A year in review by Patty Blount

The calendar's just one page, as that Waitresses song goes, and I find myself struggling to remain cheerful.

There's something about the end of another year that always makes me sad. How fast it goes by, all the things I wanted to do but didn't, and that sense of time being wasted.

When 2018 still had twelves pages of calendar, I wrote a blog post about choosing a single word for the year. That word was SPARK.

I've been choosing a single word rather than making a resolution in the traditional sense because the word is easier to remember, to live up to. I'd hoped to repeat 2017's success and complete two writing projects.

I completed none.

But I'm choosing not to look at this as a failure.

I completed none because I didn't find or develop any ideas in 2018 that had SPARK. No joy in the author, no joy in the reader.

I did, however, do other things that filled me with joy. I agreed to mentor other authors. That's a SPARK for me. One completed an entry for next year's Golden Heart contest which is awesome because the first writer I ever mentored won that award this year.

I coordinated a writing contest and judged several others. These are also SPARK activities for me. I love to encourage new writers and help other writers feel like their work matters. I've been on the receiving end of so many bad reviews and poor scores, I feel like I can provide the kind of judging and feedback that's useful.

I am writing in a new genre (mystery) and hope to have a new series to share with readers soon. I've spent the last month on research -- yet another SPARK activity for me.

So, while I won't have a new YA title dropping in 2019, there are still lots of things I'm proud of in what was 2018. In fact, I'm planning to keep SPARK as my 2019 inspirational word.

Happy holidays to all!

P.S.  Seeing Holly Schindler's book cover for SPARK just under this post is some kind of serendipity, right?


  1. This post makes complete sense to me. My total out put was one new short story. However, I ran for office which was enlightening, functioned as chief cataloger on a volunteer basis for a library consortium and reviewed almost every book I read this year so others, mostly librarians, could decide whether they were worth buying. Best of SPARK in 2019

  2. Glad you found some SPARKS in a tough year. Makes me think I should try to find my own SPARKS in this past, difficult year. Great idea.

  3. The single word inspiration really works for me. Much easier to keep in mind than a resolution. And has the added benefit of not leaving me feeling so sad.


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