To sum up my year in one word -- sad.
I can't really use any other word to describe a year that included my father's death. And the death of one of my students. Both from natural causes, and both not totally unexpected, given that one was 94 and the other had many and complex disabilities. But both losses were sad, and weeks apart from each other. And I had the sad honor to help spread the ashes of a dear friend who died the year before into the lake he loved so much. And I spread the ashes of my beloved dog who also died the year before. Three sets of ashes, three times my heart broke.
We continue to mourn the death of a young man who held my younger daughter's heart, and the death of a nephew who only lived a few hours. My mother continues her heartbreaking descent into Alzheimer's.
A lot to be sad for, no matter how one looks at it. My doctor told me that she was amazed I could still laugh. But I just can't imagine life without laughter.
I learned how to give my cat shots to control his diabetes. Twice a day, every day of the week. I've been up at six every morning since August. It's a drag, but worth it.
But there were many, many wonderful times too. My oldest daughter got married, moved into the ancestral farm, and adopted an adorable kitten.
Spending the whole summer at our camp was just fantastic, iffy plumbing and all. That place is just so good for my soul.
There was a great trip to the Bay of Fundy with my husband and daughter.
There were many, many hours spent with dear friends. With lots of great food.
I like to think that I've helped some kids who need help. At the very least, they get a smile and a hello from an adult who cares about them every day. More times than not, I get a smile and a hello back.
I've had some great swims, taken some nice walks, floated in my canoe a bit, peddled my bike, done some birding, taken some photos, read some books, listened to awesome music performed by my family, watched my daughter dance a solo in college, and seen some amazing sunsets.
My health is good.
On the writing front -- I published a novel, Another Healing, which earned back its advance and was a finalist in the Rainbow Book Awards as well as gathering some five star reviews. I also published two novellas -- Haunted Halls and The Dragon and the Palm Tree, which were very well received. I couldn't be more pleased.
Some of my older titles have gone out of print, but I am going to be putting them on Amazon for sale eventually, freshly edited and with new covers. That will be cool.
Looking forward -- next year will start with the release of my novella Natural Instincts a mere eight days from now. I am nearing the end of the rough draft for my next major offering -- a novel named Jai, which I have been working on for many months. Once that is finished, I already have ideas for something new.
We plan to spend next summer at camp, and for the first time, I'm going to cut back on the volunteering I do in the summer and devote myself almost full time to writing for eight weeks and see what happens. My only competition will be the lake, and that I can deal with.
Thank you, wonderful readers, for following me for another year, and I wish you all the best next year!