Monday, January 15, 2018

Finding A New Year's Groove by Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans
It’s a new year. Time to make resolutions. Time to set Goals. Time to start filling that fresh, clean slate with hopes and dreams ready to be fulfilled. Time to pick a word to accompany my journey through 2018.

Hmm. Perhaps it’s actually time to realize there’s a lot of pressure that accompanies the turning of a calendar page from one year to the next.

All things considered, want to know what my plan is? Normalcy. Finding my groove, my routine, and letting myself flow into new writing projects and whatever else life has in store. Sometimes, the best remedy to that sprint through the first month or two of a new year is establishing a sense of calm. Meditative prayer. The kind of directive peace that can only come once the celebrations and joyful chaos of the holidays comes to a close.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t look at freshly delivered edits for my Fishermen of Antioch series, or my WIP, during the month of December. And I was totally fine with that fact. The month began with my mother facing surgery (that went fine-praise the Lord!) and nothing trumped me being at her side. After that, Christmas preps kicked into full swing, and since I was hosting family on Christmas eve, my priority was sharing this time with those I love. That meant decorations, shopping, baking, visiting, laughter and the kind of happiness that fills your heart, but lifts you leagues away from “normal.”

Again, that’s okay. In fact, it’s welcomed!

Long before the playing of Auld Lang Syne at midnight on December 31st, I knew I was going to return to that which I needed more than resolutions, goals, or words of empowerment. I was going to return to a place where I can transform my time and energy once again into the process of writing and characters that tug my heart with stories they demand be told. I knew I would return to the kind of focus that would propel me into 2018 without as much stress or anxiety. In the meantime, though, I wasn’t going to cheat myself of every memory and precious moment of Christmas and the advent of a New Year.

As you move through the open door of 2018, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about facing that ‘clean slate.’ I wish you many blessings and much success as we move and grow through the coming year!

~~~~~

Ashley Coratini is bucking her family, and the odds, by embracing the chance to pursue a dream. During a three-week trip to Florence, Italy, she’s determined to immerse herself in the world of art and to explore the gifts God has given her.

Widower Luca DeRosa owns and operates a premiere art gallery at the heart of Florence. He’s just over a year away from turning forty, but doesn’t mind the milestone. He enjoys a life spent raising his five-year-old son and scouting artistic talent. When he comes upon Ashley, he’s captivated by her artistic skills and fluid grace, and he sees to it that Ashley’s dreams take off at high velocity.

But as love blooms, questions mount. Will Ashley embrace her gifts and a life in Italy that’s worlds different than the one waiting at home in America? Can Luca trust his heart and instincts enough to embrace the love of a vibrant young woman whose spirit speaks to him so deeply?

What comes next when the dreams they dare to dream really might come true…?


~~~~~

Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Her follow-up novel, Forgiveness, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors as did her book Hearts Communion. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at www.marianneevans.com.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and being so relatable, Marianne. I set the usual workload aside in favor of the holidays too, knowing I'd come back to my desk with a full plate waiting for me. But we don't want to miss making memories. I don't regret it. Here's to a productive and healthy year, my friend. Write on!

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    1. Thanks, Annette!!! Setting aside our writing/deadlines/productivity for weeks at a time is unnerving - and I fight it every time I have to do it - but you're so right. We'll never regret making memories, sharing the joy of the season, and eliminating the stress of taking off on January 1 at 100 MPH is how I'm opting to try and stay sane. LOLOL!!! Write on as well, and here's to a 2018 that's abundantly blessed!!! xo

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  2. For me setting resolutions only disappoints as I never stick with them.
    Instead I like to ask what dreams should I be chasing and where does GOD want me to be going? The page is blank and I give my pen to you LORD to write it however you want. That sounds admirable but it is hard not to know where that might lead or what dream GOD might plant in my heart. Like writing and sharing it, but in the last 5 years that is even getting easier because He gives me what's needed to accomplish what He wants.

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    1. Hi, Renette!! What great insights! So true - follow God and you'll never go wrong! Hugs, and blessings, my friend!

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  3. Marianne and Annette I'm totally in agreement with you about making memories. Those are special times and we don't always get second chances.

    Now I'm ready to tackle a new year and hopefully grow as a writer.

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    1. Exactly, Terri! Both aspects of our lives (work/writing versus family - goal seeking versus achieving) need careful prayer and attention, but we can't pressure ourselves and feel guilty when we "indulge" one over the other at times. Hugs and blessings!!

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  4. I plans for the new year is make as many happy memories as I can.

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    1. AMEN, Ann - AMEN!!! So glad you dropped by! :-) <3

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  5. Beautiful post Marianne!
    Good luck and God's blessings to you in the new year
    PamT

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    1. Thanks so much, Pam - and thanks for your visit! I wish the VERY same for you, my friend!! Hugs and blessings!!!

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