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It's Like a Gift, 2021

I remember sitting down at the end of 2019 and writing about how excited and full of hope I was for 2020. 2019 was a tough year, personally, and I expected 2020 to smooth out and fly right. Hindsight, as they say. But, I don't want to be at the end of 2020 wishing another year into the past. It hasn't been all great, but it hasn't been terrible, personally. I think 2021 looks daunting coming down the pike. It feels like we've lost a wheel and are hurtling into the future at break-neck speed, no control, and failing brakes. I'm a little terrified what I might find when I unwrap it.

Back in 2019, my oldest daughter informed me that we were due for a pandemic, like the Spanish flu. Apparently, she had learned that we have one every hundred years or so. I looked it up, it's not quite accurate, but it is a little eerie to see history laid out by illness. At the time I thought that I might consider discouraging her interest in apolcalypse fiction. Then January came and my husband said, "We should probably be stocking up," one evening while we watched the news coming out of China. He is not a conspiracy theorist, nor does he overreact. He is a medical guy, a big picture guy, so I took his word for it and started stockpiling long-life shelf items, just in case. By the time the toilet paper was gone from the stores in March, we were well-supplied.

2020 hasn't been what I hoped for but it will be a year I'll never forget. I cherish the months after March when my kids lost the prickliness of being influenced by their peers and remembered that they were each other's first friends. It was pretty awesome to hear them laughing at inside jokes that I was not privy to. They are really incredible people.

I became more introverted this year. It's a bigger struggle to join and participate than it used to be. I can spend entire weeks in my house and yard without ever feeling the pull to leave. I dread going to the store, which was an almost daily activity for me in 2019. It seems that my focus has narrowed. I need interaction with others less. So, while my husband is in dire need of a vacation, I am dreading the idea of being away from home.

We had the joy of watching Dunkan grow from a little guy to a bigger guy. I think we've laughed at him more than we've laughed at any dog we've ever had. He is vocal and goofy and full of love. So much so that my girls only wanted to add another one to the mix this year. We welcomed Beau-Dacious to our home last week. He seems to be settling in well.

In 2021, all of my early works will be coming home. I had a great run with thewordverve, but ultimately, change is part of life. They will relaunch on January 1, 2021 under the imprint Beech House Books.

I've signed a contract with a traditional publisher for my next book, Hush, Delilah, and am excited at the prospect of working with a full editing team. Traditional publishing takes time, so I expect it out in 2022. I completed another manucript, Seven Seconds to Invisibility, which is out for first round beta reads. I'm contemplating my next project but am not in a hurry.

Hometwon Novel Nights is gearing up for a busy season and we are adding a writer's group into the mix. We are all looking forward to returning to face to face events and are hopeful for 2021. I don't expect an end of social distancing or of COVID19 in the early part of 2021, so we'll keep up the virtual events until we can get back together. If you are in the south of Atlanta region, I hope you'll join us.

So, as I contemplate this gift being handed to us in 2021 I am a little apprehensive. I almost dread opening it. I know it will be fine, ultimately. Life is change. I hope to see light at the end of the tunnel, for all the struggles that have come in 2020. I hope you all find light at the end of the tunnel. It's gonna be fine.


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