My 2015 In Brief Review

2015 has been a year of changes, both good and bad. In some ways, that’s true of every year. But sometimes the good is sweeter and the bad harder to bear.

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The bad hit at both the personal and wider-world levels. We lost my dear mother-in-law in March and witnessed far too many examples of human behavior at its worst at home and across the world.

At the personal level, the good included a move to a brand new house that my husband and I enjoy more each day. We love the new city and all it offers as well as the still-easy access to DC. Good in the wider world included seeing new published works by a number of blog buddies and the occasional stories of good will and humanity that broke through the media’s and society’s fixation on all that is wrong and fascination with all that is shallow.

To my complete surprise, I’ve written more than 60,000 words so far this yearβ€”far more than I imagined. Of course, that was split across two novels. If I could have harnessed them into one, I might have a completed draft to work on in 2016. But that’s okay. Just knowing that I wrote that many words gives me some hope of completing at least one draft of one of those novels in 2016.

And that’s a good way to head into the New Year, don’t you think?

This is my last post until January 2016. Everyone’s busy enough in December even without keeping up with blog posts. Have a wonderful end of the year, and may 2016 bring you good tidings and good cheer.

All the best,

JM

56 thoughts on “My 2015 In Brief Review

    • Thanks, E-E E! I’m really hoping to post about some good advances on the writing front as well as something of more general interest. I’d like to get back into posting at least every other week again. πŸ™‚ You have a happy holiday season, too, and best wishes for the new year!

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  1. Congratulations on your word count so far this year especially with the challenges you’ve had. I’m glad you are enjoying your new house and neighbourhood. All the best

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    • Thanks, Karalee. πŸ™‚ It’s a bit hectic just now, but I’m really hoping for some good progress again next year on the writing front. Have a wonderful new year filled with fun and creativity!

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    • I think I did well with the word count because I wasn’t pushing myself when the energy just wasn’t there or trying to match the amazing outputs of some other writers. πŸ˜‰ As you say, I was going for the enjoyment factor more than anything. Now, if I can just keep sight of the fun next year, too.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and new year!

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    • You’ve had some life challenges this year, too, Helga, and heaven knows they can impact far more than our writing, can’t they? Here’s to a new year of health, happiness, creativity, and finding our way to our various goals!

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  2. It’s definitely been a year of some horrible events across our country and beyond. I suppose we could say that every year, but it seems more acute the older I get.

    60,000 words is so wonderful! You set out to step things up with your writing, and you did. Even with moving to a new home and struggling with the loss of your MIL. Good on you. May that forward momentum keep on.

    And thank you again for including “Eating Bull” in your sidebar. So nice to see it there!

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    • Definitely the news hits me harder each year. And I seem to have less patience, not more, for too many people. That’s part of the reason behind my break from Facebook for the rest of the year.

      I’m really hoping to finish the current WIP sometime this upcoming Spring and get through at least one round of major revisions before the end of 2016. And to know that I have a story that might find an audience. πŸ™‚ I just ordered a pack of mystery/thriller books and such from Writer’s Digest that I hope will keep me on the right track.

      How could I not add Eating Bull to my sidebar? It is really a great read. πŸ™‚ And I can’t wait to see what your third novel will be! Maybe you’ll be able to tell us something about it in 2016? πŸ˜‰

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  3. JM, I hope you and yours have a beautiful, safe, and joyous Merry Christmas, holiday season, and every good thing during this season of love and celebration, now and into 2016! Nice to see you. :).

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    • So lovely to see you, too, Brigitte! I’ve missed you and your posts! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a new year that brings you much joy, satisfying accomplishments, and peace. πŸ™‚

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  4. You’ve accomplished so much this year! The move was a major thing and 60k is a ton of writing when you have a demanding day job. It’s all forward momentum. Yay! Hope you have a terrific holiday season and I’ll see you in 2016.

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    • I was thunderstruck when I tallied up my word count earlier in November. I’m not sure where I’ll end up on December 31st, but I already feel like I reached a major milestone given everything that happened this year. My fingers are crossed that next year is a bit less hectic and challenging. πŸ˜‰ And if I can wrap up the current WIP and get through at least one major round of revisions, that would be awesome.

      Happy holidays to you, too, and may next year bring you happiness and even greater success with your writing!

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    • Thank you, Lori! And may you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year filled with fewer life challenges and more chances to catch your breath and enjoy the Midwest again. You deserve some calmer waters!

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  5. Have a beautiful, happy and safe break with loads of love, JM xxx

    I absolutely agree wholeheartedly with your words “media’s and society’s fixation on all that is wrong and fascination with all that is shallow” – wow, what an amazing quote πŸ˜€

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    • Thanks, Dianne, and I wish the same for you and your family! (And a belated Happy Birthday as I see from my Facebook email!) Honestly, my Facebook feed is too full of those fixations and fascinationsβ€”hence, in part, my break from it for the rest of the year. And the inspiration for that line. πŸ˜‰ I’m glad you agree!

      I’m looking forward to more amazing photos from you next year and hopefully word that your writing Muse has returned!

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  6. Hope you have a wonderful break filled with lots of writing! Congratulations on your word count and on all the good things like moving to your new house. I’ll keep hoping for a better world too. If we keep imagining a better world, it’s got to happen one of these days or years. πŸ™‚

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    • I share that hope, Sheila! It would be awesome to top 70,000 words for the year, but even if I don’t, I’m happy where I am already. I couldn’t believe it when I tallied up the numbers earlier last month.

      I think if the media covered good events and news in a true proportion to the bad, we’d likely find that there’s a lot to be thankful for and a lot more good than bad in the world. And maybe there’s more hope for the future than it seems. I’d certainly like to think so!

      Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

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  7. In a strange way, the hardships and losses we’re forced to bear make the blessings that much sweeter. Of course, it would be nice not to have to bear those losses at all, but then that’s the conundrum of life, isn’t it?

    That’s an impressive word count, JM, and it’s not even the end of the year! Hopefully, your characters and stories will stay strong with you through your social media hiatus. Their voices can nag sometimes, but it’s always so good to let them have their say on the page. πŸ™‚ I think your new home probably has something to do with your output: when we’re comfortable and safe, it’s so much easier to let the stories run free.

    All the best to you and your family for the holiday season! I look forward to reading about your continuing adventures come the new year! ❀

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    • Isn’t there an old saying along the lines of “without sorrow there can be no joy”? Logically, I can see how that makes sense. Of course, in the middle of a sorrowful event, it’s a bit harder to swallow. But we find our way through the loss and happiness again in a new balance.

      I’m hoping you-know-who will spend some time with me in December, here, although it’s been a busy start to the month. But this weekend, at least, should be a little saner. That someone has been kicking ideas around my head for some much needed descriptions to go with the dialogue-heavy first draft, so I’m taking that as a good sign. πŸ™‚

      Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season, too, and may your new year be filled with characters sharing their stories! ❀

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  8. It does seem that something spins a little bit of good to counteract the hard times we get. A welcomed balance and a shove to keep moving on towards light and good. Deaths in the family are so difficult
    ” media’s and society’s fixation on all that is wrong and fascination with all that is shallow” I also agree with that remarkable statement. Clearly a big reason why things and people are in such stress and chaos. Once news was events reported – once – without dwelling and excessive probing to create despair and horror in audiences. New anchors were careful with word choices – words are such weapons and today the media like drunks seem unwilling be responsible, neutral, and purposely seeks odd/scandal/negative – even suggesting it when there is no connection. Bubbling fountains. I’ve plugged in table top bubbling fountains.
    You’re done a mound of writing (in addition to working) – impressive.
    Enjoy the holidays (So much excitement and beauty to see there this time of year! OK maybe snow gets tiring to you, but all the rest)
    May the social media break refresh and replenish you. Hope your Christmas is the best ever!

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    • I honestly believe that the news and “entertainment” focus on violence has led too many people to believe that is the best way to solve one’s problems or “get even” with the world. I write this as yet another act of “personal terrorism” has been committed, this time in California. I don’t claim to have the solution, but I think it’s time we all recognize that society as a whole has to face some unwelcome realities and we all need to make some sacrifices and change some behaviors for the greater good. It may be our civilization’s last chance to continue into the future.

      I’m hoping for a relaxing holiday season here at the end of 2015 and a 2016 that sees progress on my personal writing front and, more importantly, signs that humanity isn’t the plague on the planet that it seems today!

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      • The way things are going, no need to worry about global warming as humans will simply self destruct. Problem solved.
        Until recently, what has become common and frequent, these violent antisocial behaviors were not tolerated. There were harsh penalties and not excuses or misplaced glorification. Having criminals in the family was not something to brag about – and parents stuck in there making sure their kids learned how to behave. Violent people were shunned, ignored, and given no role in society.
        You are right saying society as a whole must make some changes. Enough already.
        A good reason to take a break to maintain reason. Next year SHALL be better. “Shall”, not “will”or “may”. Hopefully determination will make a difference HA HA. Merry on!

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        • I’d really prefer we could create a society where everyone had equal access to good jobs, good education, good health care, etc., and where everyone knew they were respected and valued as a member of the community. So many problems would disappear, and the people who needed help could get it without fear of embarrassment or loss of standing. That’s a long way away, but even small steps each year would be better than everyone throwing their hands up in the air and saying, “What can I do?”

          The answer is, “A lot.” Be a responsible adult. Respect the rights of others. Offer encouragement, not denigration. Teach children to do the same. There’s a lot of wisdom in the old golden rule! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Carol! Writing is a refuge from the evils of the world for me, and for that reason I’ll never be able to write horror or dark, twisted tales about dark, twisted characters. Just some hopefully interesting stories that maybe make people think a bit while they’re being entertained. I hope your series is coming along well!

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  9. You certainly have the right attitude heading into 2016! I know what you mean about dividing your time (and word count) between two projects. I’m in the same boat but I need these two projects for balance. If I only had one I’m not sure that I would be more advanced in that one project than I already am.
    I wish you and your family a peaceful and serene Christmas. It can be sad, especially when a special family member is absent.
    Looking forward to seeing you here in the new year. All the best,

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    • I go back on forth about whether it’s better for me to work on one project at a time or two. Sometimes I think one is better. Others, two. Maybe both are right, depending on circumstances. So I usually “go with the flow” of the scattershot creative side of my brain. When it comes to writing, my logical “day job” side has thrown up its metaphorical hands in defeat. πŸ˜‰

      You have a wonderful Christmas, too, and here’s to a new year of hope and promises fulfilled.

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      • Thank you.
        The problem with working with two projects at the same time is that it takes longer to finish both.
        The advantage is that it gives a break and a distance to the work so that when you come back to it your nose is not so much stuck on it.
        πŸ™‚

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    • December has been a bit of a bust on the momentum end of things. 😦 This season is just so hectic on so many levels. But even though the words aren’t adding up on the page, my thoughts are still on the book and what I need to add. I count that as progress!

      Have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year!

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      • With my writing, I often hold ideas for scenes in my head for weeks before I get a chance to write them down. This is a tough month for writing for sure. Maybe that’s why Nanomo (whatever it is!) is always in December. We know we’ll have no chance in December! January is not only a new year, but a new month!

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  10. Don’t know whether you’ll see this if you’re keeping away from the blog for a while, but well done on your achievements this year, and hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year! Maybe you’ll still pop up on facebook before the new year πŸ™‚

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    • Well, my appearance in blog land is very hit and miss as you can see! Of course, I’m still avoiding Facebook as much as possible. Too much political and social vitriol and shallowness from too many angles. I wish there was a way to block those updates from my news feed while still seeing the “nice” ones. πŸ™‚ I can see where “tags” could be helpful. We could tag our updates as “political” or “religious” content, “entertainment shares” or “family news” for instance. And then we could have a tag filter than lets us block the updates with tags we want to avoid…. Hmm…. I like that idea! πŸ™‚

      You have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, too, and we’ll see what 2016 holds for us on the writing front!

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  11. Congrats on the word count! I think that it’s even better you were able to get work done on two novels, actually. That way, you’ll have two viable novels in 2016, not just one. πŸ™‚ I agree that the world news is heart-breaking, and it’s enough to make me question if we’re all missing a chance to do something about it. I just don’t see it getting better at the hands of politicians. Hmm…deep questions require a beer, and it’s only 5:30 am — so it’ll have to wait! πŸ˜‰

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year. See you in 2016!

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    • Thanks, Kate! I’m afraid December’s been a bust on the “words on the page” front, but the current WIP is still very much on my mind. Ideas are percolating as to what I need to do and how to get things done. So as I said above to Parenting Is Funny, I’m counting that as progress. πŸ™‚

      As for the state of the world, I’m really trying to focus on the rare reports of humans doing good. I know for every good story like the one reported, there are hundreds if not thousands that we never hear of. I think we’d see a shift in the global state of mind if we had a balanced accounting of human activity. But that, I’m afraid, will never sell with the media or politicians. Sigh.

      Be that as it may, maybe some of us in 2016 can start the ground swell of showing thanks and appreciation when we see something good. And with that thought in mind, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year! Here’s to hopes and promises fulfilled in 2016!

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    • From your lips to the universe’s ears. πŸ˜‰ If I can just complete the first draft of this story, I think the revisions could go more smoothly than they did for my previous two manuscripts. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! That Carrie Rubin is awesome, isn’t she?

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    • I’m off to a slow start in 2016 with words on the page, but the story’s never far from my mind, so that should count for something. πŸ˜‰ If I try to force something onto the page, it usually ends up being garbage. So this year I’m trying to get a handle on some of the story points before setting too much down. We’ll see if it works.

      Happy New Year to you, too, and Happy Writing!

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  12. So sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, JM. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Congratulations on your word count. Mathair and I have taken a little hiatus from blogging over the holidays but we’re glad to be back on and see that you’re so much closer to finishing the draft. πŸ™‚ Have a happy new year.

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    • I’m hoping for some calmer waters in 2016. And to get a draft of this manuscript finished. I honestly believe it’ll be the one with the best potential for being of publishable quality. πŸ™‚ I hope your 2016 will be happy and filled with creativity!

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