Word of the Year 2018! (And the Good News Jar of 2017)


Welcome to 2018! I hope this year will be one of many blessings for all of you.

As I’ve done for the last five years, I picked a “word of the year,” a word to give this year some focus. When I started in 2013, I chose the word optimism. I chose that word to shake off the negative feelings I’d had toward my writing career–and lo and behold–I ended up with my first Chicken Soup for the Soul book that year and my first book contract the next year.

In 2014, the word was trust–as in trusting in God’s plan.

In 2015, the word was grace. This was the year my mother ended up passing away. As she was passing, one of my sisters-in-law said, “Gee, your mother even dies gracefully.” May I ever strive to live as gracefully as she did.

In 2016, the word was mercy. Pope Francis had declared it the Year of Mercy, so why not?

Although I never blogged about it, my word of the year for 2017 was balance. I think I quickly lost sight of that word.

This year, I decided to do something a little bit different and let fate (or perhaps it was really Jennifer Fulwiler) chose my word. Every year Jen create a “saint of the year” generator to help her fans pick a patron saint of the year. This year, I got St. Lucy.

She seems like a good fit since she was Italian and is a patron saint of writers. I’m also glad to hear she’s “against dysentery,” because who wants that! 🙂

Then Jen decided to create a word of the year generator. Since I had yet to come up with my own new word of the year, I decided to give it a whirl. Some people kept hitting the button until they came up with a word they liked, but I decided to go with the first word I got . . . and that word was . . .

According to my friend Merriam-Webster, “untangle” means “to loose from tangles or entanglement: straighten out,” and the examples MW gave are “untangle a knot; untangle a mystery.”

With work, my doctorate program, multiple circles of friends, writing groups, family, church events, Order of Malta work, writing projects, and speaking events, it certainly seems like my life has plenty of “threads,” each deserving of its own time and attention, but how to untangle them all? How to make sense of where and how to pay attention to each thread?

So that is my word of the year. In 2018, I will try to untangle any knots in my many threads. Who knows, I may even untangle the mystery of how to develop the plot for the sequel to Seven Riddles to Nowhere.


Some of you may also recall that I keep a Good News Jar every year. In this jar, I periodically drop in a slip of paper on which I have written some good news. While many good things happened during 2017, I only managed to get 15 pieces of good news into the jar this year. I think my friend Carmela Martino had far more in hers. We’ll see what happens in 2018!



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One Response to Word of the Year 2018! (And the Good News Jar of 2017)

  1. Amy, we reviewed all the “good things” in the jar today, but we didn’t count them. There were LOTS! My husband acutally adding one of his own–I’m usually the only one who thinks to do it. Funny thing is, he forgot all about doing it until he read the slip of paper. 🙂
    I hope 2018 brings MANY good things your way.

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