2013 reflections

I like to reflect a bit at the beginning of a new year, so here goes.

2013 for me and my family was a mixed bag. My husband Bob and I traveled a lot I think more than any other year in our lives

Touring St. Maarten island

Touring St. Maarten island

together (to Denver three times to visit family; to London, Kenya, Tanzania, Dubai and Paris with dear friends; to Oakland to spend a weekend with another friend, and this month to Savannah, Charleston, Miami Beach on our own, and then on a Caribbean cruise again with our family all sixteen of us). We also hosted several rounds of visitors cousins and friends who stayed in the guest room of our home.

Bob had two surgeries in 2013 a complete hip replacement in early January (that made the bells and whistles go off every time he went through an airline security check) and carpel tunnel in late November. And even though the timing was very soon before we left on our Africa plus trip, I drove up to Big Sur California on my own to take a poetry workshop at the Esalen Institute. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I decided it couldn’t be missed.

As usual my writing work took up most of my time. I took a novel revision class last spring and a poetry workshop this fall and as a result I’ve written a lot of new poems and I’m now about half-way through Revision 2 of my novel (if I could stay focused on just the novel, I’m sure it would go a lot faster). Besides my other regular writing work blogging, book marketing, guest appearances on other websites, and participating in Robert Lee Brewer’s April and November poem a day challenges, I’m pleased to report a few successes. I:

  • appeared on panels and moderated panels at two writing conferences
  • had several poems published
  • had pieces published in two anthologies
  • discussed my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, at two book clubs
  • proposed and was accepted to co-lead a writing workshop at a writing conference in April 2014.

Another major event was moving my blog from blogger to here at WordPress with the help of a talented web master. I am forever grateful.

Our daughter-in-law gave up acting and decided to be a full-time Reiki practitioner, and our son had a short film showcased at a film festival in Rouen France in 2013. So buoyed by that opportunity he finished writing a full-length screenplay that he expects to star and produce in 2014. He also appeared on stage last fall.

We also experienced the sadness of two long-time and cherished friends dying in the month of December. We went to the memorial service for dear Cynthia yesterday not a happy ending for 2013.

However, as usual we brought in the New Year last night with Ben and Marissa. We saw the terrific film, Saving Mr. Banks, and had a late supper at our local favorite restaurant Café Pierre. It’s a way for us to be together to remember Paul on his New Year’s Eve birthday and wish each other a wonderful year to come. Yes, it’s always a mixed bag.

So with this, my first post of 2014, I wish all my readers a very happy, healthy, and safe New Year. Thank you so much for being here.






  1. Dear Madeline-

    I think if the truth be told life is always a mixed bag.

    Reading your post I think your life held much more good than bad the past year.

    I think if the truth be told life always offers more good than bad
    , if we have the power to perceive that and
    if we are still alive
    life is simply precious and always a gift!

    2014 to you!


    • Madeline Sharples says:

      Dear Lynda Beth,
      I think you’re absolutely right. I think my mixed bag comments are clouded over by the deaths of my two friends in December and how sad I’ve felt. I am very fortunate to have had so many wonderful travel adventures in 2013 and to be able to still produce as a writer. Thank you for reminding me of that.
      Happy New Year to you. And much love, M.

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