Happy 2017

While the consensus appears to be that 2016 was not the best of years, my personal take on the year is more favorable. Nobody in my family died, we didn’t move (in spite of a good deal of deliberation), I didn’t lose a job (have none to lose), no divorce, and not even a pet died. (The laptop doesn’t count.) It was a good year. In fact, it was a very good year, one of my personal best. I read, I wrote, I walked, I gardened. Maybe even in that order. Of course, it’s deep winter now and gardening is limited to remembering to water the houseplants…something that I’m working on. Still, it was a good year—serene.

After LightI find Goodreads a useful way to track books, reviews and wish lists. However, I do find it annoying to count books read. Numbers are quite irrelevant. I have a few hours a day set aside for reading and some books are longer, more difficult, or in German. So I don’t judge my reading by number, I judge my reading by personal impact. My favorite book in 2016 was Catherine Hunter’s After Light. I’m disappointed that it wasn’t a Governor General Award finalist.

On to 2017. Here’s a glimpse of my to-read pile—a scattered bunch of books gleaned throughout last year.  I’d like to get through that and who knows what discoveries 2017 will bring. Reading. What power in mere ink on a page.

Forever JuliaThe writing is going. I’m working on an early draft of the fourth book in my Katya’s Stones series. I think I live in the perfect environment to appreciate what my characters must endure—not that I can come even close to imaging the horror of the winter in 1945 East Prussia. I was pleased to see that Broken Stone received a ‘highly recommended' review on CM Review and shortlisted for the Manitoba Book Awards for Young People back in the spring. The award went to my friend, JodiCarmichael, and I was and still am thrilled for her. Forever Julia is an energetic and empowering book for teenagers.

And I continue to walk, swim and cycle. I love the rhythm of these activities, prefer doing them alone—although I’d never say no to some company. Most any conversation improves with a walk. Most any problem improves with a walk. My night walks with the canine are crunchy on the crisp snow and I’m proud of how this winter city ploughs through snowfall after snowfall to give us driveable streets and walkable sidewalks.

Green stuff is on hiatus until spring. I sure appreciated the inspiration I found in other's gardens last year.  Can't wait to dig in the dirt. In the meantime, I revel in the white stuff. We have a lot this year. It’s different now that I’m not working in it. I get to admire winter's austere beauty in a more relaxed manner.

So for 2017, I want more of the same. More reading, more writing, more walking, and more gardening.  These are my habits. I’m not much of a resolution-maker. Maybe if I had to have one, it would be Keep It Simple. Happy 2017 to you.

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