2014: An intersection of fiction and real life

P1040474I have to say most of the time I’m not all that giddy-excited about ending one year and starting a new one. Most years have been pretty good. I suppose, though, it’s a good time to take a moment and reflect.
A couple of weeks ago, I went through the year in photos to create the annual custom calendar for my dad for Christmas. Turns out, we had a lot going on in 2014. As a family, we went places and did things. We had a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The biggest event of the year was my son’s high school graduation. Not only did that mean we were sending our awesome son off to college, it meant my husband and I became empty nesters. That’s been very strange, and kind of sad. But it’s also been fun to see him mature and thrive, to deal with new situations and responsibilities. For me, his graduation also meant the end of an era – years and years of volunteering in the kids’ schools. No more band concessions, book fairs, debate boosters, tennis banquets, etc., etc.
It was a year for vacations that included spring break in California and a trip to Joshua National Park near Palm Desert. And our daughter was able to fly in to join us. Made our annual trek to Colorado in July and then headed to the east coast in October for a little beach action and visit with our daughter who’s now out in the working world. Lots of fun times.

Of course my real life intersected with a life of fiction! In 2014, I published my fourth novel. Have to say that is really cool. There were times I doubted I could finish even one. I strengthened ties with critique partners, sold a few more books, and created a new website. I met other authors, made connections with retailers and readers and librarians. As Three Writers of Romance, my critique partners and I were guest speakers and spotlighted in a local magazine.

Looking to 2015, I see a lot more activity. I’m kicking off the new year with my fifth novel – yes, FIFTH. “Second Wind,” the second book in my Women of Whitfield small-town trilogy, launches Jan. 10.
The months will zip by, and once again we’ll be in California for spring break. This time, we’ll get to see our son play college tennis in an invitational tournament there! Hopefully, shortly after that, our daughter will be accepted to a PhD program and will take a huge step in furthering her education and career. The pace won’t slow down at all in April, as my husband and I will join a friend at the Final Four in Indianapolis (Come on, Jayhawks, let’s get it together!), then I’m scheduled for a book sale and signing at a women’s event in Dallas.
In what promises to be a highlight of the coming year, my book club is planning a girls’ retreat in a lovely natural area near Branson, Mo. I’m going to need those four days to unwind, rejuvenate, relax and write. A change of scenery always seems to get the creative juices flowing.

I can’t say what the second half of the year will bring, but I know I can count on a busy schedule. I’ll look forward to seeing what opportunities unfold for my kids. I’ll keep writing – hoping that 2015 will be a two-book year. I’ll attempt to keep up with the changes in the publishing industry, and working to connect with readers. I’ll probably fight with technology and be overwhelmed by social media and marketing.
My goals for the year, I suppose, are to enjoy the travels and times with my family. To eat lunch out with friends as often as I can. To read, and to write books that resonate with others who love to read and get lost in a world of fiction.
Happy New Year and happy reading to all!

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