A Look Back and a Step Forward

New Year

As the year comes to an end, I’ve found myself reflective about 2013. Overall, it has been challenging, but with every year I learn that growth comes through challenges.

There were a few firsts….

This was the first full year since I was 14 years old that I did not have a “traditional” job working for someone else. It felt strange.

First time I’ve received letters/emails stating a company went another direction in their hiring process (because I was overqualified).

Went to my first readers conference, Authors After Dark 2013 in Savannah, and had a blast getting to know other readers…and picking the brains of some of my favorite writers.

Took my first temp job representing an electronics company in retail stores, teaching their employees about the company’s products, how to sell them, position them, and overcome customer objections.

Milestone Firsts… The GOOD STUFF!

But…even with those negatives…it was also the first time, despite all my stops and starts, that I published my first book…an erotic short! Those of you who’ve known and followed me for a while are not even a little surprised.

I got to meet one of my favorite blogging buddies, Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson, in person. The day we spent together was priceless to me….and quite hilarious. (She’s now going through some tough times, though, and could use lots of good thoughts and prayers.)

I survived my first ever 5K…and I hate to run! But, with the help of a few friends, we killed ColorVibe‘s run. Our team name? “Taste The Rainbow.” Hehehe!



I wrote my first ever sponsored blog post, and it was a blast!

I turned 40. Fortunately this one won’t be repeated… overall, preparing for the party turned out to be very stressful, but the love and friendship I was shown was worth the effort.

I got to meet some of my favorite authors…like Cherise Sinclair (who tolerated me when I accosted her at the end of the autograph signing event).

She STILL autographed my book...

She STILL autographed my book…

And the lovely and talented Joey W. Hill who was gracious enough to take a pic with me at the elemental ball….

Me with Joey W. Hill

Me with Joey W. Hill

Not to mention the awesome author who transplanted to my hometown (Chicago), Julie Ann Walker…who bought me a drink and spent time chatting it up and laughing with me.


Me and Julie Ann Walker listening to my sister.

Me and Julie Ann Walker listening to my sister.

Or partying with C. J. Ellisson….at the pre-vampire ball party in her hotel room, then at her table.

Vampire Ball with C.J. Ellisson

Vampire Ball with C.J. Ellisson


There were a few heartbreaks

A dear friend of mine lost her battle to cancer. I tried to find a way to honor her memory…and share her love of life with you guys here.

My husband lost his job. That stung considering I had not found a day to day job outside of my writing. Fortunately he found a new one a couple weeks later.

Several more friends were diagnosed with various illnesses, mostly cancer.

I had to miss my half-sister’s wedding because of short notice and inability to afford plane tickets (they were nearly $1000).


While I was listing a general recap of last year’s highlights, I was surprised at just how many positive things had happened last year. Why? Because the bad ones felt so big!

Overall, life is filled with good and bad…which makes it a bit bittersweet. It’s so easy to lose perspective and let the negative overtake you if you allow it to have a foot hold in your mind.

So, as I enter into 2014, I’m determined to go forward with my best foot forward and my attitude in check…and to make sure that I remember to celebrate all the positive milestones I’ll be experiencing along the way.

What about you? When you look back on this last year, what are some of your most standout moments, both good and bad?

I think The Verve had it right with their gorgeous song from Cruel Intentions….

37 thoughts on “A Look Back and a Step Forward

  1. Tana Bevan says:

    Your comment “It’s so easy to lose perspective and let the negative overtake you if you allow it to have a foot hold in your mind” reminded me of Comic Strip Mama. She wrote, “focus on the positive, recognize the blessings and find the humor in everything.”

    Here’s wishing you and yours a Wonderful, Terrific & Marvelous 2014.


  2. Sydney Aaliyah Michelle says:

    Kitt, You hit the 40 club this year, too. How cool! 2013 was full of transition, but I feel like I grew as a person and as a writer and I can’t ask for anything more then that. It’s been a blast virtually meeting cool people such as yourself and I look forward to see what 2014 has for us both.


  3. ramblingsfromamum says:

    Happy New Year Kitt to you and yours. My last year my downs – losing a girlfriend of 7 years – but friendships come and go. Finding out Pops has mild Parkinson’s and mum has had several small strokes and is on Alzheimer’s medication. The highs – becoming a Funeral Celebrant. I know to many it does not seem like that would be a ‘high’ but I love it and only regret that I didn’t start sooner. xx


  4. Gloria Richard Author says:

    Happy, happy 2014 wishes, Kitt!

    You are so right. Count the positives first and you’ll find their numbers far outweigh the negatives.

    One of the things I love about you and your mindset? Through it all, you kept going and I never read a woe-is-me word in your blog or in comments on other blogs. Other than, of course, the loss of your dear friend. That event warranted time to reflect and go through the grief process. You took action with a heartfelt tribute to her.

    When I went through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, one of the exercises involved writing a letter from my twenty years hence self to my current self. I wrote two letters. One was a lecture on not carpe(ing) the freaking diem. The other? It was a congratulatory letter on taking action.

    One example: In the lecture (negative) letter to current self, my twenty-years-hence self hit me (baseball bat/weapon of choice) for procrastination. She admonished me for not writing at least one page a day. Why? (Aside from the obvious) One page per day (excluding leap years) would have produced 7,300 written pages. At 375 pages per novel, the equates to 19.4666666666 novels. WHOA!

    The lecture from the carpe(d)-the-hell-out-of-the-diem self? The places I’ll go! The people I’ll meet! The books I’ll write! And, I’ll still be spry enough to dance alone in public when the dancing bug hits! WOOT!

    Can not wait to meet you in person in 2014.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I’m glad you followed up the negative with a positive. Truthfully, the “not” Carpe(ing) the Diem probably turned out to be a gift. If you hadn’t met all those folks and done all those things…and fell flat on your face, then picked yourself up…how much flavor would the awesome books you’re going to write be?

      I guess the one thing we’ve both learned is that, good or bad, life is going to happen. You can’t always control the “things”, but you CAN control the responses. Who the heck has the energy to live in negative land? It’s a brain drain and an emotional vortex. Plus, who wants to hang around with those dudes? Ick!

      I look forward to meeting you, girlfriend!


  5. Emma says:

    Happy New Year, Kitt. I’m feeling a lot more positive about this year. I usually don’t make resolutions, but I jotted down a few goals this morning to work towards. Hope 2014 will be a great one for you.


  6. Mae Clair says:

    You have had such a busy amazing year, Kitt. First, congrats on your debut release! Jumping up and down for you! I know you have to be so excited about that. Here’s looking forward to a great 2014.

    I’m going to try to approach it with a positive, energetic attitude as well. I really fell off the radar the end of last year between a very demanding day job and participating in NaNoWriMo (hey, at least I won that!). This year, I’m going to strive more for balance between my writing life and regular career. I’m determined there will be room for both.

    Happy New Year, my friend! 😀


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thanks, Mae! Incidentally, I finally started reading Twelfth Sun yesterday and finished it early this morning. Gave it an Amazon review and will probably review it on the blog at some point. Soooo much fun!

      I completely understand getting bogged down between your two worlds, but like Phil Vassar wrote in his song…”Don’t Miss Your Life.”

      I wish balance for you this year….and much more continued success. I’m so grateful we’re friends.


  7. brickhousechick says:

    What a wonderful list and recap, Kitt. It does help to write it all down as a reminder and a “look-back”. I love that blank page quote and used it in my latest post! 🙂

    ps. My hubby and I finished reading the first “adventure” Dani, Michael & James partook in but then…had to stop. 🙂 We will resume our reading soon. 🙂


  8. Aussa Lorens says:

    Ah, such a good song to end with! And it’s true that there are always good things and bad things… but the bad ones always seem to hit so much harder and leave a greater impact. Must stop letting it be this way! I want to focus on recognizing and highlighting the good things in life, as well as the bad. I mean…. assuming some good things will ever happen to me 😉 Happy New Year!


  9. Cowboys and Crossbones says:

    Happy New Year, my friend! I’m very happy to put 2013 behind me – a break up of a long relationship, an unexpected move for the 3rd time in four years and being strained financially. But you’re right – the enormity of the bad, makes the good seem less. But so many more positive things happened to me in 2013 than I realized. I need to write everything down so I can recap my months! Cheers!


  10. silentlyheardonce says:

    I would need to ponder that thought. One of the best thing is reducing the amount of medication I take and not having used oxygen at all that year. Other than that my joy and pain comes from watching my grandchildren grow. My happiness comes when my children make positive moves in their lives. For myself my highlight is when I have one of my blog post get a large audience of readers.. No close family births or death this year. It doesn’t take much to be happy as long as I have peace of mind.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thanks. You’re right. It’s important to take stock for so many reasons. You’ll never know how far you’ve come if you don’t glance over your shoulder every now and again, if only to see where your journey began.


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