Happy New Year! Welcome 2018


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 WorldSince 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.



Skip to comment form

    • Glynis on January 2, 2018 at 1:55 am
    • Reply

    Oh Maria, I too hope for a much better year for you than the last one! .
    Fingers crossed the Job situation is soon sorted and that you have a long period of calm to get your writing back on track.
    Good luck with all your hopes and look after your muse 😊.

    1. Thanks so much Glynnis. A long period of calm would be very welcome!

    • J. W. Garrett on January 2, 2018 at 11:03 am
    • Reply

    I like what you had to say about your church notes: ‘Sometimes we just have to let God be God even if we don’t understand it all.’ I agree completely. Sometimes we can make all the plans in the world and suddenly the landscape changes and we have to make new plans. So… don’t plan too far in the future and let God be God.

    Blessings to you and your writing schedule. I’ll wait patiently for whatever comes… whenever it comes. No worries. I will be pleased either way. Have a blessed new year and health to you and your family. I hope your father does as well as he can and I pray for strength to you and your family as you cope with his illness. I’ve been there and know how hard it is to work when thinking about a sick parent.

    1. Thanks so much, JW, I appreciate it!

    • Teresa Broderick on January 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm
    • Reply

    Gosh Maria you certainly had a year to remember in more ways than one. I hope this one is smoother for you. I had a bit of a tough time myself this year and a sick mother as well so I know what that part of your year was like.
    Looking forward though is always the best way. We can only ever have hope. Here’s to some good writing from you in the year ahead.

    1. I’m so sorry your mom’s been sick. That’s never easy. Hoping for a better time for both of you this coming year.

  1. Yes, those church notes about letting God be God can pretty much sum up my year as well. I’m still learning to let things prayerfully remain in God’s “To Do” box rather than snatching them back and making a poor “go” of it myself. :/

    I am really looking forward to Netherfield: Rogue Dragon. I have re-read the first two books of the series several (okay, many) times, collecting clues and pondering what could possibly happen, especially with Lydia and Wickham likely in cahoots with each other.

    The other works in progress look amazing, too, but it’s Netherfield that has me sooooooo excited!! 😀

    Wishing you and your family a healthy and blessed New Year!!

    Susanne 🙂

    1. I know you’ve had a rough go last year two. Here’s to a smoother 2018!

    • Anji on January 3, 2018 at 4:33 pm
    • Reply

    Considering everything that went on in yours and your family’s lives last year, it’s pretty amazing that you managed to get anything published. I remember our “annus horribilis”, an expression HM Queen Elizabeth once used to describe trying times, in 1999. It was so difficult to concentrate on anything outside the problems, so I take my hat off to you for that. Of course, my heart goes out to you regarding the employment problems your son and husband are exepriencing. Again, it’s something I’ve got personal knowledge of and wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

    On a lighter note, I’m so looking forward to the third volume of the Dragon series. The other proposed works sound great too. “Kympton’s Daughter” as a title is definitely intriguing. Is Elizabeth the daughter, I wonder? If not, then just who is she?

    1. Thanks so much Anji. I will have to remember ‘annus horribilis’ that’s a gread word picture. I’m sorry you could relate to a lot of ours. Like you said, I don’t wish it on anyone else.

      I’m hoping to get a lot accomplished in the next couple of weeks so I can get to posting new fiction!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: