Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Good-bye feet!

HALLIE EPHRON: Bidding farewell to 2016. Some would say good riddance to bad rubbish. On the Chinese calendar it was the year of the monkey, not the most auspicious of the Chinese zodiac's 12 signs. As Alice said, "Curiouser and curiouser... now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!"

Pantone’s colors of the year were Rose Quartz and Serenity. We needed a little of the latter, that's for sure. Next year its color of the year is the equivalent of slime green. Good luck to us.

For me it was the year of "the upside down." I was totally hooked on the Netflix show STRANGER THINGS which introduced us to this underground netherworld just beneath our feet. And somehow it does seem appropriate that I'm mad about a show that channels X-files-style paranoia.

This year, if you asked my son-in-law what big events happened, he'd say the Cubs finally won the world series and virtual reality is kicking in. Maybe I'll get to watch next season's STRANGER THINGS with a virtual-reality headset.

And then things got even stranger with the discovery of a possible 9th planet. Massive and far beyond Pluto, it's the only thing that explains otherwise inexplicable gravitational pull.

More down to earth (and not), how about the US Women’s gymnastics team? The fabulous Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian. They had us glued to the TV. And  Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to take home a gold medal in an individual swimming event.

So maybe it was, as Marie Claire magazine trumpets, The Year of the Woman. Hillary Clinton ran for president, won the popular vote by nearly 3 million, and put pantsuits back in our closets. 

It was also the year of HAMILTON, which will probably still be around in a few years when I manage to get tickets. I'll be following the career of Lin-Manuel Miranda to see what magic he spins next.

So join us in bidding 2016 Adieu (or Enough already!) What were the bright spots of 2016 for you?  

AND tune in tomorrow for the JUNGLE REDS' FIRST BIG SURPRISE OF 2016. Shhhh....


  1. It certainly has been an interesting year.
    One of the brightest spots in my year was having so many wonderful books to read . . . thank you, dear Jungle Red ladies . . . I am always happy when I have a book in my hand.

    Since I try to follow the space science news, the possibility of a planet beyond Pluto is supremely interesting as was astronaut Scott Kelly’s almost-year long stay aboard the space station. We’ll be watching for the New Year’s Eve comet, too.

    We watched the women’s gymnastic competition and some of the swimming . . . the Olympics are always an exciting opportunity to watch the athletes compete.

    We were so excited to have the grandchildren here . . . the two oldest of the Virginia contingent spent spring break with us; everyone came for a few days at Christmas. There is nothing like a house filled with grandbabies . . . .

    Happy New Year to everyone; may 2017 bring each of you all the best and may one of your special dreams come true.

  2. Bright spots beyond reading this blog every morning first thing? Seeing my sons happy in love and work. Watching certain friends be incredibly courageous in the face of adversity. Enjoying some small successes in my chosen career.

    May the year to come bring successes and spots of joy, big and small, to the Reds and all you wonderful commenters here!

    And Pantone? How about a rich hot pink and a luscious deep turquoise instead?

  3. Ann in Rochester, another nasty womanDecember 31, 2016 at 6:45 AM

    Bright spots in my year include:

    Co-hosting a Christmas party for all of Julie's Rochester family, all 25 of them, and having a big enough dining room table to seat half of them at any given time.

    Renovating the kitchen, dragging it up from 1970 to 2016. It was fun watching it take form and even more fun using it.

    Going to LCC 2016 and meeting so many wonderful new authors while reconnecting with Deb.

    Seeing my Texas grandsons and having one of them on my lap at any given time.

    Being in Mt. Hope Cemetery at the grave of Susan B. Anthony on Election Day, and knowing that Hillary won the popular vote. Vindication will come.

    See the Cubs win the World Series.

    Being here every morning and letting my fangirl romp thru the Red Jungle.

    Waking up each morning with a pulse. What's to complain about then?

    Happy New Year my darlings. xox

  4. Joan, there IS nothing like a house filled with grandchildren, which is what I have at this very moment. I love it so much.

    Edith, sharing your good wishes, back atcha!

    Ann, waving! Sounds like yours was a pretty special year. 25???

    1. Yep. 25. And a few were out of town. Everyone managed to sit down to eat but a few were on the couch or floor around the coffe table and I don't count, retreated to my big chair and nibbled. Also a few came later, from another party. By that time seats at the table were opening up. It was a crowd tho

  5. It's definitely a bright spot to wake up every morning to all my Jungle Red friends! And to wake up period, as Ann said--the best gift!

    We have a new granddaughter too--just spent some time with her this week. She is very smiley and yet gets into no trouble--a gift indeed! Also this year we had two lovely family weddings and thus precious time with extended family, including my amazing 89 year old uncle, who stands in for my dad as needed. And a cousin I hadn't seen in 40 years!

    The launch of Killer Takeout was a hoot for me as it happened at the adorable Key West Island bookstore and I invited all my Key West characters as special guests. And my reading list has been spectacular.

    I feel so lucky to be part of this community and hope the coming year brings good health, good times, and good reading (and writing!) Now I'm off to look up Pantone...

  6. Bright spots in my year include:

    Retiring from the Canadian federal government.

    Being more active via the on-line mystery fiction community. I love starting my days by visiting the Reds and friends and posting my early morning comment(s).

    Going to Left Coast Crime (LCC) and NOLA Bouchercon to connect with new and familiar authors/friends.

    Discovering new authors and reading so many wonderful books.

    Visiting the Grand Canyon after LCC2016...bucket list item done.

    Adjusting to life as a new retiree by being more physically active (walking, cycling, hiking and snowshoeing) and enjoying the first summer off in @25 years.

    Waking up each morning in good health and spirits.

  7. A roof over my head, a full pantry, both boys with me, a house full of music and family at Christmas and a spirit of gentleness that still lingers. It was a year of great books to read--a great community of writers and readers here at JRW to keep things fun and lively!

    For the New Year, I hope to find a way to thwart--in any way possible--the stupidity that seems to have engulfed us politically. And to create a place in my heart for hope.

    Wishing all here good fortune, good health, and much love and peace in the coming year!

  8. Grace, happy retirement!

    FChurch: THWART STUPIDITY! Now there's something I think we can all agree on.

  9. 2016 was a weird year, indeed. One high was winning the Shamus award for best PI novel at this year's Bouchercon, and a low was undergoing back surgery for a herniated disc that really doesn't want to heal. Apparently, I'm aging! Yes, it beats the alternative, but I'm hopeful that I can put my grip 'n grab (a tool that lets me grasp items without bending over) into permanent retirement.

    The Pantone person who choose Serenity for 2016 couldn't have been more off the mark!

  10. Ditto, Grace! And thank you, Flora!

    THis really makes me think. My high spots? Seriously, just personally, my cataract surgery. It is amazing to be able to see.

    I had a conversation with a young woman who was upset about something that happened at my tv station. The woman is smart, gorgeous, happily married and has a great job. I proceeded to (sweetly and sincerely) remind her of that. We forget how lucky we are. We forget to be happy. I try to remember every day, and sees as it is more prevalent in my life as I get older.

    For instance. I like the pantone color. Granny smith apple, think of it that way.

    The strs--last light I saw a perfect Orion. The movie Arrival, so thought provoking and reassuring. ANd in three days, the universe wiling, I will type THE END on the new book. Ahhhhhhh. (According to Arrival, it may already be done.)

    And all of you dear ones, I cannot begin to tell you. I would begin, actually, but now off to finish the book You understand. Which proves my point exactly.

  11. Well, I'm happy to see that I am finally in color fashion! My kitchen is granny smith apple green (has been for nine years) and I LOVE it. It makes me happy every time I walk in. So, Hallie, much is perception, right?

    My high points of 2016? My granddaughter, of course. I don't think you can be prepared for how much you will love your grandchildren. She is such a joy.

    Two trips to London, filled with lots of work, lots of seeing friends, and making new friends.

    Finishing my book!!!!! There were days when I thought I'd never get through it, but I did, and I hope it might actually be good.

    Friends. I feel so blessed, all the time, by all the wonderful people in my life.

    And Reds. All of us who work together every day, and support each other every day, and all of our extended community that brings us so much interest and insight and laughter and makes my day brighter every morning.

  12. Finally got to visit New York and go to a Broadway show.Happy of the experience and now I know (as I thought), it is not a place for me: too much traffic, noise,too many people to dodge. Five days were just OK to enjoy my trip.
    I had a calm year and calm is good for me as I am an introvert.
    As I'm not yet retired, I looked forward to read JRW in the evening and learn a little more about everyone, bloggers and commenters.
    Helas no grandbaby here but a good health, family , friends and many good books.
    Registered for Bouchercon 2017 and hope meeting many of you there
    Have a very good year Hallie and every JRW at heart.

  13. Danielle - we're hoping to have a strong Jungle Red presence at Bouchercon (I just registered...) so will look forward to meeting you there! Toronto is a great city, though a very big one.

    Debs, my recent high point is I finished THE GOLDFINCH (at last) and am now zipping through my advance copy of GARDEN OF LAMENTATIONS. It's fabulous! We're looking forward to a pile-up of titles from Jungle Reds in 2017.

  14. Like the rest of you here, the Jungle Reds blog has been one of the bright spots in my year. It is my cup of comfort every day (with a few rare absences). The posts and the comments are informative, entertaining, encouraging, funny, soothing, and sustaining. I'd like to thank all the wonderful Reds' authors and participants of the blog for showing up and making an otherwise awful year bearable.

    I've been blessed to spend time with family, and enjoy my granddaughters so much. Debs, you are so right, that nobody can prepare you for the joy of grandchildren. It's even hard to put into words after you know that joy.

    And, reading has been great in 2016, even though I got a late start due to a bad January and February. I wish I could fit in twenty more books before this year ends, but I will have some amazing carry-overs to look forward to. Bouchercon in New Orleans was a definite highlight for the reading year, with the happy addition of my daughter staying with me and visiting NOLA.

    So, Happy New Year to my dear friends here. I'm confident that 2017 will bring us all together at this blog and elsewhere for some engaging conversations.

  15. This might not sound like a bright spot. There must be more, but it is good in a hopeful way. Following a troublesome year of my husband struggling with illness, a new treatment became available, and it was determined he would be a good candidate by his care team at UofA. He started a couple of weeks ago, and we are hopeful that it will help him, not to recover necessarily, but to live better. It's hope. Reasonable, sensible, accepting, and loving hope. We met Christmas Eve many years ago and celebrated the New Year together as only kids can. No longer kids we have had life, love, kids, school, shared a career or two, and supported one another in our dreams. Now we have a little hope, simple and special. Nothing huge. Just a little hope and the depth of love.

  16. Happy New Year's Eve all. This has been a crazy up and down year for all. I have a philosophy for December 31st. Look forward with joy, the best is yet to come! Can't wait for Red's news tomorrow.

  17. Reine, as always you either make me laugh or cry. Today the latter.

    Happy New Year, Kathy & Kait!

  18. Love you, Reine!

    xxoxo Kait and Kathy!

    Happy New Year, all!

  19. My bright spots are similar to yours:

    Year of the Woman with Hillary #Iamstillwithher

    U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team

    Hamilton the play

    Happy New Year to JRW and commenters!


  20. Discovered precancerous thing during biopsy!

    And meeting many wonderful people, including authors, at my first Malice Domestic in DC (actually, Maryland).

    And looking forward to my first Bouchercon in Toronto in 2017. Most likely I will Not be going to Malice in 2017.

  21. Getting my back repaired and my knee replaced. Reading over 100 books (including many of y'all's) during all my recuperating time. Seeing the kids and grandkids doing new things. Celebrating 38 years of marriage with my obviously very tolerant wife!

    2017 will be better. We can do this. We were made for times like these.

  22. I toast your back repair, Jim! Hopefully, we'll both be enjoying strong, healthy backs in 2017!