The Twelve Months of 2017

Twelve Months of 2017Last year I had so much fun looking back over my blog and sharing reminders of some of my favorite posts, that I’ve decided to do it again before 2017 becomes history.

This has been a little (maybe even a lot) like looking through a journal. These posts are only a sampling, but do you remember some of them?

I announced a reading challenge, The Better World Books Reading Challenge, which listed 25 categories and asked readers to choose books accordingly for their 2017 reading list. I’m proud to say I completed most of it, but lagged at the end when I received six books I had to judge for a literary competition. Left to read were 1) a book that’s been adapted into a movie and 2) a banned book. I didn’t finish two other books because I just couldn’t. That, alone, was instructive. I loved this challenge, and it inspired me. Stay tuned for more about challenges next year.

Since I love talking books with other readers, I created the Read Along With Emilie Richards Facebook Group, where in addition to our regular reading list we can announce how we’re doing on whatever reading challenge we’ve joined. We’re still going strong, and, of course you’re invited. If you’re on Facebook click here and ask to join us. You’ll be welcome. Everything’s informal and fun, and I’m amazed at how many books some of our readers finish each month.

Do you remember the three plots readers can’t get enough of? Did you know that yours truly did her master’s thesis on comic strips?  Did you know I read the Fifty Shades trilogy and reference it here? Read on.

I told you a little about my mother, who would have turned 98 that month, and how writers create characters from real life–but most likely not the way you thought we did.

This month I let the three main characters–all women–in The Swallow’s Nest speak for themselves. Lilia Speaks was the first, followed by Marina and then Ellen. Since then did you read the book and want to know more about them? Here’s your chance.

1,000+ blog posts, and what did I learn? That month my husband informed me that I’d written more than a thousand posts on this blog, which stunned me. I never kept a journal, started diaries as a girl and stopped after a week. So what did I learn and why? Like this post, that one was a retrospective, except I only mentioned one post a year since 2008.

Do you stop reading a novel if any of the characters are unsympathetic? I explored that notion using The Swallow’s Nest as my example. (Please note my book cover was included in black and white on purpose. Because characters come in all shades of gray. Right?)

Are you an aspiring author? As my summer progressed I found myself noting odd bits of conversation overheard from my front porch at Chautauqua Institution. For fun I shared six of them and then asked you to begin a story using your choice as a catalyst. Some wonderful folks did just that with real creativity. Read the comments.

While hiking through Utah for my husband’s birthday celebration, I noticed three different types of hikers. I decided that the way we hike through life might be similar. Are you an adventurer, a sightseer, or an accidental hiker?

Writers need time to refill their creative wells, and I took time in the summer. That Indrawn Breath tells you what I did and why. I also tell you how to make cow patties. As my mom always said: “Don’t say I never gave you nuthin’.”

November was pug month, or at least I used pugs (one English bulldog crept in) to illustrate a series on how I write my novels. It began with one post and just kept going. I wrote it when asked about my writing process, and I hope it was both informative for writers and readers. I sure had fun.

I did a twelve book giveaway to celebrate the holidays, and you turned out in excellent numbers for a chance to win. (Winners were contacted directly and announced on my Facebook Page. You’ll also find the final six at the bottom of the post.) I also talked about the way I’m revising one of my older novels to republish in 2018. What did I look for in Lady of the Night and what did I change? Since then I’ve nearly finished the sequel, Bayou Midnight, and I’m contemplating writing a third in the series to finish it. (Something my publisher wouldn’t allow me to do, but that’s a story for 2018.) We’ll see.

And speaking of 2018? Thank you for all your comments this year, your suggestions and help. I am so glad we meet here every week. If you have ideas you’d like me to explore? Just let me know. Meantime welcome to the coming year. May it be a good one for all of us.

Winners of the final six books in The Christmas Wedding Quilt Giveaway were: Merry Beth, Connie R., Joyce Mc, Rebecca R., Mary C. and Joni E. Congratulations to all twelve winners. Watch for more blog giveaways in 2018.


  1. Dell Martinez on December 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for your emails! I really enjoyed the synopsis of your year of emails. I especially like the sound of your recipe for “cow patties”.
    I printed out the recipe and will be making them within the hour!!
    I enjoyed the description of the rest of your posts. I keep thinking about starting a blog of my own. H-mm-
    Keep up the flow of your ideas!

  2. Joni on December 28, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you for your words of inspiration in every blog post! Thanks also for the Christmas book!

  3. Terry Guerra on December 31, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Happy New Year, Emilie! Thank you for the books that have brought me so much enjoyment, and everything else you share with us! So inspiring and uplifting!

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