This time last year, I wrote some pretty specific goals. We had just moved to Evanston, Illinois, and I was full of energy and optimism. I also knew this year would offer a lot of change and personal challenges.

Reflecting on those goals,

YES. In terms of writing, this has been an excellent year. BELIEVE was released. I also finished the work in progress that needed (what I thought was) an ending but as the year would prove, it also needed a new point of view, set of secondary characters, and yeah, an ending. It is now out of my hands. My fingers are crossed!

YES, I took a lot of chances. I got a part time job, went to new SCBWI regions, and introduced myself more times than I can count. I tried to tweet. I have a long way to go on that one!

Oh, YES, I enjoyed the boy’s last semester of high school. That said, the empty nest has taken some getting used to. My husband and I miss having the kids around. Now the girl is off to France. Does this mean I will finally get used to Skype? I guess it does.

I always eat good food, especially chocolate. This year, I tried cooking more vegetarian entrees. I also perfected my pizza making skills.

I hope all my friends and family know how much I appreciate and love who they are. It was my goal to keep reminding them of this. Every year offers challenges….and sometimes we all need a little privacy. But we also need to know that we are not alone.

A lot of people like to say, “Don’t look back,” but in reflection, I can see just how wonderful and challenging this year has been. Thanks to everyone! Thanks for being there for me during the rough patches. Thank you for celebrating the release of BELIEVE. Thank you for welcoming me to your community. Over the last few days, as the girl gets ready to go, we keep reflecting on the importance of community and how much happier we are when we feel secure. As I look forward to a new year, a new class, a new manuscript, and many  more challenges, I am secure in my knowledge that I’m not alone.

Enjoy the day!


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