Seems like everyone’s always using the year end to count their blessings and resolve to accomplish great things in the next 365 days. Normally I avoid that like the plague.  No reason why, except maybe because everyone else is doing it and I like to think I’m different.

But I really need to do something to kick myself in the pants and meet some goals I’ve been trying to establish. So let’s look at some of my failures this year:

  • I wanted to finish and publish A Bull by the Horns
  • I wanted my third Street Stories novel, Box of Rain (released in print early in the year) to be the book that brought the series to the attention of more readers.
  • I wanted to lose weight or at least live a healthier lifestyle
  • I wanted to win a house in Asheville NC so I could move closer to my sons

So what did I do instead?

  • I finished a really rough draft of Bull, then set it aside so I could get some perspective before editing. I did publish a “new” novel in 2015 on Kindle and in print. Eyes at the Window is the non-personalized, U.S. version of a book published as Through the Dark by PersonalNOVEL in Europe and the UK.  I also started repurposing three old manuscripts by typing them into the computer in preparation for editing them into finished, published works.
  • I won’t really know how well Box of Rain is selling until I get a royalty report from my publisher in early 2016, though from the Amazon ranking, I suspect it’s not the breakthrough hit I’d hoped. However, I did attend a few author fairs during the year, two of which are pretty high profile, Chicago’s Printers Row Lit Festival and the Chicago Book Expo.
  • My health did not get any worse, which doesn’t seem like any great accomplishment unless you think about how little time I devoted to being healthy.
  • I took a trip to Virginia and North Carolina and visited both sons for the first time since they moved to the eastern U.S.

What unexpected accomplishments did I achieve in 2015?

  • I won two awards at the In Print Professional Writers Word of Art 2 contest: Spare Change won both the best story award, but also the People’s Choice for best author/artist collaboration.
  • I helped organize and attended the first annual Author Fair at the Princeton Public Library.
  • I built a new website for the Princeton Public Library.

Should I set goals for 2016 to see how far I fail, or should I just wing it? I do know that unless death or dismemberment occurs, I will be going to Venice next September with a Dorothy Dunnett group I’ve traveled with before, so that’s something to look forward to. Some say writing down your goals helps you achieve them, but I’m not yet convinced. let me think on it a bit and get back to in, say, 2017.

Happy 81st Birthday, Mom

mom-kidThis is my mother. I don’t mean this was my mother, or even this is a picture of my mother when she was a girl. I mean my mother is a girl. Sure she is 81 years old today and therefore also qualifies as a woman, but in all those years she has also been this little girl that you see in this photo.

Mom-3boobapaloozaYou can hear the child Rosemary in flashes of laughter and find her lurking in the gleam in her eye. I experience her as great bursts of energy when she’s dancing at a party, or sipping a glass of wine. She delights in the same things she did when young, and retains a sense of adventure and wonder that too many of us often lose as we grow older.

Mom4Too often we look at our parents and see them as Mom and Dad, and not the people behind those labels

Happy birthday, Mom. Thank you for being a great example of how important it is to hold on to our youth as we grow older.