New Year Wishes

January 3, 2020

Hello 2020!

I’m writing this three days later than intended, partly because it wouldn’t have been wise to mix my words with a bottle of Baileys, (perish the thought) and partly because today – on J.R.R. Tolkien’s twelfty-eighth (128th) birthday – it felt like a fitting time to mark the beginning of my writing year. 

This auspicious occasion would have no doubt passed me by altogether if my thoughtful other half hadn’t bought me this fab calendar, illustrated by the great Alan Lee. The moment I opened it I had a warm tingly feeling that 2020 was going to be a breakthrough year for me. Or as I’ve chosen to name it – my Phoenix year.

Happiness!

A bold and unusual statement from me. I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, let alone risk jinxing myself by committing them to paper. Like most good intentions, once the festive glow of New Year has lost its sparkle they rarely stick around for long. When my best-laid plans inevitably go awry and my arse is still the size of Mars, I’ll have no one to blame but myself for feeling as miserable as sin.

You won’t catch me falling into that old trap again or I may as well strip naked and start my public walk of shame now. 

Shut up 2019 Wendy. I’m no longer a slave to your negative thinking. I know, I know, I made the same promise to myself in my 2019 New Year’s post, but this year will be different. I’m different.

2020 Wendy is a free elf! 

On Hogmanay, I emptied my jingly boots and hat of everything that’s been weighing me down. Okay, not quite everything. Only the parts that were holding me back from becoming the truest, most authentic version of myself. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m completely comfortable in my own skin yet. Maybe I never will be, but I’ve come to accept who I am and the writer I want to be.  

I’m a mother, daughter, wife, sister, aunt, friend, hippie, misfit, rebel, dreamer, storyteller, centaur, philosopher, on a life-long cosmic quest to discover my higher purpose.

Call it serendipity, call it self-therapy, call it madness, but some of the hardest, deepest truths I’ve learned about myself in the last decade were uncovered through the soul-searching process of writing The Crystal Keeper. We each have to weave our own path through life. It doesn’t always lead us where we want to go, but for better or worse, I believe it takes us in the direction we need to grow. It just so happens, I’m a late bloomer. 

Believe or not, I turn fifty this year. Impossible but true. No-one is more shocked than I am. Though I wish I could turn back the clock so that I could start my writing career earlier and implant my forty-nine-year-old brain into my twenty-year-old body, I can’t. Such is the cruelty of life. But that doesn’t mean I’m past my sell-by date. Far, far from it. Nor it does mean I plan to work myself into an early grave in my pursuit of publishing success. A big part of reinventing yourself is about learning from past mistakes. I’ve made enough to sink a freighter in the last half century and I’ve no intention of dredging them up again. 

I have only one goal for 2020 and it’s this:

I will do everything in my mortal power to turn the last ten years of blood, sweat and tears and many, so many draft manuscripts into a book-shaped reality. The stars won’t come to me. The time has come time for me to crawl out of the dark cave I’ve been holed up in for forever and a day, dust off my wings and fly. With guts, determination and the spirit of Tolkien to guide me, either I’ll rise to meet my star-dusted dreams or fall flat on my face like Icarus. Whatever destiny awaits me, it won’t be from lack of trying. 

Upon The Hearth The Fire is Red

Still round the corner there may wait

A new road or a secret gate

And though I oft have passed them by

A day will come at last when I

Shall take the hidden paths that run

West of the Moon, East of the Sun.’

J.R.R. Tolkien

Happy Birthday Professor. And a happy New Year one and all.

Wendy x

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