I was supposed to be on a cruise ship in Central America right now. I’m not. I’m in my kitchen, catching up on work for the day job and feeling cranky about it even though I know millions of other people have suffered much, much worse during the pandemic.

Travel used to be a huge part of my life. In 2019, I went somewhere literally at least once a month. Then there was the trauma of multiple cancellations in 2020, beginning with a trip to France scuttled in mid-March, a couple of days before I was supposed to leave. And although I was lucky enough to do some road trips in 2020, the cancellations still aren’t, well, canceled.

I’m still hoping, however. My dreams this year include Paris, Lisbon, Zagreb, and Port Townsend. And a replacement cruise. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Being around the house more has had me noticing how cluttered it is. We’ve lived here for almost 20 years and there’s lots of… stuff. Today I was working on the closet in our guest room/craft room, and I came across this historical artifact. Makes me wonder what else I’m going to find!

Did you miss me?

It’s been just over a year since I last blogged.

I made the decision to give it up for a year mainly as a way of trying to reserve limited time and energy. Like everyone else on the planet, I’ve been going through an emotionally exhausting time, and the day job in particular has been a time and energy vampire. So some conservation made sense.

I used the time well. In 2021, I wrote 4 novels, 3 novellas, and 2 short stories, making it my most productive year ever. One of those novels, Farview, won the BookLife Prize for Fiction, which is still astounding me a month after the announcement was made. Another novel, Potential Energy, was from a plot bunny that had been haunting me for almost a decade. That one releases in April.

I did other stuff too. There were several audiobooks, a fair bit of action on social media, and my monthly blog at Love Bytes.

And there were personal changes. My husband retired. My younger daughter graduated high school and moved to Oregon for college, while my older daughter graduated college and moved back home from Oregon (a different school than her sister) to attend grad school and work at a grad assistantship. I worked entirely from home (which is, in theory, about to change).

I was able to take several great road trips, including one with my younger daughter where we visited 10 states in the SW and MW and drove 3500 miles. Other trips were cancelled (again), including the Caribbean cruise I was supposed to be on right now.

I have a lot of hopes for 2022. More books–Dracula in 1950s LA, anyone? Or how about Bureau book 9?–and more audiobooks. More travel, maybe even to Europe. Maybe. A peaceful, smooth, healthy transition back to doing the day job in person. And yes, I do hope to blog on a reasonably frequent basis.

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my hopes and yours, and wishing all of you the very best for this year!