I’m Stronger than I Thought

In January, I had strong intentions for the quarter, but I anticipated very little of what happened and my plans went awry. My life and my writing feel like a jumble of puzzle pieces that don’t fit where they used to fit. It’s the end of the first quarter of 2021 and it’s time to evaluate what I’ve accomplished and where to go from here. And the biggest lesson learned over the past three months is that I’m stronger than I thought.

image of a jumble of puzzle pieces that symbolize my life & writing right now--but I'm stronger than I thought and I'll find the new order they belong in.


Unsurprisingly, revisions of If I Should Die are off course. Only six chapters farther than I was at the end of January is disappointing. I made adjustments to the timeline, which meant shifting chapters around. When I revise a novel, it’s like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle that get’s redrawn in the middle of my efforts. (Does that make sense?)

Creative thinking takes more energy than blogging. For both, I struggle with focus and energy, but focusing on writing a blog post is easier because of its length.


A friend helped me keep the website updated during February. Since then, I’ve maintained the website.

Focusing on the rewrite and blogging, the managing area of my business suffered the most.


This area suffered from inattention. With a little attention, it’s already bouncing back.

A special thank you to my new readers of both my books and my blog, you brought me joy during a tough time.


Of course, the biggest thing that took place was my husband’s death. Multiple difficult phone calls and adjustments had to take place quickly. Still, much needs sorted then given away or sold, which will get done bit by bit as I can.

I spent a few happy hours with my grandsons.


I got my first COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago and I’ll get my second one tomorrow.

Next Month & Quarter

image of a table with a jar of pink mums, a jar of chalk, and an open planner planning and knowing I'm stronger than I think

My intentions are to improve my focus and energy. As those things improve, an increase in progress should follow. I intend to work hard toward publishing the next book by the end of the year, even it if it happens on December 31st. My success will depend upon how much I can accomplish these next three months. Stick around. I’ll keep you updated.

What I Learned

Grief is part of my day, every day, and it’s exhausting. Those of you who have lost someone close know grief doesn’t go away entirely. You finally find a bit of peace in your walk along the beach, and a tidal wave hits you from an unexpected direction. Everything and anything touches off the next wave. Sometimes they are gentle, sometimes a tsunami. It doesn’t matter. Each one is exhausting. As it should be. I’m learning when to lean into it and when to step back.

I’ve made less progress than I had intended, but more than I thought grief would allow. It’s okay. I’m okay. I’m stronger than I thought. And when I think about it, I’m guessing that nearly everyone can reflect on the past year and say, “I’m stronger than I thought.” Hang in there, folks. We’ll get through this.

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