Counting my blessings, life is like a Harvest Festival ….
Fall is a time when I begin to think of Winter, when the nights draw in and the mornings gradually grow darker. It’s a time to begin thinking about plans for the festive holidays in December – it’s a time of planning and enjoying wonderful evenings in front of the fire.
For me it’s also quite a cathartic and contemplative time. I think I should explain … I always begin each year with a list of things I want to achieve – my ‘hit list’. By the time we reach the Autumn (as we refer to it in the UK) I know whether my list was simply too hopeful, or whether by some miracle I’m on target. I have to say that when September arrives, the first of January seems like something from the dim and distant past!
This year was an unusual one for me – my other half had one of those big ‘zero’ birthdays and we had a special wedding anniversary to celebrate. We also knew we were both going to be very busy this year on the work front and that it wasn’t going to be easy packing everthing in and keeping our family life ticking over. But what of my ‘hit list’? Well, the target was to release not one, but three new books.
Insane? Probably, but time marches on very quickly and those manuscripts had been sitting in little folders on my desktop since the second half of 2009. To release my debut novel in February 2011 and a second, true story in 2012, was a dream come true. But those little folders kept trying to catch my attention!
So on 1 January 2012 I duly wrote down my ‘hit list’ for 2012. I’ve just updated it and it now looks like this!
- Despite workload, celebrate husband’s birthday in style – DONE AND HE LOVED HIS SURPRISE TRIP
- Despite workload, celebrate the big wedding anniversary (even though you are launching a book in the middle of it) – DONE AND EUROPE WAS FABULOUS!
- Organise a little event called a Summer Audience – an event for new authors – DONE AND JUDGING BY THE SMILES ON THE DAY EVERYONE HAD FUN!
- Establish a brand – update personal website and think about covers –DONE
- Release The Quintessential Gemini – DONE, COURTESY OF A CONTRACT FROM SAPPHIRE STAR PUBLISHING Jun 7th 2012
- Release The Restaurant @ The Mill – DONE, COURTESY OF SAPPHIRE STAR PUBLISHING Aug 2nd 2012!
- Release Never Alone – BEING RELEASED ON Oct 10, 2012
- Start a new work in progress – DONE – THE GLASS WALL IS UNDERWAY….
Of course, there were other things on my “unwritten” list like ‘spend more time with the family’ and the cat (Mr Tiggs), ‘finish the renovation work on the cottage’, ‘finish the garden’ …. but those were things I was unlikely to forget or fail to do. Family and home is important and I’m a homemaker, a nurturer first and foremost.
It’s been a year of personal goals, ‘me time’ that has slotted in around all else and I’ve achieved the next part of my dream. On 1 January 2012 I had two books, I now have four with the fifth due out very soon. So this fall I’m celebrating my very good fortune in attracting a publisher – which wasn’t on my ‘hit list’ as I had no intention of submitting any of my manuscripts. However, fate had other plans and one Tweet changed all that. I’m so very happy with this new path I find myself on!
Something else that could never have been a part of my hit list was the wonderful feedback I’ve received from readers who have so kindly written reviews for my books. To be honest with you, I never thought beyond the processes of getting those stories out there and that is another reason why I’m counting my blessings. It was obviously a year of extremely hard work balancing so many different things, but it is true that you reap what you sow. If you do nothing, then nothing happens.
So in tandem with celebrating Harvest Festival and the importance the crops represent to the farming community in which I live, I will also be saying a silent ‘thank you’ for the luck that has come my way this year. I do not take it for granted and, of course I will continue to set myself unrealistic goals next year (as I always do)! However, I have found out that sometimes you really can make everything happen with a bit of luck, a lot of hard work and some wonderful friends around you.
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