Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Annual Wrap-Up Post: 2023 in Review

(Following links on this blog may result in my earning a small fee. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Wow, time flies! There are so many times I wanted to post quick updates here, and then ... didn't. I like to take the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve to do a little reflection on the past year, though, so without further ado, let's get started on the traditional year-end post. 

2023 was an interesting year on so many levels: 

I edited or proofread approximately 26 books this year. (See a portfolio here.) Many thanks to the clients who've hired me as well as to Inner Traditions for being such a great company to freelance for. 

I also edited nearly a million words of copy for monthly retainer clients who have regular marketing and other messaging, and beta read or served as an arc reader for more books than I can count (as I didn't track those stats, but it was in the dozens), plus I read approximately 58 books for fun this year (a lot fewer than previous years, but I was pretty busy).

I grew as a person, too, working hard to become a Certified Intuition Master Practitioner through Intuition Lab. Many thanks to Kim Chestney for her friendship and mentoring, and also many thanks to my fellow students, especially my study group, who were so instrumental in my growth as an intuitive. I will be joining the Intuition Lab faculty in a larger role in 2024. Come join us

By the way, be on the lookout for Kim's new book, The Illumination Code, coming out in 2024. You might recognize one of the contributors in a tiny piece of this book. I also learned that one of my fellow Intuition Lab friends lives nearby, so she and I have been having fun going out and exploring the area. 

My friend Jessica and I explored a haunted local restaurant.

I joined a writing accountability group and am finally making progress on two books. The first book is what I learned after a near-death experience (which caused me to turn my life around). The second is about my paranormal experiences throughout life. I decided to write it because I often get into conversations with people about paranormal things, and I realized I actually have enough to make a full book (maybe two), so why not? It's truly my hope to finally publish at least one of these in 2024. 

Also, I went on approximately 10 hospice visits this year, and hope to do at least the same next year. I really appreciate my fellow members in the Long Bay Threshold Singers and have enjoyed getting to know them better, too. One of my fellow singers invited me into a recording studio to record a song she'd written, too, so that was fun!

My friend Charly and I after recording her song at a studio.

I also was able to take several trips:
  • To Charlotte for the annual ConCarolinas convention, featuring paranormal, writing, comics, gaming, sci-fi, geek and tech tracks. I think this is quickly becoming my "home" convention despite the fact that it's 3 hours away. I really enjoy everything on offer and everyone I've met there is so nice.
  • A 2-week trip up and down the east coast with my parents to see family and family friends. We stopped in several places in Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and Virginia. This was a really special time for my family.
  • The 2023 Dogman Conference in Fort Worth, TX, put on by Josh Turner (Paranormal Round Table) and Ken Gerhard (UnXplained, The Proof is Out There, and other shows). They and their team did an amazing job, the presenters were all fabulous, and I met so many wonderful people, including finally meeting 2 clients in person (Josh and Lyle Blackburn)
2023 Dogman Conference, Fort Worth, TX
me with friends (L-R, Top to Bottom):
Glenn Haskins, Nellie Turner, Lyle Blackburn
The Nunnellys, Darrel Denton & Martin Groves, Barton Nunnelly
Craig Woolheater, Latisha Nunnelly, Josh Turner
Ken Gerhard, Dinner Companions, Ron Morehead & Keri Campbell

  • A trip to Houghton Lake, Michigan, for the 5th annual Michigan UFO Contact 👽 conference put on by Deb and Arjay DeRousse and Mike Smith. They and their team also did an amazing job, and I've already booked my room for next year. I met so many cool people there, plus I got to spend quality time with friends.
Me with some of my friends at
in Houghton Lake, Michigan
Jamilah Simmons-McKenzie, Rev. Michael Carter,
Andrea Perron, Lyn Bowling and Maizy,
and Deb DeRousse

  • A quick weekend jaunt to Greenville, SC to see Lyle Blackburn's band, Ghoultown, with my Dad. As Lyle mentioned to my father that night, we'd worked together for years without ever meeting, then this year we got to see each other twice in two months. (That's what happens when one person is in Texas and the other on the East Coast.) Also chalk this trip up to my first editor shout-out during a rock concert! 👍 It was a nice dad/daughter trip, and while there, we stopped and paid our respects to my first mother-in-law, a lovely woman who died too young and is interred with her ancestors in a historic cemetery. 
Dad and I had a fun time seeing
Lyle Blackburn and his bandmates
on tour within driving
distance of where we live!

I even got to march in a Christmas Parade, which had the feel of a small-town Hallmark Movie in disguise! 

While the year did have its downsides, too (all years do!), I feel incredibly lucky and blessed that this is my life. No matter what lumps happened in 2023 or prior years, I will always move forward into a new year with hope, looking forward to what is to come, whatever that may be, rather than doom a year before it even begins (which I often see online). I think it's in people's nature to fear what's coming if they've suffered in a year, but for me, I choose to remain positive but realistic. I know 2024 will have challenges ... it wouldn't be life without them ... but I still embrace it all! 

Wishing you all an amazing, happy, healthy, abundant, and beautiful 2024. Happy New Year! 💛

Book Recommendation: The Illumination Code by Kim Chestney

(Following links on this blog may result in my earning a small fee. As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.) [Adapted f...