I always do this time of year. In fact, despite the cold, the wet, and the feeling exhausted from the rush of the holidays, this time of year, just after celebrating Christmas, and right before the New Year takes off, I feel a sense of hope and excitement. And a profound sense of accomplishment.
I like to take this time to look behind me and see how far I’ve come. I’m always amazed.
In 2008 I wrote three and a half single titles. I had five releases! I sold two more historicals. I won Pro Mentor of the year. I was the San Francisco Area RWA Chapter president for the second year in a row, and VP of Programs for the Black Diamonds RWA Chapter. I judged several contests, went to National, and several writer’s retreats. I blogged faithfully every other Monday at The Fog City Divas, every Friday over at Murder She Writes, here whenever the hell I felt like it, and guest blogged all over the cybersphere. I pimped myself like Huggy Bear. I launched another (the 4th!) First Line Contest. JADED was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award. MASTER OF SURRENDER was nominated for Best Historical over at Night Owl Reviews, and at Romance Novel TV, which by the way, voting is open until the 28th.
I entered several of my books in the RITAs, and volunteered to judge this year.
On the home front, I managed to get my last kid graduated from high school. He’s now in college and while it’s just a JC, for now, he’s doing a good job and is where he needs to be. Tabke # 2 married a great guy in October. I survived the year of preparation and the economic destruction that followed. And while I was not as involved as I should have been, my business is still chugging along, despite this economy to which it is so strongly tied. I survived Tabke #2 and her husband living with us since February, (and don’t tell them this, but I’m going to cry like a baby when they move out. I love having them here!) I survived a frustrating football season for hubby. Not only the Raiders but the college where he coaches. I have so far survived Baby, the psycho kitten. While the house hasn’t always glistened and glowed as I would prefer it to, I’m ok that sometimes the dust bunnies look more like tumbleweeds then what they really are.
But despite all of the above, and it’s all very good, the best part of 2008 has been my family and friendships. A lot of stuff has been put in perfect perspective for me this year. I told the kids right before the wedding when there was lots of drama going on that a person’s true character would rise to the top amidst this, oh, so emotional and special time. And when it does, those who love you most will show their true colors. And it was bittersweet in some ways, but a lesson well learned, not only by the children but by my husband and I. And because of it all, my life is so much simpler, but far richer then ever before. I like where I am, where I’m going, but mostly those who are close around me. I feel very much at peace. If I could change some things, would I? No, because the things I would change are things I can’t change. It’s taken me decades to figure that out. I can only be held accountable for my actions. No one else’s. Same with the crazy business of publishing. I can control the book. That’s it. I can’t control the economy, what the buying trends are, or if a book store goes out of business. Only the book. So going into 2009, I’m going to keep reminding myself, I cannot control anything except what I think, feel and do. Period.
I want to take this opportunity to say, thank you, to everyone who has supported me and my books this year. To my old true blue friends who have let me whine and moan and groan when I had no right to. To my new friends who have made me laugh and smile. To my family for putting up with my hellish deadline schedule, allowing me to do what I love so much to do. To my editor for pushing me to the brink of some really good writing! To my agent for her belief in me as a writer. To all of you who come by and visit, thank you! I do so enjoy the conversation. And while this may sound sappy to some, I want to thank God for his love.
I truly feel blessed and fortunate knowing I am surrounded by such goodness and light.
Happy New Year, Everyone!