2015…. a look back… and a look ahead


I am a little late to this party, but really felt I wanted to put in my own thoughts on the past year and what I hope is to come.  I already posted about my favorite books of this past year, this post is a bit more personal.

On the blog front 2014 was one of renewal.  The first part of the year I was wondering if my blogging days were over.  I was reading, but not taking the time to review.  When I though about writing a post or visiting other blogs I found I really didn’t have the desire or ambition.  I was not ready to give up on Book Journey, but suddenly understood why some blogs and bloggers just disappear from the online world.  Honestly, I was scared I was losing my mojo.  Then, I went to the Book Expo in New York in May and it was like my battery was recharged.  Hanging out with friends, fellow blogge1ars who I chat with here on line is something amazing. Something MAGICAL.  Spending time with authors and publishers, and of course the books; the incredible books that I wanted to read, I wanted to talk about… I knew Book Journey was not over, not by a long shot. (*cue the Rocky theme*)


And honestly, thank goodness for that because in July my personal life changed drastically.  I made the decision to leave the job that I worked at for 10 years to work more consistently on my writing.  It was a big step… a scary step… and honestly it is still scary.  It has been a big adjustment and family and friends have been supportive in this decision.  The road has not been smooth since that decision… honestly it has been a wee bit bumpy.  I am working hard to believe that in all of this God has a plan and He is directing me into something amazing.  But really, I have never been a very patient person. 😉


2014… not a favorite of mine. 🙂  I am so thankful that my desire to write at Book Journey returned as the connections I have made on line here since 2009 are ones that I cherish, connections that have helped me through these changes in my life.  There are so many of you I feel that I know… I know where many of you work, what states you live in, about your families, about your dreams… and not in a creepy stalker way – but in a way that we share on line.  When one of you comment I love being able to think, “oh good, _____________ must be over the flu” or “______________ is back from vacation!”  It is like another world out there and those of us who do this know what I mean.


So… 2015.  YAY.  I mean seriously, YAY.  I love the idea of a fresh slate.  And right now, my slate does not get much cleaner than this.  When I return after our trip I have lots of plans to implement in my life, in my home, and here on Book Journey.  I hope you will notice the changes… I can not wait to get started!  🙂


Last year I chose a word to represent the year.  Some of you may remember the One Little Word post.  My word for last year was embrace.  I wanted to embrace whatever came my way, and well… I think I forgot about my word about 4 months into the year.  For 2015, my word for the year is:  Emerge

If you wish to choose your own word for the year, here is a great list to work from.


1. to rise or come forth from or as if from water or other liquid.
2. to come up or arise

3. to come into existence; develop

4. to rise, as from an inferior or unfortunate state or condition.
Books that came in this week:

Everything that came in this week was either Middle Grade (MG) or Young Adult (YA)

Wrapping this one up, here is to 2015!  Today I have a list of things to prepare for our trip.  I am anxious, but I think it is all doable.  🙂


49 thoughts on “2015…. a look back… and a look ahead

  1. Sheila, I am so glad you continued blogging! I’ve hit a few blogging walls over the years, but in the end I just made changes because I love our community, and I find you and all my other blogger friends to be so inspiring! I’ve loved reading about your running (even though the only I’d run a marathon is if there were really fast zombies after me, and honestly, I’m really hoping for the zombie apocalypse to feature the slow, shuffling, old school zombies), and your books, and all the wonderful events at your library. I hope 2015 is your best year ever! And I hope to see you at BEA again this year!!

    1. My first year going to BEA my friends here through I was nuts to go to a city I have never been to and stay with women I had never met. One friend even said, “How can you be sure this person is even a girl?” LOL…. That first year at BEA I learned one important things about book bloggers… we are genuine people. The people I met were just the way they represent themselves on line. It was like I already knew them 🙂

  2. What a beautiful, inspiring post, Sheila.

    I know you will EMERGE beautifully and continue to grow. You are an amazing person.

    I am going to choose two words: appreciate and cherish

    HUGS, and have a wonderful trip.


  3. I hope you will come to Bouchercon 2015 here in NC! This is the first time ever a major mystery book convention has been held in the south. I am so looking forward to meeting authors and bloggers!

  4. Emerge is such a great word! I wrote my word on tape and put it on my computer. I also wrote it in lipstick on my bathroom mirror. This is our year to shine dear Sheila. Very best wishes to you my dear! By the way, have you already got a roommate for NYC?

    1. Hi Stacy! Thanks! It is funny because emerge is the word directly after embrace on the list and no, that is not why I picked it..LOL I do have a roommate, Candace (Beth Fish Reads) and I will be rooming together again this year. I do hope you are coming how exciting!!!

    1. It was a crazy year, one I had anticipated would be much better than it was. On the upside, it really made me aware that I need to be careful what I say yes to, and I have opened up doors in my life that are new and exciting. 🙂

  5. I’m glad you have continued to blog because you are really good at it. Seriously. The one little word you introduced to to last year has become one of my favorite things. Last year i chose challenge, (Challenge myself to be better, do greater things) and I think I was mostly successful. This year I chose EXPERIENCE. I’m excited to experience life this year. My schedule is opening up a little which will give me more time to do just that!

    1. Thanks Angie. I do enjoy blogging. I am so glad you liked the one little word! I had big plans for it last year, I wanted a charm on a chain with the word and well…. glad we are both on it this year. I love your word for this year! I hope you do EXPERIENCE many wonderful things!

  6. Last year, my word was patience. It was in part because although I had been on SSDI for a while, I really wasn’t patient with myself or my “limitations”. This year, my word is trust as in “trust the process”.

    I know you’re getting ready for your trip ( are you sure there isn’t room in your suitcase for a fat ol’ lady?) and I send blessings and hope for calm seas and fair winds.

  7. We all need to recharge now and then and rethink what we’re doing and where we want to go. I cannot imagine my life without blogging…I certainly have more than enough blogs!

    Have a great New Year!

    1. LOL! You do have plenty of blogs Laurel, I dont know how you do it! Last week when I messed up the link for It’s Monday! I tried to find your post so I could link it for you… I went through all your blogs (I thought I did anyway) and I could not find the post! 😛 Clearly I need to know which blog you post the Monday what are you reading on. 😀

  8. LOVE your word, Sheila 😀 I still have all the little signs up from last year that I made when you brought this up. My word last year is the word that seemed to have been embedded before you’d said it. I was in that place and continue to be, and though there are CONstant interruptions and struggles, I’m still trying—-my word will continue to be “ACCOMPLISH” 😀

    And I’m so glad you didn’t completely give up on Book Journey 😀 One thing I do think, though (and this goes for bloggers, in general), is that the push to post every day can become burdensome, plus following too many blogs. It can burn you out. I know it’s burning me out! I’m still trying to get a handle on how to get that under control, because I do need to accomplish a lot, and much of that needs to be off the internet. We all need to do what suits our life and we WILL accomplish these things 😀

    1. I go in streaks now Donna. Winter always seems to be a better time for me to really engage with other bloggers. I have more time to read and to to blog. Summer things really slow down here and I usually post every two to three days. I am more outside, gardening, biking, working in my yard… After doing this for 6 years, I can see my pattern and it works 😀

  9. So glad you did not give up on your blog, Sheila. We’ve been blogging for the same amount of time and I’ve experienced many of the things you have too. This year has been a year of change for me as well, mostly exciting but also scary and time consuming. My kids are growing up fast and my company has grown fast too so 2015 will be about pacing myself, developing a good routine and work habits, but still making time for the impulsive things that having kids forces one to do, which is a good thing!

    Have fun and learn new things on your upcoming trip. Re-energize and get ideas for your writing projects. This is the year you will submit that manuscript to World’s Best Story and who knows where that might lead you? There are many great things in store for us. Let’s reach out and emerge!

  10. Wonderful post–made me think and evaluate my past year. I am so glad you decided to continue to blog. I hit a wall this year and decided to just change up my blog by taking a step back to a basic blogspot format and less social media and obtaining my own books.

    My word for this year is: Accept. I will accept whatever health issues my husband and I come up against this year, I will accept I am not a perfect wife and mother, I will accept that my blog is not the best and never will be but it is my own, so it is special for me.

    Thanks, just thanks!

    1. That helps to make sure the blog works with your life. After all, the blog (for me anyway) can be kind of an internet home… if I am going to spend time there I need to make sure I like the way it looks and feels and that it reflects me. 🙂

  11. I, too, am glad that you did not give up and made it work for you. May this year be filled with exciting events, changes and triumphs. Life moves forward whether we are ready or not. I enjoy your morning meanderings, book thoughts and enthusiasm. Have a wonderful trip.

  12. I’m glad you found your reading mojo again! This year, I’m going to attend BEA just as a blogger for the first time ever and I’m so excited! Good luck with all your writing endeavors. I can’t wait to hear more about it. I feel like 2014 was just kind of a blah year, so I’m ready for a great one!

  13. I have just to blogg last year so it is all new to me. At time I need to rest my eyes and I lost interest in reading. I am adjusting to a change in life as I find I do many things I was once able to do. The Kindle open up a whole life for me. I thank all that have help and encourage me. Glad you are staying with your blog.

  14. I think it is important to take rests and not burn out, so happy holidaying for you. I guess we all need to know what helps us to stay vital and do those things. So happy you got your blogging mojo back, and didn’t give up.

  15. Emerge is such a beautiful word! In 2015 I’m doing the same thing as you, making the move to focus more on my writing, although unfortunately I can’t quit what I’m doing now. I’m hoping it will just be a matter of adding new freelance clients, but just in a different area of work. I don’t know if I’ll be doing BEA or not this year but it always sounds like such fun!

  16. So glad you got your mojo back, Sheila. I love your blog and also admire the courageous step you took toward writing last year. I wish you all the best.

  17. I hope this year is everything you want it to be. Your vacation has to be a great start!

    I’m glad you stuck with the blog. You are an inspiration and I love reading about your adventures! I occasionally think about letting mine go. I feel like my reviews have gotten repetitive and I’d rather be writing other things. With my full time work hours, I just can’t do everything I want to do. I’m trying to prioritize and shift and make everything work but something is always slipping. Hopefully I’ll get everything sorted out soon!

    Happy 2015!

  18. There seems a point when all bloggers seem to ask the question why am I doing this? You’re not alone this in those moments when you thought about giving it up. Glad you founded that spark of enthusiasm again

  19. Good luck to your plans in 2015. And congrats for taking a big step about your job. That takes Courage. cheers.

  20. Nice wrap-up post, Sheila (yes, I am way behind!). I, too, love fresh starts and was glad to see 2014 go! We ended our year with series of medical crises and were glad to see 2015 arrive. Of course, it is February and I still haven’t officially set my objectives for the year or signed up for reading challenges, but hey, I’m getting there.

    You are so right about the online book community!


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