I’m separating my Year In Review post into Writing and Personal this year. I had too much to think about, and just couldn’t combine them. So, If you’re interested in my 2012 Writing Perspective, click the link to go read it. So what do I think of 2012 on a personal level?
This year has had a lot of ups and downs. My family has moved twice, which disrupts everything. We are finally getting back into the swing of things now. But in that, I believe any good habits I worked towards went out the door.
I know enough about myself to know that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Either that or I’ve got a mild case of OCD. When I play games, I have to fight the desire to find every secret, max every skill, defeat every enemy, get the absolute best equipment. But that can backfire. If I’m not able to do it that way, I just give up on it. So, I’m truthfully amazed that I’ve kept up my Vote Your Adventure series going as well as I have. I don’t know, maybe I know that this is something I want to continue, so I keep toiling.
So, to go along with that. I’m a Christian, and I’m going to quote myself in this case from last year: Have more consistent quiet times. I feel that I am a bit of an oxymoron of a Christian in not taking time to spend time with God. How can I be a Christian and follow God if I am not spending time with him? It’d be like me calling myself a husband or father and never spending time with my wife or kids.
Yeah, I’ve failed miserably at having quiet times. It’s such a simple thing, too. So, I give you permission to ask how I’m doing. Friends, family and other Christians. Send me a Tweet. Email me. Call me. Now, if I get bombarded, I might revoke that permission 😉
The other place I’m annoyed with at myself is in running. I really wanted to get back into it this year, but I haven’t made the time to do so. Although, if I’m going to do so, it will be behind doing quiet times.
So, my last one is to do more reading. I’ve actually been doing better at that because authors keep putting ebooks up for free for a few days here and there. I have expanded my Kindle book collection quite a bit because of that. But, I’m going to help you in this area as well. How about a few recommendations of some recent releases from some friends of mine. All four are on my list (and I’m working on 2 of them). I’ll let the descriptions of the books speak for themselves.
The Ruth Valley Missing, by Amber West
Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley. The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction. But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing?
The Fourth Channel, by Jen Kirchner
For years, Kari Hunter’s fooled the world into thinking she’s just an everyday girl. Sure, she’s the lead singer of world-renowned band Vis Viva, but outside of that, she recycles religiously, is an avid supporter of the environment, and she’s a certifiable coffee addict. But Kari has a secret she keeps from her family, friends, and fans.
Kari Hunter is a necromancer.
The rarest and most powerful of all magic-born, necromancers are notorious for leaving a trail of sacrifices in their wake. But Kari isn’t interested in hurting anyone. She works hard at being as un-necromancer-like as possible: everyone she stabs gets a bandage and a lollipop, and whenever her sacrificial knives get too excited by the prospect of violence, she puts them in time-out… in her lingerie drawer.
But when an agent of voodoo master Ruairí O’Bryne catches Kari using her powers, her secret’s out. And if Ruairí finds out who Kari is, he’ll stop at nothing to make her his next sacrifice.
Danny’s life is a mess. His father has recently died, his estranged wife is pregnant, and he longs for a life with the one that got away.
Then he meets an intriguing woman at a Bruce Springsteen concert. She tells him to close his eyes and focus on the words. And when he does, he is miraculously transported to his childhood vacation home on Long Beach Island off the coast of New Jersey. The year is 1995. He has a simple mission: change his past and win over the girl of his dreams.
Only it’s not so simple. The past is different than he remembered, he’s not sure if his trip through time is real, and the hormones coursing through his teenage body keep getting in his way. To further complicate matters, he meets a beautiful stranger who actually seems more perfect than his dream girl!
With time running out until he returns to 2012, Danny must uncover how to face his future with no regrets, find out who the woman at the concert really is, and choose between following his dream and following his heart.
Heart of Fire by Michael J. Ward
Return to the world of Valeron in another astounding adventure. Deeper and more complex than THE LEGION OF SHADOW, the options available to your hero are exciting, carefully planned and beautifully written. The Heart of Fire is awakening, and only you can save the world …You are a prophet, both gifted and cursed by your strange powers. Imprisoned in the infamous dungeon of the inquisition, you are tormented by visions of a nightmarish future. No-one has ever escaped. Doomed to live out your days in chains and darkness, a twist of fate provides you with a chance for freedom – to take on a new identity and start a new life. But no matter where you go, where you hide, you can never escape the haunting images of your own prophecy…Is it possible to outwit destiny and change the future? You decide in this epic fantasy adventure – the highly-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling gamebook The Legion of Shadow. Every decision you make will have an impact on the story – and, ultimately, your fate.
So, I make it sound like I’m all depressed and frustrated about the year. I won’t say there weren’t times. Heck, as I write this, I’m fighting against it (I will say this is strangely cathartic, though). No, even with all the frustrations, I’m happy with the year. Why should I expect it to be easy? It won’t be in this life. That’s that. For me, all that remains is to keep plugging away word by word. Who knows, if I can get my writing together, maybe you’ll be seeing my name somewhere. And to you who said the post office, that’s not what I meant, smart alack.