Here we are at the tail end of 2020, and what a crazy year it has been! At the outset, I don’t think we could have predicted how it would unfold, instead imagining it would be the best year ever. In reality, it was a trying year for so many reasons: the virus, endless quarantine and social isolation, riots, political unrest, financial distress. It’s been a doozy! My heart goes out to all the people who have lost loved ones, jobs, freedom, and peace of mind. I can only hope that things will get better from here.

On a personal note, as I look back on the year, I am thankful for what I have…my family and friends, our health, hope, and faith. These are the anchors that get me through the tough times.

Trying to maintain a positive outlook is also important, allowing things to appear less daunting. So, in this vein of trying to be positive, I look back at the happier moments of 2020. Starting with my new year’s resolution list, I am happy to say that I achieved some of my goals for the year.

  1. I completed the third book in the Father of Contention series, titled Sea of Forgetfulness, published and released on July 21, 2020. Next, I marketed the hell out of my new book, trying not to allow the COVID-19 restrictions to hinder me…I did a virtual launch and book tour, I was a part of the first ever Virtual Holiday Craft Revival as well as being a part of other online markets, and I focused on promotions through my social media accounts.
  2. I had set the goal of getting an article published in our local paper, The Chronicle Journal, and I was able to have not one, but two editorials published: “Exploding Head Syndrome: A Frightening Name for a Relatively Benign Disorder” (in the Health, Mind & Body supplement), and “Fitness and Menopause” (in the Women supplement).
  3. Another goal I had set was to enter and win a literary contest, which was achieved in May. I entered the Reader Views Reviewer’s Choice Awards where I placed second in the Science Fiction category and won the Regional Award for Best SciFi Book of the Year in the Canada East Region. Both awards were for my second book, Guardian of Angel.
  4. I entered and successfully completed NaNoWriMo 2020, officially completing book 4 in the Father of Contention series, Gatekeepers of Eden. It still needs more editing, but the manuscript is finished! Yay!

There are a few goals I have yet to achieve, which will be punted over to my new year’s resolution list for 2021. Getting my fourth book edited and ready for submissions is at the top of the list. Working with an editor will be vital to this stage. And another key goal, as I would like to get the fourth book traditionally published, is to get an agent! My new year will be busy researching and compiling an agent list, writing query letters, and synopses. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Aside from my literary goals, I will also be changing my personal training business since it was side-railed due to COVID-19. I’m contemplating adapting my business to a virtual one, doing the so-often stated “pivot” in order to stay functioning and successful due to the changing times. Last month, I attended a women’s business conference, Re:IMAGINE (put on by PARO), which gave me many useful pointers on how to transition my training to an online market. The process is both exciting and intimidating, and I predict it will take time before it’s up and running, but the wheels are in motion. In the meantime, I will be adding fitness content into my online social media accounts, combining both of my passions, writing and fitness, so stay tuned for that.

What is your response as you reflect on 2020? Are you excited to leave the year behind, or are you fearful of what 2021 has in store? I think we are all left with a bad taste in our mouths, and hesitate to assume 2021 will be the best year ever, but what we can do is let this year remind us of what is important: family, friends, love, faith, and hope. And instead of looking at the year as a whole, we can embrace it one day at a time, and appreciate the good ones!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year in 2021!

And don’t forget to keep reading!

💋 Lanie Mores