Happy New Year all!
2016 has come and gone. Here is a snapshot of my favorite things from 2016!
I had a crazy travel year in 2016. It was the road more traveled for me with ten road trips between May and September that involved teaching at conferences, vacations, retreats, and book signings all over including Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., North Carolina, New Hampshire, Maryland, Kentucky (Mammoth Caves!), and New York.
My favorite place remains New Hampshire. Its majestic landscape calls me to it again and again. If you recall, I took a solo book research there in the fall of 2015 back to the campground my parents owned and operated in the 1970s. I took my husband there this past summer and he fell in love too. The lakes, the mountains, the geological wonders.
These are some of my favorite people, from agents to editors to authors, who bring me great joy! Check these talented folks out, their books and their blogs.
My wonderful Wegman’s weekly writing crew!
Janice Gable Bashman
Karen Pokras Toz
My inspirational writing critique group!
Other dear friends and supporters!
Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson
The Doylestown Bookshop!
Home: A Memoir of my Early Years by Julie Andrews. I adored this book! What a fascinating look behind the life of Julie Andrews from a very young girl to the birth of her daughter. Her childhood was fantastical, dramatic, sad, and wonderful all at once and threw me back to my magical youth of growing up in England.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. If you are ready to simplify your home with a touchy-feely bent, this is for you! (and me).
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Lovely, light-hearted, and profound reading for all creative types.
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong by John O’Donohue. All about the divine restlessness of the human heart, our eternal echo of longing that lives deep within us and never lets us settle for what we have or where we are. It’s constantly drawing us toward new possibilities of self-discovery, friendship, and creativity.
The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island by Linda Greenlaw. This fun read captures small town island premier-pharmacy.com/ life with color and humor while giving us a window into a very traditional and slowly retreating lobster-fishing lifestyle.
As you can tell from my reading this year, I was seeking inspiration and insight into how others view life and their place in it – and how they created their own joyful path.
This has funneled into gearing up with new projects this year and re-inventing myself to find the joy that keeps me going (isn’t that the fun part about life?).
I’ve challenged myself to write picture books and feeling a bit nostalgic returning to my childhood to access life from a child’s view. I’m also creating an online course for writers (top secret stuff!) that will launch this year. More on that to come!
These re-inventions also include a purging of sorts with cleaning out my home and body. My husband and I just started the Whole30 (a cleaner way of eating) and are also in the process of de-cluttering our home and lightening the load of things that bog us down.
The basic idea behind both is “going simple”. Life is crazy and hectic and much is out of our control. Simplifying what we put in our bodies and what we surround ourselves with in our home can have a calming effect that helps us stay in control. One word that encompasses this theme is “joy”.
Dreaming of new ways to find joy is exhilarating and terrifying all at once. But then this …
And then this … (mourns Carrie Fisher)
What makes our bodies feel joy? What makes our soul feel joy? Which people bring us joy?
For me it’s that high from flying down a back road on my bike, the sun splashing upon me, the leaves waving me on.
It’s the book that inspires me to ask new questions and seek new meaning.
It’s the story on the page that makes my fingers fly faster on the keyboard.
It’s the friends who boost me up and keep me laughing when I stumble.
It’s the love at home that surrounds me in comfort and belonging.
Life should be joyful. And it’s never too late to seek it out. If something doesn’t bring us joy, let it go. This is my goal in 2017. Find the joy in every day.
What brings you joy? What joy are you seeking this year?