What did 2015 do for you? It is the end of another year and, as always, we tend to get a little whispy-eyed with memories of the last 12 months.
This year had it ups and downs. There were good things and there were bad things. Of course, we all remember those incidences which just happened... like my mother-in-law passing just prior to Christmas. That was definitely a down thing but you can spin it as an up thing: She was 103 and had lived a very full life. Her health had been failing, along with her memory - and that hurt, especially my wife who visited her several times a week. It's hard when your mother doesn't remember who you are - but, she knows you, just not your name.
Of course, there was my doctor visit in November which wasn't all that great. My blood sugar was averaging 246 for the last six months and he basically told me, fix it or die. Again, to spin a good thing to it, I have since lost 18 pounds and my sugar has been hovering around the 100-120 mark. That is a very good thing. I'll be going back in January for another blood draw to see what the new results will be. I'm hoping to lose another few pounds in the meantime.
While on the subject of weight, I'll go clear back to the beginning of the year when I was making resolutions. What were they? Lose 25 pounds. Publish 3 books. So let's see what I did.
Back in June I got so sick I could barely swallow. I lost weight - a lot of weight. I lost a total of over 30 pounds. Then I got well. I found them. I didn't have to go that far to search, either. They were ever so quick to return - and return they did. Okay, I didn't get them ALL back. I was able to let some free to roam and find another home. About 10 pounds were left on the range. So with the doctor's colorful health report, I've lost almost another 20 pounds, so, in total, I've lost almost 30 pounds this year. THAT I call a success. I reached my goal of 25 pounds. Oh, for you readers, if you find these stray pounds, their yours to keep - call it my gift, if you will. I don't want them back so they're free for the keeping. I'm sure they'll be good to keep you warm - not healthy, but good.
Now, to the publishing. In April I published "The Secret Voice" which has been a great seller. I have had to order it twice from Amazon to keep it in stock. I even sold a copy to the young lady who helped me at WalMart when I created my new poster of the cover. My one classmate also works there and she's been telling everyone about and well, do you have any idea what it is like to have a clerk ask if she can buy a copy? If you go to Amazon, it doesn't look like it is selling because all the copies I sell don't reflect... and I've sold a LOT of copies.
Anyway, I published that book and was able to finally get my 2nd book published yesterday and should be available now. "CRACKED! The Writing Mystique" is a short how-to about handling the different aspects (mystiques) of writing including character detail, active/passive voice, writing sex and so much more. As always, I made sure to include examples so it could be easily understood.
Did I publish three books? No. I really feel ashamed. I could have done so easily but I didn't and there absolutely no excuse. Of course, I've been working on the sequel to "The Secret Voice" and, as many writers will understand, my mind has been attacked by several other plots and stories that are screaming for attention. I was just busy with other things - like family and life, I guess.
Of course, this year, my wife and I tried to do a little more camping. Of course, with her mother's health, we didn't want to travel too far away. Most of the time we went to the local state park just a few miles up the road and would camp there for the week, skipping out Friday morning before it got too crowded. We did do a trip up into Michigan with our middle granddaughters (ages 13 and 9) where we got in some great fishing. That was about 5 hours from home... not too far, but away.
My garden. It was a good garden. I even was able to grow some sweet corn and it was delicious. My wife canned some tomatoes, making stewed, diced, juice and even several jars of salsa which I have pretty well decimated already. She agrees - more salsa next year. Yes, I have already received what I call the best fiction mags of the year - the garden seed catalogs. And, yes, I already have delusions, uh, I mean, dreams of things I want to attempt to grow this coming year. Since I was so busy doing mulch to certain areas, I am going to have to be a little more selective in what I want to grow in containers. I have plans for a couple of tubs. Of course, my two hanging deck boxes I have to allocate some nice draping plants. And the step planters, those big 24-inch pots will need some color, too. In just a few short months I'll be starting my garden seeds likes tomatoes, peppers and just not sure what else as of now.
Also, this coming year, I want to attempt raising some chickens - about 50 for slaughter and another 5 or 6 for eggs during the summer and fall. Of course, if winter next year is anything like it has been so far this year, those chickens might make it through the winter. Oh, and I'd like to also raise about 2, maybe 3 turkeys. Living in the countryside does have its perks but then again, it also has the critters that like chickens and turkeys, especially the young ones... oh, and eggs, too!
So, as you can see, I'm already getting around to my New Years Resolutions for 2016. I'll keep it simple. Lose another 25 pounds. Publish at least 2 books. Raise some chickens and turkeys. Grow a garden. Travel, camp and fish more. Oh, and spend more time with my wife, kids, grandkids, great grandkids, family and friends.
Until next I ramble on...