First up I live in a democratic, free, peaceful place where I can pursue the work I love, have enough to eat (far too much in fact), get top quality healthcare, education services, and whatever community support I need. We have a comfy home in a quiet setting and if the kookaburras or channel-billed cuckoos choose to wake me in the early hours with their raucous noise, so what? All those things I take for granted every day are enough to make me grateful. Then there are the extra bonuses. Far too many to share here, but believe me, I've been thinking about them. Here are just a couple at random:
1) My garden. Stepping outside and seeing how the tree ferns are faring in the summer heat, saying good morning to the blue tongue lizard who guards our vege patch, or enjoying the green space, is enough to rejuvenate me.
2) Friends. Those I see often and those I only catch up with at conferences. Or those I connect with only via social media or emails because we live on the opposite sides of the world.
|Michelle Douglas and Rachel Bailey at the RWA Conference
4) Winning a Romantic Book of the Year Award. Romance Writers of Australia is a very special organisation for me and probably the reason I ended up as a published author. You can see by the smile on my face how wonderful it felt discovering 'Damaso Claims His Heir' had not only finalled but won!
5) Visiting the UK and (very, very briefly, Ireland) to catch up with very special family and friends and also the Harlequin Mills and Boon team who look after me and my books. There were some indelible memories made, new books plotted, new experiences, places and faces and catching up with 'old' friends who are very dear.
|Not only a welcome sign but bubbly too at the editorial office in London!
|Family picnic spot in the Hunter Valley.
There are so many other things I could add here but this isn't the place for an exhaustive list - just a taste.
How about you? Did you have a fabulous year in 2015? What are your top 6 things for the year, or your top 3? Or are you already looking ahead to something special in 2016?