Endings and Beginnings

By Liz, still recovering from a wonderful Crime Bake weekend!

By now you’ve all heard (if you weren’t there to experience it firsthand) how cool this year’s New England Crime Bake Conference was, as always. For me, Crime Bake weekend is motivating, inspiring, and full of reconnections and gratitude at how lucky I am not only to be living my dreams, but to be living them as part of a wonderful community—both my immediate community, the Wicked Cozies, and the extended Sisters in Crime community. I always get a little sappy and sentimental after Crime Bake, so please indulge me.

My birthday is coming up at the end of November.  A couple of years ago a friend gave me a “Happy New Year” card to celebrate the occasion. She told me she thought of birthdays that way—as the beginning of one’s own personal new year, the time to reflect on both the challenges and blessings from the past year, acknowledge them, learn from them and start fresh. I thought it was a brilliant sentiment. However, I can’t think of a year when it will be more true than this one as I’m closing some chapters and preparing to enter some new ones.

Spending time with the Wickeds this weekend also reminded me how important these ladies are in every chapter of my life. So I thought I’d tell you about what’s been going on lately, and how many trips the Wicked lifeboat has taken on my behalf.

In my writing life: Many of you are aware that I have a second series underway with St. Martin’s. The first book has gone through a few iterations, and I’m currently working on major revisions. Unfortunately, this converged with a lot of other things, and the revisions suddenly seemed so daunting. One particularly bad weekend, Barb talked me off the ledge then offered some stellar advice on untangling my plot and moving it forward. Then Sherry, as always, offered her expert editing opinions. And lo and behold, I was back on track.

In my personal life: Some of you know I lost my father last month, which was a very difficult situation for reasons aside from the obvious. Suffice it to say getting through that event would have been much harder without a little help from my friends. Seeing Edith and Julie in person was wonderful. And Jessie’s perspective about things is always unique and thought-provoking, and makes for wonderful conversations.

In my day job life: In the midst of all of the above, I was blessed to have received a wonderful opportunity for a new day job. That opportunity, however, was a long process. My tolerant Wickeds were there to cheer me on, commiserate with me, and keep me focused on the outcome. And it came!

So what’s my point? These ladies are way more than blog mates. They are wicked good friends.  And I’m so blessed to be part of this group, no matter what the next chapter holds.


Readers, new chapters in your lives? How do you navigate?

27 Thoughts

  1. What would we do without the sisters of our heart? I know I wouldn’t have made it this far in life without them.

  2. Liz, I wish you good luck and much happiness in your life with all these changes. Change is hard. When my husband and I both left the Navy, I particularly felt adrift. My husband, who isn’t a writer, tried to comfort me saying that we were going on to the next chapter in our lives. I liked that image, and it helped.

  3. This was my first Crimebake but won’t be my last. Loved meeting all if you in person finally, and can see how tight-knit your group is. Thanks for making a Caolina gal feel so welcome.

    In writing, I just launched a second series, The Trudy Geniva Manhattan Mysteries. I’m spending days in my head with Nora Tierney and her cohorts back in England, and now time with Trudy in the Big Apple, and find this giving me more energy and interest in sitting down to work than ever!

    On a personal note, I’m having more dreaded back surgery next week and can’t sit much for two weeks. After the first week I’ll be standing a lot to write! Of course, just now is when I have scene and plot ideas streaming for both new projects. Isn’t it great to be able to write?

  4. What a lovely post.

    You must be “off the charts” on those life-change charts. I hope things settle soon, at least in the day to day and you love your new job.

  5. What a lovely post to wake up too. I loved how our business meeting stretch in to long hours of conversation after the banquet. Love you dearly!

  6. Again, my condolences on the loss of your father. You have wonderful support around you; never take that for granted.
    It sounds like life is definitely taking some turns, but they are up-swing ones! How do I manage changes?I have learned that you NEVER know what is coming and you just face what does—head on.Courage isn’t the lack of fear, but the realization that something is more important than your fear. Anyone can face anything if they need to.Believe me, for I was always the biggest coward out there!
    God bless you.

  7. Wow, so much both good and bad going on in your life right now. If I didn’t say it, I’m sorry for your loss. But congrats on the new job!!!

    Good friends are certainly helpful in navigating life. And you often find that when you need them is when you learn who your true friends are.

    One thing I love about visiting all of you each day is how much your friendship comes through. I can tell how tight you all are, and I love it.

  8. I also get emotional after spending time with my writing families (I have a couple, with a few overlapping members, like a Venn diagram). I always come away not only inspired to write, but lifted up in all areas of my life. Hugs to you, Liz, as you come away from these experiences changed but definitely stronger!

  9. The warmth and friendship that binds you all is obvious every time I see any of you at a conference – all talented gals that spread that warmth to the printed and virtual pages. Great people to have in your corner when times are tough. Best wishes, Liz, for an easier and more fun new year in your life.

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