of decisions I have to make in 2021, facilitating flow.
This will also help me commit! And it will remind me that I need not add in every project idea that captures my imagination as soon as I dream it up.
But you know what I’m really, secretly hoping for in my heart of hearts? That I’ll fly through all these plans with time to spare. I want to blow my own expectations out of the water and deliver more stories in a year than I would have dreamed possible from me. And I want to write my way out of a day job!
Wish me luck!