Hello folks – and happy summer for all us Southern Hemispherians! (Yes okay, that’s not a word….)
Those of you who regularly follow our blog will know that Jess has been single handedly keeping this site going.  And with her dedicated efforts, we’ve seen our blog visits hit record highs.  Thank you Jess, and well done!
Also, thank you to all our readers who continue to visit even though one sister is frequently absent.
I have done little reading in the last few months.  I’ve struggled about reading on a ‘must-do’ basis.  My children are at an age where they are needing a lot more intellectual stimulation and they’re taking up more of my concentration than before.  But I’m not complaining, I’m loving this phase.
In place of reading these past few months, I’ve re-taken up crocheting.  It has provided me with a creative outlet, and it’s something I can do whilst still listening and talking with my daughters (something I definitely can’t do when reading or writing!). I have churned out four little blankets and started some others, a few beanies, a couple of scarves and learned and experimented with new stitches and designs.
If you’re looking for someone to blame for this crocheting distraction, please thank my dear sister.  My crochet hook was kicked back in to life when she told me about all these YouTube videos with crocheting instructions.  Jess has been doing a lot of crocheting too … we’ve been joking about turning this blog into “The Crochet Sisters”.
So where does that leave me on the reading / writing / editing thing?
It’s still happening.  But my kids are only young once and these other things will come into their own at the right time.  I have a three year staging plan that is going to bring me back into the writing world.
Next year I’ll move into the first stage as we start yet another new phase of life … the school years. My eldest daughter starts school in January.  I can’t tell you how emotional I already am over this. 
My youngest daughter will start preschool one day a week in January – something I’m very much looking forward to, yet can’t believe my baby is growing up …. I’m becoming well acquainted with ‘bittersweet’ as a feeling in this mothering gig.
So you know what this means? Next year I’m going to have one day a week at home on my own!
Oh what to do with my precious day off … the possibilities are endless, and the temptation to cram it with a myriad of activities (including crocheting!) is great.  But my plan is to use these days in the following way:
1. Finish writing my novel’s first draft.
2. Start taking on small editing work.  I’m thinking of doing this on a chapter by chapter basis.  If you’re interested in having this sort of work done (rather than contracting and paying for an entire manuscript at once), let me know!
This means I need to say no to any tempting coffee and lunch date invites.
Also, I have been praying about (and still am) where God wants me to focus my attention in ministry work.  This year I have taught Sunday School full time and also led a teen bible study after church.  By the end of the year I’ve found myself a little worn out and yet the areas in which I can contribute seem to be growing.

For me, 2014 is going to be very different.  An emotional ride, an adventure and a challenge (having to get up, dressed, and make lunches 5 days a week is going to be interesting, particularly in winter!).  I will also need to refocus and make moves towards establishing my editing business.

How will 2014 be different for you?

Helen’s favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She’s not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.
Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.