|I love my flowers! Pansies and lobelia.|
I offer, then, this probably not-so-short list of things this year has held that deserve much more public praise than I’ve given them:
· January: Our move to North Dakota. How are we doing, almost a year later? Well, overall, I can honestly say I love it here. There are things I don’t love, of course, and maybe it’s just that I’m learning as never before to honestly choose gratitude and contentment, but for the most part Troy and I both feel we’ve flourished. Even on his out-of-town trips, my husband is no longer on the other side of the planet. He’s loving being able to work a “regular” job, no longer stressed to the point of needing medication.
|And my clematis ...|
· April, May, September, December: Seeing how God has sustained us through several medical crises with my mother this year ... a bad hip fracture and resulting surgery, multiple severe heart blockages that necessitated emergency quadruple bypass surgery, and a nasty infection that led to the amputation of all the toes on one foot. Hard things, all, yet ... she’s still with us. Still able to talk with us and be our family’s rear-guard in prayer, as she has been since forced retirement a few years ago.
|Even the view from my backyard is therapeutic|
· July: In the meantime, I was offered a second novella contract, on a story idea that I’d pronounced my silliest ever. :-) Of course my editor liked that one the best, but I couldn’t help but be excited!
|RITA finalists get to have their book at the store table...wow!|
|A new phone means a few selfies! With a bestie, of course :-)|
· August/September: a crushing pair of months in which some of our older children drive cross-country to visit, we plan our trip back to South Carolina for our eldest son’s wedding, I start and finish the first draft of my upcoming novella in less than three weeks, and ... God up and changed my plans once again, and handed me the next incredible blessing of attending not just RWA, but ACFW as well. Less than a week after the wedding, to boot. I got to meet veteran author Lauraine Snelling, the conference keynote and one of my Pioneer Christmas co-authors. Was challenged to tears by her messages. Attended my first author/publisher party. Got to see my first book in the conference bookstore for the first time. Had not just one, but two editors—one my longtime dream publisher, one my newest dream publisher—request to see more of Loyalty. And, with half an hour to spare before I had to leave the conference, brought my hoped-for agent to my table at the gala, for a quick but intensely profitable conversation ... which led to ...
|a historic church and the marvel of the St. Louis Arch|
(Yes!!! Take note! After more than thirty years of writing novel-length fiction ... seven completed manuscripts ... one little published novella and another to come ... God gave me an agent!!)
|My newest cover! Coming May 2015|
I’ve finished up the year praying about what direction to take now ... in my various stories in progress, the other blogs I write for, and for this one. I made the decision to do some fine-tuning on this blog and give it a more professional focus. I’ll be continuing with the devotionals at The Borrowed Book, and as a contributor on Colonial Quills, as well. After a long dry spell writing-wise, and a highly emotional year family-wise, I’m back in the saddle and ready to meet whatever this next year might hold. God is my strength ... and He’s proven Himself so amazingly faithful ... I cannot wait to see what He has next!