Looking Forward, Looking Back (2016/2015)


I love the change of the year and have been doing many of my favorite New Years things like starting new journals. A fresh year is waiting, like a blank page to be written on, and the old year is gone, with all its good times and, yes, failures. It’s time to start fresh.

Danny Gokey says it beautifully in his song Tell Your Heart to Beat Again: “Yesterday’s a closing door — you don’t live there anymore.” Give the song a listen! (I heard it on the radio this week, fell in love, and have listened to it ten billion times since and am listening to it on repeat as I write this post). It’s beautiful and feels just right for the New Year.

Here are some of my excitements for the new year of 2016, as well as a brief look back at my 2015. And — yes! — lists!


My word for 2016

Joy is my word this year. I want to find joy in everything if I can. It’s going to be hard, since I struggle with a tendency to be stressed and down on myself. But I’m tired of feeling crushed beneath expectations, beneath things I feel are obligations which ought to be enjoyable but have become chores. This includes — yes — writing, reading, emailing… even the things that I usually love, sometimes can become a burden because I’m a chronic procrastinator and a perfectionist. I’m hoping to approach everything, the fun and the not, with Joy. To rediscover my Joy in writing and life and find a freedom I’ve been looking for . . . that is my wish for the new year.

JOY! πŸ™‚


aspysdevotionThese books coming out:

Yorien’s Hand // The Goblin’s Puzzle // A Spy’s Devotion // Fridays with the Wizards // Rebel of the Sands // Songkeeper // The Story of Kullervo // King’s Folly // The Beautiful Pretender // Five Magic Spindles // Defying Shadows // Stolen Crowns #1 // The Bone Queen // Crooked Kingdom

(I did a post about this if you want pics/links to Goodreads, but I’ve since added Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams — sequel to Orphan’s Song — and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, both of which are sequels that I need this instant. *flail*)

These movies releasing:

  • The Abominable Bride (Sherlock special which I’m hopefully going to see on Wednesday… YAY!)
  • Captain America: The Civil War (YESSSS!! As I may have mentioned, I’m kind of looking forward to this a lot, primarily because BUCKY and HAWKEYE!)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Because Star Wars…)

(Also, perhaps someday I’ll see Kung Fu Panda 3, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Batman Vs. Superman, which are releasing this year, but I’m not in a super hurry as they also sound weird…)


I’d also like to see:

  • Pan (missed that when it came out last year)
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy (somehow still haven’t seen this)
  • Thor 2: The Dark World (which I technically saw once but need to rewatch since I have no memory of it which is slightly terrifying since I think I liked it a lot?!)

My 2015 at a Glance


66 Books


I read many lovely books, notably many retellings and much Diana Wynne Jones; and discovered steampunk and heist books. (Yay!) And I just posted my top 15 favorites of the year.

Goodreads has a lovely new “Year in Books Feature” which I love! (Mine is here.)


Shows I saw:

  • Leverage (seasons 1-5) — everyone knows how much I love this… *cough*
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (BBC Miniseries) — interesting to see on screen
  • Star Wars: Rebels (Season 1) — I ADORED THIS! Sooo much fun. ❀


I don’t go to the theater often, but this year I saw:

  • starwars7posterStar Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens — AS;LDKJFLSK FEELS. WHAT. Still haven’t decided what I think of it except that I know I had a blast and then felt extremely sad near the end… I think overall I loved it? But I’m not sure yet! *flail* One thing’s for sure: ALL OF THE FEELS. And I adore the new characters, particularly Poe, and want to see the movie again.
  • Cinderella — Gorgeous.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hawkeye!!
  • Mockingjay Part 2 — Um.
  • Beyond the Mask — EPIC!!! ❀



87 Posts

I really discovered my love of blogging this last year, and started my Ishness posts, and just had a fun time.

My top viewed posts were:

ccakeFrom which I discern that people are unprepared for NaNo (always), and love movies (or characters), bookshelves, Christmas, and cupcakes (or possibly denial). Basically you, my blog readers, have your priorities in order. *thumbs up*

WordPress has a handy blog report showcase for the year which is fun. Take a look at my blog stats if you enjoy numbers like I do. XD

It says my top commenters were Sarah, Tracey, Christine, C.B., and Abi — thank you guys! And to every single person who reads this blog and who has commented (even just once) a heartfelt thank you. ❀ You make my day every time. ^_^


Over 100,000 Words

DRcoverishR&RI wrote an entire novella and two whole short stories (and a couple fanfictions) — namely:

KW2coverPSilverForestCoverFinalAnd worked on several other books:

  • 2. The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (mostly this one)
  • The Silver Forest (and this one)
  • 0.5. Child of Kedran’s Wood
  • 2.5 Mixup at Kedran’s Wood
  • 3 The Shadow of Kedran’s Wood
  • 4 The Writer of Kedran’s Wood
  • Heartseeker
  • The Other Half of Everything (snippets)


OHEcoverI was attacked by several new plotbunnies that I adore and can’t wait to write, most notably:

  • The Other Half of Everything
  • The Siren and the Skyship

My Kedran’s Wood series exploded into several different books/novellas/short stories.


My epic fantasy series the Starrellian Saga is taking shape in a new and exciting way as I reimagine all of the threads into a different sort of book structure.

A few other exciting things:



PonyFrom the start of the year when I was followed by a pony from the post office, through seeing my first stage play, spontaneously going on a few roadtrips, being a NaNo Municipal Liaison for the third time, all the way to spending my last days of the year frantically editing a novella under a deadline for the first time . . . it’s been a very interesting year!

With my new word (Joy) in hand, I look forward to what 2016 holds!

I haven’t made specific writing/reading goals yet. I’m on a semi-hiatus from writing for a bit, so we’ll see what happens after that… I’m currently leaving my options open. πŸ™‚

How was your 2015? I wish you all a truly fantastic 2016!

30 thoughts on “Looking Forward, Looking Back (2016/2015)

  1. This is so much fun seeing your year like this! I love how you summed it all together like this.

    I really like that song you posted! I’ve never heard of it before. Definitely a good new year song.

    I think joy is the most perfect word to focus on! I, too, tend to make things I even LIKE into a chore. It’s so silly. I want to find more joy in life as well and stop seeing my life as some giant checklist of things to check off.

    Oh man, the Sherlock special! I don’t really have a means to watch it right now and it’s killing meeee!!!
    And wait, wait, wait. You never saw Guardians of the Galaxy? :O I don’t think I realized. YOU MUST. IT’S SO GOOOD!!!
    What’s funny is what I’m most looking forward to is Through the Looking Glass. But I adored the first movie and have an unhealthily obsessed with all things Wonderland, so… Heh.

    Look at all those boooooks. So much goodness!

    LEVERAGE. ❀ That is all.

    (The "um" on Mockingjay Part 2 amused me. xD)

    That blog stats thing is kind of fascinating. o.O I wish blogger would do something like that. That's so cool! And it's rather neat seeing how many times I commented. A nice even 80. Love it. xD

    LOOK at all you wrote and got done this year. Oh my goodness gracious, you did so AMAZING!!!!! You should feel so accomplished. You are just awe-inspiring.

    I hope you have the most blessed and joy-filled year ever. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!
      Glad you liked the song! I just… adore it.

      I’m so glad you relate! I know, right? We’re so silly… *shakes head*

      Aww, I’m sorry! D: I hope you will find a way to watch the Sherlock special! I saw it and it’s AMAZING. I hope you get to see it!!!
      Nope, I never did. And… wow, you liked Guardians of the Galaxy? o.o AWESOME! This makes me even more excited to see it! πŸ˜€ Must… library… soon…
      Of COURSE you’re excited for Through the Looking Glass. XD It looks scary/weird but I’m sure it will be awesome. πŸ˜€

      LEVERAGE!!! ❀

      I'm… glad…? that the "um" amused you? o.o Heehee. XD

      Blog stats are fun! Oh no, blogger doesn't do cool things like that? D: Well they SHOULD! And yes, I love all of your comments! ^_^ *huggles them*

      Thank you so much!!!
      I hope your year is wonderful as well! Love you too! ❀


  2. Joy is a good word, and something I need to remember as well all too often . . .
    For the record, I haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy either. Or TWS, which you have . . . I need to fix that sometime.
    May you have an excellent 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have time to comment on everything but AHHHH STAR WARS (nice to know someone else feels the way I did about it… we shall have to chat more about that later)


    Okay, ahem. Yes. Jolly good show, old chap.

    Joy. I love that that is your word this year, and the reasons behind it. May you experience joy in all aspects of life this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • STAR WARS! *flails and then is sad* I dunno, I’m so messed up about it. XD I think I need to see it again…

      Yes, I did enter! Gaah, thank you so much! ^_^ Your enthusiasm makes me insanely happy. ❀

      Thank you! I hope your year will be wonderful as well! ❀


  4. I loved this post! Thank you for sharing that song—it’s beautiful; no wonder you’ve been listening to it over and over!
    Sounds like 2015 was overall a great year for you! Yay for first experiences doing new things…I love new experiences. πŸ™‚ Congrats on all the written words, too!
    Basically everything in this post was just great! I like the thought of having one word for the year, and “joy” is a good one. Another friend of mine chose “whimsy.” I think my brain is always too muddled to pick one attitude to focus on…but perhaps I’d pick purpose. That sounds like a good one right now. πŸ˜€
    Congratulations on getting your story finished for the contest! I hope you win!!!
    I also love that C. S. Lewis quote at the end!
    My New Year’s post was going to be rather blah, but now you’ve inspired me to make something more of it. πŸ˜‰
    May you have a joyful and beautiful 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!
      New experiences are wonderful, yes. πŸ™‚
      It IS really hard to pick just one word. But purpose sounds like a good one! I hope you’ll find it! πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for the congrats and well-wishes for my story!! ^_^
      C.S. Lewis has the best quotes. πŸ˜€
      Aww, I’m glad I could inspire you! πŸ™‚ (But your posts are never blah. ;))
      Thanks! I hope your 2016 will be a wonderful one as well! ❀


  5. Joy is a wonderful word for 2016, something I probably need to remember as well :).

    Okay, don’t yell at me, but I have never seen any of the Avengers movies *hides from all tomatoes being thrown* *peeks back out* I really do want to watch them, though.

    Argh, you got to see SO many movies that I wanted to see this year! There are jealous feels happening over here :).

    You entered the 5MS contest?! Good for you, Deborah! I’m so glad you were able to, I bet your story is amazing!

    Love the quote you ended this on, it’s so true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t worry, I won’t yell at you! πŸ˜€ I enjoy the Avengers movies for the fun of them, but they’re not exactly the most edifying movies ever. XD If you do end up watching some, definitely watch The Avengers because it is still my favorite. πŸ˜€ (And I saw it before I saw any of the single films.)

      Sorry about the jealous feels! I did get to see several amazing films… I hope you’ll get to see them soon! πŸ™‚

      Yep, I did enter! Thanks very much! ^_^


  6. Lovely, lovely post, Deb! πŸ™‚ Joy is a great word to lean on this coming year. ❀
    You entered the Rooglewood contest?! Yay! πŸ˜€ I'm so excited for you!
    You should watch Thor 2 again! I thought it was super good…mostly because Loki…but also Thor. And Darcy is great. πŸ˜‰
    I hope you have a fantabulous 2016! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joy is such a good word! Choosing joy despite whatever our feelings may be–that’s so important (and so easy to forget).

    Ooh, I love blog stats! (Like Christine said, it’d be nice if Blogger did something like that.) Really? I’m one of your top commenters? And here I felt like I’d fallen behind in recent months… Wow, I feel rather special. πŸ˜€


    You’ve accomplished so much writerly awesomeness! Woohoo! πŸ˜€ Best of luck with Five Magic Spindles! (You know, I really must read your story one of these days. Is it up for beta, even if the contest deadline is long past?)

    May your 2016 be even better than 2015! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m already have a hard time with my word, so yes, it’s good to focus on joy and try not to forget…

      Aww, I’m sorry Blogger doesn’t do cool things like that. o.o And I think you comment a lot! Thanks so much! Your comments always make my day, and I know you’re busy and all too. ^_^


      Thank you! Best of luck on your Five Magic Spindles story too! πŸ˜€ (And sure, it’s totally up for beta if you’d like to read it! I’d be honored. ^_^ Just let me know anytime you’d like to read it. πŸ™‚ )

      Thanks! May your 2016 be fantastic as well! ❀


  8. Joy!
    Happy New Year πŸ™‚ (so I’m only, what, almost two weeks late)
    This was fun to read, and I wish you an even better 2016!

    Your three movies are the three movies I’m excited about. Especially Civil War.
    What did you think of The Abominable Bride? I really enjoyed it.

    I am astronomically behind on everything, so my goal for 2016 is to at least make a list of everything I need to do/finish, and then set a plan from said list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s never too late to wish a Happy New Year! ^_^ (So Happy New Year to you too!!)
      Civil War… Yesss.
      And I LOVED The Abominable Bride! πŸ˜€ It was so awesome! I’m glad you liked it. ^_^ Pretty much anything Sherlock is awesome… and this one was AMAZING. ❀

      "Astronomically behind on everything" sounds like me, so I feel ya! o.o I need to make a list myself… Best of luck to you on your planning and accomplishing! You can do it!! πŸ™‚


  9. AAAHHHH I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH!!!!! *tackles it in a big hug* You had a very writerly and bookish year! (Which obviously means it was awesome!) Seriously though, you read 66 books? I feel ashamed of the paltry number of titles I checked off my TBR list in 2015. It seems that I was too busy to read all the beautiful books that demanded my attention. *sighs* One of my goals for 2016 is to read at least 50 books because I sorely miss my dear literary companions.

    STAR WARS!!!!!!!! Oh my gracious goodness, IT WAS AMAAAAAZING!!!! I seriously loved it so much! (Even more than the originals, if you can believe it.) All the new characters were awesome! I especially loved Rey and BB-8. That ending, though…No, just no.

    I LOVED that song! It really is the perfect song for a new year. (Also, I love your choice of the word joy for 2016. I can definitely relate to losing sight of the joy in things.)

    GREAT post! I really enjoyed getting a little peek into your 2015. Before I forget, I finally got that blog I’ve been promising everyone up an running. Here’s the link in case you have the time and/or remote interest to check it out.


    Liked by 1 person

    • AAHH THANK YOU! πŸ™‚ *tackles YOU in a big hug*

      And I actually feel like I didn’t read very much myself… but I totally understand busyness, and we have to remember that it’s not a contest. πŸ˜‰ Any amount of reading is awesome! πŸ˜€ I hope you’ll find the time to read some more this year!! ^_^

      YES YES. Except for the near-ending part, and a couple of overall plot things, I loved it even more than all the previous ones! *flails around* IT WAS AWESOME. (Except for said near-ending… Though the actual last scene was cool and I can’t wait to see what happens next. O_O) YES, Rey! And BB-8 was ADORABLE!

      Thanks very much! And OOH, you started a blog!!!! πŸ˜€ *flails around* How awesome! Thanks for informing me! ^_^ *dashes over to check it out at once*


  10. I’m so behind from my hiatus that I’m still catching up with New Years posts. XD These are some great accomplishments! 100K written last year is fantastic! Best wishes for much more written this year. ^ ^


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Welcome to a New Year | Kelsey Bryant

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