Hello 2022. So happy to see you. January 1 is always a day of great expectations for a new year. A page turned where we can put the past behind us and look forward to a full 365 days in which to make a mark. The mark I’m shooting for this year is joy and success.
I’ve never been big on making resolutions and probably worse at rehashing what has been … but I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on where we go from here.
To put it mildly, 2021 threw a few curve balls and caught me off balance. The biggest were to do with my health and having the chemo from end of 2020 / beginning of 2021 spectacularly fail. Fast forward to the end of 2021 and the new chemo plus radiation I had to undergo dragged me down so much I wound up in the hospital for a week with bilateral pneumonia caused by the chemo. I am incredibly sensitive to the chemo drugs and the treatments have been robbing me slowly of the ability to breathe due to inflammation in the lungs over the past few months. I still have two more treatments to go through, although at this point, we’re not sure whether I will be able to do them. We will give it a month and then try again. The health issues and fatigue played havoc with my writing schedule, so I’m well behind on what needs to get done.
But 2021 is now in the past. What did or did not get accomplished is also in the past, and it is time to look forward. And there is so much to look forward to. More than ever, I am certain of my purpose in life … and that is to write books for kids to connect with and enjoy. And, honestly, that is the only thing that is important to me. So while not completely ignoring all other aspects of life, the thing that I will put first is my writing. It is time for me to finish up some of the projects I’ve had on a slow boil and get them finished. No more back burner.
First up is finishing the self edits on Rain Falling on Embers (release date: October 4, 2022), which is book 1 in the Falling on Embers series. Next will be to get it to the editor who will rip it apart and help me make it what it is supposed to be. 🙂 Rain Falling on Embers explores the question: How do you survive the worst thing that can ever happen? Especially in the past couple of years, kids are facing more upheaval than ever before — where things like school, which has been more of a constant than anything, has also changed dramatically. While circumstances will vary from person to person, Katie McCabe goes through coming to terms with her entire life being turned upside down. She struggles with accepting the changes and it is important for kids to know they don’t have to be perfect through all changes. That it is okay to thrash about trying to make sense of things that simply do not make sense.
The next project that will have my attention is book 1 in the Homeless Myths series, The Secret of the Red Key, which will release in 2023. I am so excited about this particular series because the storyline speaks to me so clearly. Five homeless kids struggle to survive the streets of Los Angeles and wind up as key players in a battle against mythological creatures to break a curse that will restore a fallen star and give humanity a second chance. It should be an adventure story for the ages. 😉
At the end of 2020, during my reflective period, I came to a decision about my future … and that decision was that in order for me to pursue more completely what I need to do with my life, the day job had to go. It’s a decision years in the making, but the time has come and despite all of the upheaval of 2021, I have kept that goal firmly in mind. While I have not accomplished everything I have wanted toward this goal, it remains in place and I will see it through. The driving force? A few lyrics from Flashdance – What a Feeling spell it out for me. Take your passion and make it happen. In order to do that effectively, I need to simplify life a bit, which means letting go of something I have always looked at as stability and taking a leap of faith.
The picture at the top of this post has a great deal of meaning for me. 2022 is still all glittery and shiny and though we cannot see into the future (or down the path) the bright yellow haze beckons. One of my favorite flowers is the yellow rose, so I love that they are lining the path to the future. The color yellow is primarily associated with spreading happiness and joy, and it symbolizes moving forward with the joy of working on my purpose in life. And I hope to spread happiness and joy to those I meet. And purple has always been my favorite color and purple flowers are said to symbolize success. In this case, the flowers being campanula or bellflowers, the additional meaning of gratitude, constancy, support, and romance are present. Success for me isn’t defined in monetary terms, but whether or not I have achieved what I set out to do. Would I love to have a runaway bestseller? Absolutely. But if the book falls short of my personal mark, the number of sales don’t make it better. Success for me is crafting the book in my head as close as I possibly can. Success is reaching the small goals along the way to the big ones. And joy comes from achieving those things.
So 2022, here you are in all of your shining newness. I have identified my passion and all that is left is to make it happen. Let’s do this thing.