This past year has beyond a doubt been the most remarkable of my life, overflowing with learning, affirmations, and success. Ten years ago, when at last I embarked upon my childhood dream of writing a novel, I never gave a moment’s thought to what might happen in the event that I fulfilled my mission.
I vividly remember that afternoon in the spring of 2002 returning from my walk, sitting down at my computer, and writing: “The old farmhouse is standing still. It had been thirty-seven years since its cracked and paint-chipped walls had heard the voices of children.” My Understanding Ursula trilogy was begun.
As early as October 2010, months before completing the third book, my editor attempted to enlighten me about the expectations, trials, and tribulations of becoming a published author. During this meeting, as she still claims, I did not listen to her. I was so focused on finishing my story that it was not until the launch of Arriving: 1909–1919 more than a year later that I started to have an inkling of what she meant.
Over these past 12 months, I have driven more kilometers in my vintage Prelude than during the previous nine years I spent writing my books. I have Googled innumerable routes across the Canadian prairies, appeared at more bookstores, libraries, and senior lodges, and been hosted in more beautiful B&B guest homes than I could ever have imagined.
I scarcely know where to begin to thank all of you: my loving family, my incomparable team, my encouraging hosts, and the plethora of supportive journalists and media personnel for your invaluable contributions to the success of Arriving and Thriving. Still, it is the affirmations from so many of my 1800-plus readers that confirm for me that I have succeeded in achieving what I set out to accomplish—to immortalize the real, ordinary Canadians in the fiction of my novels.
I believe the best way to approach retirement is to search for your true path, to find the courage to follow it, and to live your dream. Thank you, Kim from Whispering Waters Manor in Stony Plain, for your succinct summary of this incredible year: “Oh, Corinne. You are blessed!”
As you celebrate the Christmas season, remember that in the simplest of moments love shines brightest.