Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Retrospective and the BTK 1000th entry

December 31, 2019

Today marks my 1000th blog entry. It's strangely fitting it should be a year-end retrospective. It does feel to me that this year now ending is closing quite a few doors in my life. But as they say, I see new doors opening and the only decision is which one to step through first.

I'm not sure what to say about 2019. I started the year with some hope of achievements to come. I did achieve, just not what I'd anticipated. Looking back at the 2018 retrospective, it's difficult to acknowledge just how skewed this year now ending really was and how the events impacted my life.

The year started off with my partner recovering from serious neck surgery, my stepfather in an assisted living facility for respite care, and my mother under flu quarantine in a different total care facility. I'm not a caregiver by nature, but there we were.

With everyone in either rehab or a care facility, I had one week of quiet. I managed to re-release A Friendly Neighbor in January before the siege on my time began in earnest.

I began to worry about my writing partner, Chris Grover. We emailed back and forth every day for years - since 2008. We shared a special language, that of the published writer. Her health was slipping and she began to miss days. She was diagnosed with bronchitis around February, which I now know was not the problem. Eventually, in June, she was told she had lung cancer and died two weeks later. I still miss her emails. They were full of writing abbreviations such as HEA. The writer's language is like no other. I'm disturbed her books are still available when I know she left instructions they be taken down but I have no way to accomplish that for her.

I made some headway on Memphis, but not enough.

While my life partner improved after his neck surgery, my stepfather went into a serious decline. Home health care nurses and therapists visited my home three days a week for RC, but my stepfather refused such care. Jack died on May 13, 2019. RC had a third surgery on May 24. We screened in the patio and he spent afternoons relaxing outside in a bug-free space.

After my stepfather's death, it fell to me to handle his affairs. The house is up for sale and when it's sold, everything is done. My mother's final expenses are pre-paid and there will be few legal matters to settle when she passes. Strange how months and months of hard work and personal heartache can be summed up in one short paragraph.

I hit a major personal milestone this year. Retirement calls to me every day now. It's this little voice that whispers, "give it up...stay home...be the lady of the manor the way you've always wanted..."  I gave in. I issued an ultimatum to my employer: I work a four-day week or I don't work. (Yes, I did it nicely.) I now work Tuesday - Friday and I love it! My yard hasn't looked this good in years, and my home office sparkles! This is proving to be the perfect way for me to ease into the "retirement" years. 

Over the summer, I revamped the cover for Kentucky 98 Proof, one of my favorite stories. Yes, the author is allowed to have favorites. I think it works better than previous versions. A Hard Habit to Break, The Right Brew, and Highway Nights all benefitted from my improving Photoshop skills.   Several other covers got a rework, as well. I tried to give one or two the mottled, abstract backgrounds that are so popular today, but swirlies just don't work for me. 

Having an extra day a week led to actual writing time. I finally finished Memphis and it went live in November. One new release in a calendar year is a far cry from the seven to nine books I'm capable of, as I've proved many times over. It was easier with a publisher. I wrote. They published. Now I do it all and that's just the way it is.

What's next? What will 2020 bring? After this year, I fear it's tempting fate to even ask. Looking back and being honest, every year has brought the unexpected. My writing career is, at this moment, not what I had anticipated. But I have this folder of ideas... of half-formed thoughts...of titles and names...of possibilities.  

I opened this golden folder after Memphis went live and lo and behold, there was Chapter One of an idea, something started so long ago I'd all but forgotten it. A quick read, a couple of tweaks, and that story has been launched to my desktop for the addition of serious prose. I'm excited about writing it - more excited than I've been in a year! Or maybe more excited than I've allowed myself to be in that time frame. 

To all my readers, to those of you who follow along here at Between the Keys - THANK YOU! 
I appreciate the continued support. 

May 2020 bring good health to all, enough wealth to reach our dreams, and family and friends to walk beside us along the way.

KC Kendricks

The 2018 Retrospective

The 2017 Retrospective

The 2016 Retrospective

The 2015 Retrospective

The 2014 Retrospective

The 2013 Retrospective

The 2012 Retrospective

Life through the eyes of Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com

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