Happy New Year to readers of the Scribbles, wherever you may be!
There's always a strange feeling around New Year, isn't there? It's like a full stop in an otherwise unpunctuated page, a point where you pause, take a breath, turn back to look at what went before, then look ahead with a mixture of trepidation and excitement at what might be coming next.
So I'm sitting here now, looking back on an unforgettable trip to India; remembering a serious operation for Mr Squidge; how I learnt to sail; at my first novel published; at precious time spent with family and friends; at political upheaval, terrorist atrocities and untold human suffering; at the gift of parenthood to several who'd been waiting for SO long... Moments of pleasure and pain that have been and gone and I'm a different person because of them all.
And looking forward into 2017?
'New' is going to feature highly in the Squidge house this year, I think.
Mr Squidge is planning to build a garden room - supposedly a writing den for me, though I have the feeling that it'll be used by everybody apart from me if the stove, pool table, band rehearsals and parties planned for it are anything to go by! (It's not even built yet!). Mr Squidge and I are also contemplating the upheaval of a new kitchen after doing very little to the one we've had since we moved into our house 25 years ago. The lounge also needs a new carpet; it's threadbare in places.
There will be the new experience of having a child go to university, assuming everything works out the way Squideling J hopes it will.
I will have a new novel - Kingstone - mid-year. (Will there be another book besides? Not sure yet, as Crystal Keeper's Daughter stalled somewhat thanks to me falling ill back in September and the writing mojo's only just coming back with fuller health)
The rest is unknown. I have no idea whether the spaces in-between those events will be filled with laughter or tears, with success or failure, with beginnings or endings.
The possibilities are endless.
So look for possibilities in 2017. Seize them with both hands if you are able and make this year a year to remember, so that when we're sat here at the same time next year, we can look back on a year well lived and forward to one ripe with potential.