Marcia Strykowski

A New Year

I’m fulfilling my New Year’s resolution to post something, ANYTHING, on this blog. It’s been quite a few months now and I miss keeping in touch with you all. What can I say, my mind has been elsewhere. Like many of you, I’m sure, it’s been a couple of years of ups and downs. Thank goodness for light moments sprinkled here and there, bringing hope during dark times. I don’t think any of us could ever have imagined the pandemic lasting this long, and with still no end in sight.

As for writing, several of my peers have sadly given up hope of ever fulfilling their dreams. Other fortuitous friends are newly excited about writing because working from home has brought them more time to be creative. And still others are reaching their goals, launching debut books, but virtually, alone in their room making merry when they should be out shaking hands and greeting fans.

I’m still keeping my mind quite full of book interests, whether it be carefully-spaced in-person gatherings during warmer weather, virtual events, or just studying all the internet has to offer on my own. Writers and illustrators who create for children have always been generous in sharing their experience and knowledge and now they are doing so more than ever. If only we all had enough time to participate in the vast array of current offerings. There are workshops, book launches, webinars, and so many other good ideas. If you subscribe to the Writers Rumpus blog you’ll hear about these opportunities and more.

I’m extremely thankful to know and be a part of Writers Rumpus—a fabulous group of writers—and I was thrilled to take part in a post a while back where several middle grade authors picked either an old favorite book or a more recent one. I chose one hot-off-the-press! You can check out the post here.

Also, I’ve recently participated in this rather new venture where authors promote one of their books while also promoting five books written by others, all of the same theme. Here’s a description from their website: Shepherd is like wandering around your favorite bookstore but reimagined for the online world. And here’s my Roller Boy page.  

While you’re on the Shepherd site, you might as well scroll through the other pages. A great many books of all kinds are already in place for browsing!

Otherwise, not too much happening book-wise; publishing is a hard nut to crack these days and time is limited, but I do have my fingers crossed and many projects in the works, so please stay tuned. To those still reading, I wish you a wonderful year filled with good surprises. Be gentle on yourself and on each other. Then again, I can’t think of a single reader with an interest in children’s books who wouldn’t be kind to others!

I’ll end with a poem written by Laura Kelly Fanucci of Minnesota. I don’t know her, but her poem caught my eye when it went viral a couple of years ago. Yep, that’s how long we’ve been dealing with all this, but like Laura says, maybe we’ll come out stronger in the end.

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted

A handshake with a stranger

Full shelves at the store

Conversations with neighbors

A crowded theater

Friday night out

The taste of communion

A routine checkup

The school rush each morning

Coffee with a friend

The stadium roaring

Each deep breath

A boring Tuesday

Life itself.

When this ends

may we find

that we have become

more like the people

we wanted to be

we were called to be

we hoped to be

and may we stay

that way — better

for each other because of the worst.”

38 Comments

  1. Great to read your blog! I’ve delayed in posting as well, but here’s to better things in 2022.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Laura Fineberg Cooper

    Dear Marcia,
    Happy 2022 to you, too! I loved this post and really enjoyed learning about the middle grade books you compared to Roller Boy on the Shepherd site. I fondly remember that post on Writers’ Rumpus, too. I’m trying to press forward on a middle grade novel myself, and have writing friends like you to thank for keeping me going despite the highs and lows. Now I have to find the energy and inspiration to write a few more Spoonful of Grammar posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Laura, I’m looking forward to your new posts. Keep going on that novel, too! We’ll have to catch up soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Louise Pryor

    Loved your comments here, and the poem is beautiful–so inspirational and–I hope–TRUE. I also like the pictures of reading sculptures you included, even with the masks on! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sculptures are in my local library where masks are required. 🙂 Happy to see your comment, Louise, and thank you for your holiday card with the beautiful dog illustration. Well done, he’s adorable!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joyce Ray

    Beautiful post! Thanks for reaching out. I had not read the poem, which contains so much hope!

    Like

    • I agree, it’s a lovely poem filled with hope! Hope your poems and projects are going well, Joyce. Happy New Year!

      Like

  5. It’s wonderful to see your post here. I was afraid you had fallen off my list in Reader. Good luck with all your projects.

    Like

    • Wonderful to check in with you, too, Anne. Thanks so much and have a fantastic year to come!

      Like

  6. Good new year to you, too. 🎈

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michelle Elder

    So great to see you posting again! I wish you the very best in the new year!

    Like

  8. Hello Marcia
    Reading a blog post from you is a lovely start to the New Year. Thank you and Happy New Year.
    I love the poem you shared even though I found my eyes leaking a little as I read it. 😊
    It’s good to know you are well, as are we, and still pursuing your dreams.
    The two masked statues made me smile – I hope they serve as a reminder to everyone.
    Take care, enjoy all you do this year. Barbara xx

    Like

    • Hi Barbara! So good to hear from you and know you are doing well across the pond. Hope you’ve had a chance to visit with your granddaughters in Australia, despite all the travel restrictions. Thanks for your comments. May 2022 be an inspiring, healthy year for us all!

      Like

  9. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Congrats on your Shepherd site page! I’m struggling to find the right theme for mine but it is a goal for 2022!

    Like

    • I struggled, too, wasn’t easy to come up with one. Although I do notice some books seem more obvious, such as pb biographies, or favorite concept books, etc. Thanks, Cathy, and best of luck with your page!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Bob

    Hi-Great Blog.

    Bob

    ________________________________

    Like

  11. Bette Norton

    It was so wonderful to read a post from you again! It has been a while! I loved the masked sculptures gently reminding us to keep safe. I loved the poem which offers hope. Keep on writing! A great post! Happy 2022!

    Like

  12. Joyce Teal

    Glad you are back to writing!! Our community centers reopened in December after being shut down since March 2020. Enjoy your time writing!

    Like

    • Yes, I’m always writing, just not always sharing. 🙂 Great that your centers are open again, they must have been missed all that time. Thanks, Joyce and Happy New Year!

      Like

  13. So lovely to hear from you, Marcia, and to get caught up on what’s been happening in your life and in your writing. Blessings for a wonderful 2022!

    Like

    • Great to hear from you, too, Ramona! Hope you have an amazing new year!

      Like

  14. It’s great to read your blog again, Marcia! Very enjoyable, and I love the pictures.

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Cathy! I’ve always enjoyed your blog, too. I’ll have to catch up on it soon.

      Like

  15. Nice to see you here, Marcia. I was starting to get worried. Wishing you a wonderful 2022.

    Like

    • Aw, thank you, Darlene. I was happy to see your name pop up, as well. Life has just been too busy lately. Happy New Year!

      Like

  16. Hi Marcia, it is lovely to see a post from you. Thanks also for the links and updates on what you’ve been doing. I will go over and have a look at the two sites. Happy New Year.

    Like

    • Thanks, Robbie! I was delighted to spot your post (and lovely poem) as well. Hope the year ahead is filled with special projects and good times.

      Like

  17. Hi Marcia! It’s so good to see you here. Thanks for the newsy post. The poem is excellent! I will check out the writing group site. Please stay in touch, I always love your blog posts.

    Like

    • Thanks for coming by, Jennie! I enjoyed catching up on some of your posts, too, always an inspiration. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Marcia lovely post…glad to see you are still blogging. Loved the poem you shared here. Such lovely inspiration. Here is to Hope for a better New Year. Hugs!

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Debbie! I have to tell you, although I’m not always able to leave a comment, I do read your posts as they come in by email. Always happy to see your latest paintings, along with nature’s changes in your yard through the seasons, and what your dogs are up to. 🙂

      Like

  19. Hilary Margitich

    This was so great to read. I think you’ve captured what a lot of us have been feeling.

    Like

    • Hi Hilary, I appreciate you stopping by to read my post. 🙂 Happy New Year!

      Like

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