2016 is a bit odd to look back on because things have changed so much. It feels like years have passed between now and March and yet, oddly, things in December are beginning to look a little more like they did earlier in the year.
I know, cryptic. It’ll all make sense once I get through the months. Suffice it to say, where 2014 was the year of traveling and 2015 was the year of author events then 2016 is the year of change; of building new paths to create new futures.
And I like change!
Possessing our possessions.
Numbers 20:16 says the Israelites came back to Kadesh after years of wandering. In chapter 15 it says “when you come into the land” – it’s inevitable, simply a matter of time. God doesn’t leave His original purpose which was to lead them into the promised land. But back in chapter 14 it says the people surely would not see the land. Chapter 14 is about man, through your resources, your efforts, by no means will you enter the land. Chapter 15 is about God, His love, His faithfulness, His goodness when you come into the land. Israel wouldn’t go into the land with God, so He in patient love went with them in their wandering as their traveling companion.
Obadiah 17 talks about the house of Jacob possessing their possessions. It’s time for God’s people to enter the land and possess your possessions, bought for you by Jesus, healing, protection, well being. Mount Zion is a place of supply, it’s not Mount Sinai, the place of demand. Everything that man has failed He made right.
We were snowed in for a day or two. It was quite fabulous to not really have to work, to watch movies and huddle in from the cold.
Susan Dennard for Truthwitch. I’ve read Susan’s newsletter for quite sometime and it was neat to meet her in person. If I recall, the power of idioms in fantasy worlds turned out to be the most interesting bit.
Toronto for a week. I’ve been to Toronto several times for work but this was the first time since 2014 that I stayed for a whole week (into the first of March). For the first time, however, I stayed downtown for part of the time. And then I got to eat some of my favorite sushi in the midst of a snowstorm.
Then I had a lovely time in Winston-Salem, NC, mostly. Not so much that I remember anything about the trip, or (in fact) remember where I actually went most of the time when I recount this particular March.
And it is because I spend 2-3 days in DC for work every March that it tends to be a particularly busy month. All the preparations before the time in DC more so than the actual time there.
Jodi Meadows launched The Mirror King with Martina Boone. A night of games and books ended up a bit looser and full of laughter than other author events. It was entirely fun.
Then back to Toronto for 2 days. Downtown again.
And Atlanta, though I didn’t see much of anything. In and out in a day and a half.
I officially published the Tattered Heart audiobook, not wanting to conflict with the Enchanted Storms release.
At The Raven King launch with Maggie Stiefvater I made a new friend! Having seen Maggie a few times before, I have to confess I found the new friend more exciting than her. Though I was very excited to read the end of the Raven Cycle.
Back to Toronto for two days. I hate to say, but I was a bit tired of Toronto by that point.
I spent a great deal of time with my family. It was the beginning of quite a bit of extended family time.
I quit my job. Not because they kept sending me to Toronto but because I rather desperately needed things to be different (see also all the family time mentioned above).
This is where I have to wonder, was I refusing to go into a promised land because it was difficult? Or had that job been a sort of wandering and this was returning to God’s original plan for me? If the theme of the year is possessing our possessions, then I think the thing I possessed was my time. I’d been wanting more time freedom for quite a while. And this was the first step (with many following over the years) of working to build a life where I own my time instead of someone else.
I had a whirlwind of excitement around my birthday. First I spent a week in Colorado and then my best friend came to visit the day after we got back! We ran around visiting tourist sites and watching tv and movies.
And I wrote! I’d been struggling with the plot for Arizona quite a bit and after the visit with my best friend, everything just clicked. I spent four days discovering one character in particular and writing and writing and taking care of the dog. She didn’t like me much when she was a puppy but we got along quite well in the end.
I took a quick trip to LA for Midnight Disneyland! We learned the lesson from 2015 and spent the night at a hotel in Anaheim instead of driving back (all those points from Toronto came in handy). Which gave us more time to explore the newer Star Wars side of the park on Sunday.
Back to Colorado, only Telluride for the first time, for a few days. We rode the gondola and enjoyed the gorgeous Colorado fall while we celebrated.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for Gemina along with Kirsten White! I adore Amie so much. She is sweet and hilarious and fabulous to talk with about books and writing. I brought my sister for the first time. I think I only, really, convinced her for Kirsten White.
Paranormalcy was one of the first books that served as my entry into the modern YA genre. My sister and I have since read pretty much everything White’s written.
I started back to work part time. One whole day. It came together quite unexpectedly and all at once but it ended up being exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for.
I also started a new venture with my sister. It was quite a sharp learning curve but something we’re both interested in.
They say, “begin as you mean to go on” and this year in particular it seemed that the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 was all about laying a foundation for the future; putting in work that will (hopefully) pay off down the line.
The Friday Playlist this year is playful and even includes a song from ballet class.