The last two months of 2017 kept me so busy that I had little time to show gratitude to those around me who most deserved it, or to share with you all a few short pieces of news. I wanted to cover this first so I can move through the rest of this year focused forward on my professional day-job and writing projects. Gonna be a busy year, folks, and I’m crazy excited to start divulging that to you in the upcoming blogs!
For today, I wanted to start with the Castle Trip. If you missed it, I spent Thanksgiving week secluded with other writers in a 12-century Austrian fortress called Burg Rappottenstein. If you ever find yourself in Austria, please consider treating yourself to a day or two in this amazing place. I made a few friends that I fully expect to see abroad again, roasted my first goose with this Jamie Oliver recipe, ate Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by 16th-century frescoes and furniture, and wrote the first draft of my upcoming novella, The Debt Collectors. All the authors there cooperatively wrote a short murder story that became a running inside-joke I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. The surroundings inspired me to plan an entirely new series that you’ll get to read in 2019. Amazing week! You can find the other authors’ Amazon pages by clicking on their names:
Jay Tinsiano writes conspiracy fiction that I’m certain my readers will enjoy as much as I do.
Ingrid B. Seymour writes Young Adult fantasy and is a confirmed genius.
Derek Murphy writes fiction and provides Sherpa-level guidance to authors who want to self-publish.
Nathan Rose is a Digital Nomad who writes non-fiction from interesting and unique perspectives.
Bradley Charbonneau writes fiction and non-fiction and became a trusted and indispensable travel companion.
December brought unexpected challenges and unwelcome family news, along with recurring reminders of how deeply and richly God has blessed my life. I am grateful for my family, my friends, and my colleagues, in both my cop and writing lives. I have resolved to spend more time and energy showing gratitude for my blessings and far less on my have-nots. For the opportunities for growth and enrichment that initially present themselves as problematic obstacles. For the friends and family that have surrounded me through all the troughs and crests. For you, my readers, who spend some of your precious time and treasure with me and my characters. For the time and opportunities I do have to make a positive impact on my world, rather than focusing so much on those for which I wish.
This year, I’ll not strive for resolutions, for short-term changes. I’m gunning for bigger, lifelong paradigm shifts that’ll help me live a longer, richer, and more intrinsically fulfilled life. I hope more of us will do the same; how much better could our society be if we focused more on our haves than our have-nots?
Be safe out there.