It has been a full and busy year for me, and I'm sure it has been for you too. I often say to you that we no sooner get through the holidays, when it seems like we are facing them again. That is true this year as well. As I always do, I worked hard and did a lot of writing last winter, and into the spring. Hardcover and paperback books came out, and a DVD of "SAFE HARBOUR" was filmed for release this fall. Writing wise, it's been a busy year! And I'm hard at work on new books for next year.
AMAZING GRACE is coming out in hardcover late this fall, in time for the holidays. It's about a major earthquake in San Francisco, 100 years after the big one of 1906, and in the aftermath four unusual people are brought together, each of them impacted by the earthquake. The book is about the events that come afterwards, and how their lives are affected and intersect. I hope you love it. It was a fun book to write, and it would make a great holiday gift. There will be another hardcover out in March, and I hope you like that one too! I always try to keep the subjects of the books different and exciting, and there is a good variety of topics in the books for next year.
On a personal level, it has been a busy year too. We've been blessed with the arrival of a new grandchild, and with four of my children still in college, they are constantly in and out of the house. We had a wonderful summer together, and now we're looking forward to the holidays, when everyone will be home to share the traditions we have enjoyed for many years. As they get older, things change somewhat, and the time with them is ever more precious. We no longer make brownies for their teachers, but make them for friends instead. We don't do the ice skating party that delighted them when they were younger, because they come home too close to the holidays and it's hard to jam everything in. But the rest of our Christmas traditions have stayed the same. Every moment with my children is precious, and I'm grateful that they all still come home for the holidays.
With all of them in college, I am traveling more, and have more time to write. But, I have to admit, I miss them enormously, and the days when I was running from soccer games to car pools to the orthodontist, and hardly had time to breathe (and had to do most of my writing at night, because the days were so full with nine young children at home). I really miss those days, but who wouldn't? But each age, each era, each time in our life has its blessings. They are growing up to be young people I not only love, but admire and respect, and they are very good to me.
The holidays are often a mixed blessing, for many of us. It's a time of taking stock, and a landmark which allows us to assess where our lives are, and where we wish they would be. It brings back memories of happy times, and sometimes sad ones. We miss those no longer with us, and seem to miss them more than ever on holidays. We still miss my son Nick. It's hard to believe that he has been gone for ten years, but we continue to do worthwhile, dedicated work in his name through our two foundations which fund organizations that help the mentally ill. The book about him, "His Bright Light" is still read around the world, and brings hope to people suffering from mental illness, and their loved ones and families.
The greatest joy is to share the holidays with those we love, either family members or special friends. It is a time of hope and love and sharing and generosity, but can also be a lonely time for many, and a disappointment when the holidays don't match up with our dreams or expectations. It's a challenging time of year for most of us, and not always as perfect and happy as we wish. It's hard too if our families are disrupted in some way, or far away. It's wonderful to be home for Christmas—but sometimes not as perfect as we wish. Real life intrudes. My hope for you is that the holidays are exactly as you want them to be, that you are surrounded by people you love and who love you and that they treat you kindly and well. I hope that your dreams all come true during these holidays, not just for the gifts you'd like to find under your tree (if you have one), but I hope that these holidays are peaceful, fulfilling, and full of joy for you. May everything you need and wish for be yours over the holidays and in the coming year. As someone wise once said, our friends are the family we get to choose. So whether you are with real family, or friends, I hope that these holidays are filled with blessings for you.
I wish you happiness, health, prosperity, peace and success in the coming year. May you be surrounded by good people, loving friends, and family, and may love and joy always be yours.
Thank you for reading my books, and for your kindness to me this year, and every year. And may you be blessed in all the ways that are important to you. Happy Holidays! And may the New Year be your best one ever!
P.S. You are always welcome to visit me at my home on the web: