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. Recognizing that children’s books do indeed count as books read, I began to record each children’s book that I read 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 sitting on my lap as I flip through the pages, again and again.
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 half-way there, and I look forward to beating that number for the year 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 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 aforementioned teenager keeps me on my toes; often times resulting with increased stress, heart flutters, and panic attacks. I am resolved to finding 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 most difficult novel because it requires so much of my emotional strength to forge through it. Since I have not been confident enough for submission, I am doing the last of my edits. Maybe it is 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 in which I had started as a new blog this year. I had hoped it would go viral, but not yet. Too many of our 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 had gathered together 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 of the podcasts that would be played over the air after the 9:00 a.m. news on Tuesday mornings and archived on the web site. One of my podcasts was featured in December of 2013 and look for more in 2014!
And finally, a local author, who has numerous books published, 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 wait for 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!