Home Sweet Home and Kicking off 2015

Family baking - Bruce Witzel photo

Is there any feeling as wonderful as returning home after a great time away? Good memories of Christmas with grown children, their spouses and grandkids fuelled the joy of my first two nights back in my own bed.

As I usher in 2015, I’m feeling ahead of the holiday season curve. My suitcase is unpacked – that usually takes me at least a few days to attend to. I’m not down for the count with a cold, flu or cough. Most of my Christmas gifts have found a spot to take up residence. Life is good.

January the first puts me in a reflective state. Thoughts of the past year and plans for the upcoming one fill my mind. WordPress tells me, in my annual blog report, that my blog was viewed 19,000 times in 2014. Whew – that apparently represents seven sold out shows at the Sidney Opera House. Go figure! My most popular post of 2014 was a piece for my Location, Location, Location series on Dianne Gray’s book, Wolf Pear. The most commented post was Shaken Author Syndrome – haha – one of my favourites and with a title like that who couldn’t resist commenting. Three out of my top five posts were from 2013, thus proving my writing has longevity. I was viewed in 128 different countries and my day of choice to post is Sunday. Do check out your own WordPress Annual Blog Review. The fireworks at the beginning make it worth the effort.

Sparklers - Bruce Witzel photo

Looking back, 2014 was a productive year for my writing. The Light Never Lies (2nd book in the Crater Lake Series) came out in February and my book of short stories, Strands of Sorrow, Threads of Hope was self-published in May. I got two-thirds of the way through a first draft on the 3rd book in the Crater Lake Series, Chasing Down the Night and all the way through the first two drafts of another novel, Maelstrom – both of which are scheduled for publishing in 2015.

Wedge Pond in Kananaskis Country

I managed to squeeze in a few trips out of my lake-side sanctuary to visit with kids, grandkids and friends. Bruce and I treated ourselves to a ten day holiday travelling in the mountains of BC and Alberta. We had more summer visitors this year than we’ve had for a while and our 2014 garden was an over the top producer of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and green beans.

Summer garden - Guenette photo

My small list of accomplishments plays itself out against the backdrop of community both far and wide. On a sad note, more than a couple of tragic deaths rocked nearby communities and these touched me and wove their way into my year. The world revolves around me in ways that both frighten and confuse me at times.

Fall leaves - Bruce Witzel photo

But still, I move on with thoughts of the coming year. Resolutions often seemed doomed to fail but I don’t think we should chuck out the whole concept. Consider the root word – resolve. Something we all need. My main resolution for 2015 is not to be making the same resolutions in 2016.

I wish family, friends, fellow bloggers and all my followers a healthy and happy New Year. May we all sow and reap a good harvest whatever and wherever we choose to plant.

Brit & Emma - Xmas 2014 - Bruce Witzel photo

29 comments on “Home Sweet Home and Kicking off 2015

  1. Sounds like you’ve had a very productive and satisfying year. Hope the next is as good for you too.

    • Thanks for the well wishes. I just read a great quote somewhere – don’t look for what the world needs, look for what makes you come alive because what the world needs is more alive people. Writing makes me come alive so I will keep at it.

  2. oldmainer says:

    And back at you. A healthy, prosperous New Year to you and Bruce.

  3. Christine says:

    Happy New Year, Fran! I love the family pic; I think it is my favourite. 🙂

    I really enjoyed this post, especially how you thought back and reviewed your accomplishments for 2014. That is something that I am going to try to model. I spend way too much time thinking about my failures and what still needs to be done. But maybe you are right and the New Year can also be a space for celebrating accomplishments!

    All the very best to you and Bruce in your lakefront paradise ❤

    • Thanks, Chris. Love your new pic, by the way! Tell me sometime how you did that neat little heart. In Desiderata there is this line about enjoying your achievements as well as your plans – I think it’s a good idea. At any given point on the journey there has already been so much done to get to that spot. I’m all for celebrating.

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    Look forward to hearing of your further achievements in 2015 – they’ve only just begun.

    • Hah-hah, Roy – you put the lyrics of an old Carpenter’s song in my head and I’m sure I’ll be hearing that all day. But seriously, thank you. At my age, it is somehow as encouraging to think of being at the start of a journey as it is to see the finish line.

  5. Cathy says:

    Enjoyed reading this very much – lovely pictures and that photo of the mountains is just amazing!

  6. diannegray says:

    I’m so flattered that I was a part of your most popular post, Francis! Wow, that’s wonderful 😀

    2015 will be a good year and I wish you and yours all the best! xxxx

    • I’m sure it was due to tapping into your vibrant social media network that made the post as popular as it was – so I should be thanking you, Diane. I think it was a good collaborative effort on a great book. Best wishes for 2015 – every time I read one of your posts and see you are in the midst of summer, I am longing for gardens and planting time.

  7. Happy New Year, Fran! 2014 was an awesome year for you and I have no doubt, 2015 will be even better.
    Oh my, your granddaughters are just too cute in their polka dot jammies. The one of the right looks exactly like you!

    • We had such a great time with those girls – baking cookies, going for winter walks, playing cards and games, building puzzles, dressing dolls. Good times. Best Wishes in 2015, Jill. I’m looking forward to many more good reads on your blog 🙂

  8. evelynralph says:

    I hope to ge my novel self published this year, perhaps more, best wishes for 2015.

    • Best wishes with the publishing process, Evelyn. I find every stage of this self-publishing effort takes a different skill set or another hat. Creative hat, editing hat, formatting hat, promoting hat. It’s a lot of hats. Best of everything in 2015.

  9. Reblogged this on through the luminary lens and commented:
    To illustrate cooperation and to get things done, Francis and I have a saying with our grandchildren – “What does it take?” we ask. “Teamwork!” is the chorus reply. In 2015 and beyond, be it resolved to work, live and love in this spirit of community, and to do this throughout all the earth. Happy New Year, everyone!

  10. Love your site and your positive wisdom! Those girls are adorable:)

    • Thanks, Cynthia. I do love my blog – truth be told, it is the only part of social media I do really love. Facebook can be entertaining and Twitter is like a blast from a trivial/self-serving, high powered hose most of the time but blogging has both breadth and depth. No one can maintain a blog that is even semi-popular for any length of time with only self-promotion. Blogging makes one go deep and far, stretching out our writing skills and revealing ourselves. So much to recommend it. And yes – I must agree – though I am obviously biases – those granddaughters of mine are really adorable.


    P.S. Tell Bruce thanks so much for the comment and a reply is coming.

  12. Behind the Story says:

    “Is there any feeling as wonderful as returning home after a great time away? Good memories of Christmas with grown children, their spouses and grandkids fuelled the joy of my first two nights back in my own bed.” You described my sentiments exactly.

    Congratulations on such a successful year of writing. Wishing you all the best in 2015.

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