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Photo by Marcin Jagiellicz | Dreamstime Stock Photos

In the Pagan tradition I walk, Yule, or the winter solstice, is all about rebirth. It’s a turning point, much as New Year’s Eve marks a turning. We say goodbye to the old and open our arms to the rebirth of the sun.

The longest night of the year holds within it a spark of sun, a promise that as the Wheel of the Year turns, the days will grow longer, the earth will eventually reawaken, ice and snow will yield to crocuses and daffodils, and the summer god will reign once more.

So I think it is fitting that my last check-in post for 2016 falls on Yule, as I mark the turning of the wheel and the promise of warm, sunny days to come.

I’ve started penning haikus in the past few months. I love the challenge of fitting a poem, a thought, an image into so few words. Haiku is language stripped down bare, and as such, it offers a far more intimate experience with language than a novel does. We’re counting each syllable; each word must drip with meaning and imagery. It’s simple, and in a culture where we’re constantly inundated with stuff and information, I’m starting to crave the simplicity haikus offer.

Before my year-end review, I’d like to share a haiku I’ve written in honor of the winter solstice:

Long night yields to dawn.

You rise from winter’s belly,

promise of fire.

Haiku shared and holiday well-wishes bestowed, I turn now to my year in review.

It was a year of ups and downs. I said goodbye to my beloved beagle, Angel, who brought her gentle, loving energy to my life for ten years. And, in the last few weeks, I welcomed a new creature into my life, a bundle of energy named Leo. I became a published fiction writer with the publication of my two novelettes, The Beltane Kiss and The Faerie Key. I taught a course on media writing. Hubby and I continued to settle in to our new home. We painted. We tore out the ugly, overgrown, half-dead bushes in the front of the townhouse and planted new, including some lavender.

On the writing front, here are my accomplishments:

  • Penned a novelette, The Faerie Key, revised it and its companion piece, The Beltane Kiss, had those professionally edited, revised them some more, and published them on Amazon.
  • My novel A Prince in Patience Point won second place in the Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest.
  • Expanded a short story formerly called Midwinter Bride into a novella titled Goblins and Grimoires. Finished a first draft of that novella (or second draft, depending on how you look at it).
  • Penned another novelette, White Wolf, Red Cloak, and started expanding it to novella length, now titled Fates Entangled.
  • Wrote a short story, Silver’s Stray, and started expanding it to novelette length.
  • Wrote two short stories, Spirits of Embers and The Forest’s Own.
  • Started writing poetry again, both free verse and haikus.
  • There were also numerous starts to stories, ranging from a redcap running amok in a library to a story about the magic of mistletoe to a trio of sisters who find themselves the guardians of three sacred artifacts.

For a year where I weathered a prolonged creative dry spell, I’d say a fair amount still got done in 2016.

And so, with this post, I wish you a very merry rest of the year, however you celebrate or spend it, and a happy New Year. Thank you to all of you who visit my blog, who leave thoughtful comments, who’ve offered support in any way, whether it’s a bit of advice on Twitter or Facebook, or buying one of my books, or simply a word of encouragement during a dry spell. It really means a lot to me, and I feel very blessed.

What about you? What accomplishment are you most proud of this year? Do you already have plans in place for 2017? If so, please share!

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