Best of 2015 and Plans for 2016

ChristmasHope your holiday season is going well. We’re nearing the end of the year, so this will be my last post for the year. I’ll return on January 6th for Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which may be at a new address. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know where I’ve moved.


This has been an interesting, difficult, but fun year. I had great intentions, and of course I didn’t accomplish everything I had set out to, but I got a lot done this year.


I wrote 45 short stories (including flash fiction) and 67 poems in 2015. I began working on draft 2 of my novel Native Landscapes. I plan on finishing in January. I outlined novel 2, which I will write (draft 1) in 2016.

Best book I read this year:


I’d been planning on reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman for a long time. I finally got to it this fall. What can I say? Gaiman is an amazing writer. He has a way with words that I can only aspire to.

Best movie I saw this year:

song of the sea

Song of the Sea came out in 2014, but I only saw it recently. It is a beautiful, somewhat sad animated movie based on an Irish myth. Not only is the story compelling, the visuals are amazing.

Best TV show I watched this year:


We writers have a complicated relationship with TV. I myself have spent numerous occasions discussing its ills. While I don’t have a TV set, I do watch some television. I’m a huge Project Runway fan. For two seasons in a row, I have been obsessively watching (and often rewatching) The Affair. It is well-written with superb acting. What I like about it most is that it feels real. The people aren’t airbrushed and perfected (physically and as characters). I like the convention of using different perspectives to tell the story. The tension and suspense are wonderful, because at the heart of this story is a mystery. Bonus points: There are bits of writing advice throughout the series. My favorite: “If you’re having difficulty with the end, you fucked up the beginning.” “The ending should feel inevitable. At some point fate takes over a story and even the author himself loses control.” (This helped me with rewriting the beginning as well as the ending of my novel.)


This was my first full blogging year, which resulted in 222 posts. I learned a lot and I’ve figured out the right mix of posts that appeals to you, my dear readers. In addition to the posts here, I contributed 7 posts on female monsters over at Part-Time Monster. I participated in a few blogathons and challenges, the biggest being the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.

The top 20 posts (most viewed) of 2015:

  1. (tie) 5 Questions Before You Write the First Draft and Is There Undiscovered Depth to The Blue Lagoon?
  2. Finding the Way to Narnia
  3. How Agatha Christie Saved My Life
  4. F is for Forgiveness
  5. Remembering and Forgetting Love in Hiroshima
  6. A Disturbed Girl’s Guide to Finding Your Why
  7. Humility in Writing
  8. The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Tool Kit
  9. There’s an Elephant in the Bathtub
  10. Taking Up ‘The Invitation’
  11. The Power of Real Life Stories
  12. Committed
  13. IWSG Wednesday #5: Fear
  14. Alice Walker is My Own Private Librarian
  15. Digging for Inspiration with Robert Jordan and Dracula – a perfect October read (tie)
  16. NaNo2ndDrafto update – dealing with fear
  17. To Write Like Dr. Seuss
  18. When words are not enough #Paris
  19. The Female Writers That Changed My Life
  20. 31 residencies for writers


In May, I launched my monthly newsletter, which is for those readers interested in learning more about my writing. I’ve been sending out monthly updates with insider information on Native Landscapes. Sometime soon, I hope to add a free ebook as an enticement. In the meantime, sign up anyway.

new yearPlans for 2016

  • keep editing Native Landscapes
  • start next novel, which I’ve already outlined
  • write more short stories and poetry
  • move blog to self-hosted
  • participate in A to Z April blogging challenge along with other challenges and blogathons
  • create ebook as an enticement to sign up for the newsletter

My theme word for 2016 is travel. While at the moment I have no idea if I will actually travel anywhere in 2016, the word has been coming up for me recently, so I decided to go with it. Travel can be so many more things than just physically traveling to a place. One way I will travel is by reading the world.

Link love: Here are some wonderful things to read around the web:



24 thoughts on “Best of 2015 and Plans for 2016

    • Thank you, Solveig. I’m looking forward to getting back as well. Having some issues with new site, but I hope to have all issues corrected soon. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • For now I need to just set everything up. I’m having a hard time with my server and no one seems to know why. I’ll be moving my old posts throughout the year. I especially want to move the Monday Inspirations series.


  1. Have a great holiday. I hope the move isn’t too stressful either.

    Sounds like you’ve done a he’ll of a lot. Did any of those 45 short stories get published?

    See you next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Deborah. Hope you have a great new year! Most of those stories are published on this blog. I submitted 2 for print publications, but they didn’t get accepted. It’s definitely something I want to work on – getting some short stories published.


  2. Awesome work! Cool that The Affair TV show helped you with your novel. I think sometimes great script-writing and character development in a TV show can give us writers a great example of storytelling. I’m interested in The Affair too, I’ve never watched it but I love Ruth Wilson, especially in Luther.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’ve had an amazing year … and you say you didn’t accomplish all you set out to do? Oh boy – you’re making the rest of us look bad.

    Congrats on all the wonderful writing you did this year, and thank you for allowing us to guest post on your site.

    Here’s to 2616 – may it be everything you wish, and filled with love & laughter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My biggest goal was to get something published in a literary journal or the like, which I didn’t succeed at. Granted, I only submitted 2 short stories and several poems, which didn’t get accepted. I didn’t invest the time in getting enough polished work submission ready. Thank you, Ruth. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I forgot to mention on this post – all the wonderful relationships I’ve developed with other writers and bloggers. I’m glad we found each other. Happy New Year, Gulara!

      Liked by 1 person

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