2018 in review

Hi Everyone, Can you believe that in a few short hours it will be 2019? This year sure has flown by for me. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but at its close, I want to focus on the positive–the things that have stood out for me this year as highlights, events that I am especially grateful for. So here’s my top five:

5.  This was my complete year of writing full time. I loved being able to follow my passion on a daily basis. I finished and published four full-length novels, a record for me, and had many more sales than in the previous years of my writing career. I finished book eleven in my Peakview Series and the first book in my new Aspen Ridge Series.

4.  I was able to travel to Denver this summer to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America Conference). What a wonderful experience being around so many talented authors and members of my tribe. The classes were excellent and I came home renewed and excited about my career.

3.  Lost Valley Ranch–my favorite place on the planet. This November I got to spend a weekend at this beautiful resort high in the Colorado Rockies. I started going to Lost Valley in 1967 with my family on vacation, later worked there when in high school and college, and its been a favorite weekend retreat for me and all three of my children and granddaughters. This time was especially great because I was there with both my daughters, my brother, who had not been there since 1973, and my sister in law and son in law who were first time visitors. What a great family weekend.

2. Time with family. This year one of my biggest blessings was time with my family. I was able to travel to Colorado four times this year to spend time with my son, my granddaughters, and extended family members. I traveled to San Diego for a week this summer to spend time with my oldest daughter at her home on the beach. I got to meet her boyfriend and experience her lifestyle. Most precious of all, I got to spend an entire year living only a couple of miles from my youngest daughter. Whether it was meeting at Starbucks, taking walks with our dogs, or enjoying local events, we had a great time spending moments together. I cherish the time I get to spend with those I love.

1. Merlin came into my life 🙂 Anyone who follows me on social media is well-acquainted with Merlin, my toy Australian shepherd. Merlin joined my family just twenty-four hours after the sad event of the passing on my dog, Laddie, who had been my best friend for sixteen years. Merlin had brought such joy into my life. He’s gone from 3 pounds to almost 15, where he should stay for awhile. He gets me moving–we walk four to five miles a day to try and use up some of his never-ending energy. Not a day goes by that I don’t laugh out loud at some silly thing he does. And at night, he’s there curled up beside me his head on my body. Who knew something so small could bring so much joy.

There you have it, my five highlights of 2018. I’d love to hear yours 🙂 Happy New Year and cheers to an even better 2019!!

Merlin 2019

Vacation Time :)

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I’m getting ready to leave on vacation tomorrow. Well, a working vacation. I’m headed home to beautiful Colorado for RWA (romance writers of America conference) in Denver. Of course, I’ll spend a few days in Fort Collins, too, with friends and family while I’m in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to get back to cooler, less humid air for a few days. This will be the first time since I moved to East Texas that I’ve made the 16 hour drive by myself. Not looking forward to that. I’ve got some audio books though, so I should be good.

I love RWA. It is so much fun to interact with other authors and learn about our business. This year is the first time I am also doing an Indie book signing. Since the conference is in Colorado, I have lots of friends who will be there to reconnect with. I can’t wait.

So what am I doing today in preparation? Besides working on marketing and book stuff and packing, I’m cleaning. What about you do you clean your house before vacation? It’s something I learned from my mother. She always made sure the sheets were changed, laundry done and everything was spick and span before we walked out that door. I’ve learned to agree with her. Trips are wonderful, but there’s nothing like coming home either. It always feels good to be back in your own bed and relax in your own space. There would be nothing worse than coming home to a dirty house (I’m guessing here because I’ve never done it!) Its so nice to fall on the couch and just relax for a few hours before heading back to work and regular life. So today, I’m cleaning liked crazy.

Anyway, I’d better get off the computer and back to my vacuum. Have a good week and if anyone else is traveling, safe travels. Enjoy your time away 🙂

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