My Novels

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Year's Day Thoughts

Let's see, 2017 was a so-so year. Nothing major happened, no illness, though my bunion continues to cause problems. I published four novels, the last one based on a kidnapping in a nearby county. Lots of fictional changes, of course, but of my longer novels and the genre I like best: crime/mystery. Alas, I have more readers for my supernatural suspense, particularly ghost stories. So I'm currently about 3/4 into the rough draft of a ghost story set in a cryonics facility. Hope to get the rough draft finished in a couple weeks, though the final novel for publication will take longer.

In the meantime, my dogs are thriving. Rambo came through surgery to remove a large lump on his side a few months ago, and is now back to his usual "guard dog" status! Muffin still prefers a soft cushion. Still feeding stray cats, and this frigid spell has me worried about them. I do have a pet door in my garage, and several bedding areas with a heat-light in there. Not sure if any go in at night, but I have seen a couple in there during the day. I hate this kind of weather, especially hard on arthritis -- teens at night, not even reaching 35 during the day. If I was the moving kind, I'd head to Florida because the older I get, the more difficult cold weather is for me.

I'm 66 now, with all the accompanying aches and pains associated with aging: arthritis, foot issues, joint problems, etc. I should be thankful I haven't had worse health problems, but up until a couple years ago, I was faithful in exercising. Either walking miles a day, or biking, and prior to that a ski machine, and bike machine. Aerobics was a part of daily life, and I think that is why my lungs are so strong. There's a medical apparatus that measures lung capacity, and the few times I've had it used, the nurse would always say 100 percent. And then she'd say, "You never smoked, did you?" And true, I never did.

But the bunion/toe problems have caused lack of exercise, not to mention continuing back issues with herniated discs. I'm one of those people who will do things I really shouldn't, like raking and blowing leaves this past fall which irritates my joints and feet. I've considered downsizing to a condo, but there are only four condo developments in this city (seriously need more!) and the initial price is high, then there's quarterly fees. And you still have to be responsible for plumbing, ac/heat units, electricity and all interior troubles. As it is now, my house has long been paid for, and the tax/insurance is not too expensive. I do hire lawn-mowing, but my yard is small enough that it isn't too costly.

When I moved back here in 2010, I swore I would never move again. It's even recorded in this blog how happy I was to get back "home," since me and my late husband lived here 30 years prior to moving away for five years. I came back alone, but this house has always seemed like home. I grew up only a few blocks away, so that might be why. This is where I wrote all my past novels, and I guess as a writer, I'm a bit superstitious that this is the place where my creativity flourishes. At any rate, I seriously think my next move will be to assisted living if I should live long enough. I keep saving for that possibility, but then again, I've always been a thrifty saver, not a spender.

Alas, that is about all the roundup from 2017.

Goals for 2018? To keep writing, maybe do more promotion since I did very little the past year. On the other hand, I don't want to force myself to write -- that becomes stressful and takes all the joy out of creative writing. Maybe write blog posts more often.

I'll close with a poem I found at a friend's blog, obviously showing how little life and the world changes regardless of the year:

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

--Ella Wheeler Wilcox