Here we are, in the middle of the holiday season, nearing the end of 2015, and looking forward to a new year. A time when we slow down from our hectic lives, assess where we’ve been and where we’re going. Give thanks for those who are along with us for the ride, and, possibly, grieve for those who have left us. There is no time more perfect for reflection, healing, and celebration than the weeks before the solstice–the darkest day of the year–and the first of the new year.
As we huddle inside, warm against the winter, we look back over the months, remembering the crisp autumn mornings, the steamy summer evenings, the sweet spring afternoons. We relish the memories made, the friendships forged, and the challenges overcome. We take stock–how have we grown? How were we hurt? How did we mend, and what revelations came in the healing? Are we stronger? Are we sharper? Did we accomplish all we intended? Did we love as best as we can and give as much as we could?
Hopefully the answers to our reflections will warm our hearts. But life is not always kind, and in those moments we have to make our own kindness. Craft our own comforts. Find a way to restore our energies. How better to do that than with good fellowship and heart-warming stories?
For my part, I look back over 2015 and am astounded at all that I have done and endured. My son and I suffered the devastating, unexpected loss of his father early in the year. Shortly thereafter, my fiance’s employer closed its doors with no warning. By March, I had written 2015 down as the Worst Year in History and just wanted to make it through quickly and quietly, with no more upheavals. I put my head down and trudged through the days, all of my writing falling aside in my desire to simply get by.
But my dearest friend Beau North had gotten the happy news that her first novel, Longbourn’s Songbird, would be published by Meryton Press–how could I remain in a shell after sharing such joy? As summer neared, Beau and I began to collaborate on a modern Persuasion-inspired short story for the winter anthology. To our delight, our story, Holiday Mix Tape, was chosen for the winter anthology, Then Comes Winter. My first publication brought a lightness and clarity to 2015 that was sorely needed.
With the anthology, I discovered the wonderful community of Meryton Press–a delightful group of brilliant authors, talented editors, and dedicated readers. I am thrilled to be here with you all and to be able conclude my tumultuous year on a high note. We are fortunate to have this magical place where fiction and real life twine, where we can enjoy great stories and share them with marvelous people. A place of romance and love, heartache and healing, friendship and support. I am thankful to be here. I am thankful to share in your stories and to share mine with you. For 2016, I look forward to getting to know more of you–readers and authors alike–and laughing, smiling, and crying with you through our own stories, fiction and real.
Until then, snuggle in, wrap yourself in the warming love available to you, and prepare yourself for what is to come in 2016. Grab a good book and enjoy these last, deep nights before the daylight stretches longer. Need a recommendation? Well, you’ve come to the right place….