Yes, 2016 will go down as a crazy-ass year that had some major, major lows (bye Carrie Fisher!), but I’d like to declare 2016 as my year of getting more selective. This year I became more selective with how I acquired clients and I became more selective with where I spent my free time so I could get my writing, music and dance practice all in. Some wins for me included becoming the editor of Wake Living magazine, getting paid to play my guitar, joining the NC Songwriters Co-op, becoming an advanced Irish dancer, and becoming a Let’s Talk About It scholar with the NC Humanities Council.


In the first half of 2016 I began my poetry book reading/signing tour for Heroes without Capes which took me to Greensboro, Asheville, Charlotte, Pittsboro and Hickory. I met so many wonderful poetry lovers and fellow co-readers. Speaking of poetry, I won Honorable Mention for my poem, “Split Level” in the Flyleaf Books annual poetry contest and got awarded Third Place in the NC Poetry Society’s annual contest! Next year, I’m starting my duties at the VP of Programming for the NC Poetry Society—so excited to work with so many great poetry friends in the years to come! Now, I have some poems to write…


I continued my guitar playing progress by finding a new guitar teacher—Matt B., hopefully my forever teacher—and I wrote three new songs in August, which are up on I applied for farmers’ market, festival, coffee house and brewery gigs and was so proud to expand my guitar performance resume. I *love* playing and singing and you’ll definitely see more of me on the stage in 2017. Kirk Ridge over at the NC Songwriters’ Co-op was a tremendous help in getting my playing opportunities and in being a stellar mentor. In January, Mara Shea became my violin teacher and I’ve seen my violin playing grow exponentially. I got a new violin in September and plan to compete in the Irish fiddle competition in the Raleigh Feis this February. One of my goals in 2017 is to keep getting stronger on violin.


I had so much fun dancing in so many performances around St. Patrick’s Day with Trionoide Academy of Irish Dance, despite me spraining my left ankle while in the Raleigh St. Patrick’s Parade. I graduated from Advanced Beginning classes to Novice classes in May and in December was able to dance four of my new dance steps fairly well in front of Macy’s. My goal in 2017 is to keep it strong in Irish dance and to excel at performing and competing.


At the end of August I became the editor of Wake Living magazine, which I had freelanced for back in 2009-2010. This job is a perfect fit for all of my acquired skills and expertise and it continually keeps me on my toes—I love the challenge and the folks I work with are awesome. I did not apply for this job, but was recruited based on my accomplishments—yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Keep a look-out for our spring issue hitting the newsstands on March 1st!


As a result of my magazine work, I’m no longer teaching private writing workshops where I have to go out and market the classes. Instead, I’m going to be teaching SEVEN *FREE* author/book marketing workshops through the Wake County Public Library system this May and I will also be giving book talks/conference talks at many libraries in the eastern part of our state for the NC Humanities Council. I will get paid for my time, and someone else will be marketing the program. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.


This fall I declared my love of history with the world by becoming a docent-in-training with the NC History Museum in downtown Raleigh. In the next few weeks, I’ll be on my own giving 10-minute talk to school children 8 hours a month. Every time I think of my history work, my face lights up like birthday cake. So EXCITED!!!! And, yes, those who know me know I LOVE Hamilton the American Musical, which is a perfect storm of my favorite part of American history, poetry and music. I’m still reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton as of this writing, have gotten as far as 1787—page 230 out of 800  pages. Hamilton is usually playing in my car CD—Act II rules!

What are my intentions for 2017—my big one is to make a CD and to continue to keep all of my writing, dancing, Wake Living, Mom/family, performing balls in the air.


What are your intentions for 2017 and how would you describe 2016. “2016 was the year I ________________.”


Happy New Year and I wish you a 2017 filled with love, laughter, music and most of all—laughter, joy and music!