DSC03493As a writer, nothing is more satisfying than writing “The End” at the end of a creative work—and the end of a creative year is no exception. Here it is the end of 2015 and I am contemplating my level of satisfaction. I am overall very pleased with all that has transpired over the last twelve months. Here are my top 5 accomplishments:

  1. Travelled to great places to research a new novel.

This new novel is about Mary Magdalene. The idea came to me in 2013 when I traveled to Italy for my birthday and entered the Cathedral of Mary Magdalene in Vatican City. When I returned to the States, I began researching. There is so much written about this mysterious woman that I became immersed in the research. I quickly discovered that what is written is based on legend, myth and speculation. I got so buried in the research that I despaired that I could ever make sense of it all. I hit a wall and couldn’t go on. Then I got the opportunity to travel to Sedona, AZ and Algodones, Mexico, which jumpstarted the writing process. I anticipate the novel’s completion in 2016.

  1. Published The Living Stones an ebook through Smashwords.com.

After two years of writing and editing this book, I made the decision to publish it as an ebook. This novel is a labor of love and quite different from anything with which I am familiar. It is the story of a white Bible given to a five-year-old and its travels from person to person over an eighty-year period. It is a fictional plot woven throughout by real testimonies of Christian conversion that I have collected over the year. It reveals the move of God through eight decades and the lives touched by the Spirit of God.

  1. Published my first print book Superstition Murder Club through Amazon.

I usually publish ebooks because I believe it is the way to get my work out to the public. However, my target audience for this book is an older generation who prefer reading print books. I decided to venture into self-publishing and it was an adventure. I hired a designer and over several months prepared the manuscript for printing. I chose to print the book in large print so that my audience could easily enjoy my cozy murder mystery. It required a considerable upfront financial investment, but it has been worth it and I have already recouped my investment.

  1. Successful book signing event of Superstition Murder Club on October 26th.

I have never had a book signing before because I have never put my work in print. I was blessed by a group of people who demonstrated their love for me by creating a spectacular party around my book launch. They decorated the room, brought appetizers and desserts, served as bartenders for the champagne and wine, and served as hosts to hundreds of people who attended, bought books and stood in line to have me sign them. From all reports, everyone had a great time. I sold and signed 100 books that night.

  1. Visited my children and grandchildren on the west coast and east coast.

These visits were the highlight of the year! When God first moved me to Arizona to serve as a caregiver for my 91-year-old mother, I struggled with being so far away from my grandchildren. Those family members who are in close proximity have the joy and privilege of seeing them grow up while I remain committed to the care of my mother. I really struggled with this choice. Everyone tells me that I won’t regret the time I spend with my mother once she is gone, but I missed hugging my little ones, reading them bedtime stories and generally being their Nana.

I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to visit them this year, from my oldest who is 13 to the youngest who is one. I have to say that my time on the east coast was extremely blessed and I was overwhelmed by the care and love I received from my son and his wife.

It has been a year of great creativity. I have learned so much from all the experiences I’ve had this year. I was able to teach creative writing courses that energized my own writing and allowed me the privilege to inspire others to express their ideas in writing. I was hired to teach water aerobics five days a week. I am so grateful for this opportunity because it has forced me to get away from the computer. I was able to love my mother and give her a better quality of life for which I am grateful. I grew in spiritual knowledge and experienced the love of God in all my ways. All in all, it has been a very good year!

The end—only this is just the beginning of another year of great creativity and following the path God has given to me. I wish for you the same.

Happy New Creative Year!Happy 2016