A Year of Mixed Blessings

Was 2013 a good year or a bad year? How about a lot of both?

One fun part of last year was publishing my Fancy series. I’d published the first couple of novellas toward the end of 2012, but I finished the rest last year, putting volume 7 on the market late in the summer. The series hasn’t exactly been a bestseller, but at least I did get it written and out there.

As soon as I finished volume 7, I began writing volume one of the three novella series Ruth. Unfortunately, when I submitted it for editing, several things were pointed out to me that required a major rewrite, which, of course, slowed everything down.

A highlight of the year for me came last May, when I attended the DFW Conference. It was my second year to attend, and I got to renew friendships with Piper Bayard, Jenny Hansen, Donna Newton, Julie Glover, and Jess Witkins, along with local friends I don’t see often like Gloria Richard and Kristen Lamb and Ingrid Schaffenburg, and Nigel Blackwell, whom I do see frequently during the year. If I overlooked mentioning anyone, it’s because of an aging brain, not because you’re not important.

Along with renewing these friendships, I got to meet a couple of cyber friends for the first time. Rachel Funk Heller was with a group of my friends when I first got there, and she rode across town with me to barbecue restaurant Kristen wanted to introduce everyone to.

The next evening, I got to meet Tameri Etherton. We’d been corresponding about our desire to meet each other, and it was great to see her. And, folks, she’s as nutty in person as she is on social media. I loved it.


Donna Newton doesn’t speak the language very well since she’s from England, but she fit right in with cowgirls Ingrid Schaffenburg (l) and Julie Glover (r).


Jess Witkins (l) and Julie Glover found a new friend.


When you get Piper Bayard (l), Jenny Hansen (c) and Donna Newton (r) together, you never know what’s going to happen, but you can guess it’ll be something embarrassing.


Rachel Funk Heller (l), shown here with Ingrid Schaffenburg and Kristen Lamb (r), swam over from Hawaii to join us. You might as well come this year—you’re probably not as far away as she was.


Here’s Tameri, along with some old man posing as me.

In November, I attended “The Fall Gathering of Authors” in Texarkana. This is a quality event spearheaded by a tireless lady named Tammy Thompson with the dual purpose of giving some authors exposure and raising money for St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis.


Here I am with Tammy Thompson, a gracious hostess if there ever was one. Below, Charity Kountz and I shared a table to sell our books, and Patty Wiseman came over from the next table to pose with us.


Rich Weatherly, below, told Charity and me about the event, and we were both glad he did.


There were downsides to the year also. Two of my favorite people had really rough times, Susie Lindau fighting breast cancer, and Renee Shuls-Jacobson, overcoming an addiction that crept up on her from a medication she took under a doctor’s prescription. Susie bounced back so well the year decided to give her some bad floods to deal with as well.

Fortunately, both of these dear ladies are overcomers. Susie is pretty well back to normal, and Renee is well on her way back—if you can call a writer normal. It was tough watching them go through all they had to deal with, but it’s great to see them back on track.

In family news, our daughter and son-in-law are both doing well. She received two promotions. Oldest grandson entered his senior year at Baylor. Middle grandson graduated from New Braunfels Christian Academy. Youngest grandson became quarterback on NBCA’s football team, but during the one game we got to see, he received a fairly serious shoulder injury. Son and daughter-in-law are both doing well. They are in New York City for Christmas and New Year’s.

In sad family news, Sharon’s older sister lost her husband to heart trouble during the summer. A little later, her younger sister lost her mother-in-law Along the way, a beloved cousin of Sharon’s passed also. Seems like we went from one funeral to another for awhile there.

My sister Barb had to have knee replacement surgery redone. In a year and a half, her knee had never recuperated, so she had a new surgery in December to remove the old replacement and put in a new one. I can’t even imagine the suffering she’s been through with that knee.

In December also, I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder. It’s been a big deal to me, and it’s really slowed me down, but it pales in comparison to what Susie and Renee and Barb had to deal with.

How was your year? Good, bad or both?


WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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13 Responses to A Year of Mixed Blessings

  1. Hi, David. This was a nice up-lifting blog to read. Yes, we do all have our ups and downs but you presented everything so well and so nicely paced, I felt like we were having coffee and chatting away at our favorite coffee house. Nice blog. You read my blog so yes, I have my ups and downs also. This has been a particularly trying year in coming up with a diagnoses for Tom but I’m happy to report we’re making progress.
    If you have the opportunity, I’d love to have links for both writer’s conferences. I didn’t attend any last year but hope to get to maybe 2 or 3 this year that are within driving distance. Take care and happy new year.


    • http://www.tammydthompson.com/gathering_of_authors_2012/author_attendee_form is the website of Tammy Thompson, who runs the Fall Gathering of Authors in Texarkana. http://dfwcon.org/ is the website for info and to register for the DFW Writers’ Conference. DFW has a $300 fee, but Texarkana not only is free, but Tammy tries to find lodging that is comped for us. Love to see you at either of these, Sheri.


      • David – Thanks for the information. The convention I really want to go to is in San Francisco but it’s simply not going to happen. I’ll not leave Tom that long and he’s not up for travelling that far. I have so many wonderful memories of the times we spent there, I’m not sure I’ll be able to return without it being a bitter-sweet experience. I dropped all of my writing conferences this past 18 months and feel a little isolated. I feel if I go to an expensive conference like San Francisco I must have something in my hand to pitch and I’ve devoted the last year or more to Tom and blogging exclusively. I am gearing up for timed writing with my critique partner this coming Friday.


  2. Jess Witkins says:

    Aww, I’m honored that hanging out with me and the WANAs made your year more fun! I agree! I’m sorry to hear about all the losses in your life this past year. Hopefully your spirit, and your shoulder are both well on the mend. I’d say my year was a mix of both good and bad too. Quitting my job was a good move and led to many wonderful new opportunities, but the months of unemployment were difficult and I’m still working off my debt. Ups and downs in my family continue, but getting engaged to Joe is a very happy thing in both our families. Looking forward to new adventures in 2014.


  3. Oh, David. I cracked up when I got to the part about Donna Newton not speaking English well because she’s from England. I really do enjoy your sense of humor. Sounds like this year, overall, has been fairly successful for you. Sorry for all the losses. Hope your shoulder is recovering well. As for my year? I think you may have already read it on my blog. 🙂


  4. Barb Estinson says:

    Nice review of your year, David. I love the fact that your writing and your writer friends are so important to you, whether you make a lot of money from it or not. Just being published is a very big deal, and I’m so proud of you, Bro. Thanks for the mention of my silly knee. I’m hoping that it will all be fine once I heal from the recent surgery.


  5. Sharon Walker says:

    Reads like a very good year overall. Family, friends , and one’s calling are all so important. May 2014 prove to be an even happier, healthier, and more productive year.


  6. All in all, that sounds like a pretty good year to me, David! Write on in 2014 and may you and yours enjoy the best of health and happiness.


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