Goodbye, 2018 (Wrap Up)

2018 has finally come to an end and honestly, all I can think is “thank goodness” because this has not been a great year.

Goodbye, 2018 (Wrap up) Image: Winter scene with snow covered tree

[ Life ]

The start of the year was pretty good, I had managed to settle in following the move to Nothern Ireland and was making the most of the situation.


Image: Award Top 10 UK Writing blogThis included putting more time and effort into this blog, which paid off when I found out I had been awarded, by FeedSpot, one of the Top 10 UK Writing Blogs.

Over the year I have really pushed ahead with making this blog bigger and better.Β  That included running blog series such as the Blogger Series, the Social Media series and the A Writer’s Guide series.

Out and About

I also made sure not to withdraw into my introverted cocoon and actually went out and visited some places such as: BallyNoe Stone Circle, Belfast Ulster Museum, the Titanic Museum and the Butterfly House.



Moving house. Image: Man carrying boxesHouse

Towards the end of the year, my partner and I decided while we needed to move out of our current living situation, we didn’t want to rent again.

So we decided to buy a house.Β  Yep, we thought, let’s end the year with a whole lot of stress! πŸ™‚

The last few months have been hectic with viewings, sorting the homebuyer report, dealing with the mortgage broker and solicitor etc.

We found a lovely house with a garden (yay!) and are so close to completing it, but the seller still has to sort some stuff si it looks like we won’t get everything signed until Jan-Feb time.


IMG_0001 (13)Just like last year, the year took a bad turn at the end when our other elderly cat (sister to the one we lost last year around the same time) became sick.

She went through lots of tests and even had to have surgery.

Unfortunately, the prognosis was bleak, she was diagnosed with aggressive stomach cancer.

I spent all my time sitting with her (she was a total lap cat) and even cancelled my trip back home for Xmas.

On the 19th December, we made the heart-breaking decision that it was time to say goodbye to Sev.Β  She was 17.5 years old.Β  The vets were wonderful, they came to the house so that Sev could pass in a comfortable, safe place.

Both me and my partner were with her when she passed.Β  The loss has been devastating and I am just trying to stay distracted.

[ Writing ]

It took a while this year to actually get back to working on my novels.Β  I tried my hand at Scrivener again and loved it.


I came up with Dark Hart’s sequel plot so I’m doing to be working on the outline over the next few days.

I did a massive outline for my new story The Blessed, and have been writing it with great enthusiasm… that is until a few months ago.

I have plans to crank up my writing next year and once we move house this should make things so much better.


85kI didn’t get a chance to do NaNoWriMo this year but I am planning on doing the 85K Challenge again, that starts in January.

So I’ve been planning which novel I want to write during this challenge.


One thing I managed to do was start my Newsletter!Β  This had been on my Monthly goals for months and I finally did it.Β  So far, it’s been well received πŸ˜€

[ New Projects ]

Over the last few months, I’ve been planning so new projects that I want to push ahead in 2019.Β  Yes, I’m a planner, I like to work out things in detail before jumping in (mostly).Β 

Look out for them during the next year πŸ˜€

How did you find 2018?

~ β˜† ~ β˜† ~ β˜† ~

To all my wonderful followers and readers, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog, to leave comments and reach out via my contact page.Β  Thank you for all your continued support, it means the world to me.

Happy writing

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42 thoughts on “Goodbye, 2018 (Wrap Up)

  1. Because I have got so behind with reading blogs I cannot remember whether I have said how sorry I am about the passing of your dear cat. Even if I am repeating myself, I am so sad for you and I do truly hope you are feeling a little better now. I hope all the moving house horrors are going as well as expected. We moved house twice in 18 months and vowed we’d never move again, it was so stressful. I expect we’ll have to move one day when we’re too old to cope here but I try not to think about that too much!
    Take care, my dear xx

    1. Thanks Susi. Yes, I am glad 2018 is gone and I’m looking forward to 2019 because I know it’s going to be better.

      Wishing you a wonderful and opportunity-filled 2019 πŸ™‚

  2. It sounds like, for the most part, 2018 was pretty productive for you. It definitely had its ups and downs and I feel like the downs tend to come all at once. Here’s to a positive 2019!

    1. Yeah, looking back made me realise that while there were some really tough times, I did manage to get a lot done.

      I think 2019 will be great and not just for me πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Brooke. I’m actually already behind on the 85K Challenge! lol oh well, I’m hoping to get ahead before we move so that if I lose a few days I’ll be okay. πŸ˜€

      Yeah, I moved to Northern Ireland (where my partner is from) back in 2017.

      It was a big upheavel as I don’t travel well but I’m happy I did it. I consider it a big step to pushing against my anxiety πŸ™‚

  3. You’ve had huge things happen in 2018. The stresses of moving, buying and the loss of a loved one-because pets are family.
    But you’ve also been hugely successful with your blog, newsletter and now your going to be an editor in the 85k challenge.
    You go boss girl.
    Much love to you for 2019, my dear friend and epic beta reader. πŸ˜˜πŸ’™

    1. You are so right, pets are family. While the end of the year was tough, I did look back with some fondness over what has transpired.

      Thanks for your encouraging words, it is so easy to fall into a pit and see only the bad.

      Thanks for all your kindness, your support and friendship Lorraine. Wishing you an awesome and opportunity-filled 2019 πŸ™‚

    1. Happy New Year to you, Victoria. Thanks for your kind words. I cannot wait until the purchase of the house is completed and I can get settled.

      I wish you a happy and opportunity-filled new year πŸ™‚

  4. Best to you and your partner in 2019 Ari – may everything get straightened out, so you may lose some of the worries and have some peace. Speaking of peace, I am sorry to read of Sev, but she has joined her sister and is in peace – it is never easy to lose a trusted, loving companion and I have been there as well, so you have my sympathies.

    1. Thank you so much Linda, for your kind words regarding the heartbreaking loss of little Sev. She was the sweetest cat ever. I am glad she is with her sister now and I have her photo on my phone background so I can see her every day.

      I want to wish you all the best for 2019, may it be a year full of hope and opportunity πŸ™‚

      1. You are the third person I know to lose their cat in December 2018, all tragic and heartbreaking losses for each of you. Her picture will remind you of Sev every time you look at your phone. Thank you Ari – I need to be more ambitious after I read your agenda for sure!

      2. How sad that so many people have lost their beloved cats. πŸ˜” but we remember them fondly.

        Lol I like to challenge myself by filling my agenda so it forces me to push a little further.

        What are some things you want to do this year, Linda?

      3. I have to have a more ambitious agenda this year Ari as the things I planned to do in 2018 did not get done – partly that is because of the blogging, which really started taking off in November 2017. Before that I had just a handful of e-mail subscribers and only a couple of them commented. So blogging was pretty much just me writing. But having more interaction with other bloggers, including many nature lovers or photographers, has been good for me because it encouraged me to get out with the camera and improve my photography skills and write more. That caused me to get a DSLR in June and even though I took 35mm photography lessons way back in the early 80s when I traveled a lot, I still was inclined then, as well as now, to use the automatic settings. I want to learn how to use the DSLR skillfully and so that is a goal. Plus I want to get out and explore more parks and write about them. I do want to expand my horizons – that was my intention last year, but our weather was a constant disappointment. I signed up for multiple 5K events and they were on rainy days. I have to make myself go in rainy weather – others do it, I usually just say to myself “I don’t need to go out” … I took the bus when I worked on site … had to be out in the elements, so I had to deal with it. When I began working at home, I did not have that need to get out in crummy weather anymore – so, I’m going to try to change that mindset (probably easier said than done).

      4. Im so pleased to hear your blog has taken off, it deserves to have more people reading it. Sounds like you have some great goals for this year, 😁

      5. Thank you for saying that Ari – truthfully the first 4 1/2 years there were so few people reading it, and my blog is even on the blog roll of the local newspaper, plus I blog at a hyperlocal newspaper and no ever commented there. So, this interaction has been wonderful.

    1. Thank you kindly for your message, Darlene. It was very hard losing her and so close to the holidays. I have her photo on my phone background and I see her every day πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your well-wishes. I wish you all the best for the New Year too πŸ™‚

    1. Happy New Year to you too. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much. lol I know, I am chomping on the bit to move in. We had really hoped to be in before Xmas but that never happened.

      I drive past it every day and I am just getting more excited! πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, 2018 was not great but there was some diamonds within the rough. I am looking forward to what 2019 will bring.

      Hope this new year is good for you πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Chris, I am so pleased so many people have been enjoying #TheMerryWriter game. I never thought it would become as popular as it has and I’m still shocked that I have been able to come up with questions month after month! lol

      Wishing you all the best for 2019

      1. To be honest I don’t have the time to seriously deal with my blog. I focus on my YouTube channel, managed to get into a weekly schedule and that’s about all I have time for.

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