Here in New Zealand it is New Year’s Eve, and just as I do every year, I wanted to touch base with you all and let you know what is going on in my life.
It’s been a difficult year for all of us – you know it, I know it, and there’s no point in dwelling on it. But I like to think there have been some positives too, at least for me personally.
Back in July, I moved four hours drive away from my children and grandchildren so I could buy myself a house I could afford. This was a huge deal for me as all I’ve ever wanted was ten square feet to call my own. The house is tiny lol (a little bigger than ten square feet) but it is mine (and the lenders) and for me this was a huge achievement.
Even though I am not with them, my children and grandchildren all came down to celebrate an early Christmas with me and on the day itself I got video calls so I could see my grandchildren enjoying opening their presents. That was very special to me as this is the first Christmas I have been alone in over thirty years. And yet I wasn’t really alone because when I went online I had dozens of friends there and that is something I am truly grateful for.
I had a huge health scare with Scruffy at the beginning of the month when he had a seizure. It turns out my beloved dog and faithful companion has a heart condition and because of his age it will not be possible to operate. However, at the moment we are both staying positive although I am not allowed to throw the ball to far for him anymore. I have no idea what the new year will bring for him, but at the moment I am enjoying every day I can with him.
On the writing side of things I have published 14 new English titles this year and another 6 have been translated into French. Writing still is the major part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂 Although my writing schedule for next year hasn’t been set in stone yet there will be new books in the Cloverleah series, the Gods series, Balance, Arrowtown, City Dragons and the Alpha and Omega series. Under my penname Lee Oliver I will also be writing more in the Northern States Pack series and there may even be a few surprises in the form of new series along the way. My muse is a fickle creature and I have learned to follow wherever he may lead.
One of the big positives for me this year as when my friend Torhild created a group for me on Facebook (you can find that here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/217413318738434/). It is so lovely to have a space where me and my readers can share pictures, comments about my books and excerpts of upcoming titles in a closed setting. With now 370 members and growing every day, I feel like the group is my second home as everyday when I go on there, there are new things to see and hear about. Recently we had a Christmas card list for those who wanted to participate and I received 27 cards. Participation in the competitions I have been running has been amazing. The group has a wonderful community feel and I absolutely love it 🙂
As for what is to come – more books definitely and I am also looking into the possibility of creating podcasts with readings from some of my stories which I hope you will enjoy. I took a week’s holiday recently, just to spend some time doing other things and this year I will also be working on more art projects. I have been learning (by trial and error and a lot of YouTube watching) how to create fluid art which fascinates me. Creating art of any kind helps feed my creative mind and is something I find really relaxing so I have promised myself I will make the time to do more of it. I still hope to find someone special in my life, but I am learning that living alone does not mean being lonely.
No matter what the new year may bring, I for one am determined to greet whatever comes with a smile on my face. The key theme in all of my stories has always been that love is love and no matter who you love, hug them tight.