Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 10 Posts Of 2016

This year was a busy year for me, with work life, mom life, and personal life constantly colliding in ways that alternated between exhilarating and heartwrenching.
  • WORK LIFE: This year, I published the much awaited second book in my Fantasy trilogy, Selkie II. I attended two signings, and for most of this year, I loved writing just as much as I ever have. The publishing world continued to open up to me, I made new friends, and I'm thrilled with the way I've grown more comfortable as a business-woman.
  • MOM LIFE: My daughters are growing into beautiful and kind-hearted young women right before my eyes. My oldest daughter is entering the teen years with excitement and pride, and I'm thrilled to watch her mature as she becomes the woman she will someday be. My youngest is a budding bookworm with a soft heart and a huge personality, and I've enjoyed watching her learn more this year about the world around her. Together, they are my biggest accomplishment and my dearest source of pride and joy. If I do nothing else right in this life, I will always be proud of my part in raising them to be who they are.
  • PERSONAL LIFE: After a long effort to work things out with my former partner, deciding to really call it quits and move my life in other directions has opened my heart in ways I never expected. The changes this brought into my life have been whirlwind and terrifying - but my confidence has grown in leaps and bounds, I've learned more than I ever expected to about recovering from adverse circumstances, and I'm finally in a place where I accept myself unconditionally.
Much of the above-mentioned growth has become the catalyst which changed this blog in such a strong way. Now, it's more than just another author blog, more than my effort to sell books and reach readers. Now it's an outlet, and I hope very much to see it become a community. Sure, I'll still talk about books, but I also plan to talk about other things, too - like movies and music, mental health and my pursuit of happiness, my favorite things, and maybe even a few sponsored posts, so that I can support my blog, my writing, and my family, all while sharing the best of everything in my life with you, my readers.

For now though, let's end the year on a high note - with a look back at what you loved the most about this blog in the last twelve months. Here are ...

The Top 10 Posts of 2016

1.) "Responsibility May Be Heavy ... But At Least It's The Good Kind" - in this post, I talked about my own responsibilities, and how I feel about bearing up under the burdens.

2.) "Fighting For Freedom" - in this one, I talked about why Fighting For Freedom is one of my favorites of my books, and how closely its subject matter aligns with my personal life. As this year went on, I felt more and more connected to this story - to the point that I had to take a break from writing it. I hope to see a return of my ability to put my own personal circumstance aside, so that I can continue to share Christine's story.

3.) "Self-Confidence And Body Positivity" - here, I made a point to address a review on Fat Chance. The reviewer accused me of fat-shaming in that book, and as a plus sized girl who wrote the story in hopes of giving the rest of the world a glimpse at what plus-sized life can really be like, I was justifiably upset. The rest of the review didn't bother me, and I'm really fine with the fact that all books are not always satisfying for all readers - but I couldn't sit back and let anyone accuse me of fat shaming without saying something about it.

4.) "What #BodyPositive Really Means (To Me)" - the body-positive movement was still very much in my newsfeed and it came up often in conversations I shared with friends, so it was still on my mind, and judging by the pageviews, I wasn't alone. This was truly about body-love though, and how I manage to love my own body - despite what is often negative societal feedback.

5.) "Saturday Sentiment: I Can't Vlog, So ..." - I love vlogs, and every so often I think I'd like to give it a shot. And I usually do - I pull out the camera and record some footage, but then I watch it, delete it, and continue to believe that vlogging is not for me. In this post, I talked about how I feel about that, how I plan to deal with it, and where to go from there.

6.) "National Pregnancy And Infant Loss Remembrance Day" - on October 15th, seeking a good blog topic, I went hunting for "National" days. I think there's a National day for just about everything now, but this one resonated with me because I've experienced miscarriage. So ... I wrote about that, sharing some of my story, how I remember the child I never got to hold, and how that lost child reminds me to be grateful every day for my daughters, who walk and talk and live and breathe - although sometimes with a bit too much fervor.

7.) "Selkie: An Excerpt ... And A Surprise" - not very link-bait-y, but at least it's self-explanatory, right?

8.) "Depression Is More Than A Keyword -- My Depression Is My Fault, Part II" - this post was the sixth in a seven-post series about Depression. In this series, I explored the societal view of Depression, addressing the stigma and the perception of Depression in society, as well as the reality of life with this crushing illness.

9.) "Christmas Eve: A Peek Under Our Family Tree" -  in this post, I shared some of what kept the magic alive for my family this Christmas, despite the things our family was going through. I also shared a little peek at what was going under our tree, with my thoughts and hopes for how the gifts I chose for my daughters might be received.

10.) "Five-Star Reads, 2016" - these were my favorite books this year. It's not always easy for me to find five-star reads, as I generally reserve the five-star rating for books that I truly loved or which impacted me personally. So this post was my list of favorites from 2016, and I hope you'll love some of them too.

Also, don't forget that I'm starting 2017 with a personal challenge to blog every day in January - except for Sundays - so don't forget to check back here often as the new year gets off to what I hope will be a wonderfully empowering and incredibly exciting start.


28 comments:

  1. I can relate to #5! I just hate the way I look in videos or pictures. I a lot has to do with myself in general. I know one day I will overcome that fear. Good Luck!

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    1. For me it's not so much my looks or whatever, it's the way I move on camera. I'm very clearly nervous and stiff, and I hate that. But this? I'm so much more comfortable with the written word.

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  2. I just came across your blog. I'm glad you posted your top 10 list so I know what to read first.

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    1. Thanks! These were chosen based on what my readers seemed to like best according to page views and shares, etc.

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  3. Blogging every day in January is quite the goal. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, I hope you'll come back to follow along!

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  4. Sounds like it's been a fruitful year for you! Congrats on publishing the book!

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    1. I suppose in some ways, it was. A lot changed for me last year - some good, some bad. This year I plan to adjust, adapt, and rebuild.

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  5. I love the idea of this post! I want to do the same at the end of next year!!

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    1. Thanks! I wish I could remember where I first saw the idea so I could pass on the credit.

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  6. Oh great posts! I'll definitely do this on my blog next year :)

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    1. Thank you - this "best of" list was chosen by my readers, based on page views and shares, things like that. I plan to do it annually, as I think it's a great way to introduce new readers to what they can find here. Other blogs often do a sort of end of year review post, with something from each month, but I wanted just to share what worked here - both for the readers to see, and for me to analyze.

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  7. I love the idea of this post, what a great idea.

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    1. Thank you! I wish I could pass on the credit for where I found it, but it's been a while so I don't remember anymore. Just to say - it wasn't an original idea per se, so you should feel free to use it too.

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  8. Congrats on a great year! Here's to an even better one!

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  9. Love your tops post about positive #3 and #4 so important to love yourself and be kind to yourself. Being a mom is hard sometimes and watching your young ones grow up. Love the bookworm for any child, my daughter was a book worm and still is at 26 which I am so proud...

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the posts on my list. And you're right, being a mom is definitely a challenge - but so worth it! Feel free to stick around to read our journey as it unfolds.

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  10. It was a crazy challenging year for everyone, I think. I've had a pretty bumpy 2016 and I can't be more happy that it's over.

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    1. I'm right there with you. I'm really looking forward to whatever 2017 brings, because at this point it can't possibly be worse than 2016.

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  11. well done on getting your second book out!!!

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    1. Thank you - it's the second in that series, but actually it's my eighth book lol.

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  12. looks like you had a great blogging year! As for 2016, What a ride it has been--both for you and me. Wins and loses but life goes on! May our 2017 be filled with good fruits!

    KatrinaJeanCarter.wordpress.com

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    1. That's my hope too! I've been pushing through and keeping myself as focused as I could be through all of it ... Now I'm ready to see it pay off.

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  13. Sounds like you had a good year in all aspects of life. Glad to see your blogging year went well too. Also very jealous of the book publishing. Congrats!

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    1. I don't know that I'd say all aspects of 2016 were good ... Actually, lots of it was really bad. But this post was a great way for me to look back at the parts of 2016 that were actually positive. I'm going to make it an annual feature here.

      Thanks for the congrats on the book as well. It was #8 for me and was super exciting!

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  14. Good for you! Wish you the best for this new year of blogging :)

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