Normally this time of year, we're all thinking about the end of the previous year and what we'd like to do in the next year. Lose weight, find a soulmate, have a baby, or in the case of 2020, take a real vacation. There's so many things I'd like to do next year, but most importantly, I've got a lot of books in mind that I would like to write.
1. Finish the Heaven's Rejects series. Slider and Ginny's story has been WAY too long in the making and it's time they get their HEA.
2. Start the Voodoo City Queens MC series. Remy and her gang of wild ladies have been poking me in the brain in the last couple of months, and I've been picking away at the first book.
3. More Black Hoods Books. This is a a given, LOL! Book #4, Dark Desires is coming in February, and Geri and I have so many plans for the rest of the guys in the series.
4. A new genre? I know I have been teasing this one for awhile, but we're inching closer to the reveal of the new genre I want to dip my toes in 2021.
5. My first book, Damaged. It's been off the shelves for a long time, and I'm considering editing and re-releasing it this year. We'll see what happens with that one.
Which one are you most excited about?
I don't think I've been more excited for a year to be over than I have with 2020. I'm betting I'm not alone in that sentiment either. With the new year just a few days away, I sat down and thought about all the positives about 2020. I have a lot to be grateful for, to be honest, in a year like this so I thought it would be a little fun to review some of them.
#1 - Job Change
If you're in my reader group, I've talked a lot about my struggles in my research job. The shift of my work to non-lab work and issues with my boss. Without all that stress and anger, I wouldn't have been so motivated to start looking and in turn, land the job of my dreams. I've only been there a few weeks, and I'm happier now than I have ever been in the last 12 years. It was the best career decision I could have ever made for myself.
#2 - My new godson
Born just a week into our state shutdown, he was the gift I needed in such a dark time. Months after his birth, his smile when I walk into the room makes me forget all about the state of the world right now. My little buddy. I've already warned his parents that the day will come when he asks me for a pony and I'll show up with a stock trailer full of them.
#3 - Finding My Writing Mojo
2018 and 2019 were huge struggle years in terms of writing. The words just seemed to have dried up, and all I could do is stare at a blank screen. That is until Geri and I teamed up for the Black Hoods MC series. It was like a breath of fresh air to dive into the stories and though we we're both dealing with our own personal struggles at the same time, we were able to support each other to finish three different books.
#4 - Getting Back to My Roots
It's funny as we grow older the things we never have time to do anymore. When our state shutdown, and being high risk, I had to dive deep to find ways to keep myself entertained. Puzzles, sewing, gardening, and even reading became my new favorite pastimes. Puzzles being the biggest of the three. I had a 1000 piece puzzle collecting dust on a bookshelf for over two years of a night game at Purdue from a game I actually attended. I was always "too busy" for it, and in March, I finally got it down. It took a bit longer than I would have normally taken because I tried to share it with Glen, who I now know HATES puzzles, but it was a bonding experience for us.
#5 - Appreciating the Little Things
Did I just paraphrase one of the rules from Zombieland? I sure did. There's nothing like a pandemic to put into perspective how precious life is, and the frivolous things that waste your time. I let so much go by the wayside over the years that I didn't even realize I was letting integral parts of what makes me, well, me go with it. Even now as our state has almost fully reopened, I remind myself almost daily to remember those little things. To take time for myself, and my well-being. I'm even trying to learn how to do gel nails with my very own UV light. Who would have thought? Not me.
While these five things are only scratching the surface of those personal positives from 2020, I encourage you all to think back over the last year and make a list of your own. Focus on it. While the 2020 dread may spill into 2021 for a bit, look back on those positives.
And before I forget, make sure you yell out "JUMANJI!" when the clock strikes twelve on the 31st.
Like so many others, COVID 19 has seemed to infiltrate every thread of our life. Our jobs. Schools. Family. The holidays. The news. It's everywhere we turn. Absolutely everywhere, and now here I am writing about it. Doing the one thing I didn't want to do, but here I am. Doing it all the same. Bare with me because my heart is heavy tonight.
On the week where the emergency approved vaccine begins hitting our local hospitals, optimism and hope should start to replace the fear and uncertainty of the months ahead. We're at the turning point in the pandemic. The light is starting to blink at the end of the dark tunnel of the last 9 months. I should feel joy that maybe normalcy will come back to us. That we can travel again. See friends. Gather and celebrate holidays with our loved ones. It's so close in our grasp now that I woke up today feeling so optimistic until I looked at my phone tonight after making dinner.
A death that hits a little too close to home. A pillar of our church and our community lost to complications from his long fight with Covid. A husband. Father. Grandfather. Friend. Farmer. Business Man. It would take pages to list this man's community involvement and that would only be scratching the surface of it. His passing is a reminder of just what this virus can do. It tears families apart. His wife and daughter were able to be with him, but his sons and grandchildren couldn't be there with him. The unfairness of it all that this is the same for so many others who have died alone in a hospital. They were lucky, but so many others weren't.
Now, Christmas is just 10 days away. My favorite time of year. We can't celebrate with our friends, see our family, or celebrate our oldest godson's birthday like we normally would. I miss them all, and I've tried to make the best of the situation we've found ourselves in, but tonight, my heart is heavy tonight. I can only hope that tomorrow I can my that hope again.
Download Your Copy Here
With more and more of us staying at home due to the pandemic, I thought I'd make up a few fun coloring pages that are themed to my books. Check out the first one in the series. Make sure you download it and share the image in my reader group so that I can see all of your beautiful creations.
Avelyn Paige is an Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling Motorcycle Romance author.