Happy New Year, my friends! This past year has been a doozy for me and my family. This new year feels like a new start, as the sun peeks over the horizon and chases the shadows away. 

This past year I spent a lot of time in physical therapy for my knee (which I had surgery on at the end of 2022). We also were fostering a little three-year-old boy, which was wonderful and hard and busy and rewarding, all rolled into one. 

In February, we had a family trip to Disney World.

Family at Epcot
Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom
Kids with AT-AT at Hollywood Studios
Charlotte with X-Wing
Fireworks at Disney World

In May, my son graduated from preschool. 

In June, we travelled to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I also turned 39. 

Grand Teton

In July, during our trip to go visit Yosemite National Park, I had to go to the hospital and have emergency surgery. There was a tumor caused by diverticulitis blocking my intestine and I had to have part of my colon, my appendix, and part of my small intestine removed. I had to be tin the hospital for a week, and my recovery lasted about 10 weeks, but God brought me through with complete healing and recovery. 

During this recovery time, my son started kindergarten and my daughter, 4th grade.  

In September, right before our 16th wedding anniversary, our family lost Josh’s grandfather. He was a sweet, kind man who was always ready with a smile and encouragement. 

Papa James

In October, our family continued our National Parks tour with the Big 5 in Utah. 


In November, we went to Maui over Thanksgiving break.

Maui Hawaii

And December… there were a lot of Christmas activities at school and with family. We also said goodbye to our little foster boy, as he moved on to a new family. 

Throughout the year I queried 21 agents and 6 publishers. I sent out this newsletter every month. I started a YouTube channel about picture books and preschool literary activities. I even got over 73,000 views on one of my videos! 

There were more eventful things that touched my family from extended family and friends such as weddings, sickness, and babies.  Phew! My year seemed like an ocean storm, filled with mountains and valleys.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39

So, with a year like that, I’m ready to take a deep breath and set the year ahead into God’s hands. What goals do I have for the year ahead? 

  • Read the Bible with my kids and talk about it.
  • Finish my Bulldozers in the Sky book and self-publish it.
  • Create 12 new portfolio pieces.
  • Write and polish 6 new stories.

Will I accomplish these? Maybe. I think it’s good to set goals and make a plan to accomplish them. If life happens and gets in the way, it will be alright, just continue pushing forward and step by tiny step, you will make progress. 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Thomas Edison

Thank you for sticking with me through this year. I would love to hear what your goals are for the year ahead, and what you would like to see more of in this newsletter or on my YouTube channel. 

Have a blessed and love-filled year ahead my friends!


Books I’m Reading and Recommending:

Picture Book:

The Spider Who Saved Christmas

by Raymond Arroyo
Illustrated by Randy Gallegos

I found this new Christmas book this year, and I loved the story. It’s a legend about how a golden orb weaver spider and her children saved the life of Jesus from the Roman soldiers as he and his family are fleeing to Egypt. 

The enchanting faith-filled tale of Nephila, a cave-dwelling spider who plays a pivotal role central to the Christmas story. This instant classic reveals the origin of Christmas tinsel and reminds us that hope can always be found even in dark places where we least expect it.

Middle Grade:

The Night Raven
by Joan Rundberg

This wasn’t all that thrilling to me. It was dark and somewhat suspenseful, but the mystery was clunky.  

Mika is not your average twelve-year-old—and she’s about to prove it.

It’s 1880, and in the frigid city of Stockholm, death lurks around every corner. Twelve-year-old Mika knows that everyone in her orphanage will struggle to survive this winter. But at least the notorious serial killer the Night Raven is finally off the streets…or is he?

Mika is shocked when a newborn baby is left at the orphanage in the middle of the night, by a boy with a cryptic message. Who is he? And who is this “Dark Angel” he speaks of? When a detective shows up, Mika senses something even more sinister is going on.

Drawn in by Mika’s unique ability to notice small details—a skill Mika has always used to survive—the gruff Detective Hoff unwittingly recruits her to help him with his investigation into a gruesome murder. Mika knows she should stay far, far away, and yet…with such little hope for her future, could this be an opportunity? Maybe, just maybe, this is Mika’s chance to be someone who matters.

Young Adult:


by Marissa Meyer

I reread this series this past month. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. Each book is a play on a fairy tale in a sci-fi future. Basically a hit book for me! I love this series. It has mild romance (kissing) and violence. Mostly it is about girls who are strong, capable, and build friendships that will last through any troubles.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Until next time,

Charlotte J. Glaze