The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog, which I looked at and said “Huh. Look at that.” Though it didn’t really tell me a lot, it was interesting and I loved the shiny picture (at the bottom of this page.)
But it got me to thinking about the year and what my personal favorite posts were. In looking back, I realize my favorite posts are not the ones that detailed my personal life, but are the posts dealing with the craft of writing. Still, the things we struggle with on a personal level are the things that form us as writers–me more than anyone, perhaps. They seem to have been the more popular posts, which surprises me.
For me, the year started out with a round of bad health, and in an effort to turn it around, I became vegan.
Vegans and Version Control posted 04 January 2013
That worked to a certain extent, and now a year later, I am still a Reluctant Vegan. I don’t miss meat, as it has never been that important to me, but boy do I miss the cheese. (sigh.)
Epilepsy. A scary plunge into the unknown if ever there was one. The ‘e’ word appeared 24 February 2013. I have two children who developed seizure disorders as adults, and they have each handled this frightening change in their lives differently. My daughter handles it the way she does everything–she accepts she has it, takes the medicine, and goes on with her life. Other than the first one she suffered which put her in the hospital with broken bones in her face, her seizures have been milder than my son’s. His seizures, when he has them, are severe, and he has been hospitalized three times this year. Each time, it was because he had not accepted his condition and was not obeying dr.’s orders. I am pleased to report that has changed. Sadly he is unable to drive until February 2014–but with the positive way his treatment is going it looks like he will be cleared to drive at that time. In the year since I wrote ‘The e-word‘ he has made a complete turnaround and is fully committed to managing his disease.
Hard on the heels of that major change was the acknowledgement of my dysfunctional family, and dealing with loved ones who suffer from crippling addictions. That was my emotionally draining post, Trains that Go Bump in the Night, posted 25 March 2013. That situation has also seen a major turnaround, with some really positive results. There is still a lot of pain, but the low point seemed to get my brother’s attention too. He is back on track, and with his jail time behind him and a good attitude. He is working a good recovery program, with an honest desire to be truly happy. He is doing well, and while our relationship has been forever changed by this terrible ordeal, we have mended some fences between us. I was deeply touched to discover through all of this just how many people have lost loved ones to this terrible addiction, and even more importantly, how many have regained some sort of normalcy.
If there is a Hell, Meth is the devil.
But the positive side of all of this is that because I am unable to really face the reality of my crazy existence, I managed to complete the first draft of Mountains of the Moon. YAY!!! The End Is Nigh, posted 28 March 2013 detailed the strange reluctance I felt to actually finish the book and let go of my characters. It was hard, but now the book has made it through the second draft and is in the hands of the beta readers.
Due to bad health, I spent many hours on Facebook, killing time when I should have been writing. Face book–A Squirrel Ran Through It posted on 6 June 2013.
Thanks to having surgery and being sicker than a dog for the entire summer, I also read a lot of books and blogged about them on Best in Fantasy, my weekly book review blog. I thank God for all the amazing and wonderful writers out there who fire my imagination and keep me plugging away at this craft. Someday I hope to have written a tale that is considered a “Best in Fantasy” tale–it is something to aspire to and work towards.
Over the course of the year I wrote many technical pieces, on everything from how to format your ms for print, to how to create a clickable table of contents for your e-book, to how to effectively use WORD, and how to–>oh, dear…Grandma’s sort of a know-it-all and she’s not afraid to tell you about it. Are you listening? There will be a test.
I published a novella, Tales from the Dreamtime, a small book of three short-stories which I think is some of my best work to date, short pieces though they are. I also had two short stories published in a children’s anthology, Christmas O’Clock. I was privileged to be included with some high-powered authors like Shaun Allan and Alison DeLuca, along with Irene Roth Luvaul, Mary K. Mitchell, and Nicole Antonia Carro. That is some heady company!
All in all, 2013 was a good year, with the misery being more than balanced by the joys. My suspicion is that people who don’t know what it is like to suffer don’t appreciate the true beauty of life.
It has been a hard year, true, but through it all I had the joy of grandchildren, the love of my husband, the support of my dear friends and the beauty of art and music to surround me. I have rediscovered my gratitude — both for the bounty I enjoy, and the people I am privileged to share my life with.
May your new year bring you joy and prosperity and the ability to appreciate them. May you have the good health to enjoy them, and may your imaginary friends never stop talking to you!