10 Random Thoughts for the First Friday of the New Year

Hello, there, readers. I haven’t seen you since last year, and you’re looking well! I hope the New Year is good to you. It seems that 2020 has a lot in store for us all…

I thought I’d start off today with some random thoughts that I’ve had over the last couple of weeks to both get them off my mind and also keep this blog post moving along, so here we go…

1-My husband and I watched the film, Yesterday, the other night. I think it’s one of the more clever films of 2019. Fun, different, and creative, whether you like the Beatles or not, you’ll enjoy this tale of love and music.

2-In terms of new Christmas films in the theaters, Last Christmas was a winner. The film stars Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones and Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians. With a little twist, it’s not your average Christmas movie. It includes lots of humor, a whacky family, and a little heart-wrenching to make the movie memorable. I really loved it.

3-Yesterday, we took down our Christmas decorations. The house always feels a little naked when they’re put away. The Christmas season definitely brings a sense of warmth into the home. So what we’d really like now is a pretty little snowstorm.


4-After I finish writing a novel, I typically take a little breather before I pursue another story idea. However, after thinking about it for two weeks straight, I’m going to attempt to write something a little out of my wheelhouse…something a little darker that makes you think…and yet, a character-driven novel again, where people come together with various issues and problems. We’ll see how I do with not writing “happy happy” stories. You know I love a happy ending, and this one will probably have a happy ending, it’s just we’ll be getting to it in a different way…

5-In the spring, I’ll be teaching Interpersonal Communication. It’s a 100-level introductory communication course, and I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t taught it since 2011, and I’m using Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven as one of the texts for the class. This will be fun.

6-Someone asked me the other day how I’m coping with “almost empty nest syndrome.” I thought it would be horrible, but it’s not. The kids are doing great—they seem to have good heads on their shoulders—and so, watching them grow and be more independent is good. You can only hope you raise smart and happy kids, and then you sit back and let them make their mistakes and see their successes. We are managing the best we can and getting some time to do other things we haven’t been able to do for some time. For those of you nearing that period of life–hang tight. It’s not so bad.

7-I’m scheduled for a library talk at the Severna Park Library for Tuesday, January 21 at 7 p.m. I love doing these talks—especially this kind—because we’ll be talking about how to write your novel. I’ll have copies of my new novel Little Milestones (and others) on hand for sale, but ultimately, this is an hour-long workshop to help people get started writing their stories. Remember: first and foremost, I am a teacher, so helping people get started gives me such joy. Hope to see you or someone you know who loves to write there. Tell them to bring their ideas and manuscripts.

Library Talk

8-Speaking of books, one of my biggest disappointments is that I don’t get to read as many books as I would like. Teaching and grading during the semesters do not allow a lot of time for personal reading, as do my responsibilities at home and as an independent author. This year, I’m setting a goal to read one to two books a month. How do you squeeze in reading with your responsibilities?

9-In five months, my daughter will graduate from high school—the very high school from which I graduated. She is ready for college and is intending to study American Sign Language and Communication. I’m so proud of her that she’s found something she loves.

10-The best Hallmark Christmas movie (in my humble opinion) this year was featured on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and was called A Godwink Movie, Meant for Love. It piggy-backed onto last year’s Godwink movie, A Godwink Christmas, and there’s a book on which these films (with Kathie Lee Gifford) are based. The book is a collection of true stories of the magic of a Godwink (def. 1-An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of divine intervention, especially when perceived as the answer to a prayer.)

And that’s it for now. Those are my random thoughts to begin 2020. I hope you all have a lovely weekend…and a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!




Author Stephanie VerniStephanie Verni is Professor of Communication at Stevenson University. She has authored five works of fiction and one academic text on Event Planning. Her character-driven books are typically set in Maryland to showcase the beauty of her state. Check out her books on Amazon at Stephanie Verni, Author.

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