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Looking back, looking forward.

When I look back at 2023, it's been a year of incredible highs and some terrible lows.

The death of my wonderful sister in law in May, followed by two other family members, has been deeply sad, taking a toll on me and Mr A to deal with the grief. As we get older, there are more funerals to attend. Each is different and unique, but still with the same ending. Hearing some bad news, just before Christmas about a great friend, has been tough. We await his recovery, hoping he will turn a corner soon.

Highs have been much needed respite. Creating three children's books was a shock to me but have brought great joy. Meeting some dear book friends in February was glorious, making a long journey worthwhile. Going back into schools to take part in author visits was like putting on a pair of much loved shoes. Helping out at a book festival in September was amazing. The least expected was that I would organise a book fair in August, bringing some amazing authors to my own village. August also brought the milestone of turning sixty, making the month feel full of warmth and happiness. I finished the year attending local markets, selling books and photography. Those events, along with opening an online merch stall, were not planned. It's funny how life leads you down different paths.

I hope 2024 will be gentle. The next book, She Who Was, if all goes to plan, will be out later in the year. Who knows what else a new year will hold. I hope it brings peace, health, and happiness to everyone, but I know, in reality, there will be highs and lows. May we be strong and cope with everything life throws at us.

Much love to all,

Ruth x


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