Every New Years Eve I take a few moments to reflect on the year we are leaving behind. I remember the lessons that were too often learned the hard way. I smile at the joyous events that, if only for a few moments, made me think all was right in the world. As I look back at 2016, I really only have one thing to say:
DIE YOU LIFE-SUCKING,
PIECE OF CRAP YEAR!
Now that I have that out of my system…
I don’t have resolutions for 2017. I have plans and I have dreams that I will work towards, but those are an ongoing thing that cannot be defined by the calendar year. One of those things is to spend more time updating the blog and website. I promise I’ll try not to overshare.
My tradition is to write down the top 10 things I remember about the past year. Here they are in no specific order.
- I released two new books this year. That’s one less than I had originally planned, but it’s still two more than I’d published a couple of years ago. I’ll take it. Both of those books were nominated in the Metamorph Publishing 2016 Indie Book Awards. I didn’t place, but I’m very humbled that there were readers who felt these books were worthy of a nomination.
- Catching Whitney hit #9 under Romantic Comedy in the top 100 paid kindle books on Amazon Canada! Not a NYT or USA Today list, but still very cool for a small town girl who never believed she could finish writing a book, let alone publish one. Thank you Canada!
- Shadows of Jane hit #14 under Paranormal and Urban in the top 100 free kindle books on Amazon.com! Thank you US readers! I’m grateful you have given my trilogy a chance!
- I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. Not only did I attend more book signings, but I also had a table at my first convention – Contamination in STL. It was so much fun! I got to meet other fabulous authors, meet and get photos with some of my favorite actors from my child-hood as well as talent that was new to me, and I left there with some very cherished new friendships.
I’ll spare you all the photos of me grinning like an idiot. If you want to see them, they’re on my Facebook page. Just start at the link and click the arrows.
- My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary! He’s been my biggest supporter and the strength that kept me standing when I felt like crumbling to the floor. If I have forever with him, it will never be enough.
- My wonderful children turned 20 and 18 this year. It’s been bittersweet. My son, the oldest, also got engaged to a wonderful young lady that makes him very happy. These children fill my heart with love.
- Doctor Who is finally back! (As of Christmas.) As a lifelong Whovian, going without new episodes for an entire year was pretty painful. Thankfully, I had new and old episodes of Supernatural to keep me happy while I waited.
There were some not so great things too…
- I was officially diagnosed with diabetes. This was the result of me pushing myself too hard and not really attempting to take care of a condition I knew was creeping up on me. Silver Lining: I now have it under control and not only is my health improving, but I’m losing the weight that I’ve struggled to lose for years.
- Mid-year my world temporarily crumbled around me. My depression and anxiety got the better of me and combined with other life situations, I mostly fell apart. This has been the lowest point I’ve dealt with in many years, outside of losing my mom to cancer last year. It’s sadly overshadowed so many of the good things in my life this year. It has honestly made it difficult at times to be my usual optimistic self. Thankfully my doctor, family, and some amazing online friends helped me through it.QUICK PSA: Let me stress the importance of getting help if you have depression or anxiety – you don’t have to go through it alone. It’s also very important to be there for those in your life that struggle with this cruel disease. Just knowing you care and will stand by them can make a huge difference. If you or someone you love is struggling with suicidal or self-harming thoughts, please reach out to others and/or call the National Suicide Prevention line at 1-800-273-8255.
- It feels like everyone died. Everyone. Obviously that’s a gigantic exaggeration, but I feared looking at the news – especially as the year progressed. It feels like 2016 will be the year forever remembered for this. I also realize that those reported in the news are only a drop in the bucket to the wonderful people that the human race loses on a daily basis. My heart breaks for any loss – no matter their station in life. I pray for comfort for those that are grieving. I hope the next 12 months are a little easier on all of our hearts.
I’m gonna throw a PS in here and call it a bonus: I had the privilege of spending time with so many of my online friends, I couldn’t begin to list them all. But I am very blessed to be a part of this book community and I loved hanging out with authors, editors, designers, models, bloggers, and readers alike. You guys are all amazing and inspiring! Thank you for including me in this fabulous family!
So that’s my top 10, plus a bonus. I know 2017 will be what I make it to be. I’m excited for the months ahead and I hope you’ll continue this journey with me. I couldn’t do it without you.