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  • Writer's pictureRosemary Gemmell

Gratitude, a Gift, and Going Forward

As we come to the end of another year, a difficult one for so many the world over, I have much to be grateful for: fairly good health, loving family and friends, enjoyable creative activities (writing, journaling and paper craft), an optimistic nature, and enough for our needs.


I love to keep learning, as well as reading a whole range of books and stories some of which offer a little more challenge and understanding. This year, amongst my favourite mysteries, romantic suspense and cosy crime reads, I thoroughly enjoyed some very different types of novels, partly because of their complexity, taking me into their worlds until the end.


Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi is an unusual story that is both imaginative, mysterious and thought-provoking, exploring isolation in a fantastical house, but with the human capacity to find beauty in such unexpected surroundings


Having loved Greek mythology since schooldays, I was drawn to Madeline Miller’s Circe, her absorbing fictionalised tale about the goddess and sorceress who is mentioned in the Odyssey.


Where the Crawdads Sing by Della Owen took me to the darkness and natural environment of a young girl’s swamp home in North Carolina.


Hear no Evil, Sarah Smith’s fascinating debut novel, highlighted deafness and the justice system set in Victorian Edinburgh and Glasgow.


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My final gratitude gift of 2022 is the FREE download (29-31st December) of my first novella in the Victorian Maryanne Mysteries, Mischief at Mulberry Manor. A ghostly mystery for Twelfth Night!




When Maryanne Robertson visits her cousins’ old manor house for the Twelfth Night Masked Ball in 1859, she does not expect to find the manor haunted or to fall in love. But mischief is afoot and one of her cousins is missing as frost covers the ground outdoors. Is the mischief caused by a ghostly presence or someone more human?


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I don’t make proper resolutions, or even set definite goals, at the start of a new year as I don’t like looking ahead too far, but I do love a brand new year with all its possibilities and challenges. I will decide on a few writing projects throughout the year and might even make a note of them in my journal in the hope procrastination doesn’t get in the way, as it usually does!


So far, I have one full length novel to redraft and edit before exploring its fate as it’s more of a relationship story this time. Then there are at least two novellas awaiting more words to finish, several short stories, articles and poetry to be redrafted as well as new ones to write, not to mention new blog posts and keeping up with social media. I have an adjudication coming up after the new year, and I’m looking forward to the Scottish Association of Writers’ weekend conference in March.


There is also one very special event happening mid-year – my daughter is getting married! That will be a wonderful celebration of a lovely couple.


I find the following quote from T.S. Eliot inspiring as we enter 2023:


“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.

And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”


I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year and leave you with one of my favourite quotes about life’s timelessness from Kahlil Gibran:


Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.”


Rosemary.

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