Happy (belated) New Year, everyone! Things have been super-busy on the editing and writing fronts since 2020 began, so I haven’t had an opportunity to post anything sooner. But I do hope your year has gotten off to a fantastic start, and I wish you the best in your creative pursuits, health, and happiness.
Now, guess what else I have for you today? My latest DIY MFA post! This time, I share five recommendations for books that are great examples of the theme of man and the natural world. And some of my picks might surprise you. I wanted to include a variety of genres and different kinds of stories. As a result, this list includes a classic tale involving a garden, an out-of-this-world example from science fiction, and a memoir featuring the most lovable owl you’ll ever read about. 😉
Last January, a friend gave me this New Year’s party hat. The timing for this sparkling “gift” couldn’t have been more appropriate: I was ready to send a YA fantasy novel to beta-readers, and 3 weeks into a crowdfunding campaign to help me afford a trip to the Iceland Writers Retreat. Not to mention I had a whole list of goals and plans for 2017, and if things worked out the way I’d hoped, maybe I’d be closer to my dream of being published by year’s end – a pretty good “best year ever.”
Today, that hat still sits in my writing space (a.k.a. my dining room table), and I’m no closer to being published than I was a year ago. But that doesn’t mean 2017 was “not the best year ever.” Rather, it turned out much differently than I thought it would.
Was it challenging? Absolutely. Discouraging? At times, yes. But it was also one of the most exciting, inspiring, and humbling years I’ve had the privilege of living.
For all those reasons, I can’t write this annual reflection post in the same way I’ve written those of past years. Instead of focusing on milestones, blog statistics, and defined plans that could change in a few months, I’d like to share what I learned this past year. How certain events sent my mental health spiraling and shook my faith and self-confidence. How other events and important choices helped me heal and made me look at life – even why I write – from a different perspective. How it all, in the end, reminded me that I’m intelligent, creative, and determined enough to rebound from setbacks. Continue reading
Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the December holidays and had a fun, safe end to 2016. 🙂
Looking back on the year, one of the words that comes to mind is “growth.” This site especially was booming. Thanks to all your shares, likes, and comments, 2016’s stats in terms of page views and visitors doubled 2015’s. And that’s despite the fact that I slowed my blogging schedule to once a week. I may be the one who writes and runs this site, but you, the readers, deserve much of the credit.
So, thank you for stopping by and coming back, for sharing your thoughts and offering feedback, for spreading the word and celebrating milestones with me. But most of all, thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. Yes. You inspire me to be not only the best writer I can be, but also my best and fullest self. And for that, I’m truly grateful.
So, let’s get to the annual year-end wrap-up, along with some quotes that reflect my feelings about 2016 and my hopes for 2017.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a enjoyable and safe end to your 2015; and would like to wish you the best in health, love, and creativity for 2016.
Also, I know I keep thanking you, the readers, for helping to make this blog what it has become… But, honestly, YOU deserve so much of the credit. Thank you for commenting on each post, sharing your thoughts and ideas, and sharing the links on your own blogs and on social media. Most importantly, thank you for your enthusiasm, encouragement, and thoughtful feedback. You put a smile on my face every day I’m here. 🙂
I used last year’s Happy New Year post to sort of “wrap up” the 2014 highlights for the blog and for me personally, and to look ahead to 2015. Since I was happy with the final product, I’ll do the same again for this year’s:
Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.
Confession: “Lilo and Stitch” is my second-favorite animated Disney movie after “The Lion King.”
Yes, it’s me popping in! 😉 I’m on hiatus until Monday, January 4th, but I thought I’d still post a Time Flies to “officially” wrap up the month.
How have your winter holidays been so far? Do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve? I’ll most likely stay at home and call it an early night (I’ll explain why shortly). The last two months have been nutty on all fronts, so it’s been nice to breathe deeply and relax the past few days.
If you noticed things were slower here than usual this month – you’re correct. I scaled back on my blogging activities in December because of all the busyness, and also to get a head start on my January posts. So, you probably haven’t missed much if you’ve been away, but here’s your chance to catch up:
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you ended your 2014 with a safe and fun celebration; and I wish you good health, joy, fulfillment, and great success in 2015, whatever your goals may be. 🙂
I also want to extend huge hugs of gratitude to everyone who visited the blog this year and continues to come back on a regular basis. 2014 turned out to be the most successful year statistically at this blog, with more visits, likes, and comments than in years past. *breaks out confetti and pompoms*
One thing has undoubtedly contributed to that increase: outreach. Joining Twitter and making a greater effort to visit blogs by writers, book reviewers, and other bloggers last year helped make a difference. But there’s only so much I can do myself by commenting and putting myself out. So, for all your feedback on book reviews, novel updates, and other musings… for your retweets and Facebook shares… for your support, curiosity, and enthusiasm… I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now, I’d like to look back on what 2014 meant to me, and what my hopes and plans are for the year ahead. Continue reading