Making it Count: Reflections on 2019

This year brought on a lot of surprises. Some good, some challenging, all immersive and life changing.

Back in January, my youngest daughter’s epilepsy reared its head after a three-year hiatus, and we began the new year with a several-day hospital stay, on top of my beloved grandmother passing away within the same week.

I had a book release later the same month for one of my romance novels, and while there was much excitement and many amazing things that followed – FanX, Fyrecon, excellent reviews… I decided it was time for a break. I put writing on hold for a few months to attend to life’s demands, and focus on my kids. We got my daughter’s medication switched, and the seizures are under better control. She’s the bravest person I know, and I’m in awe at how she never allows her epilepsy to get in the way of who she is.  She teaches me each day about what true resiliency means, and how the power of a good attitude can shape your situation.

The good always follows the bad – problems have a shelf life, and with whatever adversity life sees fit to throw your way, it’s inevitable that good luck will follow.

I began writing again in the spring, and in July we visited my husband’s family in England for a while. Inspiration struck while we were in Europe, and I ended up writing three novels in 2019.

I hadn’t planned on participating in NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, but I’d recently had an idea for a YA Dystopian fantasy novel, and I decided to go for it. Writing a book is a lot like running a marathon; you have to pace yourself and go at your own speed, and trying to cram in an entire novel in one month is usually not the wisest course… or so I thought.

I finished Banished Wings on November 30th, and it taught me a very valuable lesson; don’t limit yourself. Don’t tell yourself what you can’t do, or you’ll never find out what you can do.  More importantly, you have to pursue your passions relentlessly, and never give up.

As 2019 wraps to a close, I’ve been reflecting on how thankful I am for the people in my life; my family, friends, my publishers, editors, narrators, and everyone involved in the process of bringing a book to life. These people hold me up in the best of ways and truly help my work to be at it’s best. I’m beyond grateful for the talent and effort they’ve put into everything, and the amazing friendships I’ve developed along the way.

Whatever your circumstance or situation, I wish the best for you in 2020. May you laugh, rest, reflect, and love, and live life to its fullest. From my home to yours, Merry Christmas!

Cheers,

Haley

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