Nutcrackers1-2x3ACSToday equals Winter Solstice, three days until Christmas, 10 days until the end of the year. As I look back at 2012, I am amazed and excited to report that my two-year-old self-employment experimentation has done so well.

I have created not one but two websites (http://alyciachristine.artistwebsites.com for photography, www.alyciachristines.com for my main site) and am learning how to market those sites through bi-monthly blogs, Facebook, and Twitter messages. I have set up the websites to allow customers all across the world to order prints of my photography and artwork on a variety of merchandise through partnerships with Fine Art America and Zazzle. To date, I have over 300 photos on my http://alyciachristine.artistwebsites.com site and over 100 different products ready to customize with any of 15 graphic designs in my http://www.zazzle.com/alyciachristine store.

In June, I published a photography devotional e-book called First Fruits: 31 Flashes of Biblical Perspective. I wrote First Fruits as a month-long daily devotional to help new Christians and non-Christians understand the meaning of the Fruits of the Spirit discussed in Galatians 5. I am very thankful that the book has been so well received by its niche audience.

The month of November saw my second ever participation in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words on a single fiction novel in 30 days. I managed a little over 35,000 words on the rough draft to Dreamdrifter. I am extremely happy that I took my time during this NaNoWriMo because the prose is much cleaner and the plot structure is far stronger than the writing from previous NaNo attempts. In any event, Dreamdrifter currently stands as the 85,000 word (310 pages) sequel to Skinshifter, the fantasy fiction book that I wrote between the years of 2006 and 2008 (see my SpecFic page for full details). With the help of my genius head reader Sam and the entourage of beta-readers, I finished the final draft of Skinshifter late last year. I have been shopping it around to various publishing houses in 2012. So far several publishers have found the manuscript well-written and interesting, but not the right fit for their company. Right now, the manuscript is under scrutiny by the fine folks at Harper Voyager, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

December finds me finishing Chapter 16 of Dreamdrifter, writing the outline for a second photography devotional tentatively titled The Point of Prayer, doing a public reading of my newest short story “The Twelfth Christmas Eve”, preparing for the 3000 Weeks joint-exhibition in Austin, Texas, with Robert Stikmanz and over 40 other creative minds (See http://www.confabule.com/information for details), and continuing work on a TOP SECRET special gift for all of my wonderful supporters (more details to be announced soon).

Incidentally, expect my Facebook and Twitter presence to be fairly quiet until after the New Year as I enjoy the company of family and friends over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays (and paint a bathroom in between visits). With this in mind, I must now flit away to start my cleaning.

Until we meet again, I wish all of you a joyful Christmas and a beautiful New Year! And of course, may your ink blots be liberal and your tea stains tiny this holiday season!

[~]D Alycia