My July Blogging for Business class on Montserrat

I am taking a moment today to look at the year so far and say thank you.

Like many, I am guilty of seeing the cup half empty rather than half full. I see the year in terms of all the ways I’ve missed the mark rather than what I’ve accomplished and how blessed I am.

Let me start with being thankful for coming through a major case of fear and anxiety that plagued me for the latter half of 2017 and stayed with me until Easter of this year. I know it was God. The cloud lifted after a weekend of prayer, fasting and communion.

Books and cupcakes go together. Image from my February book launch.

In the midst of that, I celebrated the launch of my first two romance novels Love’s Sweet Joy and In Plain Sight.

Overcoming the anxiety and depression broke forth into opportunities to travel. In June, I attended the St Martin Book Fair as one of their guest authors. This was very significant for me as I attended the fair for many years when I lived on St. Maarten and have been a fan of the House of Nehesi Publisher and to be included this year was a real honour.

At the St Martin Book Fair with Edwidge Danticat and Shujah Reiph.

It also gave me the chance to see how the island was recovering after Hurricane Irma in 2017. My heart raced the first time I saw the devastation and so it was much lighter on this trip when I saw how life was returning to normal for many. Yes, there are still many challenges but with life comes hope.

It never gets old to see my books for sale.

2018 is also the year I wanted to expand my territory without leaving home. It took a lot of tooth pulling but I began the work to create digital courses. The push came after a successful Blogging for Business course at the local library. It is exciting to see them share their stories online with a wider audience.

I released the digital version in late October and it is currently being tweaked based on the great feedback I received before it will be open again for students. It will be part of my new Naji School – the digital platform for my online courses. YEAH ME!!!!

This summer I took the decision to send my eldest off to school in the United Kingdom. We’d been holding out to do things differently and to send her elsewhere but we walked through the door that God opened. She is happy, learning to deal with the weather but I love that her attitude is still focused. We speak regularly and I have to say I felt proud of myself the first day that we went 24 hours without checking in. I was so tempted…but I’m trying to be the big one.

My mentors for i2L Pitch boot camp were amazing. Sandra Baptist and Richard Pummell were compassionate and wise in how they helped their mentees work find the solutions and tweak their ideas.

I began working on book three in the series, A Home for Bella, but it isn’t finished yet. Instead, I began planning and promoting i2LPitch, a pitch competition in collaboration with the Youth & Sports Development Programme on Montserrat. It was a four-day event and I was so proud that the young people signed up and then showed up to the boot camp and the finals.

Their participation proved that our young people are thinking of the problems they see around them and are capable of providing the solutions. We only need to give them the space to put their ideas to work.

What December will bring is to be seen. In the meantime, I am thankful.

i2L Pitch Boot Camp session at the Montserrat Public Library.