I started this blog six months ago. I have always loved to write, and my first ambition was to be a writer. I love to tell stories as much as I love to read them. But it’s hard to fit writing into a life that also contains a full time job, an evening class, church, volunteer commitments, and a social life. When I started this blog, I hadn’t written anything that wasn’t an email or a grant proposal in a long time. I missed it. I missed my imagination. So I made a commitment; I was going to start a blog, and I was going to write a post at least once a week. I was going to write, to think about what I wrote, to experiment, to take pleasure in my writing; finally put myself out there in the public domain, fight my fear of other people reading my writing and finding it wanting, and just go with it. And so I did. And six months on, here I am, and I can’t tell you how shocked I am to be writing to an audience. I expected only me, and my dear, faithful friend Helen, to be reading. This wasn’t about getting comments or receiving free books; these have been wonderful, unexpected bonuses. It was about finding my voice. And I have. It’s thrilling.
I don’t usually make things overly personal on here; this is a blog about books, first and foremost, but I think the books a person reads says a lot about the person reading them. The past six months I have read my way through books that have comforted me, cheered me, encouraged me, and allowed me to have a reason to cry, and I have needed them, so badly. I have looked through the list of books I have reviewed here, and one theme has stood out; the search for a happy ending. Book after book about women striving, struggling, dreaming, hoping, wishing, escaping, has passed through my hands. Books about adventure, and mystery, and love, and romance, and every day drudgery, but all of them, all of them, in search for that elusive happy ending, that moment where everything comes together and life makes sense, if only for a little while.
I have been treading water for much of this year; just getting from one day to the next, blindly feeling my way through the fog. It’s been one of those seasons of life where things are just a struggle, for no definable reason. I have been blessed in many ways, and I have a full, and interesting, and busy life, but somewhere, at the core of things, I lost heart. Too many disappointments, perhaps; too much reality without the strength to dream. If I were a book character, the 2009 me would probably most resemble Lucy Gayheart. I think the reason I cried so much at that book was because I saw too much of myself in its pages.
But it’s almost a New Year, and the fog is starting to lift. I don’t know what 2010 holds; I don’t know what books I’ll be reading, or down which paths my life will lead me. I hope there will be happiness; I hope there will be adventure, and fresh opportunities. What I do know is that this blog, and its lovely, brilliant, witty, intelligent and dear readers, will be a constant, and for that, I am eternally grateful. It is such an encouragement for me to know you are all out there, and that you enjoy what I write. Thank you, thank you so much, for reading along with me in 2009, and I hope to see you all in 2010! Here’s to new beginnings!