Saturday, January 14, 2017

Taking Stock and Taking Action

by Karen McCullough

It’s a brand new year!  A fresh start! Everything’s bright, shiny, and new.  Except me, of course.  I’m not new at all. In fact, I’m getting on a bit, like into those years that start with the number six. That means more of my life is behind me than is ahead, though I certainly hope I have many more good years left.

But still a new year is a good time to think about what I want to do with the time remaining. So…priorities. Those haven’t really changed much, though the way they play out maybe has.

My religious faith is at the top of the list, but I prefer to let my actions demonstrate that rather than my words. In other words everything else on this list is informed by my spiritual bent.

Beyond that my family is the most important thing to me and always has been. My children are grown and have children of their own but I still have a role to play in their lives. Two of my three kids live pretty far away, which means travel to visit or bring them here, but those two both have small children and can use whatever help I can give.

Then there are the friends I’ve made over the years, some of whom are as close as family. I need time with them to be whole.

After that, it’s the work, both writing and my web business. Over the last year I’ve been reducing the web business to part time. I continue to work with my long-time clients, but I’m not taking on new ones anymore. I do still enjoy the work so I don’t want to stop completely, but I’ve enjoyed having a bit more time for writing this year and hope to have even more in the coming months.

Given those priorities, what do I hope this year will bring? Lots of time with my kids, grandkids, other extended family and friends, first of all, and plans are already underway to make that happen.

And I have a goal to finish two novels this year, including the long-delayed sequel to Witch’s Journey, tentatively titled, A Failed Prince. And currently in progress is the third in my Market Center Mysteries series, currently titled A Perfect Home for Murder.  I’m also considering a couple of shorter stories that are rolling around in my head. And finally I’m taking one of the finished novels that have been sitting on my hard drive for a while and putting it up serially on Wattpad. More on that in a minute.

Speaking of short stories. Wattpad recently had a contest for a holiday short story.  The parameters were: 1000 words, holiday theme, had to include a jar of pickles, and someone has to say “And where’s the hammock?”

My story is called “Grandpa Henry and the Pickles.”  Here’s a link to it on Wattpad:, but if that doesn’t work, it’s also posted on my website at

It’s a quick read, so enjoy!

Also on Wattpad, I’m releasing a serialized novel there over the next few weeks.  This is a finished, never-before-published romantic suspense story titled Hunter's Quest that I’ve been sitting on for a while.  It’s time to make it public and I hope it will interest a few readers.  The first couple of chapters are now available.  You should be able to read it here:


  1. Hi Karen--
    Happy New Year! It sounds like you're off to a great start with your writing projects. Hoping you reach all your goals in 2017. I'll head over to Wattpad now.

  2. I admire the way you're taking serious stock of where your life is going in the year ahead. Good luck with your writing and your other goals. I'm intrigued by the title Grandpa Henry and the Pickles. Will have to check that out. Nice post. Happy New Year.

  3. You sound very busy. I'm wish you luck accomplishing the goals you've set out for yourself. It's a great idea to set those goals and a nice nudge to me to do the same.