The Future of Fantasia Hearth

So I didn’t really mean to take a blogging hiatus at ALL, let alone one that was nearly a year-long. But it happened, and life happens, and so here we are and it’s September 2018.

Really quickly, though – September means HAPPY ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY to The A-Zs of Worldbuilding! And… *drumroll* I’m doing something to celebrate!

The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch by Rebekah Loper

Anyone who signs up for my newsletter in the month of September will get The A-Zs of Worldbuilding ebook for FREE.

Yes, you read that right! So what are you waiting for? Go sign up now!

Current subscribers: if you would like the free ebook as well, just shoot me an email at rebekah(dot)loper(at)gmail and let me know if you’d like .mobi or .epub!

Additionally, I’m putting together a Worldbuilding NaNo Prep Course that will launch on Monday, September 3rd!

You will need to sign up for my newsletter to access the course – just select the box labeled “Worldbuilding NaNo Prep Course”. 😉

I won’t lie, I started putting the course together, erm, yesterday, but partly because I need the impetus to get the worldbuilding for my NaNo story this year started – I’ve got it almost plotted, but yeah… very little worldbuilding.

And on that newsletter note… if you follow my blog, you may want to sign up for my general newsletter. Because off and on this last year while I wasn’t blogging, I realized that I didn’t miss blogging. At all. I used to love it, but algorithms and SEO standards keep changing and it’s just so stressful to even think about anymore, let alone worry about getting traffic TO the blog.

Fantasia Hearth isn’t going AWAY, per se, but… it is changing.

I’ve come to realize that I can either pour my creative energy into a blog, or I can pour it into my stories.

I’m choosing my stories.

Fantasia Hearth is going to change into my central hub – a true website, not a blog. I will post occasional news, etc, but it’s really going to be where everything else I do connects – my books/writing, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

My goal is to send out 1-2 newsletters per month just to connect with you all – I’ll talk about projects I’m working on, both writing and home/garden, and less about everything that feels like it’s going wrong in my life (Honestly, I often feel like my life is just a series of catastrophes).

Hopefully. It’s hard, because I often feel like I owe explanations for why I’ve… disappeared. Or not followed through on a self-imposed deadline. I struggle between the extremes of “no excuses, period!” and “it’s really out of my hands.”

Now that we’ve covered the important things, if you ARE curious about what’s happened this past almost-year, here’s the short version… (Sorry, hang on, it’s still long – a LOT has happened.) If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you’ll probably have heard bits and pieces of this, if not everything.

  • Major, major grieving and depression after the (sudden) loss of Winniford, which I powered through to get The A-Zs of Worldbuilding out. (Which is selling surprisingly well, considering I’ve done very little marketing for it.) The grieving is still not over, honestly, but the depression has finally faded for the most part.
  • Our kitchen ceiling caved in, due to torrential wind and rain that did a number on a portion of the roof. We did repairs ourselves (in the middle of grieving/depression/trying to get the worldbuilding book FINISHED) because it was way cheaper than making an insurance claim.
  • My best friend had (another) baby. I’m now the proud (honorary) aunt of two nephews – one just turned four in late spring, the second is, erm, now turning one.
  • Right at the onset of NaNoWriMo, a very dear friend had a life-and-death scare with an autoimmune condition that put her in the hospital for a week.
  • Then… it was surviving NaNo, and then the holidays, and then recovery time. I honestly don’t remember much of January and February. My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in there somewhere, I think.
  • And then… and then APRIL happened. April’s story really starts almost 3 years ago, though, when my husband was laid off of a job. And then in April he got fired from the job that replaced the laid-off one. And we had a very tight couple of months, when he got another job that was nearly half the pay rate, but he loved the job. AND THEN OUR CAR DIED. And then… then, miraculously – he get a recall for the job he’d been laid off of. And now he’s making more money than the job he was fired from. But man, April and May were CRAZY. I do not recommend going through 3 job changes within 6 weeks. Just don’t do it.
  • I GOT MY OWN PICNIC TABLE. It’s been too hot most of this summer to sit out there and use it much, but I will definitely be putting it to work this fall. Picnic tables are magic for muse.
  • And then… I lost a hen to a couple of overzealous roosters. We bid farewell to the roosters, and while they will be eaten someday, I’ve been informed through the grapevine that they are difficult to kill because they’re TOO NICE and now my former roosters (except Jon Snow, he got to stay by himself) live out on some property and get to free range.
  • A neighbor threatened, to my face, to kill my dog. THAT WAS A FUN DAY LET ME TELL YOU. Apparently said neighbor did not expect me to immediately retaliate with “I am armed, you kill my dog and I will shoot you, stay away from my property” because he left pretty quickly after that. I’m thinking he thought I would be intimidated and scared, and instead he just made me MAD. (Don’t worry, I filed a report with the police, and another neighbor knew where the guy lived, and I’m 99% sure they went and had a talk with him because I haven’t seem him since.)
  • Between all of that, I managed to get a late garden in, and we just harvested the first honeydew melons, and my tomatoes are FINALLY setting fruit, and I have a single acorn squash. Squash is HARD to grow in Oklahoma, y’all. Also, we’re about to be overrun with okra, and considering that my husband is the only one of us two that eats it… well. This is going to be interesting. I’ve also planted a peach tree and blueberry bushes, and it’s already time to start thinking about getting garlic in this fall.
  • And, finally on a good note – WE BOUGHT CARS. Not one, but TWO (thank God), and we got them for a great price, and we were able to get a really good loan. They are both used, though, a 2004 and a 2006, and it’s a five-year loan, so we need them to last at LEAST that long.

So yes, that’s what my life has been like for the past 10ish months. No wonder I’m tired, lol. But, things are looking up, especially on the writing front – I’ve joined a writing accountability group (virtual) and my local writer’s group has been hosting workdays, especially in preparation for NaNoWriMo. It’s a HUGE help! Writers, find yourself a support group (more than one never hurts). It’s invaluable.

What have you been up to? Have you felt the blogging vs. writing frustration too? Does your life ever feel like a series of catastrophes?

5 thoughts on “The Future of Fantasia Hearth

  1. Jean Marie Bauhaus

    *hugs* I know how you feel. It often seems like my life is just moving from one catastrophe to the next, and it’s SO hard to thrive when you’re constantly in survival mode.

    I made a similar decision about my author blog earlier this year and turned it into an author website with a news feed. The change hasn’t really affected my rate of newsletter sign ups one way or the other. I also took an unplanned 9 month hiatus from my personal blog and really didn’t miss it. Last month I got bit by the blogging bug again, though, and wrote a similar recap of my life saying that I was starting that blog back up again — but since I posted that I’ve gone back to feeling ambivalent about blogging. 💁 There’s just so much other writing I have to do.

    I’m still so sorry about Winnie. But I’m glad to hear your book’s doing well. I’ve been kicking around ideas for writing some nonfiction books to help support my fiction, since NF tends to sell better in general. And I’m so excited to see that you’re doing a course! That’s awesome! Praying that it goes well for you.

  2. *hugs* I have, I think, gotten better of the years of not staying in survival mode quite as long. I have a faster recovery time, except for the really major things like grieving.

    Ooooh, glad to know that you’ve had good success with your site switchover! I just hopped over to look at it. Can I ask what theme you’re using? It’s pretty similar to the layout I’ve been wanting to move to, I think.

    I bet you could write some pretty fascinating NF! I’d definitely be interested (whether it’s about writing, horror-ish topics, or devotionals).

  3. You’ve had enough happen to you for three years!

    Why did that man threaten your dog–aside from being insane? People in our neighborhood know us pretty well by now. The only button someone is never allowed to push is threatening my dogs.

    1. I don’t know. He kept approaching my fence, which is almost 20 ft from the street curb. And when he threatened me, he said I needed to “keep your dog in the fence” and I was like “…. My dog is never out of the fence.” To which he responded “Well, you’re gonna have a dead dog soon.” and that’s when I was like EXCUSE GO AWAY BEFORE I SHOOT YOU.

      Even better, the guy may be trying to contact me now on the neighborhood app. I got a message yesterday from someone with the same address saying they needed to talk to me and that was it. :/

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