How I Spent My Year, by PTNC (Age 65)

I just had my 65th birthday. I do not celebrate birthdays, but they are a useful milestone for taking stock of the year’s accomplishments. It is a day to look back at the year and see if anything has been accomplished.

I finished my second novel of the year on 16 November (my birthday), and I hope I can be forgiven for feeling immensely proud of my work.

Thanks to an angel in Nashville TN, I used a website ( on which I can create book covers for my self-published work. This has been a stumbling block for some time. In consequence of this discovery, I have three novels to release over the next nine months. (I could release them altogether but that would be too much.)

In December, I will release a rewrite of a novel/novella I finished in the summer of 2018. It’s called ‘The Souls of Grace Cove’, and it’s an expansion of ‘The Inn of Souls’, which I published in 2014. Some readers thought ‘Inn’ was too short. When I reread it in 2018, I realized I could tell the story better. That led to ‘The Souls of Grace Cove.’

‘The Souls of Grace Cove’ is a story about a professor who rents an ancient inn for a summer. He discovers he is not alone – the Inn is inhabited by several ghosts, the most prominent being the 250 year old spirit of a five year old girl. As he develops relationships with the spirits of the Inn, his daily life is complicated by a precocious graduate student who is determined to have her way with him, whether he likes it or not. It’s interesting to see the reactions of the Souls to this living being. Naturally, the book has a climactic and surprising end.

One of the delights in doing something creative is watching as an idea becomes something concrete. You don’t mind the work, the hours of writing you delete because it isn’t right. The important thing is that you are satisfied with the end result.

There are two more completed books that will be released in 2020: ‘Tea With Violins’ should be out by the end of winter. ‘The Sacrament of Poison’ will be released in late spring. Each has been a fascinating and delightful challenge to create and complete.

I look forward to sharing it with you.

In the year leading up to my 65th birthday, I’ve learnt to love the process, and to recognize that binned work is merely a step in the process. I’ve come to expect it because, as my wastebasket fills, it means I’m approaching my goal. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for devoting each day to something I will eventually hold in my hand: a book.

Paul TN Chapman
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