So Long, Farewell 2020

Many people have expressed how anxious they are to see an end to 2020, and I can’t really blame them. This year has certainly challenged us in so many ways. I could list them all, but that would be depressing. We’ve lived the challenging parts once, no need to keep rubbing salt in the wound.

BUT 2020 has also allowed us to turn inward and appreciate the people in our lives and a host of little things that we had perhaps been taking for granted. We started baking and working on projects we’d been putting off, going for walks and rediscovering what it was like to have a phone conversation with someone you haven’t seen for awhile. It gave us the opportunity to show gratitude and kindness and understanding. It forced us to spend more time with the people closest to us, to nurture our relationships and to appreciate nature. 

For this author, 2020 saw the release of, not only my fourth novel, but my first novel for adults. It had been a dream of mine for many, many years, one that seemed so very impossible the first time I decided that writing was something I needed to do.

I was thrilled to see my book make several CBC lists and also the Globe and Mail’s list of Hottest Summer Releases. That was an absolute thrill.

I thank all of you for the support you’ve shown me over the years, and during this year especially. I am so very grateful for so many of you who shared my newly published book on Social Media, and to those who wrote reviews and rated it. 

While 2020 didn’t allow for book launches and readings the way we would have normally seen, I did hold my NO-LAUNCH-BOOK-LAUNCH  here on my blog in July. Thanks to so many of you for dropping by and for supporting this local author. 

2020 also saw me retiring from my day job and spending more time at the keyboard. In early 2020, I was deep in the edits to my next middle grade novel, The Family Way, that will be published in April 2021. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s the prequel to the Cammie novels and I’m so excited to introduce readers to Tulia May Thompson and Finny Paul, the main characters of the book.

So to sum it all up, so long 2020, I’m ready to release you into the Universe and invite 2021 to visit for the next twelve months. My hope is that 2021 will be a gentler lady than her predecessor. But, in the words of Tulia May Thompson, “….life doesn’t offer guarantees.”  

I’ll leave 2020 with this song from the Sound of Music and welcome 2021 with open arms. Happy New Year to you all!

 

Come on, Write That Book in 2020

Be honest, how many of you want to write a book but it just hasn’t happened? Maybe you had your plans made, a start date picked, an outline written, a schedule prepared. It was all perfect. You were set to go. Maybe you even made a New Year’s resolution to get serious and start writing that book you’ve been planning all your life.

But then something happened.

You got busy, life distracted you (silly life), or maybe—and here’s a biggie– you became afraid that you just couldn’t do it, even convinced yourself that it was a dumb idea in the first place. Write a book? Who are you trying to kid? I mean what if you fail? What if you never get to those two little words THE END. What if you actually do finish it and it sucks?

These are all questions many prospective writers ask. Believe me, I know from experience. Sometimes even published authors have these same doubts. A writer’s ego can be fragile. We put our work out there for the whole world to see and judge. Many people are kind, but not everyone.

I won’t lie to you. Writing a book takes a lot of time and a lot of creative effort.

A lot of hopeful writers start out great, but then lose traction. That great idea suddenly seems to be not so great. The excitement you felt when you first started, fizzles away to nothing. This can also happen to published authors as well. Again, I know this from experience.

Authors don’t just write books while our publisher waits with hands out to snap it up and publish it. It still has to be a good story, something the publisher can get behind, something they believe in. If it’s not, it doesn’t get published. It’s that simple.

Nevertheless, these things shouldn’t stop us from pursuing our dream of writing a book, if that’s what our dream truly is. I say that because there are people who like the idea of writing a book far greater than the actual doing because, really, the writing part ain’t all that glamorous. You spent a lot of time alone, researching and writing and writing and rewriting, sometimes crying and wailing. You start and stop and start again, you walk away but later come back.

But see, that’s the key–you come back, as many times as you have to in order to get it done.

I think many times, we put our expectations onto the end result instead of enjoying the journey. What I am discovering is that the journey will have its bumps and potholes but try to relax and put those expectations aside. Who cares if what you write isn’t very good? First drafts are often horrible, even for published authors. Believe me, we don’t just write one draft; we write many drafts. We tear apart scenes, change our entry point, points of view, you name it, we’ve changed it. And I know this might seem contrary to what I said about setting writing goals for myself, but I set these goals at a time when I know that the book I’m working on is near to completion. (By near, I still mean a few months away.)

So, if you’ve always wanted to write that book, make 2020 the year you begin. You don’t need to whip up chapters at a time. A paragraph, or even a sentence will suffice, whatever feels manageable at the time. Don’t worry about how good it is or who, if anyone will read it. Be creative. Express yourself. We all here on the planet to create in one form or another. If something inside is urging you to write than you should follow that urging. I like to think that we all have an inner wisdom, that little voice that helps direct us by times. So if there is indeed a hidden voice inside you that is dying to be heard then what are you waiting for? Get out there and start writing. Honestly, that’s how I became published.

Here’s hoping that 2020 finds you taking steps toward accomplishing some long-held dream.

Happy New Year.

Looking Forward to 2020

I have to admit, I’m feeling rather anxious for 2020 to arrive. I’ve said several times on this blog, over the years, that I always look forward to the new year coming and this year is no different. Not that a new year offers any special solutions to the challenges we might have encounter during the year, but it still fills me with a sense of newness for life as I anticipate what the year ahead will look like.

2019 had its challenges, but I came through the other side with my sense of humour and a love for life, and that’s the important part. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of great moments these past 365 days. I finished two books and signed book contracts for them both which, believe me, is something that every author loves to do. I worked on the edits for my first novel for adults, got to see the cover and read the blurbs written for “Good Mothers Don’t “ by authors whose work I admire. (I hope that’s a good sign that other will like the book as well.)

2020 will see me working on more edits, first for the Cammie prequel and then for another middle grade novel as the advance reading copies (ARCs) need to be ready for the fall as well even though it will not be out until the fall of 2021. (Seems confusing, doesn’t it?) That novel will be a bit different as it’s written in third person, something I don’t often do, only because I tend to enjoy first person novels for reading as well as writing. That particular book, however, seemed to call for a different approach. I also have several books I want to get back to writing in 2020. Plus there will be the usual book launches and signings that always go along with the publication of a new book. It’s sure to be a busy year. But I’m looking forward to it.

Last year, I made a promise that I’d complete the Cammie prequel and gave myself a deadline. I did the same with the next novel. Seems like something I’ll carry with me into 2020 as it worked out well this time. For now, that’s my writing goal for 2020, to finish another manuscript I’ve been working on.

I hope 2020 is good to all of you. I hope you make good memories and share some special moments with those you love.

Happy New Year and I’ll be back blogging in 2020. What are your plans for the year ahead?

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