Oh, man. Where do I begin? 2015 was a year full of ups and downs, laughter and heartbreaks, lessons learned, memories made, and new stories released for the world to enjoy.
I turned 30, so I guess that’s a big thing. I honestly never thought I’d live to see 17, but that’s neither here or there. (Depression sucks.) I made some new friends, lost some good friends, and once again learned that harsh lesson that not everyone cares about you as much as you care about them.
I released two books – not as many as I would have liked, but I am pleased that I was able to publish the ones in which characters were willing to cooperate.
I gained new readers – I am forever grateful for that. This is coming from a girl who had a dream and no idea of what she was doing. I am so blessed to be on this journey and to have folks who are willing to travel with me along this insane path. The road is sometimes bumpy, often scary, and there are moments when I get lost. But I always seem to get directions at the last minute and then I’m on my way again. There is no map for this, folks. There are no instructions. Being a writer takes ambition, determination, imagination, and lots of pep talks. I sincerely hope everyone has someone in their life to shove them forward when they want to stop.
I gave the world the gift of Lydia and Callum’s love, the protectiveness of a little brother named Jeb, the terrifying battle of good and evil in Chartreuse #2 (Eventually Ever After), and I will soon be sharing the struggles of a girl named Laney, and all the wonderfulness known as Prairie Town #2 (90 Days).
In 2015 I was able to change a person’s heart/mind/thinking when it comes to the LGBT community. You just don’t even know how much that means to me. Chartreuse was always meant to be about teaching love and acceptance, but I honestly had no idea it would be capable of softening a heart and making someone more open-minded.
I’ll take it.
In 2015 the release of 180 Days helped bring two sets of cousins closer together. I am grateful they no longer have to hide who they are and have a new ally in their corner. ❤
I had a lot of lows in 2015. Hell, let’s be honest – I have a lot of lows every year. I struggle to fight my demons constantly, but I hope and pray 2016 will be a little kinder in regards to that.
I really, really hope that my confidence will go up 1000x for 2016. I don’t want to doubt myself anymore. I know I can write. I may not be one of the top writers of all time, but I am capable of telling stories, making people cry, and touching hearts. Sometimes I forget that and that’s when things get dark.
It can be discouraging when your characters don’t want to talk to you. (I am totally looking at you, Isaiah.)
It can get frustrating when people want the next book, but things aren’t working out in your mind and you can’t continue the next chapter – at least not yet.
I would love to finish up three series and get them out there, but these are the characters who have seniority in my mind, so I can’t really tell them what to do.
If you think you’re in control, you’re wrong.
It will be so incredibly hard saying goodbye to some of the folks who reside in my brain, but I just feel like it’s time to let them go. You can have too much of a good thing.
According to the tarot reading I received the other day, I need to give love a chance. I know – I KNOW – that’s weird. I swore off love when I was only 20. I haven’t dated or even thought about looking twice when it comes to relationships, but maybe that will change this year. (Dear future boyfriend, you have to share me with my books. This is non-negotiable.)
This year I still cling to the hope of hitting a best-seller’s list. It takes time, I know this. It takes patience and a lot of hard work. I am still relatively unknown, but I know my day is coming.
Yours is, too.
I hope that I will gain a backbone this year and learn to say no more often.
I hope to lose 20 pounds and by golly, I’m going to do it.
I will lose one organ and I’m not fond of it, but things happen. (It’s time to break up, gall bladder. It’s definitely you, not me.) I consider myself lucky I’ve made it to 30 without having any surgeries, but let’s not kid around here – I am freaking terrified. (But my surgeon is really nice. I think it really helps when doctors are kind people.)
I’m going into 2016 with the knowledge that my nephew is turning 13, my niece will turn 11, and I may or may not begin thinking about the possibility of giving them a cousin. (But not until I acquire a boyfriend and all that happily ever after business, etc.)
Despite my thoughts, I cannot save the whole world, but I can do something to make a difference for someone. It may be a small thing; it may be a big thing. All I know is that I will continue what I can to help those in need, so I’m really looking forward to what #ADollarFromTheHeart can accomplish.
For all of my friends, I truly hope 2016 blesses you with all the things you want. I hope your dreams come true and I hope life gives you all the happiness you’ve been hoping for. If 2015 was a dark time for you, may this year have nothing but light to offer you. If you’ve doubted yourself, no matter if it’s writing or something else, stop it. Just stop. I know I should practice what I preach and I’m going to work on that, but life is truly too short to doubt what you’re capable of.
It’s true, you know – what they say. The only thing stopping you from reaching your dreams is yourself.
I really planned on saying something more inspirational, but of course my mind has gone blank. Typical.
May 2016 be awesome for all of you, my darlings.