Happy New Year and my 2020 goals

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends, I hope you have all had enjoyable festive periods and enjoyed Christmas, if you celebrate.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve celebration at my sister, Hayley’s, house. She is the third daughter of four and has two sons, Ryan and Ben, who are great friends with my two boys. She served a most delicious meal of gammon, beef and roast chicken with some lovely salads. I did some experimenting with breads and made a pumpkin seed and honey wholewheat loaf and a cheese and olive loaf, both of which were delicious. I was off the hook for puddings this year as everyone else had offered to make so I didn’t feel a need to make one.

Christmas day was celebrated at home and we had two of my three sisters over with their families as well as my parents, my aunt and my husband’s grandmother, mother and sister. It was a wonderful day and we all ate well and relaxed. Our Christmas menu was a bit different this year and we had gammon and baked fish served cold with a selection of salads. I did more bread experimenting and made a pumpkin seed and wholewheat yogurt loaf and a cornbread loaf. Everything was delicious.

Our New Year has been very quiet as first Terence and then my son, Greg, went down with a stomach bug. We had to cancel our dinner plans for last night and tea with the family today. Such is life. I have spent a lot of today washing soiled bed linen and towels. At least everything is crisply clean for the new year.

On the writing front, I had a good year, publishing my first full length young adult supernatural fantasy novel, Through the Nethergate, in October. I have had some lovely reviews and am very satisfied with this book as a first novel and plunge into a different genre.


I also participated in three anthologies this year. Death Among Us, edited by Stephen Bentley, came out in June and is now available as an audiobook as well as a paperback and ebook. I have three supernatural murder mystery stories in this anthology.


In October, Nightmareland, edited by Dan Alatorre came out. This horror anthology has reached the number 1 bestseller spot in its genre twice in the past few months. Nightmareland, in which I have three horror short stories, is the sequel to Dark Visions, horror anthology, in which my first two horror short stories were published in 2018.

Robbie photo 2

In November, Whispers of the Past, a paranormal anthology edited by Kaye Lynne Booth, became available as an ebook. I have two short stories in this book.

During the second half of 2019, I wrote the first 40 000 words of the first book in a new series I am planning. The book explores a future world where the population is dealing with the effects of climate change and the fourth industrial revolution. I have put this one aside to finish my historical supernatural novel about the South African War of 1899 to 1902 which I wrote as a short story while Through the Nethergate was with my editor.

It turns out that my three ghosts from this period have an awful lot to say about their experiences in the war and my modern character, Michelle, is also in a pickle and needs a lot of words to get her out of it, so this short story which started at 5 000 words and then grew to 30 000 words is now approximately 55 000 words and still going. I have added 22 000 words to this book over the past few weeks of the year end holiday period. The historical nature of this book has meant a lot of research so it is a bit of a labour of love, but I am enjoying it tremendously. So far, I have used over 20 diaries and thesis’ as well as other internet sources to build up the story line based on actual facts. The book presents both the British and the Afrikaans points of view, in what I hope is a balanced and fair way.

I am hoping to finish this book by the end of February and send it along to Esther Chilton for developmental editing with the aim off sending it to my publisher by the beginning of May. Esther has already looked at the 30 000 word version and given me comments which I have incorporated into my re-write. I got some of the inspiration for the two additional ghosts, Robert the British soldier and Estelle, the Boer girl poltergeist as a result of her comments so developmental editing is definitely worth it for me.

I am also planning to submit two short stories to Kaye Lynne Booth’s 2020 WordCrafter short story competition. I already have my ideas for these two stories, both of which will be about the days of the settlers in South Africa. If you want to enter, you will find the details here: https://kayelynnebooth.wordpress.com/2019/12/09/announcing-the-2020-wordcrafter-short-fiction-contest/

I have my work long leave of an extra 22 days coming due in May this year so I hope to take two weeks off in June to start working on the second book in my mother’s fictionalised biography which will be called After the Bombs Fell.

What are your goals for 2020? Let me know in the comments.

69 thoughts on “Happy New Year and my 2020 goals

  1. Hi Robbie. Glad to hear your Christmas was good even if New Year hasn’t quite gone to plan! Sounds as if your writing has kept you busy and will continue to do so: good luck with it all! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year to you, Robbie! 2019 was a great year for you writing-wise and I wish you all the best for 2020. Sorry about your son and hubs and I hope they’re on the mend.

    You probably saw on Facebook that hubs and are recovering from the flu. Not a fun way to begin a new year. I have plans to publish at least one novel in 2020 as well as a short prequel and a book of short stories. I plan to write a blog post detailing things tomorrow.

    Happy 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Happy New Year!! Love the goals. I am working on several books. 99 in 99 is a book of 99 stories, each told in 99 words. Finally have the skeleton for the book on Numerology I have wanted to write for the past ten years. Son of BooKu has the photos and now needs the poetry. SHE expresses herself in words is a book of Shadorma, Haiku and Etheree poetry (hence the title SHE). There are a couple other ideas such as Rocks in Her Head which will be about using crystals to enhance one’s life. Whew! I love it when I have things to do. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow. You’ve had such a successful 2019, and now wonderful goals for 2020. And I bet you’ll reach those goals and more. Happy New Year, my blogging friend. I look forward to continuing our writing and reading bond. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve been super busy, Robbie, and with some great accomplishments. I hope 2020 is just as productive and wish you much success in meeting your goals. I’m hoping to finish a trilogy this year that I started in 2018. That will be a relief to get done. 🙂 Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Diana. As wonderful as writing a book is, it always seem to be a relief when it is done. A funny thing that. Maybe because the writing takes such a deep hold while it is in process and it is a bit relentless. Happy New Year and good luck with the series.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Quite an outstanding year, Robbie! Somehow I feel like that is going to be par for the course for you over many years. Happy writing in 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete. I hope this year will be a good one on the creative side for me. I also have some work publications on my writing agenda for this year. I do enjoy non-fiction writing too. I am looking forward to reading your children’s book in due course.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on a very productive and successful 2019, Robbie! All the best for meeting your 2020 goals. (I have every confidence that you will.) As for me, my long-term 2020 goal is to find a publisher for a collection of short stories I just compiled. My short-term goal is to finish a new short story that I’m having trouble with. Once that’s accomplished, I’ll dip into my idea file to see what strikes my fancy to work on next!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on a good year, and I hope everyone is feeling better soon, Robbie. I gifted “While the Bombs Fell” to a friend who lives in Suffolk. It was very well received. Good luck on the follow-up – maybe I’ll put it on next year’s list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan, thank you for your support. I hope the book is enjoyed. I have been reading a book about the war in Wales over the past few days. It is also written from a younger perspective and I am enjoying it a great deal. I hope your retirement will be everything you hoped for this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Robbie, sorry to hear that the celebration was tempered with an annoying “bug”, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have an incredible creative year, and it sounds like 2020 will continue that momentum! I am also working on something more longform – too soon to share more but I will attempt to stay focused as work projects try to disrupt me along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, Greg is doing much better today and we plan to go out on Saturday to celebrate my dad and my aunt’s birthdays. I have the same problem with work interventions but work around them as best I can. I look forward to seeing what you produce this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Stomach bug’s no fun.:-( But you had a great 2019, and it sounds like you’ve set yourself up for a fab 2020. For 2020 I want to write a better novel (than I did in 2019), and personally to think/speak more positively.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Robbie, I’m so sorry to hear your husband and son got sick over the holiday. I hope they are on the mend.
    You had an amazing year with a lot of accomplishments, and certainly have plenty planned for 2020. Wishing you all the best for the new year!


  12. Continued success Robbie!

    I have small goals in writing… to enter a few more contests. And to continue and straighten out my “Banking” series.
    I haven’t written my post for today’s start… I also want to write more poetry so I might have more than one post a day. I may add a new prompt but delete one I’m not happy with…

    I also want to learn more about photography on my PC and maybe make some enlargement of favorite shots 😉

    Be well and hope your family recovers quickly. Cheers, Jules


  13. Happy New Year, Robbie! 2019 was a fantastic year for you, and I wish great things for you and your loved ones this new year. I hope Terence and Greg are feeling much better. Your WIP reads fascinating. Happy Writing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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