The week between Christmas and New Year is a punctuation mark at the end of the year. For me, it’s a lull before launching headlong into the blank calendar pages to come.

In a year that’s been more surreal (dictionary company Merriam-Webster’s word for 2016) than sparkly, I’m ending it with a different kind of post. Mindful of “gratitude,” my word for this year, and inspired by my friend, historical saga writer Susanna Bavin, I’m taking this opportunity to say “thank you.”

First and foremost, thanks for reading, commenting on, and sharing my blog. I’m grateful for each and every one of you—those who subscribe, those who read via social media links, and those who have come across my musings about life and writing through friends or book clubs.   

Many of you have also been staunch supporters on Twitter (@JenGilroy1) and Facebook. As a new author, I often feel like a minnow swimming in a big and sometimes stormy sea. Each post like, retweet, share, or comment reminds me that although I may be that minnow (in good shoes!), there are other fish swimming with me who care.

I also want to thank you for sharing in my life. One of the blessings of my writing journey thus far is that many of you have also become friends. You’ve celebrated high points with me (cue virtual ice cream), and you’ve also reached out when life has been tough. 

In 2017, I have two books releasing. The Cottage at Firefly Lake (31 January) and then its sequel, Summer on Firefly Lake (25 July). The third book in the series, Back Home at Firefly Lake, follows in March 2018. 

I’m looking forward to celebrating these milestones with you, but alongside them also sharing in the minutiae of the everyday that, when taken together, are the threads that make up our lives.

For me, like many others, the twilight of the year is also about introspection. As such, I want to leave you with the official music video for “Time” by Canadian country artist Dean Brody.

This song resonates with me as a poignant reminder that life goes by in the blink of an eye, and a new year can also be an opportunity to reassess our lives and choices.



  1. Heidi

    What an inspiring post! Life is much sweeter when we pause to take time to say “thank you”, and count our blessings. No matter what our life circumstances are, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for – whether big or small. Here’s to a New Year of wonderful blessings!

    • Jen Gilroy

      And “thank you,” Heidi. You’re a blessing in my life and I’m grateful. Wishing you all good things in 2017, too

  2. Jennifer Wilck

    Wishing you every happiness in the coming year!

    • Jen Gilroy

      And to you too, Jennifer. Thanks for your support & friendship.

  3. Arlene McFarlane

    Beautiful, as always, Jen.

    Though life hands us many ups & downs, it’s good to remember and to be grateful for what we have.

    Blessings to you for a wonderful New Year!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Arlene. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate you commenting. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 too, filled with blessings in both life and writing.

  4. Sue Bavin

    What a thoughtful post, Jen. It is always good to stop and take stock and the end of the year is for many people the perfect time. I want to wish you all the very best for 2017. We are now in the month of your first publication – so exciting! I fully agree with you about the importance of the support that writers receive, not only from fellow writers but from all those who are kind enough to take an interest in us and our work.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Sue. I appreciate your good wishes and staunch support of not only my blog but also my writing life. I wish you all the best for 2017 in return. Looking forward to continuing to share our writing journeys.


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