And a Merry Christmas to All…

charliebrownchristmasOr happy whatever-holiday-you’re-inclined-to-celebrate this time of year.

We’ll soon see a lot of posts and memes about New Year’s Resolutions, but I tend not to get too focused on those. If a goal is worth setting and pursuing, it’s worth setting and pursuing on March 7, June 23, or October 6, not only January 1.

GRCE_holiday-calendar-meme-06I do though, tend to get organized in December for the coming year. What do I want to write, when is it reasonable to plan on publishing it? What’s going on with my big, busy website, and is it meeting the needs of the people who visit it? How am I doing for munny and where does that leave long term plans (like that MFA in Scotland)? The money part never quite seems to behave, and life goes on anyway. 

I’m excited about next year, which is a good feeling. In 2015, I spent less time in the courtroom, a direction I want to build on. Twenty-two years of child welfare is a LOT of not-always-happily ever afters. I also collaborated with some authors this past year whose work I really enjoy, and next year I’ll do more of that too (waves to Susanna Ives, Emily Greenwood, and Mary Balogh).

AxelXhighXresI published two trilogies in 2015–the Sweetest Kisses and the Jaded Gentlemen–and the True Gentlemen will wrap up in February with Will’s True Wish. Time for another Regency series, methinks! The Windham cousins are obliging, but I’m not even done with the first manuscript yet, so don’t look for that series to start until late spring or summer. (And yes, Westhaven, St. Just and Valentine are sticking their oars in, just like they always accuse You Know Who of doing.) 

I’m also very excited about the Scotland With Grace trip coming up in September. I love Scotland, and I delight in connections with my readers and writin’ buddies. To be able to bring those joys together has bumbleXstatme counting the days (251). If you’re interesting in joining the group (we’ll be fewer than twenty people, total) please drop me a line and I’ll send you specifics.

So I’m leaving 2015 behind with a lot of satisfaction in jobs happily done, and a lot of hope for a peaceful, busy, gratifying 2016 that mixes both new adventures and familiar joys. I like that!    

What about you? What sort of marks do you give your 2015, and what’s on the calendar for next year–or what would you like to put on the schedule for 2016? 

AmexTo one commenter, I’ll send a $100 Amex gift card. Wish I could send one to all of my blogging buddies, but most of you will have to make do with my thanks for your continued interest in these maunderings, and for your many thoughtful comments through the year. 

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17 comments on “And a Merry Christmas to All…

  1. My goals for 2016? Stay healthy, keep moving and enjoy life.

    I’ve just started Axel. Just finished re-reading a couple of the Windham girl’s Christmas stories. Lady Sophie’s is my favorite. I’m a such a sucker for love stories with babies in them.

    I want to thank you for many hours of enjoyment your stories have provided, and I wish you nothing but the best 2016.

    I hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year.

  2. Overall, 2015 was a great year!

    I spent time with family and friends & reconnected with a dear friend, put 3 titles on the sable barking wonder (Celeste) and Greg, and spent time in my garden. I set some goals that I kept- continued weight loss, dog titles and volunteer work– and a few that I need to work on. Am enjoying my blog and published a short article on the other review blog that I am associated with.

    I would like to travel in 2016 even if it’s to the western part of Massachusetts!! I need to rework my gardens and carve out a small office space for my writing. Presently, I write at the kitchen table with Celeste at my feet. I am hoping to stay healthy in 2016-and the same for my friends.

    Thanks for writing this blog! It’s nice to start the week off thinking of “the good” in our lives and focusing on it.

    Finished Joan & Dante’s story and enjoyed it the second time around. Loving Axel, Abby and NIck– who is one of my favorite GB heroes – and plan to read Lady Sophie later in the week.

    Enjoy your holiday and best wishes in the New Year.

  3. Like you, I usually don’t set resolutions but take stock of what I want to accomplish the next year in December. My big goal is to finally sit down and determine where I want to invest some of my money. I keep putting it off because the thought of losing value scares me, but parking money in an account that gets less interest than inflation is like loosing money too I guess.

  4. I agree with you, Grace. If a resolution is worth having, do it when you think of it. Don’t wait until New Year’s to make a change. Start exercising more in June! Check your unkind words in September! I have never understood the compulsion to make New Year’s resolutions.

  5. I have a few projects I had been plugging away on through 2015 and I hope to finish them in 2016. One is a book of columns I’ve written for my professional society’s website on Choral Ethics…there’s a need for us choral folk to get our acts together and I’m just Ye Olde Scold to do it! I’m organizing, cleaning up the grammar and maybe toning down some of the characteristics of the guilty parties so they are not so recognizable. It’s been a labor of love so here’s hoping by June it’s ready to Rock ‘N Roll!

    As for 2015…it wasn’t as awful as 2014 so I’m hoping 2016 continues to be better than 2015.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice and Happy New Year to YOU too!

  6. I’m starting aN 8 week online prerequisite course for a two week summer residency training in Manchester & Shropshire! It blends supporting my own health, helping others with their chronic health challenges, and that money thing. It feels like life is coming together and forward momentum is possible…probable even.
    Thanks for the entertainment, solace, and keeper shelf of reads Grace; and the encouragement from sharing your efforts and adventures in new directions. It all helps.

  7. 2015 was one of those “in between” years for me. I no longer have the time commitments to caring for grandchildren and my mother – growing up and death will do that – but I haven’t yet decided what to do with those extra hours. I’m not complaining – and I know how others would love to be faced with this dilemma – but it’s time to make some decisions.
    But today… I’d like to add my voice to the others thanking you for hours of reading joy and for your insightful blog posts. Wishing you and yours love, joy, hope and peace this Christmas and beyond.

  8. Merry Christmas Grace and everyone else!

    This past year has been a good one, not stellar but definitely not the worst on the record. 😉 As for next year, my personal goals include: Losing the weight that has stuck to me this year (my hubby needs to lose some too, so we can work on this together); and letting my children ‘go’.

    Our son will most likely be moving out of state this summer or fall for graduate school. He has been 2 hours away earning his bachelor’s degree, so he’s been gone but not far away. Our daughter wants to study at a couple field schools (anthropological/archaeological digs and study sites) in Tanzania this summer. It will be a wonderful experience for her if it works out. However, her health issues – which include a clotting disorder – make it a more stressful trip at least for both of her parents. Maybe I need to take up meditation to help myself stay calm and focused. 🙂

  9. Hmmm… let’s see I took a class on the History of Mexico which I enjoyed. I had a lot of people at work retire, which was kind of sad, trained a lot of new people in the Fall, have lost 28 pounds, so not a bad year. 🙂

  10. My goals? As always, clean my house!! (never happens). Aside from that, finish my book, do okay in the marathon I’m training for, make time to read more of YOUR books (and a few other favorites), and, oh yeah, be a good mom, wife and professional. HA! It t’would be ever so nice to have just a wee bit of the staff always at hand in so many of my favorite books. Have a wonderful Christmas and a satisfyingly productive and rewarding new year!

  11. 2015 was fine… I don’t do New Years Resolutions either… I have no real plans for 2016 yet other than “the usual”. In Jan I’ll start planning my garden, Feb is volunteering at the dog sled race, March is seed planting, so is April, and May also getting ready for company, June is putting the garden in, July is company, August is more company and the start of Christmas knitting which takes up the rest of the year!

  12. Merry Christmas to all!

    2015 was a difficult year for me. Not all bad, but all… difficult (job, family, health issues, writing, etc.) So really, I have much to look forward in 2016!

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with your statement that a resolution should not have a set date. My best achievements (not that I have so many to boast about…!) were not decided by a calendar. I stopped smoking on Feb 13th 1995, decided to get bak in shape in the middle of May 2006 and joined RWA & CHRW in October 2013. And to continue on this anti-1st-of-January-resolutions-thing, I decided this past September I would finish my book in 2016.

    So here I am, like everyone else, looking forward to the future. And THAT is the best resolution of all.

    Wishing everyone happiness. 😀

  13. I hope all you wonderful ladies had a fabulous xtmas. Regardless of the amount of work and stress to get all things ready I really hope you took some time to just enjoy being with your family and or friends. I decided to really be happy this year and not wish for what I don’t have or can’t have and enjoy what I have. So it was a very different xtmas for me this year.
    2015 was a interesting year. Great battles, great victories. Trials and tribulations but so many great things also happened. I got a full time job with benefits (very close to my house – can’t beat my 5 miles commute – after 3 years of being without health insurance. My diabetes is in control (well I ate a lot of cookies these past few days..oops) I found a new church that I am really enjoying, I took a class and hopefully in March I will pass an exam to be a certified nurse case manager (so more open doors to come!) I just started learning about Hospice and my job is getting authorization for hospice services (commercial insurances) and I get to really advocate and make sure patients have authorization for hospice services so families don’t have to struggle with that and can spend quality time with their loved ones.
    NO new years resolutions for me. Ha… I am awful and don’t follow! Big hug for all of you and wishing you all a blessed and amazing New year! Filled with great moments of fun!

  14. thank-you for giving me so many wonderful books to read…i loved the Sweetest Kisses trilogy and of course your Jaded Gentlemen (or Befuddled Gentlemen cause they were pretty much sweethearts although Thomas could qualify). Anyway i try to suggest your books but I think i scare people when i blithely say “any of these 20 or so…” I would say i have a favorite but i dont want to commit 😉 i love Darius because of the growth of his character is so interesting. The Dukes Daughters. The Courtship Novellas and the Sweetest Kisses. And the last book is always my favorite – Axel is wonderful! I have muttered to my husband about going to scotland but unsure if we can do as we are putting our son thru university. But I did sign up for a novel writing class at UCLA because i need formal assistance. I am going to be the crazy middle aged lady clutching my 3 unfinished novels asking super specific questions on dialog structure. You are an inspiration! Have a wonderful New Year!

  15. As in most years there’s the good and the bad (and some times the ugly) lol. The bad was my husband losing his job but the good was my daughter getting married to a wonderful guy and buying a house. We all have our health which is very important and I’m looking forward to lots of good reading thanks to so many of you great authors 🙂

  16. 2015 was one of the hardest and most wonderful years of my life. The highlights were: walking away from equity partnership to start my own law firm… five days after the birth of my 4th child (!); nursing and sleep-training said 4th child in the early days of my new business; being a good mom to my other 3; attaining 18 years of marriage to a man I’d marry again today; surviving (and triumphing from) a lawsuit by said jealous ex-partners; taking more vacation than ever before (including schlepping my brood to Cape Coral, the Outer Banks, Disney and Mexico); meeting and exceeding my wildest hopes in terms of client loyalty and business success; spending more time with my children (working from home I finally get to put them on and welcome them off the bus and participate in evening routine instead of meetings and hour-long commute downtown) and turning 40 (ack!). What. A. Year!

    I am so grateful.

    For 2016, I am hoping to pursue some dreams and goals put off by babies and workload. At the top of the short list is either learning to kite-surf or possibly a truly self indulgent trip to Scotland with my favorite author (with hubby’s encouragement!)… and on that note, Grace, can you email me the details?