Just two more days until the curtain drops on 2017, and we are rocketed into a new year! Are you excited? 😀 Before I’m “rocketed”, I’d like to look back on the blessings and happenings of this year.
In the blogging sphere…
This has been a big blogging year for me! Mostly because it was my first full year of posting regularly. 😉 I had the privilege of interviewing eight fantastic authors, reviewing super cool books, and helping host two blog parties. I think my favorite part of blogging has been interacting with and celebrating you all. ❤
(My desk clean. Savor this moment. It is rare.)
I looked at my stats to find the top five posts of this year (excluding parties, because those get crazy stats for the giveaways XD), and here’s what the numbers show.
- My Weekend at the Generation Rising Authors Booth was a very fun summary of one of my favorite experiences this year. I’m praying and planning to do this again! 😀
- My Top 10 Favorite Indie Books was one of the worst posts I’ve ever written. It was too hard. 😉 I’ve read 30+ fantastic indie books, so deciding which ones were my favorites was cruel. 😛
- The Twin Arrows Release Day! Eeek!!! This was such an exciting post to write. (And you all were so sweet with your congratulations.)
- The Secret Slipper Review & Amanda Tero Interview! Amanda is awesome and so are her books. Nuff said.
- Family Camp! Family camp was a big highlight. 😉 Even though I did have to write a short story for school during it (oh, horrors 😛 ), it was a fantastic time.
In the reading sphere…
Mwahahaha!! Do you hear my bookdragon laugh? I discovered so many new, beautiful books this year. (And some new favorite authors.) Goodreads put together this really cool summary of what I read this year which you can view here whether you have an account or not. (It’s been “Year of the Short Story” for me.)
(A stock photo.)
I’ll do my best to pick my top five favorites… *holds breath* *cries* Okay, I had too many favorites, so these are just the ones I’m storing deep in my heart and quoting for eternity.
- Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White is the aesthetically wonderfullest book ever. ❤ It’s written in the style of a scrapbook, and the entire thing refreshed me and encouraged me in my own writing. 😉
- Princess Academy is my new favorite fantasy book, probably because it feels like historical fiction and the characters are FANTASTIC.
- I’m on a mission to make everyone read Left to Die. It’s adorable, sweet, but contains a very strong and important theme. ❤
- Henry and the Chalk Dragon looks like a darling middle-grade adventure (which it is), but it’s really much more than that. It’s a call to action. An encouragement. A reminder to be brave. (I’m crying just thinking about it.)
- Kate’s Innocence is the first contemporary book I’ve read by one of my favorite authors. And I love it. It pulled me out of a reading slump and left me wanting an entire series. 😀 (Which she’s working on. Yay!)
In the writing sphere…
This has been an encouraging writing year for me. I made a lot of new friends and some steady, exciting progress on projects.
(My bestest writing buddies and I on our way to a Christian coffeeshop.)
Apparently, I’m doing everything in fives. So here’s five favorite writing things from this year. 😉
- Finishing the first draft of “Kiera”! I’m 1/3 of the way through the second draft and still exceedingly excited about the story. (Which is actually a good sign. And, guys, it’s gonna be a novel!)
- Releasing Enjoy the Poodle Skirt on Kindle in March. It was the first thing I’d published in almost three years, which made it extra exciting. 😉
- Camp NaNoWriMo, both the April and July sessions. They helped me get on a good writing schedule, and the support from The Chatterbox Girls (my virtual cabinmates) was sooo helpful!
- Releasing The Twin Arrows to the world! 😀 I loved working with my ace beta-readers, and presenting it at a homeschool convention a few weeks later with my local writing friends was pretty cool. ❤
- Taking an online short story writing class with my brother. It taught me that I could write on demand, and I published one of the stories I wrote, Red Boots, soon after.
I’ve also been working on a story “The Memory Girl” and “Legend” (sequel to The Twin Arrows), but you’ll hear more about those later. 😉
(My finished baby quilt!)
Life outside of books and blogging and reading and reviewing has been rich and full. ❤ God has given me so many gifts. My birthday earlier this year was storybook blessed. I have a fantastic, goofy family, including four adorable nephews who delight my heart. We’ve shared celebrations, read-alouds, trials, movie nights, and creative endeavors. I experienced a semester of college with my brother and sister closest in age. I’ve enjoyed building friendships with people far and near. Watching Rogue One with a bestie, mostly keeping up on emails with penpals in other states, discussing writing with church friends, and interacting with my fellow bookworms on Goodreads have been just a few highlights.
God has brought me nearer to Him, teaching me hard lessons of flexibility and contentment. (Same old lessons, but stronger this time.) He has given me grace and strength and song. Thank you for the year, Lord.
How has your year been? What are you grateful for?
(A recent joy has been Christmas candy. But that never lasts long. 😛 )