The Writer's Life

Writer’s Update From 2013 to 2014

As I look back on the past year, I see some goals not quite reached and a few accomplishments that make me proud. And I begin the New Year by creating new goals while finishing up old ones.

I began the year in full force, eager to beat the 14 books I read in 2012 in hopes that I could accomplish 50 books read in one year. Then, recognizing that children’s books do indeed count as books read, I began to record them as I read them to my nephew. Now three, he has discovered the joy of reading and continues to hand me book after book. Even though we have already read a particular book a hundred times, he insists on sitting on my lap as I flip through the pages repeatedly.

This continuous bantering has led to 11 children’s books read this year, giving me a grand total of 23 books read for 2013. I am nearly halfway there and look forward to beating that number for 2014.

In the meantime, Diary of a Fat Girl hit a slump after a classmate passed away. The wake-up call led me to my doctor’s office with astonishing results. I was no longer concerned about losing weight but became focused on getting healthy. And having two teenagers in the house has given me an excuse to embrace my infertility… at least for now.

I may pick up Diary of a Fat Girl here and there this New Year, especially since I have a 20-year class reunion to look forward to in August. But, my focus will be on healthy lifestyle changes and not so much on infertility. I am tired of the tears, and my 13-year-old gives me numerous reasons why I do not want a child at this time.

Journeys Through Meditation will continue as I seek new meditation techniques. The teenager mentioned above keeps me on my toes, frequently resulting in increased stress, heart flutters, and panic attacks. I am resolved to find more ways to calm myself down!

Being a new mom and running a busy household has put my first novel on the back burner yet again! It is a challenging novel because it requires emotional strength to forge through it. Since I have not been confident enough to submit my book, I am doing the last of my edits. It may be a good thing that I have held out for so long. It gave me time to rework the characters, storylines, and plots. I am spending more focused energy on the villain and trying to make him the character you would love to hate!

I continue to write My Beautiful Letters to my beautiful daughters, which I started as a new blog this year. Too many young ladies need encouragement and support to build self-esteem and self-worth. I continue to support A Beautiful Me, which has taught my daughter how to stand up for herself and not allow others to disrespect her. This charitable organization is essential for teaching our young ladies that they are worth it!

Karen Palka, founder of A Beautiful Me, had asked my daughter and me to speak at the Avant Garde Hair Show Fundraiser for A Beautiful Me. It was Danielle’s first speech in front of over 200 distinguished guests. She wrote a beautiful speech that brought tears to everyone’s eyes, received a standing ovation, and was featured in the local paper the next day. I must say that the Elliott household is quite proud of this young lady for making great strides in her self-worth, taking a stand against bullying, and taking a risk to share her story with others!

In addition, Ms. Palka expanded A Beautiful Me and collaborated with WGRT 102.3 to create Entirely Women (a web page focused on inspiring women). With the launch of this new project, she gathered 52 women bloggers to write one blog article for each week of the year. She invited me to write one of the blogs and a few podcasts that would be played over the air after the 9:00 a.m. news on Tuesday mornings and archived on the website. One of my podcasts was featured in December 2013, and look for more in 2014!

And finally, a local author, who has published numerous books, has asked me to collaborate on a couple of mini eBooks for 2014. I have spent the last month actively researching and writing the first book of several to follow. And I eagerly await the day when I can share this book with you!

In the meantime, I will continue to actively pursue my love of writing so that I can share it with you. If my blog seems dormant, know that in the background, I am working on something spectacular to come. After all, a writer never sleeps!