It’s that time of the year again – although we are a tiny bit late – when we sit down and set goals for the year ahead of us. These past two years showed us that life is about as unpredictable as they come, and planning ahead requires some flexibility. We can only hope this year will be kinder to us all and we can achieve what we aim for. Only time will tell whether we make it or not, but we can definitely try! And so, we are here to tell you what we plan for 2022 blogging, reading, and life-wise. Come and get excited with us and tell us what you are looking for the most this year!
Ah, shit, here we go again.
It’s February already (wtf) and the Asylum staff is looking forward towards our reading goals, trying not to cry or well, already crying, but if you do it in a circle it’s not sad, it’s support and it’s beautiful.
Last year, stress and grief mingled to cause me serious burnout. It was a really rough year with an unfortunate outcome: I ended up letting go of my solo blog, Wyrm’s Worlds, my labor of love and joy.
Yet, it also brought about great changes. I started blogging alongside Paul, whose writing and imagination I’d admired for a while, and ultimately joined the Asylum as a full-time demon-wrangler. Now I get to blog with three awesome people.
In 2021 (yes, I needed to be specific to remind y’all what year it is), I tweeted about my reading goals for the long term:
As you can see, some are pretty achievable while others are very far-fetched, which describes me pretty well as a person. Thanks to Paul, I actually got that Goldsboro special edition, of one my favorite books no less, so maybe sometimes far-fetched is just a friend away. That’s a nice thought for your reading pleasure.
Some of those goals were scratched off because I was insane thinking I could read a 5+ book series and I’m not seeing that happen this year either. This year, I’m sticking to slightly hopeful yet achievable:
But I have more on my plate. I still haven’t caught up with a lot of reviews I own authors and publishers so that’s my primary goal for 2022. Over the course of the next few months, you’ll be reading my thoughts on a great selection of indie/self-published books, as I defeat that review backlog.
Another of my goals is to hold back severely with my digital arc requests, as reading on my Kindle has been very draining lately. I need a break from the screen, which probably means I’ll be reading a lot less this year but will also give me the chance to catch up and support some of my favorite authors with some physical book purchases.
Last year, I also got my first ever surprise bookmail. To this day, I’m still not sure where it came from (that was fun!) but the book was none other than The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng! So, I hope to pick up the Bitch Queen series this year, once I can get my hands on the first two books.
Overall, I’m not committing to any fancy goals, motivated to take it easier this year to avoid drying up all my creative juices with depression. I do want to continue challenging my relationship with reading and be more involved in the community.
With that in mind, I’m already planning something special for my favorite month of the year, SciFi Month! It’ll be a personal goal of mine, something I’ve wanted to explore and talk about since joining the online book community and realizing how small my SFF scope was.
I also joined SPSFC in an effort to keep championing the great works of self-publishing, and am once again a reviewer for the great, chaotic, grandiose (too much?) Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards. Plus, I’m doing the #12Challenge, because I think it’s fun to read books people are into.
Once again, my goal is to widen that scope each year and ultimately become an all-powerful celestial being capable of destroying every tbr with a single thought.
It’s time again for our looking ahead post which just blows me away that I am once again writing one of these things. Where did the year go?
Last year – I didn’t have many goals other than catching up on books that I have won over the past few years. This goal had mixed results and while I did get caught up on a few, it wasn’t as many as I would have liked. It was a start though, and I will continue with that goal and work through them this year as well.
Returning for SPFBO – again I would love to stay involved. It’s a project that I quite enjoy and believe in, and as long as I can find time for it, or a team will have me, I hope to continue doing so.
Reading time might be more of an issue for me this year. It was tough last year, mentally, because of lots of stuff going on with our aging parents and my husband’s job which was looking for a while there like he wasn’t going to have much longer.
Thankfully the job stuff resolved itself but the parent situation is almost as equally better, as it is worse. On my mom’s side – my mom’s memory continues to spiral down and her stubbornness has kicked into overdrive, while the parent drama on his side, has been solved, somewhat, by having them come to live here in the spring until we can get them set-up in a place out here with us. (Wow! I am a great wife, aren’t I? haha! )
So, I may be finding time of short supply having two extra people in the house full time or I may (very likely) need lots of escape time reading just to keep my sanity intact. (Nothing against his parents, I love them but I’m a loner ok, I’m not used to people full time.)
I have a few backed-up requests to get to and will probably not take on very many more until I see how things are going. Unless I am currently already reading an ongoing series of yours, or already have a reviewer kind of relationship with you currently, the rest will be on an if I am interested and if I can squeeze it in kind of basis.
I haven’t really kept up with the upcoming releases outside of a few series that I have been reading that I know are coming and have been looking forward to.
Of course, the biggest one is Mike Shackle’s upcoming Until the Last, the third and final book of The Last War series! I can’t wait to see how he ties this up – I have a few ideas on where I think he might take a couple of characters. I’m also hoping he pulls a Hail Mary for a couple of others, that aren’t looking too safe. It’s pretty cool to find a series I am this excited about and I will be a little sad to say goodbye to this one.
Not sure if they’re coming this year – but MD Presley, and Jon Hollins, both, I have heard have been working on stuff and I am more than ready for them!
June Hur’s The Red Palace is out this month. Usually, I don’t really do historical period novels but this one caught my attention after I had read and enjoyed a previous book of hers called The Silence of the Bones. This one also takes place in a Joseon Korea and looks like it may have a bit of romance tied-up with a murder mystery (which let me be honest here, a romance/crime novel is one of the few things that will get me interested in a historical setting anything).
Also, Damien Shillingford an author whose work I was introduced to through SPFBO, has a novella coming out this month. It’s a tie-in prequel story to one of his characters from I Am King; being a novella should allow me to squeeze that in somewhere fairly quickly once it’s released.
That’s just a few off the top of my head. I am sure there will be more that are released through the year that will grab my attention or that I have forgotten about. I am excited to see what 2022 brings us reading-wise!
Cheers to another reading year and hopes for many wonderful books in our future!
In all honesty, I don’t have a great many plans for 2022; I’m very much a ‘go with the flow’ and ‘play it by ear’ kind of guy, something I’m sure Timy will have words with me about that in the future.
2021 was an odd kind of year for me given that I ditched my blog, disappeared for a few months, then returned but did very little. So, 2022 will probably be a do-over kind of year in which I start again and try to be the blogger/reviewer I wanted to be back at the beginning, re-engage and re-connect.
Working with Timy, Arina, and Jen is something I’m really looking forward to doing. They’re all incredibly creative and talented people, so hopefully, I don’t let the team down, and I know that I’m going to learn an awful lot.
In terms of books, I’m a little off the boil and so haven’t got an extensive ‘2022: Most Anticipated List’.
The two traditionally published books I was most looking forward to are Age of Ash and The Justice of Kings. While I haven’t yet read either, I do have the Goldsboro editions on my shelf, so they’ll be getting read soon, probably, hopefully. The complete Last Kingdom series in hardback was a recent acquisition, and I’d love to destroy that this year.
As most people know, I’m a massive self-pub/indie Stan, so I have a substantial list of authors/books I want to read there, The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies, everything by Angela Boord, and every single one of the SPFBO finalist. It sounds so generic but so many great self-published books are released every day, there might be a hundred on the horizon but there are ten thousand behind you. While I’m predominantly a fantasy and sci-fi reader I really like the thought of introducing some horror and weird-fiction into my literary diet this year.
Outside of reading, I’m hopeful 2022 is finally the year that I put some time aside to actually write. It’s a constant goal, one I mention time and time again, yet ultimately just ignore. Winning one of Apex Magazine’s flash fiction competitions was somewhat of a kick in the butt though I haven’t put pen to paper since.
So 2022 is going to be a year of positivity. New challenges, new friends, new adventures, many books!
Plans? What plans? 2021 was not better – it was actually worse – than 2020, so… naturally, I failed at most of my plans. As Storytellers on Tour grew, the blog took a backseat, so one of my goals for 2022 is to get it back on track. Especially as we closed down Storytellers on Tour so once again I can focus my (almost) full attention on Queen’s Book Asylum. Some of that extra attention is already apparent with having Arina on board full time and Paul joining us as well.
2021 brought a lot of struggles health and otherwise. My reading really slowed down as I can hardly focus on it anymore, so I’m only reading when I feel like it, and I rarely do these days. Looks like my burnout is worse than I thought. Well, that, and my eyes are also part of the problem. And depression. Thank fuck for audiobooks, though. Sadly, I don’t have that much time for them anymore either *sigh*. I’m definitely working on finding a time schedule that allows me to balance everything better and also manage to keep my health up. I think the pandemic hit me harder than I realized because the only things that kept me going in the past couple of years (before Covid-times) were trips to meet my friends (I have no local friends and I’m not particularly close to my family either), and concerts. Both were in a pretty low supply these past 2 years. And that’s why I’ll do absolutely everything to go to BristolCon later this year.
After closing Storytellers on Tour in December, I started working full-time again. I quit my work back in June as I just had enough and needed to leave. Naively, I thought it would be easy to find a new job. Admittedly, I didn’t try all that hard, especially in the summer, but still. Out of 2 job opportunities I had for sure, both fell through for different reasons. One of the places offered a different post, but after working there for a week as a trial in November, I literally ran away. I never felt so bad at a workplace before, few as I had. As for the other job, well, I eventually scored the same spot at a different place which turned out to be much better for me. But if I think about what went down, my blood still boils. Well, their loss.
2021 came and went, and I, for one, am happy to see its back. This year I’ll try to focus on myself a bit more and not take up too much. Although, I probably will have to think of something to earn a bit of pocket money to save for a UK trip in the fall. I know I still owe a few people reviews, and I’m super sorry I still didn’t deliver, but… it’s not very likely I will. I need to find the joy of reading again, so I only pick up books I fancy, and even then I try not to pick too much Fantasy, especially not epic if I can help it. I’m so sorry about this, I swear it’s nothing personal.
Books I’m looking forward to
I honestly didn’t look too far into the future regarding books, but I’m sure excited about a couple of upcoming ones! First of all, there is Priest of Crowns, the last book in Peter McLean‘s War for the Rose Throne series. I can’t wait to find out how this story ends. But I could say the same about Until the Last, the third book in Mike Shackle‘s The Last War trilogy, and We Dream of Gods, the fourth book in Devin Madson‘s The Reborn Empire series. Looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to a lot of worlds and characters this year which is always sad.
I also need to mention Incy Wincy, the second book in RJ Dark‘s Mal & Jackie series and Godless by Graham Austin-King, although I’m not quite sure whether he plans to publish it this year or not. I’m also hoping for a new Anela Deen book, as well as a new RJ Barker and Craig Schaefer one. Hey, a girl can dream, okay? I think Craig plans to release the 10th book in his Daniel Faust series to which I still need to catch up to (working on it!), and maybe something else too on the side. Whatever he has coming, I’ll be getting it for sure!
If this post were written in January, then I would also be super interested in The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan, but as it happens, it was released on February 15th and I’m currently reading it. And absolutely love it. It’s a bit of a cheat, but it’s my blog, my rules, ha!
I will also try to catch up a bit on my backlog and clean out my TBR a bit. Good luck to me, I guess.
The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge
The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge is back! I really enjoyed this last year, so I decided to give it another go. I have a new set of cool prompts and every two weeks I take a closer look at them in my new feature, Listen & Read. So if you ever need some recommendations for any of the prompts, that’s the way to go!
Blogging and Other Plans
I don’t have any particular plans for the blog at this time. Although, I’d like to write some more conversational posts and I have a couple of ideas for features, but nothing is set in stone. I’m contemplating giving the blog a bit of a facelift too, but it’s not really at the top of the list at the moment. I, however, would like to grow my little Discord community, so if you ever feel like joining, the door is open to you!
On a personal level, looks like 2022 will be another difficult year. Not necessarily for me per se, but for my family. So right now the only things I can look forward to is the new Downton Abbey film in April, one of my favorite bands, Poets of the Fall coming back to Budapest in October, and BristolCon, also in October. Why the hell is it only February? Thankfully, my favorite Hungarian band will have a show or two over the spring and summer in the city, so I’ll be fine.
Okay, I think I babbled enough and this post got long enough as it is. I only hope you’ll stay with us this year and that we can either meet or connect more online! That’s definitely something I need to work on… Anyway. Here is to 2022!
What do your plan for 2022? Share them with us!