Merry Christmas and all the best to you all…

It’s been a jam packed few weeks for me in the lead up to Christmas. I’m sure it has been for all of you too.

Those who know me probably realise I’m the organisation queen when it comes to being sorted at this time of the year. All my shopping is done through the year and everything was wrapped and put away by the end of November. I know, I know, there are those who now officially hate me! But all that organisation means I get to enjoy the lead up.

Managed to get my decs up nice and early this year too!

It’s been a pretty bad last week here at home to be honest though. I’ve had ceiling leaks, boiler problems, lack of time and a few other issues to deal with but it was one week out of the whole year so I won’t dwell and since it’s Sunday, the new week starts tomorrow anyway so it’s no problem at all in the greater scheme of things. Leak sorted, new boiler installed (thanks landlord!) and everything is well again.

I’ve seen a lot of people about doing a piece about their year. My blog is (relatively) regular so most of you have probably followed it all anyway but here is my year in brief!

  • Finished editing With Deadly Intent and started submitting to agents.
  • Wrote all of I’ve been Watching You and have started the editing
  • Left a job, started a new job, and applied for 2 more jobs that I didn’t get
  • Believed in myself a lot more and found my confidence grow ten fold
  • Lost weight, put weight on, lost weight, put weight on, lost …. well you get the picture.
  • Joined the gym (and yes I will be going back in the new year!)
  • Visited Scotland twice at the back end of the year
  • Went to Ostend at the start of the year
  • Completed my first ever stint at Harrogate Crime Festival and can’t wait to go back next year!
  • Hosted my first ever ‘proper’ dinner parties!
  • Started writing my third novel, as yet untitled.
  • Stuck to a financial budget (for the most part)
  • Haven’t let negativity of others impact on my mood
  • Given money to charity and food to food banks
  • Made my own garlands for christmas then baked for gifts
  • Spent a lot of time in Starbucks
  • Spent more time with my family and friends whenever I could
  • Blogged regularly
  • Started and maintained my own website (which is now due for renewal)
  • Networked with other authors through social media
  • Read
  • Smiled
  • Cried (occasionally – okay quite a bit cos I’m a softy)
  • Proof read a few bits and bobs for other authors
  • Became friends with other authors through the crime festival and social media, and have gotten to know my lovely editor Jenny Drewery much better.
  • Kept my new years resolution to be more positive.
  • Been to two fantastic weddings!
  • Celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary.
  • Shown/told people how much I appreciate them, as often as I could without it being creepy.
  • Looked for magic in the simplest of things.
  • Saw The Hobbit (6 times I think), and saw The Desolation of Smaug (only once so far). HUGE LOTR fan!

I’m sure there’s loads more that I haven’t mentioned but that about covers it. I’d just like to close and say how grateful I am that all of this is happening to me. If someone had said to me just five years ago that within that time, I’d be in a different job, writing my third novel and loving my life so much more than I was, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. There have been ups and downs, losses and tears along the way, but one thing is for sure, I’m still standing. I’m still here. And 2014 is going to be an amazing year because I believe it will be.

I hope you all have a truly magical christmas, and dream big for 2014, believe in yourselves and smile every day. I’ll be back in the new year with more updates and shenanigans. xxx