Ushering in 2020
Of course I have a few complaints about 2019, but, as always, I look forward to what the new year will bring. I'm a look ahead kind of girl, having realized years ago that we can't do anything about the past by virtue of its inherent quality of being, well, in the past. Seems elementary enough, but I spent many years worrying about things I couldn't change, which took my eye off what was coming straight at me, good and bad. With a few exceptions, I've adhered to my policy of putting to rest that which I can't change, and for the most part, I've benefited from the realignment of thinking.
Our family has had ups and downs in 2019, but as January first rolls closer, I put the downs in their rightful place, and embrace the ups as the joyous events they were when they happened. Sadness punctuates every year we live, especially as we get older. Early in the year, my brother, the third child of four, was diagnosed with stage four lung and rectal cancer. He is a stoic guy and always puts on a good face, but when the rest of us visited him in July, we saw the difference in him. He couldn't hide behind uplifting texts and virtual dismissive flicks of his wrist. We spent some meaningful days with him, and as the year closes, he faces yet more significant challenges.
Over the summer, I lost two precious aunts within six weeks of one another. Aunt Ella to Alzheimer's Disease, and Aunt Ann to frickin' Lyme Disease. My cousin called to give me frequent updates, one hour saying she was stable, and the next she was gone. Vivacious, fun-loving Aunt Ann joins her husband. Somehow I thought she'd outlive us all. Life has a way of slapping us with reality, doesn't it? Or is that reality slaps us with life?
We lost friends as well to vicious cancer. They left behind the grief stricken, with our many memories to sustain us, and the knowledge that none of us gets out of this life alive. A harsh lesson for the hopeful.
beautiful three year old beagle who was on the euthanasia list. We named her Luna, and three days after we got her, the vet discovered heart worms. We've had her treated and she's now recovering. We suspect she was abused in her prior life, as she is skittish about everything, won't let us hold her, won't get on furniture, etc. The vet thinks she might have been a failed hunting dog. My sister, who lives with us, is her person, but she gets tons of love from everyone, except the family maltipoo, Fiona, who has been queen bee around here for ten years. Luna holds her own, though, and is brave enough to steal Fiona's toys right out from under her nose. Fi is all growl and bark, with no bite. But growl and bark she does.
I wrote my way through the hard times, as writing is cathartic for me. I published nothing in 2019, but not for lack of product. I embarked on a new series, that, if all goes as planned, will have six or seven books. As the year closes, the second book of 2019 is almost finished. Why I'm stalling in writing the final three scenes, I'm not sure. I have them plotted and written a dozen different ways in my head, but I've found so much more to keep me distracted. I suspect by February first, I'll have the book ready for a good polish. I tend to find my footing after the holidays.
I look for new experiences in writing in 2020. When they happen, I'll report them here. One will happen immanently--that being my new blog. I've started a writer's resource blog, which I plan to launch just after the first of the year. Authors will find valuable information on the craft of writing, as well as a place for guest posts on writing. I've found advice and the experience of other writers invaluable over the last ten years, and I've created a place to share that. Shaping that up and as soon as it's ready for prime time, I'll roll it out.
2020 also marks my tenth anniversary as a published author. I marvel and wince at how far I've come. Some of the small presses I've been with have folded, but only one I lament. I'm owed money by a couple of them, but the amount, weighed against the hassle, is unimportant. My consolation is that at some point in a person's life, their conscience will take care of them.
After receiving the rights back to some of my previously published books, I've taken books off the market. One more than will disappear in 2020. Good idea at the time, but my brand has changed and that particular story doesn't fit the mold. Happens to all of us at some point, I suspect.
I'm looking for 2020 to be a banner year. The days will unfold as they always do, and reveal what they reveal. I'll brace for the bad and embrace the good.
Happy New Year one and all. I hope 2020 is all you want it to be, and may you weather the storms with grace and courage.