I find it fitting that this is my 112th blog post of the year, since we are leaving 2011 behind and going into 2012. As with everything else; it is all connected.
I know that 2011 was a tough year for many people--it wasn't a breeze for me either. But as I look back on it, I mostly see the positive. I am, when it comes down to it, a fortunate woman, blessed with friends, and home, and cats...and with you, my readers. Thank you for sharing 2011 with me. I hope you'll do the same in 2012.
So what did I accomplish in 2011?
On the writing front, I wrote another book for Llewellyn (#6, the Everyday Witch Book of Rituals, which will out around October of 2012), along with many articles for my ongoing column in the Witches & Pagans Magazine and a bunch of Llewellyn annuals and almanacs. I finished one novel, the foodie romance Reinventing Ruby, and worked on a number of novels that never saw it to the light of day for one reason or another. (For those of you who don't write, the path is never as smooth as it looks like from the outside, believe me.) I finally listened to the requests of my readers who said, "We don't want to wait any longer for your fiction," and epubbed my first novel, Witch Ever Way You Can (with much help from my long-suffering friend and web-mistress, Robin Wright).
I spent the year getting to know my agent, the fabulous Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency, and together, we expect great things in 2012.
I finally got to meet Elaine in person at RWA NYC in June, one of four writing-related trips I took during the year. (For someone who doesn't travel much, that's A LOT.) RWA was amazing, as was my trip to Salem in April for the New England Chapter RWA conference, where I got to meet one of my favorite authors, Lani Diane Rich. Both journeys also allowed me to meet up with a bunch of Betties, a group of women who first connected on Lani's blog and formed friendships whose depth has to be seen to be believed. (*Waves to the Betties*)My final trip was to nearby Albany with writer pal Nancy Holzner, where we had a lot of fun despite a less-than-successful event.
Of course, the first trip of the year was both the best and the worst: my journey to California in February, to bid my final farewells to my beloved Germambie (my maternal grandmother), but also to be together with both my sisters and my parents. That bittersweet time was followed by my visit to Pantheacon in San Jose, where I was much healed and comforted by the presence not only of my step-daughter Jenn (who lives there now), but also time spent with my adored Llewellyn editor Elysia Gallo, and many of my fans. As I said; the blessings far outweight the trials.
On the homefront, I spent much of the year doing a much-needed clearing and cleansing of my house; throwing away the old and unnecessary, clearing away clutter, and letting go of things that no longer worked for me. I can now see the floor of my barn, my entrance door is painted red, and the upstairs closets no longer hold boxes of things I moved in with ten years ago and never used. It feels good.
The five cats are all doing well, including Samhain, who is, in theory, dying of chronic renal failure, but who (thankfully!) hasn't seemed to realize it yet. I hope to have at least another year before she does. Two would be good. Three, even better.
I can't even begin to count the blessings of my life: a loving family, great friends, the best writing partner on the planet (yes, Lisa DiDio, I'm looking at you) as well as many wonderful writing pals, an agent, five cats, one very old but still-standing house, and a job I love most days. Don't get me wrong--there are plenty of things about my life that aren't perfect (you don't even want to know how long it has been since I had a relationship, or all the fun physical crap I get to deal with), but compared to people who don't have jobs, or a roof over their heads, or food on the table...frankly, I feel pretty lucky.
And then there is you. The folks who come here and read my ramblings. Who take the time to leave a comment, or go out and buy my books, or just show up. I thank you for this, and hope that, in the year to come, we can continue our travels together.
Wishing you a happy New Year, and (as my favorite author, Jennifer Crusie likes to say) "Nothing but good times ahead."
See you in 2012!