Year End Thoughts

It’s been an interesting year for me. Though it started out a bit on the slow side writing-wise, as the months progressed I found the pace quickening as I began indulging again in things I had begun to think had gotten lost somewhere inside me.

I participated in NaNoWriMo this year, something I strive to at least partake in each year, whether I finish the challenge or not, and even though I didn’t finish the challenge, I did manage to put more than 30,000 words into a new project that even a month later I am still incredibly excited to be working on.

I also wrote about eight short stories during the second half of the year and shopped them around to various markets–something I hadn’t done very actively in more than five years–the shopping around of short stories, not the writing of them. I manage to write short stories from time to time, and I’m looking to do more of that in the upcoming year. There’s something about short stories that feels incredibly satisfying, like dipping your toe into the pool on a hot day and then deciding a quick lap around is all you need to cool off. I find it so much more manageable at times to write and finish short stories than to focus on longer projects, but I’m hoping I can do more of both in 2019. I have so many projects I want to see completed. I also released two short stories, and if you haven’t checked them out yet but want to see what they’re about, take a look around the blog.

I’ve also rediscovered how much I love getting crafty. I used to craft a lot when my offspring was smaller, but over the years I didn’t craft nearly as much. This year, I let myself indulge, managing to complete a number of really rewarding projects. I made a doll for someone I love dearly, and realized I can paint space and the cosmos on just about anything with a paintable surface. Imagine everything I own painted like deep space, and you’ll get the picture. And I get really excited every time I think about the things I have planned to craft in the future.

We gardened this year, somewhat successfully, and managed to get over to the local berry farm a few time to pick strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries. I then came home and made jam from all three, sometimes separately and other times all mixed up into a triple berry deliciousness that goes well with just about everything, including Victoria sandwich cake with a light dusting of powdered sugar. In the fall, I made several jars of concord grape jelly, a favorite in our house that doesn’t usually last long because it’s too good. Though, sadly, there were no apples this year to make apple butter, apple sauce, and apple pie filling, but there’s always next fall. And while it hardly takes the place of apples, we were fortunate enough to land a couple bushels of fresh sweet corn that we carved off the cob and boiled down a bit with a dash of sugar for freezing. I cried a little when we used the last of the corn because it made amazing creamy chicken corn chowder.

As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time in my favorite place: the kitchen. Canning, cooking, baking, you name it, I had my hands in multiple glorious pots and pans of it over the last year, and I can’t wait to see what we cook up in 2019.

Despite spending so much time in the kitchen, I managed to stay active outside of the kitchen, and shed about fifty pounds these last few months. It’s been so rewarding, seeing hard work pay off, and I’m excited to reach the goals I set for myself in the next year.

James and I joined the So Many Levels campaign, which has been an absolute blast. From time to time I add updates here about the game and link you guys to the video from the Twitch stream. Things in that campaign are coming to a head, so you’ll definitely want to stay tuned in the upcoming year to find out what happens.

All in all, it was a really good year, and I’m beyond grateful for all the amazing things I got to experience and the people I was fortunate enough to share those experiences with. Thank you to everyone who was a part of my journey this year.

I’m really excited to see what 2019 has to offer. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of all the fun and wonderful things I got to do in 2018.

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