As always, January is a good time to look back as well as forward. How did last year measure up? And what will I do differently this coming year? Well, that depends...
Not my best year for reading, I have to admit. At least looking at the last several years.
In 2017, I read 69 books, not including December (I forgot to keep track. Sigh.).
In 2019 (didn't keep track in 2018), I read 73 books, again not including December. Apparently I get really caught up in the holiday spirit of the month and, although I read, I forget to write it down.
In 2020, I again read 69 books. Including December.
In 2021, I read only 58 books because I was performing in a play during the months of October and November and my reading time was taken up with learning lines.
And in 2022, I read only 52 books, partly for the same reason. After decades of not being on stage, I've been in two plays in two years. Both times was in plays making their stage debut -- works in progress by playwrights needing to see their words in front of an audience. We did talk-backs after each performance so those from the audience who wanted to give feedback could do so. A lot of fun and very exciting to help fellow authors (even if a different genre).
I keep track of the genres I read as well and fantasy tops the list with romances following close behind (I'm a sucker for a good Regency or Scottish Highlander). Historicals come next, followed by the rare non-fiction. I do read chick-lit on occasion, although I didn't this past year. Oh! And I had two books I started and didn't finish this year. Didn't include them in my 52 read, though. If I didn't finish, I can't count them in my list, according to my criteria.
You know I'm a weaver, with a 36" 4-harness, 6-treadle loom. I made several pieces in the beginning of 2022, one of which has been mostly eaten by mice.
Yep. I made, out of old rug yarn, two small rugs, using old towels for the weft. Put them down at the cabin, one to go under shoes/boots near the front door, one in the kitchen. The rug yarn, because the skeins were leftovers from other people's projects, was of many colors: beige, dark brown, purple, yellow. Interestingly, the mice really enjoyed the purple. They ate/stole nearly all of it from the rugs. They've left the towels alone (so far), and only lightly gnawed on the other colors. But the purple, they loved, leaving gaping holes where that warp used to be.
No, I'm not mad. The whole project was an experiment to begin with, and I learned a lot doing it. Now I've learned more from watching the rugs slowly disappear. A win!
The end of 2022 brought a new interest: making junk journals. I'll write more on those later, but suffice it to say, I've been down the You Tube rabbit hole and now am hooked. LOVE playing with paper!
Romantic Seas, my latest (and quite likely last) Diana Hunter novel released this past July. The protagonists are older (as am I) and I had fun writing it.
But I'm really enjoying writing this epic fantasy. I've split the first book into two and given them names: Threads of Earth and Sky and Threads of Power and Loss; Parts I and II of The Companion series. I've sent them out and gotten a few nice rejection letters -- and ignored by other agents/publishers. I'll keep trying, but in the meantime, I'm at work on the third volume of the series. There will be four all together. With any luck (and more sending this puppy out), I'll find that person this year who will take a chance and get this published!
I hit the big 6-5 in 2022, and found, for the first time, a little difficulty with my age. Normally, I like being the age I am. Sixty-two was a little nerve-wracking because three of my four grandparents died at the age of 62. My parents both lived into their eighties, but still -- a year I needed to get through.
Obviously I did and went on Medicare (sigh). This year I'm eligible for Social Security. While I will welcome the money, there is an implication of old age that goes along with it. I'm definitely in my later years -- the "Old Crone" stage of a woman's life. I prefer the "Wise Woman," however. No matter what my knees tell me.
We did a lot that had to do with Steven's plein air painting. Ellora, Canada; Towanda, Pennsylvania -- he painted (and sold!) and I used the time to engage in the three R's: reading, writing, and relaxing. We also took the opportunity to visit Nova Scotia. We have friends there and stayed with them for several days, doing a deep dive into that part of the province. I love it there!
This year will be closer to home. I'm sure he'll do the plein air festival in Ellora again, but I'm not sure if I'll go with him this time. We have a cabin we didn't get to spend much time in last year; I'm thinking this year, it will become a second home! Needs a new fridge, but otherwise, it's very livable for weeks at a time.
More writing, more reading, more of making junk journals -- and more aging. Maybe some small traveling, lots of staying at the cabin. Enjoying the adventure -- always!
May your year be filled with joy and excitement of the good kind!