things of 2017

January 3, 2018

I have been abysmal at blogging this past year. Truly.

I am making up for it gradually and it begins with a look back.

Year of

Jubilee. It hasn’t been celebrated since ancient times (around 720 BC) so there is no way of really knowing. Gen. George Allenby led Allied forces into Jerusalem in 1917. And the Six Day War happened in 1967. If those are indicators of a jubilee year, than the math leads to 2017.

A year of victory and freedom. Where the broken hearted are healed. Jesus read from Luke 4:17-21 near the beginning of his ministry and in doing so seemingly declared the year of jubilee, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Freedom from captivity. Dekots in the Greek – most blessed time when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.

Whether it’s historically accurate or not, it’s an interesting perspective to reflect on a year of adventure and change; on the past come back to be restored.

things of 2017 banner


I continued with the new enterprise from 2016 and spent a lot of time with my family. I also, truly, went back to work part time.

And I started planning for May.


More family. I would have nothing to say beyond buying a plane ticket except my sister and I decided to relinquish the new venture from our time and attention. It was short lived but once we got past the set up into sustaining it we were both wildly uninterested.

Which feels a bit like freedom from captivity, from the bounds of time devoted to something not worth our time and energy. The freedom to say, this wasn’t what we thought and walk away instead of binding ourselves in order to prove something.


Susan Dennard for Windwitch and Jodi Meadows for My Lady Jane. It’s so interesting to hear different author’s stories and I found it fascinating to hear Susan’s journey from low-list writer to bestseller.

I think I started putting ideas together for The Helion Chronicles sometime in here. It’s really a confluence of several different ideas so it’s hard to pinpoint. And it will likely warrant a genesis post at some point.


Calgary for two days. The food, I am sad to admit, was a bit plain, at least where I stayed. But a friend recommended The Chocolate Lab to me and their marble like truffles brightened up the trip.

It’s odd, I’m not a big Twilight fan. But it’s been on tv so much that it’s become like embedded in these odd moments in my life. Last year in August, Twilight was a big part of my writing adventure for Arizona. And standing in The Chocolate Lab, A Thousand Years played as I browsed chocolates and I felt irrationally happy and missed my sister.


Hey It’s May! If ever there was a time to bring that phrase back to life, it’s now. I spent 9 awesome days in New Zealand. I have created a post so that I don’t go on and on here.

I also did a great deal of world building in the Houston airport.

This is the place to say that… I loved the jubilee year, though like restoration it didn’t play out the way I expected. New Zealand was amazing, though it didn’t play out the way I expected. I keep waiting for God to do the seemingly obvious, to do the expected. Which seems both rational and ridiculous.


It was 1997 all over again as I spent Two Days as Penny Lane at Bush concerts. I meant to write that post right away but could never bring the words together properly. This was a bit of restoration because my sister had gone to a Bush concert the year prior and after the fact I felt like I’d missed something. So getting a second chance that I got to share with her felt like a gift.

Then a week in Colorado to unwind and frolic with the family.

I finally got the first plotting sorted for The Helion Chronicles. It involved a great deal of brainstorming with my parents and my young nephew but it finally made its way onto paper. A victory of the jubilee year.


Portland – Maine not Oregon. A fairly short and rainy trip but there was pirate gold.


I turned a rather specific age. It was a day filled with things that make me happy, which is a wonderful way to spend a birthday. I said several times that between New Zealand and everything that came after I had a year’s worth of birthday excitement, not just a day.


MATCHBOX 20! They are my very favorite (mock all you like) and I saw them in concert on their 20th Anniversary tour with Counting Crows. I spent 2 hours absolutely ecstatic with my very best friend in the world.

Then Lisa Mawxell (The Last Magician), Jodi Meadows (Before She Ignites) and Martina Boone (Lake of Destiny) all came together to banter about strange hotels and the perils of writing.

Leigh Bardugo! I finally got Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm signed. I mean, we were all there for Language of Thorns and Wonder Woman but really I was there to complete my Grisha trilogy. It began in 2012 when I didn’t get Shadow and Bone signed at Comic Con and I have been trying to rectify that ever since. Another victory, some closure and near completion.


Denver, Peyton Manning, John Legend and a whole new job. It sounds like a lot and it was except that it was only four days.

In all my travels I usually strive, at the very least, to find good food. I’m thinking now I should have been more specific in these annual “things of” posts so I remember where the good places are!


Boston proper. Not like 2015 when we flew into the airport then went on to Andover. The architecture is old and grand. The roads are old and convoluted, which makes me glad I don’t drive when we’re there.


I worked. And worked and went to Boston again for a day.

And I spent the last week in December watching Downton Abbey all over again and working on websites and whatnot and writing!

I wrote something along the lines of 9,899 words of The Helion Chronicles in five days. Which is about on par. Since I’ve figured out this whole plotting business I’ve been writing about 2,000-3,000 words per day. But that’s one or two days a week. Writing five days almost in a row feels extraordinary!

I needed another 9,000 to reach my end of year goal, but really, I’m pretty pleased with my progress.

I am very excited to see what 2018 brings.

Friday playlist

The Friday playlist this year is as abysmal as the blog (since I only have 4 songs – and half of them ended up on my Helion Chronicles playlist) but also astounding because they are AWESOME songs!!

Posted in: author events, Helion Chronicles, Life, travel ~

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