What do you say to close out a year like 2017 and usher in a new year? Some reflections on last year and looking ahead to 2018.
So well yeah… hmmm, what to say? To be honest this is the fourth time I’ve tried to start this new year post and I’ve hit a brick wall each time I have. I guess maybe it’s had something to do with trying to be cute and upbeat and funny. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with being those things, but my muse just isn’t having it right now.
I’m looking back at the notes I took at church the first Sunday of 2017 and wow, I’m getting chills. It totally sums up the year that 2017 turned out to be: Sometimes we just have to let God be God even if we don’t understand it all. If that doesn’t describe the year we’ve had, I don’t know what does.
It’s not that good things didn’t happen in 2017, they did. Snowbound at Hartfield got published in January and I got out four more books after that, I had speaking engagements locally and outside the state; my youngest son finished HS by qualifying for State in wrestling and started his first year of college; my grandson turned a year old. We even got to go on vacation and try out rock climbing and rappelling–great fun! There were really some great things that went on last year.
But then again, there were some that were not, and those were pretty big. My father had four hospitalizations which required a great deal from me and my family. That alone would have been enough to make the year ‘interesting’ (in the Chinese curse sense of the word.) But to make things more interesting, between the hospitalizations Hurricane Harvey blew through and totally rearranged the city.
Although we were fortunate enough to narrowly miss house flooding, five of the eight houses on our street did not. Over a hundred houses in our neighborhood flooded and a huge number of businesses were lost. Before we go out for errands, we still have to pause and try to remember if the place we want to go still exists. It may not sound like much, but those constant reminders of the disaster are actually pretty stressful.
In the middle of the hurricane, literally in the middle of it all, A Less Agreeable Man launched because I was locked into that particular date and could not change it. And, at the same time, my uncle died. Even if we hadn’t had to evacuate the house, we couldn’t have gone to the funeral because both airports were completely shut down. So, yeah, that was a little crazy making to add to the chaos.
We finished out the year with job craziness for both my middle son–currently in law school and trying to work out summer employment– and my husband. The long and short of it is that we’ve spent the holidays in a purgatory of watching and waiting and wondering. At this point, we’ve no idea what things will be like and could be facing some pretty major changes. (I don’t do change very well, could you guess?)
So yeah, I’m not sorry to leave 2017 behind.
Into the New Year
Looking into the new year, it’s hard to know what to make of things. I have several book projects in mind right now. The top of the list is the next dragon book: Netherfield: Rogue Dragon. Despite best intentions, writing plans last year did not hold up in the face of my dad’s hospitalizations and Hurricane Harvey. I lost nearly three months of writing time to those two unexpected turns of events, so I’m dreadfully behind now. First priority will be getting that promised book written.
After that I have a non-fiction in the works : Gentlemen in Jane Austen’s World. Since five of the top ten posts on the site have to do with the life of gentlemen in Jane Austen’s day, it seems like a good direction to go. I make no promises about when it will be out, but I’ve got the first couple of chapters written and most of the rest outlined, so I’m hopeful.
With any luck, I’ve got a new Darcy and Elizabeth piece in the works as well. The working title is Kympton’s Daughter. I hope to be posting chapters of it here pretty soon. Crossing fingers on that one.
Beyond that I’m kind of hesitant to make too many plans–a new plot bunny might bite and carry me off (best case scenario) or something unanticipated may end up grabbing my muse in a chokehold. (Definitely not the best case…)
All in all, after such an interesting year in 2017 I am hoping for a very dull, boring and peaceful year in 2018! Many Blessings and peace to all of you and thank you for being here with me throughout everything that has happened. I look forward to sharing the next year with you.