Where did 2016 go? It feels like just yesterday that I was ringing in the New Year with my best friends playing Rock Band and Cards Against Humanity.
This month has been a time of reflection for me. A lot has happened this year, both good and bad. While a lot of what’s happened has been bad, I’m doing my best to focus on the good. It has been a trying year, not only for me but for my city, my country. We faced one of the nastiest elections in history in 2016. Baton Rouge experienced a tumultuous summer, between police shootings and the historic flooding in August. My family lost everything in the flood. I’d lost part of myself as the fall pressed on, between stress at work and home.
But as this year comes to a close, I find I have a lot to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for my loved ones. As my best friend says, ‘Friends are the family you choose.’ I firmly believe that sentiment. I know without my best friends, and parents, I would not have made it through this year.
I’m thankful for the freedoms I have in this life. I get to choose where I work. I get to choose what I do with my free time. This year, more than any before, has taught me that I am privileged in many ways. I don’t take those privileges for granted.
I’m thankful that I was able to have all four grandparents with me until the age of 27. Losing my grandfather this year was one of the toughest things I’ve ever experienced. I miss him immensely, but with time, that will get better.
I’m thankful for my health. One thing I have always struggled with is my weight. While I am mostly healthy, I’ve found myself this year getting back to where I was before 2012. In 2012, I lost 50 pounds. I was happy. The trials of the last year have been difficult, and I’ve fallen into a lot of my old habits. But I’m alive. And I’m going to get back to where I was.
Most of all, I’m thankful that I have a love of books. Most people don’t have an escape when they get depressed. They don’t have a way of coping with the trials in their life. For me, books have always given me an out. There is little better than a new (or old) world being opened for my soul to experience. More than that, I am thankful for the worlds that I have been able to create.
With that being said, I finished NaNoWriMo on November 21. I know how rough the story is, and I plan on working on it in the future. I’m proud that I was able to accomplish such a feat and prove to myself that I can write every single day. That’s what it was about for me. After reaching my 50,000 words, I took a bit of a break to read (a review for Heartless is on its way!) and work on a new idea for a book series.
As December dawned, however, I had to go into editing mode. HalfLife editing is in full force. I’ve learned some new tricks in Microsoft Word (track changes…wha????) and I’m using those to help me through the process. My hope is to have it ready for beta readers by the end of January. I know I have a lot of work left to do on it, but this is the most confident I have ever felt about my journey to getting published. The story is good. The characters are so ingrained in me and I know the world will love them.
Christmas is coming, and things are bound to get busier. My goal is to blog every couple of weeks. Life can get in the way, so no promises. :p
As always, thank you for reading and going along on this crazy journey called life with me.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate, to you and yours.