When the year starts out, as 2014 did for me, there is precious little expectation for the rest of it.  You see, that was the day of my mother’s funeral.

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The following week my oldest dog, nearly seventeen, died — another sad goodbye.


As if that wasn’t enough, I tore the MCL on one of my knees on the first day of February.

Friends were asking me what it felt like to be Job — referring to the Biblical character.  It felt like life had turned a dangerous corner for me and nothing good was ever going to happen again.

But that couldn’t have been further from the truth.  I signed with a publisher, The Wild Rose Press, for my first novel — Acquisition.


My knee healed — slowly — without surgery but with a lot of exercise and physical therapy.  I am super thankful for that, although I don’t think I’ll be running anytime soon.

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Then I joined a prestigious group of writers at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, bookending the trip to the island with a few days in Concord, Massachusetts before, and Boston after.

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Acquisition was released on November 7 and I left for Italy on November 8 to join up with another group of writers studying Monastic Writing in Orvieto.  (You’ll want to check out reneejohnsonwrites.com for an interview with the instructor, Justen Ahren, and my experiences — both coming in 2015.)

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Sprinkled in between these writing events were wedding celebrations for my son and his wife.  They were married on December 13.

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If you are thinking this has been one incredible whirlwind of a year, you would be correct.


And it caught up with me over the Christmas holiday, leaving me tired, drained, and with a bad case of stomach flu which arrived pre-dawn Christmas Eve and is still nagging me.

Hopefully, by New Year’s Eve, I’ll be feeling up to celebrating with friends and toasting 2015.  I must say that I will be looking back with a mixture of sadness and elation.  The new friends I have gained are priceless, the experiences immeasurable.  But the losses and grief and sadness have also been overwhelming.

Perhaps we cannot truly enjoy the victories without learning from defeats.  I’d like to give it a shot in 2015 though.  And that is what I wish for you all — a wonderful year of triumphs and successes without any failures or heartbreaks.

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Happy New Year from Writingfeemail!