Thoughts

2020 – My Review

In no particular order, here are the top 10 things I enjoyed about 2020.

Texas Vacation –

For some time I have wanted to travel to Galveston Island, Texas. Our first attempt to go there (early spring) was thwarted by local lock-downs, so we canceled and enjoyed a lovely staycation. In the fall, we were all set to travel to our favorite beach destination. Tropical Storm Sally had other plans. So, in a 12 hour time period, we shifted on a dime. We adjusted our flight plan, located a different rental vehicle, 2 rental homes, and headed in the direction of Galveston Island. It was so fun! Historical, beachy, good food, and just the break we needed. We didn’t even allow Tropical Storm Bertha to put a damper on our spirits (though she did try).

20 Years Later –

On September 9, 2020, my husband and I exchanged vows. Last year we celebrated 20 years together – fun, laughter, occasional frustration, approximately 18 moves, several children and grandchildren, a few dogs, 1 cat, and a pig.

Our celebration consisted of working with a nice home cooked meal afterward. Here’s to 20 more years (at least)…

20 years & counting

Lost & Found

This might seem like small potatoes to some, but when the winters get as cold as they do around here, I was a happy camper indeed when I found all of our winter gear just as the weather started to turn.

When we moved to Alaska almost 10 years ago, we quickly learned the importance of good outdoor gear. We walked and biked a lot those first 6 years, so we studied hard! But, one thing about the short spring/summertime is that I want to thoroughly enjoy those months without thinking about winter. Meaning I pack up all the snow pants, gloves, hats, scarves, and my amazing snow skirt and put them away until late October. Only this time, I couldn’t find them. Talk about a panic. I searched and searched only to come to the conclusion that we might have accidentally thrown them all out in an aging/busted suitcase. Imagine my sheer delight when I found everything (including my fabulous snow skirt) in a tote buried in a closet!

Family Time –

Like many folks did we spent a lot of time at home and keeping our bubble small during the pandemic. That meant a lot of time with hubby (no complaints here!) and children/grandchildren who live locally. We were also extremely blessed to welcome grandchild #7!

And, because family time also means cooking in our house we:

  • Celebrated special days with a lot of cheesecake
  • Made artisan bread
  • Started making homemade bread every week (and ditched the store bought kind)
  • Made a Mickey Mouse cake for one little boy’s 1st birthday
  • Challenged ourselves with a new in-home workout
  • Drank a ton of coffee
  • Completed 3 jigsaw puzzles

Joined a Critique Group –

Writing can be a lonely passion. Throw in a pandemic, and you might just ditch writing completely. When a chance to join a critique group came along, I signed up immediately! Since then, I’ve participated in weekly critique group meetings where I hear the voices and see the faces of actual writers who, like me, are trying to make it in the industry.

Published 2 Pieces –

The Calricaraq series

I had big plans to publish 2 full-length novels & a low-content journal in 2020. I almost made it.

Starring Alaska (book 3 in the Calricaraq series) made its debut into the world in September. You can purchase a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0897XJ77T

Blurb: Starr Randel has healed just enough to go home. She has a supportive fiancé and new life goals, yet she’s mired in the turmoil of past events. She can’t shake the guilt that she’s somehow responsible for the death of one of her clients and Sdax hasn’t made amends following their botched suicide pact. Weeks before her wedding, Starr is left to her own devices when Geoff, her fiancé, goes from caring to cagey. She decides to leave everything behind in an effort to forge ahead. In Alaska, Starr meets relatives she didn’t know she had, but will her apologies be enough to atone for her grandma Betty’s sins? Will she ever learn the truth about why Betty Rose left her Alaskan family behind?

–Funny story about Starring Alaska…I have yet to hold an actual paperback copy in my hands. I ordered an author proof copy & while the site said it was delivered, I never saw it. *sigh*

Haven’t read the first 2 books in the series?

Soaring Alone (book 1): http://amzn./B07HXQGKC

Shooting Sdax (book 2): http://amzn.com/B07TTYT2QS

Saving Betty (book 4) had been set for pre-order with a release date of December 31st, but after a serious round of beta reading it was determined more research was necessary to do the story justice. It may or may not make it out by December 31, 2021. I’m a little uncertain about giving it a release date on the off-chance I can’t hit the target. Stay tuned to see how that turns out.

Searching Self, a delightful low-content journal that pairs nicely with the Calricaraq series was also born into the literary world in 2020. You can get your copy here: http://amzn.com/1733555218

Coaching Session –

Back in MFA school (2015-2018) I had a plan to work with the talented & amazing Andromeda Romano-Lax. I had a strategy where she would be my year-3 mentor. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be on account that she left the university I attended for bigger adventures.

Then 2020 happened. As the lockdowns began & cabin fever set it, I happened to scroll through Romano-Lax’s FB feed at just the right time. She had limited spots for some book coaching & I quickly snagged the last one! I was ecstatic! Her POV coaching was an integral piece in getting Starring Alaska written and published!

Back to School –

If you know me well then you know about my first love – education. You know about how I wanted to go to college as soon as I finished high school (and was even accepted to ISU), but didn’t go because of my fear of blazing a trail on my own. You know that I got married instead and had a little family before I ever followed my dream of a college education. Since then, I’ve developed quite a reputation of a lifelong student. And why should 2020 be any different?

I started a PhD program in Education with a focus on instruction and curriculum development in September. It was a little wonky in the beginning. New school, new degree program, new online learning platform, and all while working full-time at a demanding day job.

Interesting tidbit of information – my eyelids twitch when I’m stressed out.

All in all, not a bad year.

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