Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
I hope you're all enjoying your Holiday season. I'm excited for Christmas as always, and have been up to my ears in wrapping and gift-giving (not that I would have it any other way).
As the New Year (2017 already?!?) draws closer, I try to reflect, as always, on what made this year special. I am so blessed to have wonderful people in my life to walk with me on my journey, and I thank God for them every day.
I also thank Him for my journey, and the twists and turns it takes. If this year has made me think about anything, it's the need to be appreciative of our obstacles, because they only serve to make us stronger.
So...without further ado, I present: 2016 In Review!
This year I completed my first quarter of a century, and I've had many ups and downs, as has my family, but things are looking up and we are finding our way together.
I went back to writing on the computer after at least a year of writing solely by hand. For anyone struggling with writing, I definitely recommend notebooks for at least a little while. It really helped me reconnect with my stories and myself as a scribe.
My style has really changed this year, but I'm learning to embrace the change rather than be wary of it. Change is good, and it leads us to new places! Don't be afraid of your own, personal story!
Also, don't be afraid to speak out, or to try things that might sound crazy. You never know what those wacky ideas will bring you. My favorite innovators were known for trying weird ideas, and I want to be known for that, too.
Follow your heart, wherver it leads!
The first notable thing this year (as far as my writing and publishing life) was the rewriting of my website. I really enjoyed putting together the Story Vault, for readers to see some past ideas.
Back in early 2016 or late 2015, I joined an online writing group, and was able to learn quite a bit about inspiring other writers from the experience. This spawned my blog post "Christians, It's Okay To Write Fantasy", which I'm very proud of, and the message of which is very important to me.
As a side note to the blog post above, I also wrote a post entitled "Diverse Books: Writing About The Different Loves", another thing that is very important to me. Diversity is a wonderful thing, and I was happy to put the spotlight on this other aspect of it that doesn't seem to get enough light.
Next in my year was the posting of a free short story, "The Origin Of Tears", the first of a series of original fairy tales I have been working on. It was fun to write, and is quite special to me. If you haven't read it yet, please enjoy!
Possibly my biggest personal success for this year, in April I finished penning the rewrite of one of my most beloved stories, (now) entitled Shadows of Past Pages.
In a moment of truth, I realized that it was, in fact, the first full-length novel I had written in 3 years, and also the first I had typed in quite some time. I still can't get over how much I love this book...and don't worry, we haven't seen the last of it (for our review, or in real life!).
In May, I released the last book in my first completed series (yay!), entitled Beauty Beheld. This is a series of shorts retelling Beauty and the Beast, and I released the last book on National Teachers Day, in honor of my friend, who works so hard as a teacher to enrich the lives of kids (and who happens to love, love, love fairy tales).
For the summer, I took off the internet, as I typically do. But first I was able to do a writing workshop at Barnes and Noble for their first ever teen bookfest!
That was such a fun and thrilling event, and I met some wonderful budding writers. You never know how your inspiration or support will help someone!
Coming back in August, I wrote a little about working towards your own definition of success, not everyone else's -- and also about not comparing yourself to other (writers) -- two things I struggle with. I think that getting my feelings out has helped me in these areas, and hopefully helped someone else, too.
For those of you who were following (and thank you!), back in September I started posting chapters of Shadows of Past Pages here on my website for readers. I wanted to try something new, maybe a little bit crazy, and see how it worked.
Unfortunately, it didn't work exactly as I wanted, and I decided to go with another idea of mine instead. It's important to be flexible! In late September I wrote about how I wasn't giving up on my story -- and I'm not, as I'll tell you a bit more about next post (sneak peek: it's a secret). This time in my writing life has taught me to seek what I really want, even if it's a little crazy or seems impossible.
I've also learned that dreams change, and so we have to be aware of our own hearts and where we are being lead.
October was an extremely busy month for me, and full of amazing things!
Not only did I finish my first-ever Inktober with the amount of drawings I intended to do (you can see some here), but I also celebrated my 6th publishing anniversary!
Another special thank you to everyone who has supported, and continues to support, me. You're all amazing!
Also in October I released some NaNo Prep posts (with worksheets!), and published the next to last story in the Snowflake Triplet, The Tale of Wind and Winter!
I completed my first NaNoWriMo in several years, and posted a blog post about what I learned in the beginning of December.
Followed by a new Snowflake Triplet coloring page, and a Snowflake Triplet reading guide, the year is all wrapped and pretty like a Christmas present!
Thank you for journeying back through the year with me! It's been a long, learning year and I feel like I've come so far. Thank you all for walking the path with me, and sharing your thoughts! I'm excited for 2017!
Coming Thursday: Writing Goals For 2017, Merry
What has your year been like? What major changes have you made, and obstacles have you overcome? What excites you most about 2017?