1, 2, skip a few… 99, 100!

Did you ever do that when you played hidey as a kid?

Your turn to count to 100?

OK.

1, 2, skip a few… 99, 100. Coming ready or not.

Hide and seek

That’s what life has felt like recently. Big change. Coming, ready or not.

It’s been an eventful and tumultuous last few months. That’s my line and I’m holding to it. Though sometimes holding the line feels like I’m holding a handful of balloons…

Handful of balloons

…and sometime a bucket full of stones.

Bucketful of stones

Coming out this side, albeit slowly, I’m determined to be grateful for the all the tiny and colossal reminders to live my life to the max. My best life, with time for family, friends, fun, writing and wellbeing.

If not now, when?

My beautiful sister Mary, who I mentioned in my last blog, passed away in January. Back in September, I’d written that we’d enjoyed a few hours chatting and swapping stories on a warm afternoon. She was the best storyteller in the family, her gift inherited from Mum but honed by years of yarns with friends and relations, and decades of spinning stories to kids of her own and with her kindergarten teaching. She took on being the family glue when Mum passed and was truly loved by all. The photo is of the three sisters Mary, myself and Imelda.

Mary, Veronica & Imelda

My brother Mark described it well – we all have a Mary sized hole in our life. It’s going to be a hard one to fill, though we have so many beautiful memories.

I thought I’d manage my grief better than I have – it has been such a familiar friend to me after all. But I haven’t been this intimate with grief for a while. And ‘manage my grief’, who does that. Did I learn nothing. Ah yes, now I remember. It is what it is. All in our own good way and our own good time.

I miss Mary dearly. And never more so than when I have something to celebrate. I finally got Ochre Dragon, The Opal Dreaming Chronicles  Book 1, over the line and it was published on 5th February 2019.

Mary admitted to me that she bought 14 copies of my first book – Breathing While Drowning – because she wanted me to be excited and not disappointed if I didn’t sell any. Such sisterly faith in my writing!

Even though she wasn’t around to buy a copy, plenty of family, friends and strangers were. Ochre Dragon made it to Amazon #1 Bestseller, and I’m grateful to every person who bought a copy, told a friend, shared on social media, and sent me good wishes. I am so blessed.

Ochre Dragon - in hand

I’m also very glad I shared so many moments with Mary over the past few months – and years.

Is it time for you to stop and share a moment with someone close to you?

Just in case you’re wondering about Book 2 of The Opal Dreaming Chronicles (Huon Staff) – it’s still a few months away. Though I’m beginning to feel the weight of responsibility to get it out so readers will know what happens next.

And in the meantime, I’ve had a short story accepted into one of the first fantasy anthologies to support gender equality. This is likely to be out before Huon Staff (TODC Book 2).

Dark Dominions will be published on a Kickstarter campaign if we can generate the funds. So if you’d like to contribute a dollar or two, follow the link HERE. As my regular readers and friends know, women’s empowerment is important to me. This is an opportunity to ensure equal book time, equal pay. And if you look really closely on the back cover, V.E. Patton is the last author mentioned.

So yeah, I’m feeling grateful. How about you?

Thanks for reading.

Veronica

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