I FAILED . . .

I have failed on my Goodreads reading challenge for 2015. I set out to read 80 books this year. (Yes, I know this seems like a lot, but I have previously read 100 books in a year—so I didn’t think this was an impossible total.) But in an attempt to start the new year as a glass-is-half-full kind of gal, I will be focusing on the fact that I did read 55 books. Or I will have read 55 by midnight, because I fully intend to finish Colleen Hoover’s book “Maybe Someday” before the end of the day. I consider this a major accomplishment because Colleen Hoover’s books have been on my list to read for ages and ages. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that about once a month I share one of Colleen’s posts. She is hilarious and irreverent, and mostly I just love the story of how her books came to be . . . you may remember that she’s the author who began typing away on a borrowed laptop while she was waiting for her son to finish play practice and the rest is just history people!

So the last day of the year is here . . . or if maybe you’re reading this tomorrow, we’re saying hello to 2016.

In addition to being behind on my reading goal for the year, I am feeling a little behind as to where I wanted to be with my writing. I decided to make myself feel better by recapping 2015.  Y’know . . . I have been forgetting what a great year it really was!

My novel was the finalist in two national contests. I’ve published two novellas in the Circle of Nine series, with a third nearly finished. And I promise that the sequel to the series will definitely be released in 2016.

I was able to talk about Indie Publishing at the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference and visit libraries and schools to encourage teens to get writing. I was particularly impressed with the quality of stories being written by teens who attended my workshop at the Columbus Library. I can guarantee that these teens have a bright publishing future.

Along with some fabulous Columbus, Wisconsin readers, I helped to create a monthly book club called Books & Beers. We’ve had a super response from both readers and authors who have taken part in these fun, informal monthly gatherings. (The Books & Beers Facebook page gives all the upcoming events through May of 2016, so you can mark your calendars and get reading.)

Of course, I meant to do more with my year . . . we ALWAYS mean to do more.

But life does get in the way of work/writing (and aren’t we glad that we let it do that from time to time). In 2015, as a family we celebrated a high school graduation with a mega party, college freshman move-in, college junior move-in, bridal showers and weddings.  Together my husband and assorted family members traveled to Florida, Honduras, Las Vegas, London, New York City, and the Navajo Nation. The trip to the Navajo Nation (New Mexico/Arizona) commenced the day after our oldest daughter’s wedding in order to attend the premiere of the Navajo Elder History documentaries. We were so proud that our college junior was on the team creating this year’s set of films, which will be archived at the Smithsonian. 

Have I ever mentioned that I have a big family? Here are all those on my side of the family in attendance at our daughter's September wedding.

I also held down the fort during my husband’s many travels to Central America and Africa for the charity he founded, The World Orphan Fund. In fact, in just a few days we’ll be traveling to visit the four children we sponsor at the largest orphanage in Honduras and along the way setting up electric usage monitors to gather data that will be used in the creation of a solar power plan for that orphanage and another in Honduras.


I am looking forward to 2016 . . . I can’t wait to get back to the sequel to Circle of Nine. (I have been missing Brigit Quinn. I can’t wait to throw more trials and tribulations her way!) 

I already have an idea marinating for the YA novel I will write after that one.

I am looking forward to doing some deep edits on my middle grade novels and have high hopes for their eventual publication.

And, as you know, if you follow my Facebook page, I am angling to fit a trip to Ireland into 2016 somewhere. 

My big decision today is to decide what a realistic Goodreads reading challenge goal will be for 2016. (If you’ve never created an account there, pop on over to Goodreads and sign up. It is a wonderful gathering place for readers and writers.)

Happy New Year!! I hope that you’re looking forward to 2016 and all that adventures it will bring as much as I am!



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