Two thousand nine. Hmmmmm. What a year. Just to be able to say "I'm a published author" is surreal. My road to publication was anything but smooth so I suppose that makes it all the sweeter. Well - I can say that now. You couldn't have convinced me of that when I was in the middle of rejection hell by a large quantity of agents and publishers. But yes, I'm holding my debut novel in my hand and it's beautiful and it's dedicated to my boys. It's also dedicated to single mothers. I've been one for many years and I know how hard it is to keep the candle burning.
One can't reflect on an entire year without counting blessings. I couldn't be more grateful for my editor and for my agent. Not only are they gifted at their jobs but I'm even more happy to call each of them my friend. This journey has given us lots of time to get to know one another and my only regret is that I'm not their age! I wish I could fly up to New York and meet them for dinner, laugh about the stuff they laugh about and join in on their twenty-something conversations. I do try and to their credit neither one of them have ever once made me feel like I could be their mom.
What else? Let's see. Ohhhh, I'm still in shock over this one . . . I became an empty-nester this past year. My baby left for college! Now both of my boys are at universities and are working on artsy majors. I guess that means there's no hope for a business person in my home. Wall Street will remain as illusory as it ever was. Michael is majoring in photo-journalism and Will wants to be an audio-engineer. He'll hopefully be a record producer and Michael will either heed the call of the wild and jet off to Africa, work his way over to the action in Iraq (over my dead body he's been known to run forward while looking backward), or more optimistically he'll get a job with the Tennessean, stay close to home and marry and father a granddaughter especially for moi!
On the low side, I lost someone very dear to me. Josiah Berger, a lovely fun-loving and wonderful nineteen-year-old young man, was my son's best friend. He had watched me labor over every draft of Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter since he was a young boy. He never missed an opportunity to encourage me and his smile has left an indelible print on my heart and in my mind.
And finally, 2009 has brought new relationships that I never, ever expected and that's been thrilling. I have been richly blessed by so many people. Old friends and new friends, bookstore personnel, book reviewers & bloggers, and especially the lovely folks who have bought my book. To everyone who has written to me, encouraged me, edified me, invited me to be a part of your book club meetings or shown up at my book signings, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To my fellow Novel Girls, I'm hoping to actually meet y'all this year. The RWA convention is in Nashville. What to you say? Let's meet there with a party after at my house???
Happy 2010 to all of our loyal Novel Girl Followers. I hope it's filled with more joy than your heart could possible desire. Thank you for sticking with us.
Much love and peace to you all! Lisa