2015 is about to end and all I can say is, it’s about bloody time. Yes, I know a few people who have had a great 2015 and I’m so happy about their improving fortunes. But on a whole the year sort of sucked. I’ve almost lost count of how many people I know who have received a cancer diagnosis this year or been hit with some other kind of major health issue. Friends and family between the ages of 77-years-old all the way down to 1-DAY-old have found themselves struggling for their lives. On a global scale things are a major mess. It seems grotesquely fitting that my son’s last week of school in 2015 was marked by a citywide bomb scare. And as for my own life? Well, it’s been bumpy. On a professional level I continue to be insanely proud of JUST ONE LIE and the glowing reviews it garnered. Every time I see it pop up on a blogger’s 10-best-reads-of-the-year list I break out into a huge smile. But despite significant financial investment in marketing on my part, I was never able to create enough awareness to get the sales numbers I would need to make it a success. That was hard for me to come to terms with. I really believe it’s my best book and a whole host of critics agree and really love it. But it simplywasn’t read. And like any parent who has to watch her child be ignored, it tore me up. From a monitory perspective…well, when you make major investments in your career (buying ads, a publicity campaign and whatnot for your book) it hurts a lot more than just your heart
But there were highlights. My husband and I took our honeymoon this year (one year after our actual marriage) and it was honestly one of the best weeks of my life. Everyone fantasizes about meeting his or her soul mate but there’s simply no way to predict how amazing it is when you actually find him. I have never felt this fulfilled by a relationship before. We have this incredibly meeting of the minds and our love and our romance grows with each passing day. My son is also doing spectacularly well. He’s a high school junior, has a strong GPA and is beginning to get excited about college and his future. He made major improvements as an athlete this year and he has some really wonderful friends. In addition to all that he took the initiative to get a volunteer position at the La Brea Tar Pits, Page Museum. He wants to work in paleontology so he went ahead and got an application (which I never even laid eyes on, let alone helped him with), got some letters of recommendation from his teachers and got himself a position. I didn’t push him to pursue this and I didn’t need to assist him. He took it all upon himself and it really demonstrates his dedication and self-confidence. Not to be cliché, but I’m so proud of him I could burst.
The best news is that what was good in 2015 is clearly on track to be even better in 2016 and the parts that were bad seem to be dissipating. Many of my friends/family who have/had health issues are improving. I’m incredibly hopeful for all of them and my hope seems to be founded on some pretty solid medical advances. I don’t know if things are going to improve on a global scale in regards to terror and other world issues but I do see some signs of hope that maybe, just maybe they will…or at least they might not get worse (please?). As for my career, well, I’m doing things differently this year. I’m just going to write what moves me and just not think about whether or not it fits into what’s most marketable at the moment. It’s gonna be all passion projects all the time. Right now I’m writing one women’s fiction piece, a new Sophie book and last, but absolutely not least, Rod and I are adapting Julia Heaberlin’s BLACK EYED SUSANS for the screen. It’s an engrossing and captivating book and I’m so crazy excited to be given the opportunity to bring it to the screen!!!
So the greatest gifts of 2015 are a happy, healthy husband and child and a lot of hard earned lessons that will help turn 2016 into a year of possibility. But I need to be sure I do what’s necessary to turn those possibilities into results. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Instead I choose a New Year’s word. One word I focus on, reflect on and act on throughout the year. In the past I’ve chosen words like “Progress” and “Faith” and so on. This year, I’m choosing Discipline. I want to be more disciplined in regards to my career, my health, my finances, my emails (wouldn’t it be nice if I found a way not to be constantly behind on them?) and so on. There are times when I’m sure I’ll be called on to reflect on how discipline needs to be relaxed or redirected as well which will be equally useful. But still, in one way or another Discipline is going to be the theme for 2016. But the motif will be hope, and with a little luck, a whole lot of joy.
Happy 2016 everyone!!!