The Sun Sets on Another Year: 2015

Reading posts on this year in review and resolutions for next year, I’ve decided I should at least make some attempt at summarizing 2015. I’m no good at resolutions. The rebel in me causes me to rebuke my own.

I decided to do this by months, as it’s the only way I am apt to recall what has actually gone on this year, it’s been such a whirlwind. Really, it has gone by like a fast moving hurricane, cutting like a circular saw through the center of Florida. We ended 2014 with a wonderful, memorable trip to St. Augustine while it was all decorated for Christmas and had a lovely time.

JANUARY– We were stressed by a “would be” boat scammer who took off with our 36 foot cabin cruiser without paying. That took a couple of months to resolve. In the end we received our money, after many painful hours of dealing with authorities and detectives and banks.

FEBRUARY-The movie “Selma” came out and I missed a really good opportunity to ride the coattails of that one in promoting my book, Red Clay and Roses. Things were too hectic around here to do much in the way of marketing.

MARCH-I finally convinced my doctor to cut my bipolar meds in half after many years of begging him to allow me to give it a try. I dabbled with beginning a book about a couple of characters who started the orphanage I lived in a few years in the seventies. With my creative juices flowing, my finished and fully beta-read crime novel Naked Alliances was shelved and I got started on the next novel in The Naked Eye Series and was making fast progress until April rolled in.

I wacked off my long blonde hair that took way too much time to manage with my lifestyle, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Yes, it’s short, yes it’s gray. I’m embracing the me I have become in 55 years. No regrets.

APRIL-Nearly crushed me with the loss of my dad. I had so hoped once he sold his business and finally retired he would make a trip down here to visit, but that wasn’t in God’s plan. He was a quick-witted man and one of a kind. He is sorely missed.

MAY-Brought the sudden birth of our third grandchild. I say sudden because I don’t believe my daughter was in labor more than a few hours, and the baby decided not to wait for the mid-wife. Kira was born into her daddy’s hands, while grandmother was trying to get the other two kids into the car for a trip to her house. The midwife did get there in time for daddy to cut the cord. One life ends and another begins.

Before the baby was born, I committed to detoxing my body and quit smoking tobacco, started vaping. I’m doing really good with that and have cut down the nicotine. I also stopped the 6-8 diet cokes I was drinking daily, along with the 6-8 cups of coffee. It’s slowed me down a bit, but I feel 100% better.

JUNE-With the new baby and dealing with all that ensued in the wake of my dad’s death, this month pulled me off the computer while trying to assist my dad’s widow and a half-sister with running his insurance business. They both leaned on me and it was a difficult position to be in trying to advise from 500 miles away. Making matters worse, two estranged sisters who had not had anything much to do with Daddy in thirty years came up with a law suit against his wife and the estate. Needless to say, that was no fun. That discord lasted for months.

I started a new book, The Conduit, in the hope that throwing myself into some creative work might ease some of my mental load. It worked off and on, but about a third of the way through the book, I had to back off on that, also. I re-blogged a lot and tried to stay in touch with my online friends offering what little support I could.

Getting diagnosed with diabetes sent me online for some heavy research and I unveiled so much new research that contradicts what I was taught in nursing school about the disease, it’s complications and management, that it is just now starting to sink in that it may not have ill-fated prognosis it once had. It can be totally reversed, and I’m on a personal mission to do that. This mission resulted in a nutritional consult and major lifestyle changes that pull me off the computer daily, but have my blood sugars within normal range and my Hgb A1C down from 7.5 to 5.6.

JULY-I set out to find a developmental editor for The Conduit about the middle of the year and got connected to a English gentleman in Ireland who took on the challenge of giving Naked Alliances a few passes as that manuscript was finished, I thought. He was quite impressed with the progress me and my beta readers had made, but certainly has helped polish that novel into something I’m really proud of. I had shelved that book, not knowing if I would ever publish it, but encouragement and support from some very dear blogging friends motivated me to go forward. Thank you all…you know who you are.

It’s a far cry from Red Clay in Roses in both style and content, but it’s been a really fun project. I’m still working through the second edits and it will need a final proof. I’ve thought about pitching it at the 2016 Sleuth Fest in Deerfield Beach in February…still uncertain if I want to go that route. It just might add pressure I don’t need at this point. I enjoy writing for fun and would not want to get myself into a position that might jeopardize the joy I find in writing.

I had to have surgery this month and that set me back both with my lifestyle changes and writing as I could not sit at the computer for more than just a few minutes at a time. But all is well.

AUGUST-Things started settling down a bit. I got into Kombucha brewing, and I’m on my ninth or tenth 2 ½ gallon brew now. The lifestyle changes really started making a difference and I began to shed some pounds. Managed a small promo that sold a few books and revived my firstborn a bit. Got heavy into my writing and got two more book outlines accomplished for the Naked Eye Series.

SEPTEMBER-More of the same. More time for writing and editing, but less time for marketing and blogging. Tradeoffs. I’ve missed you.

OCTOBER-Sent Naked Alliances off to an editor.  I was so deep in the zone, I was barely able to manage three re-blogs this month, but I did manage to get by familiar blogs for some awesome reading and a few comments.

NOVEMBER-Back in May, the 13th to be exact, when I smoked my last cigarette, I had connected with a large group of vapers that support each other in every way imaginable through a forum and Google Hang Outs and we’re planning a big shin-dig in Florida for April. I took on the role of treasurer and organizer for that group, so about twenty of us, from all over the U.S. will be meeting up in Bradenton Beach in April. These people literally saved my life. We’ve rented a huge house and have plans to eat good food, talk for hours, get some boating and fishing in. This adventure gave me and the RS the delightful task of a reconnaissance mission over to the area and we had a lovely vacation of sorts with the RS and his brother and girlfriend for a week on Anna Maria Island with the Bay out the front door and the beach out the back. It served well to let us leisurely scope out the area and rejuvenate my soul.

I managed to get one guest post done this year on the dear and amusing Barb Taub’s blog. I’m looking forward to setting up more guest posts and interviews over the next few months, so if you hear anything about anyone on the lookout, let me know. I’ll have more time on the computer as the year turns.

DECEMBER– Well, I managed to lose forty pounds this year. I only have forty-five to go. Hopefully, by this time next year I will have met my goal. I have a photographer friend who is doing a photo shoot in the near future, so you might see my 8 year old profile pics change everywhere in the next few months.

Naked Alliances is almost ready for its final proof. Yay! It’s been nearly two years since that first draft was penned and I am most grateful for the dozen people who gave me feedback as beta readers. It really did turn into a team project with me at the helm. With your help, I narrowed down to two choices for a cover image via 99Designs, and I’m giving one more cover artist a shot at it.

This really grew into a much longer post than I anticipated. I’m truly grateful to be alive and to have so many wonderful people in my life. I am looking forward to healthy and happy NEW YEAR and hope the same for you. As the sun sets on the old year, I leave you with a meditation video I made on Anna Maria Island. The silence between the surf as significant as the sounds of the sea.

55 thoughts on “The Sun Sets on Another Year: 2015

  1. Happy New Year, Susan.. let’s hope there are fewer challenges and more joy in 2016.
    If you and your books ever feel like doing a guest post over at mine, you’d be most welcome, you know 🙂

    • Thank you Rosie. I haven’t abandoned reading, but I admit I haven’t applied myself to it much this year. Too many irons in the fire…and the need to just turn my brain off at bed time.

  2. This retrospective gives me flashes of memory of what I’ be observed of your progress in 2015. The details make it all come back to life. If there’s a one-word description of your attitude it would have to be tenacious drilling past a death, lawsuit, health issues. Without giving my own summary, I’ll just say settling my mother’s estate after a year and a half is giving me fits. But that’s life and I’ll get through it too. Kudos to you and Happy New Year, Susan!

  3. You really had a lot on your plate in 2015, but you managed some amazing accomplishments. A huge congrats on all the healthy living you’re doing and on the weight loss. WOW! You should really be proud of all you’ve done on both the personal front and writing front. Sending you best wishes for a Happy and productive New Year!!

  4. Beautiful post.
    I din’t know about your loss. I’m so sorry. Losing a parents is devastating. But you manage to make the most out of this year all the same. So many good changes for you.
    I’m happy things are going down a smoother path now.
    Have a fantastic, healthy and fulfilling 2016 🙂

  5. I’m so glad things have turned around for you, Susan. And congrats that Naked Alliances will soon hit the shelves. Woot! I hope you know you’re always welcome on my blog. Just let me know what you need and it’s yours. May 2016 bring many magical moments for you and yours.

    • I feel truly blessed. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m hoping once the grandkids are back in school and the RS is back at work, I’ll settle into a more normal routine and get some not so novel writing done.

  6. What a full year it’s been for you, and despite the loss of your father, you managed to make so many positive changes to improve your health. That’s impressive, and I’m amazed by what you’ve accomplished. Type 2 diabetes can indeed often be treated with weight loss and lifestyle changes alone. A big, huge kudos to you!

    • Thanks Carrie. I fudged on my diet with red velvet cake and candy cane pie over the holiday, but I’m back on track and the numbers are still good. Fudged…hum, that sounds good. I wonder if I could get away with a leftover tootsie roll from Halloween? Nah, not worth it. 🙂

  7. Reading your post made me feel so tired! You’ve accomplished so much in spite of being pulled off the computer and experiencing the loss of your father. You make me feel like I’m standing still … lol … because I am 😉 I hope 2016 has more of those good moments in store for you! Happy New Year, Susan!

    • Thanks Marie. I’ve had to be rather quiet online to cope with life in front of me this year. I’m finishing up the second edits on my book tonight and sending it off to my editor for the final proof. That’s a terrific way to start the new year, I think. 🙂 Have a happy and healthy new year 🙂

  8. Wow, Susan, you’ve had a jammed packed year. Congratulations on taking control of your health. If we don’t have that, we have nothing. Happy New Year! Now, to re-follow you, you were dropped from my WP reader.

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