Thursday, 31 December 2015

Looking back...thinking forward

My parents and husband, Francois
As with most things we do at this time of the year, I also like to reflect back on the months of 2015. Feeling a touch proud at the books I published, and more than a touch guilty for not getting everything done I had wanted to.
At the same time feeling grateful for another year with friends and family - despite the people we lost - and excited about seeing my parents again very soon. They live far away and visiting is not always a simple matter of popping over for a coffee. Thank goodness for telephones and email.
View of Port Elizabeth harbour - my parents live in PE
December is not a month of writing for me, and yet the compulsion to do so has not gone away. Must be the fact that I have written every day from 1 January to 30 November, at an average of over 800 words per day. Not an easy thing to do, not writing. Yet, I simply choose to redirect my creative impulses with paint and pencil to satisfy another, less compulsive, desire to create.
As the year draws to a close, the prospect of a new year becomes brighter on the horizon. New writing projects, new work challenges and new opportunities to live a creative life. To learn new things; to become a better human being.
zentangle fairy, Linzé Brandon, doodle art
Zentange Fairie - art by Linzé
As I spend my hours in December drawing two roses, painting a zentangle fairy, drawing a blue dragon and a spotted thick-knee my mind is already planning the year ahead. My mind drifts towards musings of spending more time with my art, and not leaving it until December. Perhaps one project each month - two or three days. Large paintings (I still have two of those haunting me) will then be completed sooner. Work on smaller projects to keep my hand in, so to speak.
Writing remains my passion and project JOURNEY will be another exceptional anthology showcasing the talents of eleven authors this time. My story, Galen's Hope, will see me challenge myself in ways I have not done before. The risk of failure is there, but so is the prospect of stretching my writing wings into new dimensions.
The fourth novel on the Nations of Peace series, Waiting for Adrian, is lying on my desk ready to start editing. And the non-fiction book for authors will soon join it.
I wrote 294,000 odd words in 2015, at an average of 800+ words per day. Of those words, 87744 ended up in published work and 27000 were published on my blog. The rest are the first drafts of potential books and blog posts to come.
Do I have a New Year's resolution for 2016? You bet I do, and it is to do more art in the year ahead. A little creative planning and I could manage it without compromising on my writing schedule.
Many new challenges, and only 365 days to complete them.
When I look ahead, for myself, my husband and all the things we are planning in 2016, the year of our 22nd anniversary is going to be a year to remember.
May your 2016 be a year of surprising success and include many hours of creative happiness.