Reviewing 2021, Looking Ahead to 2022

Hoo boy. 2021 was a chaotic, crazy, undesirable doozy, wasn’t it. I don’t have much hope 2022 will be better, but we never know what God has planned. We’re certainly not the first to be in such tumultuous and dark times, and I daresay we won’t be the last.


Total posts: 79

Total words: 72, 496 (if only gaining this word count for a book was so easy)

I am so grateful for how God has allowed my little blog to grow. I’ve met wonderful people, both authors and readers, and have made some wonderful connections.


I wrote 60,000 on one manuscript before doing what I do best: doubting the story and shelving it. I did, however, rewrite a book that is very close to my heart.

The Oren Chronicles, Book One was originally written in 2019. It was then rejected and set aside. Earlier this year, I decided it needed a rewrite. I added three POVs, resulting in five total (it sounds like a lot, but I like the way it delves into the personalities and provides a deeper look into the overall plot). This came out at one hundred six thousand words. Definitely not my longest, but not my shortest, either (it was originally 90K with two POVs). I’m not ready to give the book it’s third rewrite, but someday I hope it is God’s will that the Oren brothers get their stories published. I think they’re my craziest, most chaotic masters of mayhem yet.

Favorite lines:

“Could you spell your brother’s name?”


“Your brother’s name is Trouble?”

“Might as well be.”


I didn’t have publishing on my mind until Mom suggested it in October. Through a brutal and exhausting process, God revealed my original idea wasn’t to be the one I published. Instead, He guided me back to DECEIVED, a story that’s gained a lot of my sweat, tears, threats, and headaches.

Lord willing, April 25 will be when my baby is released to the world. I have the cover, people! It’s incredible. So much more than I could have imagined. Be on the lookout for the cover reveal sign-up sheet in a few weeks. The cover designer perfectly captured the sinister and evil side, yet the cover also showcases hope. And the castle. That’s all I’m going to say for now, but, yeah. It’s an epic cover.

After the beta readers provided valuable feedback, I set to work on editing. Fourteen rounds. Fourteen. Painful. Rounds. But that resulted in some funny parts, some heart-wrenching parts, and more of the male character the betas were fondest of, who is actually not my favorite. I love him and he’s an utter sweetheart, but he’s not my favorite. Funny how readers pick their character and threaten the author if any more harm comes to said character.

I finished the fourteen rounds of edits on December 31. Those trying, wearisome days were appropriately called The Editing Trials.

Favorite Line:

“I’m not meant to go airborne.”

I want to state I am in no way responsible for what happens to my characters. They make their own choices, get in trouble by their own devices, and give me nothing but stress.


Madis Musings received a minor facelift. Farewell, old barnwood background. Hello, lupines in the mist. Also, there are some new tabs, and Question or Comment? now has a new purpose. Be sure to check them out.

I have my own business! In the middle of quite a stressful situation, God planted an idea in my mind last May. That idea was Mountain Peak Edits & Design. MPED offers editing services, website and blog design and overhaul, promotional graphics and items, A+ content for Amazon, and cover design for reasonable prices.

Early last year, the senior editor at the place I intern at, Answers in Genesis, asked me if I’d like to write a character write-up for one of their VBS characters. Meet Flip the Flapjack Octopus. Flapjack octopi are so cute and tiny, and they’re such amazing creatures whose incredible design is yet another testament to our Creator’s ingenuity.

Favorite 2021 Book Releases:

Love Under Construction by Penny Zeller

Of Fire and Ash by Gillian Bronte Adams

The Heart’s Charge by Karen Witemeyer

Favorite 2021 Music Releases:

Skillet: Refuge and Standing in the Storm.

About a Mile: Godless America

Danny Gokey: Fighter, Finish Strong

Sidewalk Prophets: I Believe It Now

Building 429: Not Finished Yet


We were able to see Sidewalk Prophets again. It was so awesome, crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in a room jammed-packed with believers.

We saw Building 429 too. I didn’t stick around to get an autograph, but I was able to add a shirt to my collection that says, The setback is the setup. The reason behind the shirt struck me. What we see as a setback, God is using as a setup. We don’t see the big picture. God does. He orchestrates things in just the right way, at just the right time, and never once is He not in control. In all the craziness of the past two years, and whatever we endure on a personal level, that pain, that hardship, that stress, those questions, will be used for His glory. We can’t see what’s ahead, but we follow a God who does. A God who is never caught by surprise.


We need to hold to our plans loosely, since they will change and God alters our course, but it never hurts to have an idea of what you want to accomplish.

Reading/Book Reviews:

I am so terribly behind on book reviews. To those who’ve requested one from me, I’m sorry.. You are at the top of my list for 2022, and I hope to get the backlog read by June.

Authors of books to be reviewed in 2022 include: Penny Zeller, Kristina Hall, Vanessa Hall, Christy Dietz, S.D. Howard, Donita K. Paul, and more.



Write and Publish: BETRAYED (Book Two in TDT)

Write and Publish: As the Silence Echoes, a novella retelling of The Pied Piper (be on the lookout for this one; I hope to have ARC copies by mid-February).

Write and Publish: A sequel short story to A Past to Bear, which will probably be published sometime during summer in another Whitstead collection.

Tentatively Write and Publish: A Cinderella Retelling novella, which has yet to be titled, for a tentative anthology a few of us are putting together.

Write: A Little Mermaid retelling to be published in 2023.

And, if I have a few brain cells left, I’ll begin on the third book in TDT, which is wavering between two titles.

Anticipated Books:

Love in Disguise by Penny Zeller.

A top-secret project Kristina Hall has been keeping quiet about.


As the Silence Echoes. I’ve not really met him yet, but a certain secondary character is going to be utterly hilarious.

The third book in Karen Witemeyer’s Hanger’s Horsemen series.

And I’m really, really hoping Jaye L. Knight will have the final book in Ilyon Chronicles out this year.

Blog Posts:

I want to start a tag for Valentine’s Day, but we’ll see.

A post on how to write characters with glasses.

Possibly a post on how not to write a female character. Which is hilarious since I do better writing male characters, but certain tropes, trends, and cliches need to be addressed.

Possibly a post or two about the dos and don’ts for authors requesting book reviews; and a similar blog post for bloggers on how to handle book review requests. There’s more to it than people think.

Possibly a post on how to write a book review.


I’ll be writing a guest post, which will be featured on January 13. I’ll post the link when it’s up.

If you’re on Facebook, join the 2 Girls and a Book Review group. I’ll be hosting a giveaway in May for Deceived at the very least.


Madi’s Musings is looking for guest posts. I’d love to feature you on my blog. Anything writing-related or book-related, preferably. I might be open to a devotional, but that will be by a case-by-case basis.

What is not allowed:

Try to stay away from political issues. I have my stance and believe in the necessity of speaking up and being active, but let’s keep things focused on writing.

Note: Abortion is not a political issue. It is a Biblical one. If you want to write on the sanctity of life, please do.

Anything promoting the following groups: Elevation Worship; Hillson; Bethel; Cory Asbury; Lecrae; and Jesus Culture.

Anything promoting the following persons: Todd White; Beth Moore; Joyce Meyers; Sarah Young; Joel Osteen; Rick Warren; Max Lucado; JD Greear; Andy Stanley; Timothy Keller; and anyone associated with The Gospel Coalition/TGC itself.

These groups and individuals are not theologically accurate and are not allowed on my blog.

For more on what is not allowed, go to my Request a Review page and scroll until you reach BOOK REQUIREMENTS.

I reserve the right to deny a post.

The signup sheet can be found here. Please feel free to sign up for more than one post. I want to do at least one guest post most months.

How is your 2022 going so far? We’re welcoming it in with negative twenty-one degree weather. So, so warm. What are your plans for this year? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you do, how long do you plan on keeping them? What’s in your 2022 TBR or to-be-written piles?

As another year is placed behind and we enter into another unknown three-hundred sixty-five days, rest in the knowledge that no matter how crazy, evil, and dark the world gets, no matter how difficult life becomes, and no matter how often it seems like things are spiraling out of control, God is never taken by surprise.

Stay steady. Stay steadfast. Stay strong.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10


14 thoughts on “Reviewing 2021, Looking Ahead to 2022

  1. Vanessa Hall

    I am so excited for your upcoming books! And congrats on getting through 14 rounds of edits. I don’t know how you did that without losing your mind. You are a trooper.

    And this is very random, but I love the idea of a post about writing characters with glasses. I feel the pain, hahaha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Madi's Musings

      Thanks! I think I did lose my mind though. Or maybe that happened when I decided to write. Jury’s still out.

      I know! I feel the pain too. Movies and books never get it right. That’s going to be a fun post. If you have anything you’d like addressed, let me know. I’ve worn glasses for almost fifteen years, but I doubt I’ll come up with every angle and everything needing to be said.


      • Vanessa Hall

        Ah, that is a valid point. 🙂 Writing is quite an interesting profession …

        Hmm … you know, I’ve worn glasses for years, too, and I’ve only had one character who had glasses. (A main character, at least.) And the poor guy lost his about 70% the way through. (That’s what happens in suspense books 🙂 ). And most books I read, the characters don’t have glasses, either. So I’ve never really thought deeply about it. I’m excited to read your post! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vanessa Hall

        Hahaha, yes!

        And yeah, we’re assuming this character didn’t have very high of a prescription for his glasses. 🙂 Or that could just make the plot even more interesting …. hmm. 🙂


  2. K.R.Mattson

    Ya, I need lessons on how to write guys. You could do a post about that ;). And your insanity level is spiking. That just means that you did an AWESOME job slugging through your editing! Your characters (except for R) thank you. (I just have to say that your posts never fail to make me laugh. Don’t let it get to your head.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Madi's Musings

      You mean reading my book isn’t enough of a lesson on how to write amazingly stupendous male characters? (That was said with the driest of sarcastic tones, by the way).

      It is spiking, isn’t it? Thank you! ❤ I thought you were displeased with me about H, too. Could it be R is growing on you? 😉

      Thank you. I'm uncertain which parts are humorous, but I'll take it. Go to my head? Never. It's nice to read such comments when I'm in the midst of editing woes and batting stubborn characters. Besides, you laugh easily. 😉


  3. K.R.Mattson

    Noo *rolling eyes*. I agree with the amazingly stupendous part, but they’d all turn out like R or H and then I’d be lost in the labyrinth of escaping their wrath. (As always).

    Nope. With what you’re doing to R, he’ll never thank you. EVER. But at least he survived the edits…I hope.

    You should just take it as a compliment before you twist it around into a war cry. I highly doubt any of your characters will stand up to you for very long. And when they quit, I’ll be there to catch them and baby them back to health. After all, what are edits for than to make their lives more miserable? Don’t you give up! That’s because I’m naturally happy, unlike you, -glower queen-.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Madi's Musings

      What would my tales be without character development, hm? You should be thanking me. I make these darlings the best they can be. The suffering they endure is wholly irrelevant.

      You’ll just have to see on R, won’t you? Edits are brutal. Survival is never guaranteed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s