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27

 Well, it’s been a year. It’s been full of extreme ups and extreme downs and not much in between. So let’s focus on the positive, shall we?

 
But first, a major announcement.
 
In the next few months, I’ll be phasing out the Grrlwriter.com website. The reasons are varied. The emotional reason for it is simply that that name belongs to another part of my life. It’s a name I came up with in my late teens and early twenties, and it’s time to let it go. Then there’s the more practical reason that I want my website - and me -  to be easy to find and the easiest and best way to do that is to change the URL to be my name.
 
The next major change is that I’m going back to my maiden name of Kormos. My reasons are my own, but suffice to say it didn’t matter to me until this year. I’ve been divorced for years now, and this year I decided I want my maiden name back. It’s a process to make the switch to be sure but one that I’m very excited to start.
 
The bulk of this year was rough, but I don’t really want to talk too much about that. Mostly because the rough parts are still really raw and I’m focusing on moving forward. That’s been the strange part about this year, to be honest. Feeling really good inside and excited about where my life is headed and being completely devastated by grief at the same time. I had seven people in my life die in various circumstances, the last of which was my grandmother in late September. I finally feel like I’m crawling out of the sadness and depression that goes along with deep grief. That part feels good, but I still miss my grandmother. I’m sad that she never got to read the story that got me into Viable Paradise, and I’m sad that she never got to meet my sweetie. I know that I will carry that sadness for the rest of my life, and it will just get easier to bear. Some days are easier than others, and most days I’m amazed that I’m still getting out of bed and getting dressed let alone focusing on how to keep moving forward.
 
On top of this, I had a very real and very frightening, but thankfully benign, cancer scare. I spent all of July awaiting a very short but painful biopsy that thankfully showed that I am healthy. Considering all those I’ve lost this year my clean bill of health gave me mixed feelings (another theme this year). I felt both relief and happiness for myself – and extreme guilt for surviving when friends and colleagues did not.
 
The good news this year was pretty astounding. I got accepted into and attended Viable Paradise XVIII, and am a proud graduate. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I’m amazingly grateful. From everyone who donated to help pay for my plane ticket, to all those who have motivated and inspired me to keep writing, and to all those who I can call colleagues, classmates, and friends. I am forever grateful for that experience. It was amazing beyond words, and a true life and game-changer for me. There’s a reason the workshop takes place in Martha’s Vineyard. You cross the sound as one person and you leave the island transformed. It was there that I received one of the greatest gifts of all: the confidence and motivation to keep moving as a writer. One of my mentors told me to take my writing very seriously, and, now that I’m healing, that’s what I’m focused on doing. I’m taking myself seriously as a writer for perhaps the first time in my life. It’s incredible.
 
I bought a cello this spring too, and I love having music back in my life again. In the New Year I’ll be stretching my playing skills by playing in a jazz group made up mostly of swing dancers. I’m enjoying being creative in all the other visual ways that I’ve never let myself be before. I got a sewing machine as an early birthday present, and will be embarking on my first project this weekend. I'm creating a mosaic backsplash for the kitchen and that's been fun, too. My wonderful brother and sister-in-law came out to visit in March from Pennsylvania. We had so much fun and it was fun to explore San Diego from a visitor's perspective. I’m looking forward to expanding what I know of San Diego in the coming months and exploring the areas around southern California.
 
Oh, and I got my nose pierced.
 
I’m grateful for what 2014 gave me. It did give me so much in the face of so much loss.
 
I’m here and 2015, I’m gunning for you.
 
  
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