I felt somewhat displaced New Year’s Day–like an empty-nester, my friend observed.Jbioroboticist

Normally, 2013 ends quietly with me sitting on the couch with whichever members of my family are awake, watching the ball drop in New York City. Afterward, I step out the front door to see if any of the surrounding neighbors’ fireworks are visible, and then return to whatever I usually do after midnight.

This New Year’s Eve looked about the same, except that it was far different than my previous December 31sts. Earlier that afternoon, on the last day of 2013, I finished the first rough draft of my book (synopsis can be found here). It is the longest work I have ever completed. I have been seriously pursuing this story for about a year and a half, and finally, phase one has been attained.

I’m attempting to leave the draft alone for a week, an endeavor I’ve already failed once. I worry I didn’t accomplish what I had been aiming for, that I didn’t stay true to characters, didn’t make them compelling enough, made certain plot points too convenient, littered the work with painfully unnecessary scenes…and the fretting continues. I want to go back immediately and seek to remedy everything I’ve potentially overlooked or messed up, but I need to wait for it to cool off before picking it back up again.

So, now it’s 2014, and I’m overloading with excitement to see what the next 12 months will entail.

With the pursuit of publishing my debut novel, a three-week trip abroad to Hong Kong, Vietnam, and South Korea in the spring, summer research in Arizona, upcoming search for art schools, and the development of my next book, this year is shaping up to be unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.

And I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Ridiculously overwhelmed.

It will be terrifying and challenging, but most definitely one to remember.

Praise God. The glory is His.

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