Happy New Year!

Hello Mixed-Up Filers!

Happy New Year! I hope everybody had a great time and are now ready to kickstart 2014.

Amazingly enough, it looks like I’m the first post of the year. Yeah, I know, I was surprised too. But, I don’t think Elissa Cruz expected all the other bloggers to be away on vacation this week. I mean, when she called me, I could hear it in her voice when she said, “Every. Single. One.”

She kiddingly asked me if there was anyone I could get to write something, but I knew that was just here way of asking me to do it. I told her that there was no need to panic, and that luckily I was still around and could do it.

And I must say, it warmed my heart when she acknowledged that by saying, “Yeah, lucky.” Well, she did sigh right after, but I knew that it was probably out of contentment.

In any event, here I am. And seeing how, according to the calendar we use, my next scheduled turn isn’t until February 27, 2026, I better make the most of it this time.

But, what to write about? That’s always been my dilemma. I always wrack my brains trying to think about topics, but this time it was sort of handed to me. It’s the New Year. And seeing how a new year is about resolutions, reflections and new beginnings, that’s what I decided to write about.

The new year always signals a new beginning, but I always take that as more of a mental thing. I mean, things in your life just don’t change because the calendar flips from December 31 to January 1. Although, I know most of us wish they could. That turn of the page is a mental do-over. A ‘Let’s try this thing again’ moment. For me personally, that couldn’t be more true. 2013 to put it simply…sucked. No, not everything in it, of course, but enough of them to weigh on you. For me, that’s where writing has always come in. Writing has always been my escape. When things happen in the real world, I am able to disappear into a world of my choosing, my creation. And I am thankful for that. No, I’m not quite where I want to be yet as far as writing goes, but I’m still grateful to be able to do it and find some time for it.

So, that’s what I wanted this first post of 2014 to be about. The things that I am grateful for. And since this is a site devoted to the world of Middle Grade, I will keep my thanks to the things that pertain to this writing thing I do. Well, other than the members of my family, who put up with it and me, without complaining…too much, but then again, they sort of have to, no?

First off, I am grateful for being able to write here at Mixed-Up-Files. I think it is a great site, with lots of great information and I’m pleased to be a part of it. Heck, I even read it on the days when it’s not my turn to post.

And speaking of my posts, I’m also grateful to the seven of you (give or take a couple) who actually read them, and one of them may or may not be my mother.

I am grateful for the friends I have, both new and old, who’ve been supportive and encouraging. Been good to have friends to lean on during some tough times and share the good times as well. I am also grateful for the friends I have made on Facebook and through other social media sites. It is absolutely amazing to me how this writing community works on that site. I receive friend requests from total strangers and send requests to total strangers and I accept and other people accept mine. And what happens , is everybody starts becoming friendly. Everybody also tries to help each other. Either with information, suggestions or advice. Writing is a tough business, and it is nice to see that people are willing to help each other out. Can you imagine other professions doing this? I have made friends with some people on Facebook, who I now feel like I know very well. I’ve gotten to know them and know their personalities and what’s going on in their lives. It’s truly an amazing thing.

I am also grateful for the people in my critique group, who have been gracious enough to share their stories with me and who have patiently listened to mine and offered their insight into how to make it better.

So, even though, I’m not quite where I want to be yet, I’m pushing along with a hope and determination that this will be the year that I do get there.

And, for everybody else who isn’t quite where they want to be yet, I hope this is the year that it finally happens for you too.

For those who have already reached where they want to be, I wish you continued and even greater success.

But, to everybody, I wish you a very Happy New Year and hope that this year you get whatever it is that your dream is.

And as always, thank you for reading.

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Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time chauffeuring around his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into, in particular the Choose Your Own Adventure Series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been really willing to accept responsibility. He is the author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which is out now, and its sequel, From Sunset Till Sunrise. He is the co-host of the YouTube channels, Pop Culture Retro, Comics and Pop. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com, SpookyMiddleGrade.com, and his own website, WWW.HouseofRosen.com
  1. A creative, productive and, above all, happy new year to everyone.

  2. A gratitude filled post. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Galit!

  4. Nice perspective! Happy new year to you too! Tell Elissa we LOVE to read your writing here, so that we are lucky-without a sigh! Lol! Hope get where you want to be. And thanks for the well-wishing to all of us.