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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?

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