Bobbi Ann Johnson Holmes

Looking Back on 2020…

I was not terrific about blogging in 2020. Will I do better in 2021? I don’t know.

Today I sat down and wrote my annual Christmas letter. It’s a tradition in our family, where we each sit down and write about the year just ending. We normally do it on Christmas night, but some years, like in 2020, I waited until today. The letters are then put in a Christmas scrapbook. Now that our kids are adults—one living in Alaska and the other in Portland, they no longer contribute pages to the book. I wish they would.

2020 was a rough year for our country and the world. For me it started off bringing my mother home from the hospital after a stroke. We spent the next two months dealing with her rehabilitation and nurses coming to our home to help her with therapy and showers.

Just weeks after her therapy ended, the country went into a lockdown because of Covid, and since then we have been sheltering in place.

I did venture out to YouTube, and started an Authortube channel. I put out 15 videos, and then stopped when I didn’t have anything new to add. If I think of something, I might add another video, but it was only done as a needed distraction during the early days of lockdown.

I then turned to cooking. I started making my own homemade pasta, and even splurged on an attachment for my Kitchenaid.

After I figured out pasta, I moved to sourdough bread. My sister, who was also faithfully sheltering in place, had been making sourdough bread, so she walked me through the sourdough starter process and shared her recipe.

When it comes to pasta noodles and sourdough bread, I will be sticking to homemade. I love them both.  

I also tried cheese making for the first time, a simple farm cheese. My next adventure in the kitchen is fermenting. I think I will start with fermenting salsa.

When I’m not in the kitchen, I am in front of my computer. In fact, I am doing another sort of fermenting right now, figuring out the plot to my next Haunting Danielle book, The Ghost and the Mountain Man.

Professionally it was a good year for me. I published three Haunting Danielle books, and all were well received. Dreamscape Media released my Coulson Family Saga in audiobook, and I was thrilled with what the narrator did with them. Plus, I had several audiobook releases in my Haunting Danielle series, and I always love what that narrator does.

In November I had to say goodbye to a dear friend–Spooky the Halloween Cat. We estimate he was about eighteen. While he was my cat, the last two years he had moved in with Mom and been wonderful company for her. Mom cried for days after he traveled the rainbow bridge. She misses her buddy, but I know he is now with Lady and free from pain.

Wishing all of us a much better new year. 

Dream Hopping: Who said it first?

This morning I received a letter from a fan telling me she had just watched Netflix’s new series, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and wanted to let me know they were using a term I frequently use in my Haunting Danielle series—dream hopping.

My definition of dream hopping is when a spirt enters your dream. He or she might also pull another spirit or another dreaming person into your dream. I first started using this term in my books back in 2014, when writing The Ghost Who Wasn’t, which was published early 2015. Dream Hops have become a familiar element in my series.

The concept of a spirit entering your dream is nothing new. However, I thought I was being super clever coming up with the term ‘dream hop,’ but apparently, I wasn’t. As it says in Ecclesiasticsthere is nothing new under the sun.

I did a little Google search on the term. Back in 2017, two years after I published The Ghost Who Wasn’t, some guy registered the domain, dreamhopping.com, and he claims Dream Hopping is a trademarked term, but when I did a trademark search, it didn’t come up. I am not suggesting he lied; something might have been wrong with the search engine I used.

As I continued to search, I found other people using “Dream Hopping,” even a recent SpongeBob episode. When Googling the term, I found it scattered all over the internet, yet none coming up before I used the term.

But then I found a post from 2005—a decade prior to the publishing of The Ghost Who Wasn’t. It was on a dream forum I had never heard of before or visited. Member issaiah1332 wrote a post entitled “Dream Hopping,” and then went on to ask if it was possible to hop into another person’s dream. 

His or her question was not about ghost dream hopping. So, while I obviously can’t claim I coined the term, was I the first to use it when referring to a spirit visiting us in our sleep? Probably not. 

Hello, are you out there?

A few weeks after the pandemic was officially declared in the US and many of us went into lockdown, I decided to give an AuthorTube channel a go. It’s basically a YouTube channel aimed toward other authors and curious readers.

I had no aspirations of becoming the next YouTube star or influencer. My reasons for starting a channel were pretty basic. I needed an outlet during this time of isolation, and I wanted to pay it forward by helping aspiring authors.

It’s probably a good thing I had no grand dreams of YouTube stardom, considering my views have been minimal. But to be honest, if someone wants their YouTube channel to rack up views, they have to consistently make new videos. In the beginning I uploaded a new video each week, but it’s been about a month since I posted a new one.

I’ve enjoyed making the videos, and I am not quitting, but I won’t be making another one until I feel there is something I really want to share with other writers or my readers.  Fact is, my writing keeps me pretty busy, and when it comes down to it, that’s my number one priority.

I’m currently work on Book 26 in the Haunting Danielle series, The Ghost and the Witches’ Coven. I normally have more down time between books, but I charged right into this one, which is another reason, no new AuthorTube videos. I’m having fun writing this new book, hope my readers will like it.

I know many of you have been getting back in the world—I see those photos on social media of people with friends or at restaurants.  But I am still living the reclusive life, because of our household’s medical concerns. Hope you are all doing well out there, and if you are getting out in the world again, please be careful and take the necessary precautions.