This will be my last post for the year–I hope to embark on a writing marathon over the holidays–and what a wonderful year it has been for me. Many new titles on the shelves, some new ground broken with the books written this year (watch out for the Captive Hearts trilogy next summer), and lots of new sites seen.
I’ve had sorrow this year too. My parents are in their tenth decade, and while that in itself is something to celebrate, their faculties are fading, and much courage is required of them to face each day.
My daughter has been a particular source of pride, completing a demanding course leading to certification as a veterinary technician. She’s now pursuing a four-year degree and training for her first half-marathon. Beloved Offspring has overcome a lot early in life, and come through her trials with enormous heart and an excellent sense of humor. It’s tough watching my parents deal with extreme old age, but the early adult years these days aren’t any walk in the park either.
If I had to cite one bend in the road this past year that I’m particularly pleased with, though, it would be my trip to Scotland in September with Beltane Tours, for several reasons. This two-week jaunt through Scotland was my first group tour, and committing to it was an act of trust. I agreed to share the company of strangers in a strange land, day in and day out, and even paid money for that privilege. For somebody who’s a Warp Nine Introvert, that was a big risk.
It REALLY paid off. Jim and Susie Malcolm have put together an itinerary that ensured I saw a lot of Scotland, got a ton of story inspiration, drank some delectable whiskey, and spent time with interesting people amid beautiful scenery. The other benefit of that trip was that I put myself in musical company for the first time in decades. I forget what a delight good live music can be, and forget even more what a joy it is to make music. I’m not much of a vocalist, but neither was Robert Burns, and that didn’t stop him from creating some of the most memorable lyrics ever penned.
So the second pleasure of my trip to Scotland was a renewed appreciation for music. One example: we sang this version of Auld Lang Syne, and for the first time with this song, I bawled my little eyeballs out (this is wonderful). I’m trying to finagle the logistics so I can join the tour again in June (and yes, you all should do the same).
My third pleasure was in forming new connections with people who share some of my interests. Of course, not everybody on the trip became a great friend, but the blossoming of even one new friendship is cause for joy (waves her copy of “The Bard” at Carol K.)
So as we face the changing of the year yet again, I wish you beautiful new scenery, new friends, and new dreams to go with the old, because that’s what this wonderful year has given to me.
My heartfelt thanks to all who make this blog the interesting and worthwhile discussion it has become. To the first fifty people who comment in the next week, I’ll send out an Amazon gift card.