Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Missing Link (Get It)

I tried to add the link, but obviously didn't do it right. Anyway here is where the article is and if you want to read it you'll have to cut and paste, because I'm not sure how to link to it. Sorry.


New Year = a Good Way

Happy 2009! Like the other girls,I'm not one to make resolutions. When my husband and I were first married I used to make him write down five things he wanted to accomplish in the new year. I would then take both of our lists and tuck them away until the end of the year. On New Year's Day I would take out our lists and read them, anxious to see if we accomplished what we had hoped we would.It was a fun exercise, but we seldom succeeded at any of the goals we had set. So over the years I have abandoned that ritual and instead adopted the practice of "wait and see." I have no idea what this year will be like for me, so I'll just wait and see what happens.
Already this year has gotten off to an interesting start. Two weeks prior to Christmas I got a weird email from my editor requesting a time for him to call me.I knew in my gut that something wasn't right. It was one of those moments where your intuition tells you to prepare for the worst, despite your heart telling you to be hopeful. Well my intuition was right. My middle grade novel was in limbo. Due to the financial hit the publishing industry has taken as of late, my publishing house has had to cut their publishing lists in half. As a result my book has been put on the back burner until 2010.
I was suddenly faced with two options: Hold out and wait until 2010 for the book to possibly be published if the economy improves, or take the book back and shop it around. I discussed it with my agent and we decided to take the book back. If it doesn't get published, then that is a chance I'm willing to take. I was actually surprised at how well I handled it. I must be getting used to disappointment.
On the up side I have a new project I'm in the middle of. In addition to my book writing, I'm also a freelance journalist. I recently pitched an idea to my editor at the Toronto Sun newspaper (Sun Media) and she accepted the pitch. Starting on Monday I will be living the rest of the year like a 1950's housewife, right down to the hair, clothes and makeup (and everything in between). I will be writing about it in a monthly column and blog for Sun Media (the first one ran on Dec. 28th, you can check out the link here)
I have been madly researching everything to do with the Fifties and buying circle skirts and wiggle dresses online. That has helped to keep my mind of my book situation. I'll keep you all posted about any developments that popped up and I hope you'll check out my article whenever you get the chance. In the meantime, I look forward to reading each of my "novel girls" debut books. Seeing their books come out and witnessing their joy in the whole experience, helps to reaffirm why I stick this.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's 2009 already? Seriously?

Okay. So maybe my resolution should be to pay more attention then.
Because I'm still not entirely sure where 2008 went.

Honestly, though... the fact is I'm lousy at the whole resolution-thing.

I used to try and make them. Never worked.
You know, the usual stuff - eat better, exercise more, get organized (and all of those other things fall under the dust-coated, laundry-bedecked heading of "clean your room!")... forget it.

Ask my mom.

It just doesn't happen. In fact, it usually actively unhappens. It's like my resolve mocks me if I formally call upon its power. Perverse I tell you. Best if I just ignore it and carry on, really.
But all right. For the purposes of this post, I will ruminate on what I would resolve to do if I actually did that kind of thing.

I thoroughly expect this year to be at least as much of a whirlwind as last year was. And if I was going to resolve to do anything that I'm not already doing, I suppose it would be simply this: pay attention.

Pay attention to the little things. The big things don't seem to care if you notice them - they aren't going anywhere. But the little things... if you stop seeing the daily cool stuff, stop noticing the miniscule goodies that lurk just out of the corner of your eye, stop doing those double-takes at all the tiny jewel-like moments that take you by surprise... then you can lose a whole week or a month or a year just like that.

I didn't exactly lose 2008 - that was, quite frankly, writerly exagerration - and I wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world! But in all the crazy, swooping big stuff that was happening, I'm pretty sure that I might have missed a bit of wonder here and there.

So yeah. If there's anything I would resolve to do in 2009 (and I'm NOT, remember, because then I won't!) it's simply that.

Pay attention.

So Happy (what year is this again? - oh right!) 2009!
Have a wonderful, attentive year everyone!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Like Tracy, I haven’t made resolutions in years. I have long-term goals – things that I want to accomplish that don’t depend on it being January 1st. I actually have a list of them, sitting right here next to me inside my desk drawer. Awhile back, I decided if I wrote down all the things I want to happen in my writing career, then maybe it would help make those things real. Or at least it was a way to make myself feel more accountable. Or put some good karma into the world. I’m not sure.

It’s not that I don’t love January 1st – because I do: The feeling of being able to start over, to start fresh, to have a clean slate. I love the endless possibility of what could or might be, and this year, more than any other year since 2000 (when I both graduated college and got married) I am so looking forward to the New Year. 2009 will always be my debut year, the year of my first book. It’s something I’ve been waiting for and wanting my whole life, and I can hardly believe that this year is finally here.

But as for New Year’s resolutions, well, the ones I came up with earlier in the week were already mentioned by Maureen and Lisa (Thus, why it’s sometimes hard to post on Thursday!) Like Lisa, I, too, am planning on giving up sugar cold turkey. (Hey Lisa, we should sponsor each other!) Normally, I don’t even eat very much sugar, but this year, something happened right around Thanksgiving (or maybe it was Halloween??), and there has been a constant influx of pies, candy, and dessert in my house that I haven’t been able to stay away from. So that’s it. No more. I’m done. I’m ready to say good-bye to the last five pregnancy pounds that have stubbornly settled in my middle. I know a complete exodus from sugar might do it once and for all. (That and probably like a gazillion sit-ups, but I know I can never stick to that one, so I’ll start with the sugar resolution instead.)

Like Maureen, I also resolve to enjoy what comes my way with the publication of my first book this February. In the past few months, I’ve been so preoccupied with writing and revising my second book and worrying about my future projects, that I’ve almost forgotten to stop and realize how great the moments with the first book are and will be.

And to put this on a grander scale, I’m also going to resolve to try to stop worrying so much about the little things, and to just remember to take the time to enjoy life and my family. In addition to all the great publishing things that happened in my life this past year, a few people in my extended family also passed away and got sick, and it’s made me want to stop worrying about what might be, the things that are out of my control, and relish what is, all the wonderful things I do have.

So here’s to a sugar-free, worry-free, enjoyable debut book year!

Happy 2009!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's The Little Things

Without January 1 on my calendar I would be in big trouble. I always TRY to set goals and resolutions. I mean, why not? It's as good a time as any to make a fresh start.

Last year, on January 2, I slid into my local gym just in time to take advantage of the New Year special. A three year commitment was only $24.99 per month. WOW, I remember thinking. I've scored big time. What a great deal! . . . They got the deal. This year's resolution is to actually see the inside of the place and step onto the equipment.

I'm also planning on giving up sweets. That's right. A sweetsaholic is contemplating quitting cold turkey. The last week of 2008 has been spent consuming every single sweet in my path. I've even baked pies in the last few days that I haven't had in years in a farewell ceremony. I don't know who I think I'm fooling.

But one resolution I am dead set on keeping is not taking my life or those I love for granted. 2008 brought enlightenment, and although the path that led there may not have been my choice, for the first time in my life I'm really and truly enjoying the little things. I'm smelling the flowers. I'm going to the art show that I may have passed up because I was too busy. I'm even using my good china. If I love someone I tell them. No matter who it is.

I can't remember when I've looked more forward to the start of a new year than 2009. MY FIRST NOVEL IS COMING OUT! Oh-my-goooooosh! It makes me want to run through the house screaming for the fiftieth time. I'm actually going to be able to hold Whistlin' Dixie In A Nor'easter in my hand. I can't wait to see what happens and like Maureen, I'm going to enjoy every single second of it.

Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here's To A Wondrous New Year's!

New Year's resolutions? Aren't we doing this post a little early? I mean, it's not even...Oh. Right.

Forgive me. I'm still in shock from the Christmas holiday. Fifteen hours in a car, thanks to an apocalyptic ice storm in Indiana, with my toddler has rendered my brain into oatmeal. Not to mention I still have two books to revise in the next two weeks...

But, yes. New Year's resolutions. I could rattle off a whole list of promises, like not eating fast food six times a week, getting at least eight hours of sleep, working out every day, drinking less wine, etc.

But let's get serious. While all of those are worthwhile intentions, I have a vision of myself in February, happily eating McDonald's fries and drinking a glass of nice Cabernet. So, I'd rather focus on a bigger picture resolution--especially one connected to writing.

My primary resolution for next year is to enjoy the publishing roller coaster. To celebrate every little step. To always feel the joy and to never take anything for granted. To remind myself how lucky I am to know exactly when I will hold a copy of my book in my hands. To always feel a little jolt in my stomach when I see my name on Amazon.

(Oh but Amazon? You're on notice. WHERE is my copy of Wondrous Strange? You said it was to arrive yesterday, yet my doorstep was sad, forlorn and empty all day. Now you're saying it will arrive today. It better. I cannot ring in the new year without it!)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolutions? Really?

I quit making New Year's resolutions years ago. Like maybe a decade ago. It's not that there's nothing in my life I want to work on (because there definitely is), and it's not that I don't think resolutions are important (because I do). It's more that I think New Year's resolutions don't least for me.

If I want to make a change, the worst thing I can do is wait until January 1st to begin making that change. Well, unless I've just decided on this new direction sometime at the end of December...then MAYBE I could see waiting until 1/1 to begin a plan of action. But I've learned that all January 1st means to me (as far as resolutions go) is yet another way to procastinate.

And trust me, I am an expert at procrastinating. Therefore, my "New Year's resolution" many years ago was to have no more "New Year's resolutions." Instead of facing the new year with a list of things I want to accomplish, I think about what I already accomplished in the prior year, and I celebrate those things.

That's not to say I don't have things I want to accomplish in 2009, becuase of course I do. But they're nothing new, nothing I've held on to waiting for January 1st to arrive...they're long-term goals I've been systematically working on, one at a time...and I will continue to do so in 2009. I'm sure new goals will be born in the next year, and when they are, I'll begin working on them. So, when 2010 comes calling, I can take a look at 2009 and celebrate.

So as 2008 comes to a close, I'm celebrating the year. Twelve months of family, friends, work, laughter, tears, surprises, dreams, hugs, and so much more. It is definitely a year to remember.

Happy New Year! I wish all of you only the best for 2009.


On another note...Wondrous Strange? It is amazing! And beautiful! And I need to get back to! :)

On yet another note: If there are errors in this post, please forgive them. My family has been battling the flu since Christmas Day. I'm a little out of it...but I think we're all on the mend, or at least close to it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Chance!!

There's only a few days left to enter our contest!! If you want the chance to win a signed, hardcover copy of Lesley Livingston's WONDROUS STRANGE, become a follower of The Novel Girls by January 1, 2009. (Click "follow this blog" on the right hand side -- you may have to scroll down a little bit.)

Happy New Year!
The Novel Girls