Taos, Writing

Thinking Backward

It’s the last night of 2014. I can’t help thinking of what I accomplished this year — and have left undone. I bet I’m not alone. Here goes.

Arches National Park

WRITING: This was a full year. I finished the third book in my young readers’ series about a family of jinn hiding among humans — this time in The Land of Enchantment aka New Mexico.

Then I returned to The Sweet Spot. I wrote this book while I recovered from an accident; my then-agent wanted me to start in the middle. He sold neither version. This summer while Hank was away for 2 1/2 months, I merged the two versions into one, and with the encouragement of my current agent, Spencer, who wanted more dialogue, I worked and reworked until he said it was ready to send to publishing houses. Last I heard the number was 17.

Then, I finished a solid draft of novel, The Swanson Shuffle, which I’ve been working on for 15 years or so. It’s inspired by my experience living and working in a psychiatric halfway house. That draft is in an envelope, where it steeps or sleeps for two months.

Then, I began the fourth of my young readers series. I am two chapters into it.

Yes, I would say this has been a great year for creativity. I have unfinished business: Getting these books to readers.

TRAVELS: We, of course, visited family, especially for my Mom’s 90th birthday. One trip, for business, to San Antonio. Then, the first week of November, Hank and I hit the road. We camped at Grand Canyon, Zion and Arches national parks — froze at night in our tent but was bedazzled by the landscape during the day. I want to see more this year.

Grand Canyon
HEALTH: I nearly ruined my left shoulder and arm hauling wheel barrows filled with rock. But thanks to a Doctor of Medicine who used acupuncture and deep-tissue massage, plus recommended flax seed oil, I regained full motion in that part of my body and lost all pain. I am so grateful.

FAMILY: I was happy to see all but one of my children. This year I will visit them all. 

THE REST: A productive garden, interesting reading, good friends, a meaningful job, a national award for one of my editorials, interviewed Valerie Plame twice, new stucco for our home, stunning sunrises, sunsets and dark night skies. I certainly felt blessed in 2014 and look forward to what 2015 brings me.