The old year has passed and a new one has taken its place. It is the last day of the holiday season, and I am enjoying some quiet before going back to work and before the exciting changes of 2012 come into play.

This is the  year that one of my dreams comes true. My novel will be published. I will have a book out from a real press, though a small one. A press with a good and growing reputation. It will actually be sold in stores in the U.S. and in e-book version too.

It’s a strange feeling. Excitement and pride and yes, some trepidation too. Once you release your work into the world, beyond the circle of people who love you, it is fair game for anyone. They can comment or cut apart as they see fit. Some of those will be reviews that can help or hurt you. Your baby is out there in the world alone, to find its way alone.

But, it can also find it’s way into the hands of people who may love it, who may see its worth and love it as you did. When there are copies on the bookshelves of strangers, then the work is…I don’t know, safer, somehow. As it stands now, it is files on my computer and those of the few I have trusted with it, albeit in different versions. But if there are copies out in the wild, as it were, then it becomes more permanent, more a part of the fabric of the world. It becomes more real. A real mark has been left on the skin of reality.

Which is exciting in a way I can’t really find words for.

2012 will be a year of exciting change and yet, continuing stability, I hope. This past year has been the first in a decade not marked by illness or surgery or pain or deterioration. I have been pain free (beyond the vagaries of aging and the day to day aches and pains) and my leg is strong and stable and works well again. My work life has been stable and even bordering on fulfilling in new ways. I am surrounded by friends and family who love me.

And that, in a strange way, made this past holiday season harder to bear. The disease that claimed my mother’s life began at this time of year and Christmas has never been the same since. There have been new discoveries and new joys, but they have only filled a void which sprang up due to her loss. And that’s okay. Sometimes, it has even been good.

But, without the spectre of cancer or the ongoing challenges that came in its wake, there was much silence to be filled. And at times, it was filled by grief. Like, everything, though, grief passes and the tears it brings wash away the dust and the debris left in its wake. The spiritual house is cleaned and room is made for new light and new beginnings.

And a new year, along with all its new joys.