Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goodbye 2012 ~ What a Difference a Year Can Make

As I look back over 2012 (as I am certain the rest of the world has already done a million times by now), I am blown away by how much has happened just in my own little life. Were I to try and enumerate the global ramifications of what occurred in 2012, we would be here.....well, through the rest of 2013. And the goal of this post is not to be a periodical to my few readers but more of a reminder to myself that things can change so quickly if you just give them time to do so.

In January of last year, I never could have imagined that by June, my first book would be published. I had been working on my book for many years already, and I had reached the point where I took its state of unreadiness for granted. It wasn't that I didn't put my full effort into it; it's just that when you are going to school full time and then working full time at a job that is over an hour away from where you live, there is little free time to fit in the one thing you love to do. So I was like the whittler with the tiny pocket knife, scraping away tiny curls of  wood from the giant piece of oak. Finally, in 2012, the last curl fell to the ground, and I was finished. It was a work I could be proud of. It was a real accomplishment, and it was the start of a whole different type of journey for me that I never could have anticipated the year before.

I still have my day job and probably will for a long, long time. I still have work to do where my first novel is concerned. 2013 will be my year for agent hunting, publisher submissions, and probably more rejection letters than I care to think of, but I am ready for it. I have 2012 under my belt. It was a year I never expected. I published a book. A real, honest to goodness, full epic length, read-and-enjoyed-by-strangers-across-the-country novel, and that is something that no one can take away from me. There are people who loved what I wrote (and no.....they are not relatives although the three members of my family are very excited about what has happened.) They are actual fans who are anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Chronicles of Mister Marmee. And many of those fans have become friends during the wait. All I can say is WOW! I feel pretty humbled by 2012 and the blessings it has brought.

2012 has been a year of personal triumphs, but it has had its fair share of tragedies too for my family. Every family in the world has faced them, I know. The particulars are not as important in my mind as how I have chosen to view them in the end. It is so easy in the light of heartache and hardship to lose sight of the blessings (both large and small) that are sprinkled in between the hard times, but I chose to remember a very simple principle at those times when I find my heart failing me. A light, no matter how dim, will always burn brightly in the darkness if you open your eyes and look for it.

So as I face a new year with new possibilities, I am looking for the little sparks of light wherever I can find them. I don't know what this next year will bring, but I am determined to illuminate it with whatever wondrous bits of light I can grasp. I wish you all a year of happiness and joy. I wish you all peace and safety, and most of all, I wish you many sparks of light to brighten up the darkness along the way. Blessings to you all my friends!