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Danielle Miceli

🍉 June 30th, 2020 🍉


What’s New?

First and foremost, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY--yes, all of us--because without you, this newsletter would have died a long time ago. Instead, we're celebrating its 2-year anniversary! 🎉 And an extra special thank you if you happen to be one of the rare few people who signed up that first June (hi, mom!), and are still opening these letters. I can’t believe I’ve been writing them for so long, or that people continue to read them. So whether you're new to these intimate sneak peeks into my author journey, or a veteran of this crazy place, welcome and THANK YOU. 💖
  1. I Guess I’m 30 Now!: Those of you who have been here a while may remember I make a big deal out of time milestones. I get super emotional at the end of each year, so ending the decade had me feeling some type of way(s). Then, June brought about the end of a personal decade--my 20s. Just like that, I’m no longer a 20-something. It’s going to take time for that new reality to sink in.

    Of course, nothing really feels different. And yet, I’m hyper-aware of the shift. But regardless of everything I did or didn’t do before this point, everything I was and wasn’t--I’m proud of the person I am today, and hopeful that the strength I fought tirelessly to discover in my 20s will get the chance to truly flourish in this next arc of my life.

    There are many things I hope to achieve in this next decade, but I already know what one of them will be: I will become a published author in my 30s. No more looking back and thinking, “almost there,” or, “maybe next time.” This decade. These are the years when I’ll achieve the writing dream I’ve fostered since I was 9 years old. And the truth of that statement is enough to eclipse any lingering dread with a towering wave of certainty.

Writing Update

June expectations: A relaxing, rejuvenating break from writing.

June reality: The crash after a major burnout.

The take-away? Do not wait until you’re barely hanging on to take a break. Because then, you may spend it recovering instead of relaxing, and no, they’re not necessarily the same thing! Going into July, I’ve overcome the fallout of my burnout...but I don’t feel that refreshing vigor, that unburdened energy I could be experiencing if I’d been able to enjoy my break more.

That being said, I did take a hard pause from all things related to my WIP. So much so, I’ve still only read 2 of the 20+ final beta questionnaires waiting in my inbox. I feel awful that it's taking me so long, but I was completely drained last month, and worried I wasn’t in the right place to deal with all those emotions--even the giddy ones. One of the first things I want to do this July is read and respond to all my betas’ final feedback. I'm so grateful to each and every one of them, and I cannot wait to hear their overall thoughts.

  1. Updated Map: Last year, I won Tom’s (@talesfromfarcliff) first-ever map giveaway, so I had him create one for the first book in my epic fantasy series (The Ilian Legacy). Book 1 takes place entirely within a single isolated nation called “Home,” but it contains many unique districts and cities Tom needed to represent, without the ability to play much with geography from place to place. I’m certain it was a challenge, but he did a wonderful job with it. I sent his rendition out alongside my manuscript to beta readers, so they could use it as a reference.

    For my 30th birthday, completely unbeknownst to me, Tom took it upon himself to give a massive update to the map he’d already created for me months ago. Unfortunately, this newsletter cannot seem to render the proportions for this map correctly, so if you’d like to see Tom’s newly updated rendition of Home, PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK HERE! 🥰

    ...What do you think? Isn’t it gorgeous? Tom, I cannot thank you enough for this act of kindness. It was the perfect birthday gift. Tom also created the official map printed in Lina C. Amarego’s upcoming debut, Daughter of the Deep, and I highly recommend his fantasy cartography services. He is an absolute delight to work with!

  2. Project Winter Solstice: It’s been a while since I mentioned this collaboration the magnificent Shae Thiessen put together, so here’s a quick reminder: she’s organizing an anthology, enlisting the help of various writers to create one short story each for the different months in a year. In this collection, the months are personified, meeting up on Winter Solstice to share these tales with one another. I chose September (which happens to be my favorite month!) and even though, as you may recall, writing short stories is not at all my forte, I gave it a try on behalf of this project. And I’ll admit...I what I came up with? 😱

    I’ve had a few people within the project review it, but I may look for a handful of beta readers to give it a glance later in the year, too. Again, it’s a short story--only 10 pages long! So the process would be really quick. Let me know if you think you might be interested. 💕

    My (very rough) pitch? A Nordic siren must drag one human back into the sea with her each September to preserve the oceans, until her envy of mortalkind tempts her from her ancient responsibility. 🌊

June Reads

While I didn’t make as much TBR progress as I’d hoped this month, I’m quite pleased with what I did read. I'm still not done with Godsgrave (remember my hunt for the Duke’s shampoo? “Will Dani ever finish Godsgrave?” is becoming a far less interesting but equally drawn-out saga 😅). But I made a large dent in Jay Kristoff's book and loved every page. Maybe if I don’t vow to finish it next month...I actually will. Let’s try it out!
  1. However, I did finish alpha reading act 1 of Tom’s King’s Reach! Tom does not shy away from the full spectrum of human emotion. His book is dark and realistically brutal, but his moments of humor are exceptionally well-crafted. Parts of his first act are absolutely snort-your-tea-from-your-nose hilarious, and I’ve never in my life read a portrayal of a classic bard that I’ve loved half as much as Tom’s Forb. The amount of effort poured into this project is so abundantly clear. And I will never stop complimenting Tom’s mastery of portraying different dialects. It adds such an authentic edge to his world. I’m honored to have had a peek into it!
  2. I also completed my beta reading of Beautiful Curses by Ashley K. Wilson. I think the best way to describe Ashley’s prose is hauntingly beautiful. Equal parts melodic and melancholy. Her words quietly grip you and linger long after you stop reading. I love how she never rushes her characters’ emotions, allowing them to take their natural courses. It lends an utterly believable quality to every feeling she describes. Each of her POV characters are handled with incredible care, but I fell completely in love with Eira, a moody and complex woman whose growth throughout the book is organic and satisfying. Ashley, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your WIP’s journey. You've been a pleasure to work with every step of the way.

For July, I will of course continue my CP duties, but someone I’d agreed to beta read for postponed their process last minute. I was very much looking forward to the project, but I honestly think it might be good for me to take a brief break from beta/alpha reading. I’ve already got another beta project lined up for August, so it’ll be nice to have more breathing room in my reading schedule this July. Especially as I revise my short story for PWS and ease back into edits for my own novel.


I will never stop thanking all of you for the love and support you’ve given me. Without you, my author journey would be far more lonely and unforgiving. My inbox, DMs, P.O. box, etc. are always open to each of you!


Caleb tax:


Upcoming fantasy author, new mom, D&D addict, Gemini, Slytherclaw, lover of brunch and afternoon tea, wants to be your friend. 💕

Copyright © 2020 Danielle Miceli, All rights reserved.

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