Happy New Year!

2020 is upon us! I LOVE New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day because they provide transition from one year to the next. This year is also special because it is the beginning of a new decade, and the last decade was phenomenal for me, I am elated to discover what the next ten years has in store for me.

A New Decade (Well, Kind Of…)

Okay, so I know that technically the new decade doesn’t start until 2021, and 2011 is when the last decade began. BUT, that’s not how my brain works. It likes even number and for me, the decade started today, January 1, 2020.

Yesterday, I took some time to reflect on December 31, 2009. I remember it vividly because it was the last New Year’s Eve spent in Michigan. I had a sinus infection the week of Christmas, and I was still feeling sick on New Year’s Eve. In addition to being physically sick, I felt like my life was stagnant. I was living in Ypsilanti, Michigan, tucked away in an apartment my friend owned, and my career prospects were dismal. After completing six years of college, and earning two degrees, I was working a part-time job and picking up other part-time jobs when possible, because the economy in Michigan had slowed to a standstill. Of course, I would have gladly taken a full-time job, but the endless applications I submitted never resulted in a job with sustainable income. In 2009, I’d contemplating moving to a new state, but I was nervous about leaving everything and everyone I knew behind. That night, something shifted in my life.

I got off work around nine that evening and headed home. I declined a friend’s invitation to ring in the New Year at his place, and spent the evening I read the last chapters of my 80,000-word literary fiction novel. My heart was heavy as I ran through the usual questions and self-doubt. Was my book good enough to publish? Would anyone want to read it? I was terrified to find out the answers to those questions.

At midnight that evening, I had a cup of tea and contemplated my life. What was I doing? Where was my life going? While those questions swirled around in my head, I realized that I didn’t have any answers. Sad and confused I muttered to myself, “Do something big in 2010.”

I needed to shake things up and that’s exactly what I did. In September of 2010, I bought a one-way train ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah. My goal was to head to the mountains and spend time writing and querying agents, to see if I could get my book picked up by a publishing company. I didn’t set a time limit or the rest of the itinerary because I had no idea what I should do next. It helped that I had a good friend that lived in Salt Lake City. He said I was more than welcome to crash with him if I wanted to come and check the place out. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that there were opportunities in Utah that simply weren’t present in Michigan. So, I decided to rebuild my life from scratch in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Looking back on the past ten years, the person I was on New Year’s Day 2010, couldn’t have ever imagined the person that woke up this morning, New Year’s Day, 2020. During the last decade, I’ve taken two solo cross-country road trips, met the man of my dreams and got married, moved to a new state, wrote and published three books (two in 2019), got back in touch with spirituality and faith, and moved deeper into the Mormon Mecca that is Utah. Those are just some of the highlights. There were many more, as well as low times that caused me to question where I was going in life, but all in all, it was a fantastic decade.
My goal is to do something big this year, just as it was in 2010. What is that thing? I don’t rightfully know at this moment, but I’m open to big, life shifting changes.

So, that’s how I’m starting 2020. The Success Principles audiobook by Jack Canfield is playing in the background as I write this, and I am ready for a positive and prosperous year. How are you feeling on this first day of 2020? What goals have you set for the year? Drop me a line and let me know what you have in store for 2020!

The Writing Life

The title of the next book in the Sylvia Wilcox series had been changed from Remnant to Fracture. Why? Well, it turns out that there is a splinter group of the LDS church that is called the “Remnant”. Since Fracture does have a Mormon splinter group, I don’t want anyone to think I am referring to the actual group that exists. Fracture is fiction and I don’t want anyone to think otherwise, so I’m changing the name. Also, there are a few other books with that title Remnant, so I think it is best to just change the title of the book.

Stay tuned for the prologue of Fracture! A sneak peek of the novel will be available later this month. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do so. Newsletter subscribers get goodies and information before anyone else.

Hope January 1, 2020 was a wonderful day for you!


Braylee Parkinson

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