Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Opened with Sorrow, Closes with Joy

2013 opened with sorrow and closes with joy.

(photo by Dan)

Sugar, the cat my family adopted when I was a child, passed on from this world in the last days of 2012, and so I entered the new year looking back at my childhood and the memories we shared with heaviness.

This year I read 60 new books, as in books I had never read before, and I'm guessing I may have another one read by New Year's Day.

 My top favorites were...

    •    As The Earth Turns by Gladys Hasty Carroll
    •    Cat Stories by James Herriot
    •    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    •    The Rim of the Prairie by Bess Streeter Aldrich
    •    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis.

The search for a house swallowed up much of the year. At the very end of August, Dan and I finally found and purchased a quaint and unique 1950s ranch. We are in the process of painting, and I'm hoping to be moved into my library-writing room by January 1st!
I did tons of journaling in 2013, even if I ended up shredding up all of my journals, something that I found out later didn't work for me, but was not completely devastating, thankfully.

Because of the overwhelming search and the feeling of being in between homes, I finished less writing than usual. I still managed to start 14 short stories and was interested enough in one of them to revise it. It's titled "The Strength in Song" and was written in my temporary writing place (the front den.) I am waiting to hear back from a few magazines about it.
I also completed my blog's about page with a wide-angle view of my life and writing.
At the very end of 2013, I was given the gift by Writing Our Way Home (a site run by Satya Robyn and Kaspa) of 31 days of joy, an e-course. Throughout December, I've been receiving daily emails that include poems, creative quotes, and prose inspirations about joy. The email meditations are like little dancing candle flames. Their warmth and beauty make them easy to remember and ponder throughout the day. I've been journaling responses to many of the questions and thoughts in the emails, which have been tremendously healing.
2013 closes with the tender realization that the lives of our loved ones are fragile, precious, and deserve our attention.
It closes with the hope of...
    •    beginning a novel in 2014
    •    reading new books (including classics) and rereading old favorites
    •    continuing to practice yoga and meditate
    •    drawing close to God in prayer and life
In celebration of the new year, I am giving away a copy of Afterwards, a novel by Satya Robyn. Enter below, if you'd like.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I had some technical difficulties with this post but they're now resolved!

    Here's a comment from Melee that was on the last version of it:

    Sugar is beautiful! I'm so sorry your year opened with sorrow, but glad it has closed with joy. Any year that has included the reading of a Bess Streeter Aldrich novel has to be a good one, hehe. :) I love your new about page! And how wonderful of you to do a giveaway. :D I hope we can talk soon. xxxx

  2. Best wishes for your new house, novel, and reading in 2014! I loved reading your about page and hearing about your journalling; they are both inspiring. :)

    1. Thank you, Marian! I'm glad you could find these things inspiring. Hope you're having a nice beginning of the year.

  3. I am so sorry about your precious kitty. It hurts to lose a companion like an animal. I felt the very same way about my Beagle who passed away over 3 years ago. May you always be comforted and held by her sweet memory.

    I am excited for you and your writing room! That will be glorious!

    Wow!! You did so much reading this year. That is quite an achievement! It is wonderful to see Sense and Sensibility on your list. :) I think I read a total of around 17 books, haha!

    Well to comment on what I liked about the year 2013, I must say my wedding day/honeymoon in February and starting life together with my man! :)

    1. Thanks for your sympathies. Losing a pet is so difficult. <3

      It is so nice to be in a private writing room again, aka my little library. I'm going to draw out/write down ideas for it, beginning with curtains/blinds. I must decide. :)

      Wishing you and Nolan both a happy 2014!

  4. 60 books in 1 year is awesome, i wish i could do some reading like this
    i know the pain of losing a pet. i lost my dog in april and it was too bad .
    i hope you have good twenty fourteen

    1. Hi anseh, So sorry to hear about losing your dog. :( hope you're feeling better.

      And thanks for your well wishes for the new year! I wish you the same. Many blessings and thanks for coming by.