Monday, January 13, 2014

Experiencing a New Year's Revolution by Christa Allan

2013 was not the year I expected it to be.

That January, I retired after 25 years of teaching high school English, anticipating days not determined by bells ringing every 53 minutes, expanding my writing projects, visiting my children and grandchildren.

But no.

Five months later, I'm wearing scrubs, working twelve hour days as receptionist, mopper, kennel cleaner at my husband's new veterinary clinic. A situation arose that left me feeling blindsided by my agent and resulted in my terminating our relationship. Contracted with my publishing house for two more novels, I requested and generously received cancellations for both. I didn't feel like a writer, and I wondered if I ever would again. Every morning,  I donned resentment, anger and exhaustion like a lead x-ray apron.

By the end of 2013,  I decided even if I couldn't yet pull on my big girl panties, I could at least begin to search for them. After a come-to-Jesus meeting with myself, I found help, celebrated the engagements of my first-born and last-born sons, conspired with three writing friends to write one of the novellas in a connected series, and fell in love with a dog named Herman.

I didn't make a New Year's Resolution. Instead,as my granddaughters refer to them, I chose a New Year's Revolution for 2014. I've selected a word for the year, and for 2014 it's PRESENCE.  I couldn't express it better than my GF Malena Lott in her recent post:
"Now I relish the ordinary day and finding extraordinary moments within each one and I've tried to stop judging a day, a week, a year as "good" or "bad."  
For me, to be present is to celebrate the who, what when, where and how of the moment. To not allow myself to drown in what could be, but to pay attention to what is.

This weekend I have the extraordinary pleasure of being invited to my first Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs' 14th Annual Girlfriends Weekend where Jamie Ford and Melanie Benjamin will be keynote speakers. I'm looking forward to connecting with authors and readers and fun.

My fifth novel, Test of Faith, will release in March. I'll also be presenting at the Jambalaya Writer's Conference in March, and the keynote speaker will be Adriana Trigiani will keynote.

I'll host engagement parties in this spring, and play mother of the groom in October for my first-born.

So many opportunities for celebrating the ordinary...

And you?

Christa Allan's fifth and newest novel,  A Test of Faith, will release in March. You can track her down at (on its way!), Facebook, and Twitter. You can find her other novels here.


  1. Christa, It sounds like you have a promising and busy year ahead! Sometimes, you just have to wait it out! Wishing you much success in 2014!

  2. I couldn't agree more. My new novel seems to be all about acceptance, and I realize that's an issue I'm struggling with in my own life. Celebrating the here and now, living in the moment and not looking around corners…that's huge.

    1. It's consoling to know we don't struggle alone. I appreciate your stopping by.

  3. Oh, Christa, you've had quite a year of change... Herman looks adorable and I've heard wonderful things about the Pulpwood Queens weekend -- I bet you'll have a blast ;). Wishing you all the best, no matter what 2014 brings.

  4. Christa, I can't wait to meet you in Texas!! And let me know if you want to explore other agents...

  5. Christa! What a tumultuous year. Sounds like you weathered it well.