“Don’t look down! Don’t do it!” Have you ever felt that way when climbing a steep hill? But if you don’t look down, you won’t know how far you’ve gone. That’s why we look down, even if we’re afraid to.
Life seems to be the opposite. Everywhere I look, I’m encouraged to measure, compare, evaluate and redirect, especially this time of year. We have a drive to track how we’re doing, evaluate the results and plan bigger goals. We want to start fresh. Do better. Do more. It can be invigorating, actually. A new start! A new chance!
The beginning of a new year isn’t a magical point in time that changes everything, but we use it that way. We treasure that yearly gift of hope and renewal. We look at any hardships in the old year and say, “So long suckers!”
I’m looking at the new year as a new chance to enjoy life, learn new things and look for beauty. And of course I’m planning to write more stories.
I wanted to say Happy New Year to all of you and wish you the best on your goals. I’d also like to wish you peace in this coming year–in this busy, interconnected world, remember to take some time for yourself. We don’t have to be the best at everything. It’s okay to relax sometimes! It’s okay to “Don’t Worry, be Happy!” Go ahead, click the link, listen to the song and watch the video. It’s fun. Cheers!
It’s a new year and I’m writing a new book. I love that initial creating stage where I go from a vague book idea to a plot with characters, and then entire storyline comes together. When I was in the final phases of my last novel, I did have few days when I wondered, what if I don’t get another idea for a while? Then I got several ideas all at once. The idea I choose to work on is about a family with all kinds of problems and issues. It’s make it or break it time, and then things get even worse. This story is fun to write because there are so many different issues between all the characters, and their decisions drive the plot. There’s several twists too! I’m looking forward to sharing more about it as the novel progresses.
I wrote several novellas and a novel in the last year, and the writing process just continues to get more and more exciting. Ten years ago, I needed to outline, draft character sketches and constantly revise the storyline and my notes. I had to write quite a bit to get a grip on what would happen in the story and who the characters were. Now I can develop the story and characters in my head much better, so I can see what people look like, what drives them, and how they’ll change in the book. I’ve always like to paint scenery for fun, and the process is very similar. I start a book with the background, the general idea for the plot and characters, and then I fill in details in layers to create the full picture.
Wow, I did a lot of writing and publishing in 2012 and I don’t plan to slow down any time soon! This last year, I published:
- A Spy for Christmas
- A Special Ops Christmas
- More Than a Promise
- Un vaquero para navidad – the Spanish version of A Cowboy for Christmas (Spanish books have lower case titles, in case you’re wondering)
- The Enemy’s Son – republished actually – it was with a small Canadian publisher before that
- In The Land of Huckleberries and Wokas – a Native American novella similar to my novel The River People.
- and a children’s book called Even Animals Get Their Own Room. This was a special project because my sons Isaac and Caleb illustrated it.
Yes, this is on Amazon if you want copy or want to search inside to see their artwork.
This project spanned two years. We’d pull out the art supplies and work on it a Saturday here or an afternoon there. Isaac and Caleb each took copies to school to show to their friends. They donated a copy to their library and another kid checked it out that same day. So we had a ton of fun working on it, and we were all proud of the final product. The printed book actually looks like you could feel the crayon on the paper; I was just amazed at the quality.
Every year I learn more about storytelling, writing and using my strengths as a writer, so I owe a big thanks to all my readers for sharing your thoughts on Facebook, here and in reviews on Amazon. This last year I learned to listen to my own heart on storytelling and not on the usual rules and expectations. I thought about what kind of story I want to experience, write and read, not what big publishers or all the Writer Rules say you should write. I let readers guide me too, through comments and reviews.
2013 – A new year and new opportunities
I’m already working on a new novel for this year. It’s an emotional story of romance, commitment and family, similar in theme to More Than Memories, More Than a Promise and A Special Ops Christmas. I love looking at family relationships, rekindling and rebuilding love, and making a better future. I’ll tell you more about the story soon and share the cover in the next couple of months.
My goals and plans are much the same for this year. I want to keep writing, keep improving and grow my readership. Even my personal goals are the same – I love spending time with my family and experiencing life to the fullest. There are a few things on the agenda, like riding in a hot air balloon and the local trolly that goes on a winery tour. If you saw this big red trolly around your town, you’d understand!
Thanks so much for joining my journey. I hope this is a fantastic year for everyone!