Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Eternal optimist? Or annoying goody-two-shoes?

Wow! How is it possible that it's 2017? Didn't I just sit through a grueling tax appointment? Nope. That was last April. (Time flies when you're having fun; although, anyone who has fun at a tax appointment is wacky. Just saying.)

So it's a new year! A fresh start! It's already January 3rd, which means I have 362 days -- 8,688 hours -- to embrace and change things up a bit from what I did in 2016. In order to do something different, I need to rewind to what happened last year.

I was fortunate to attend a writer's conference in January in Fort Lauderdale, where I met some amazing people in person that I was friends with on Facebook and Twitter. After the conference, hubby and I boarded a cruise ship for the Caribbean Sea. Did I mention my happy places are the tropics and the campground? 

In February, I buckled down and finished writing I'd Rather Be Growing Grapes. It was published in March. 

In May, The Wild Rose Press published my book, Wild Goose Chase. It was the first book with them that was available in both e-book and print. Small achievement, but I was majorly happy. 

Camping season arrived in April and I was giddy. Being at the lake is a stress reliever. Even though the weather wasn't yet warm, we stayed in our camper. #WeAreDieHardCampers

(Graphic courtesy of Lisette Brodey)

Summer was unusually hot and dry; perfect for bombing around in our golf cart at the campground. We met a lot of nice people and reconnected with friends we'd made previous camping seasons. In the midst of all that joy, I decided to make No Sweat Pants Allowed - Wine Club into a series. In August, voila! Sipping Sangria (Book #2 in my Wine and Sweat Pants series) happened. 

Immediately afterward, I started book #3 in the series - Merlot in Maine. It will be published this month.

2016 was an incredible year! A busy year. A year of stepping out of my comfort zone by putting myself out there more; both with my writing career and personally. (I'm a bit of an introvert, although my social media presence would suggest otherwise) It was a year of epiphanies. What I thought was the most important goal to achieve in my career, didn't happen; which forced me to reassess my priorities - once I did, my stress level dropped. At the same time, on a deeply personal level I felt the need to impact the world around me. With that in mind, I braved the needle and donated blood twice. For some folks, that's no big deal - they do it all the time. For me, it was huge. I hate needles and I wasn't able to donate blood in the past because my iron was always low. I also tried to reduce my carbon footprint by making better choices and recycling everything that I could. There are more ways that I tried to make a difference but mentioning them would make me uncomfortable. I'm not vying for the goody-two-shoes award. I guess this blog post is more about reflection - how far I've come and where I'd like to go this year. 

On tap for the new year: More writing? Definitely. More camping? Heck yeah. I live for camping. (lol) More blood donations? (swallows hard and eyes that evil needle) Yep. I can do it. Another writer's conference? Not sure. Putting myself out there even more with other events? Count on it.  

If you'd like to see how I do in 2017, occasionally pop into my blog. Don't be afraid to leave a comment and tell me to get crackin'.

    (This meme is by an unknown author. I found it on Facebook and in no way assume ownership.)

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