Claire McEwen, hopeful romantic.

2017, My Year of Reckoning.

What a year 2017 has been! A year of reckoning for sure. A roller coaster year, politically and personally.

A year where my books were finalists or winners of several contests. That was thrilling!

A year where I wrote my first novella, which I’m proud of, and where I wrapped up my beloved Sierra Legacy series with the May release of His Last Rodeo.

But it was also such a difficult year. Harlequin announced they are closing the Superromance line I wrote for. It was the perfect home for stories like mine, and frankly, it’s been a bit difficult to find a new home. And worst of all, my beloved editors were all laid off, which was heartbreaking for them and all of the writers who adored them.

It was a year full of humbling moments and hard lessons. I learned that I could no longer take health for granted. Multiple issues have had me re-assessing my diet and lifestyle, and a badly injured hip means I’ll never take the ability to walk for granted again! And the series proposal I worked so hard on, and was so excited about, was, after months of waiting and wondering, ultimately rejected by Harlequin. I am back to the drawing board with my writing and I have no idea when I’ll have a new book out.

And it was the year I had to step back from writing to be there for my son. To take a close look at my parenting, at how we run our home, at making sure he has all the things he needs to be okay. I miss writing, and I have stories brewing in my heart and mind, but for now my son has to come first and my writing time is very limited.

But there were wonderful things too. Our trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone was a fabulous adventure! After months of physical therapy I can now walk for half-an-hour with no, or very little pain. I was even able to keep up with my son at Disneyland! I turned my heartbreak over my Harlequin rejection into a newly landscaped yard. It turns out that digging, laying weed-cloth and putting down gravel is a good outlet for disappointment and angst. And, though it’s taken four years of patience and training, Chauncey the dog is finally starting to recover from whatever trauma he experienced before he met us. It turns out he has a sweet, warm heart under all that fur and fear.

I’m happy to say goodbye to 2017, this wake-up-call of a year, this year of reckoning. I’m very ready for a new start, strengthened by the lessons learned. Hopeful that I will find a way to balance my health, my son’s needs and my writing in some way that will allow me to continue as an author. And grateful that I’m walking forward, on two working legs now, one tentative step at a time.

2 thoughts on “2017, My Year of Reckoning.

  1. Barb Han

    Balancing family (and especially with a little one) and our creative needs can be tricky, for sure. I had no idea about your hip–so relieved that you’re on the mend. I’m sorry to hear about a door closing on your publishing career. I hope a wealth of new opportunities spring forth for you. You deserve all the positive energy, health and love in 2018!

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