Friday, January 8, 2010

"The road goes ever on and on..."

"...Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say..."

Thus Bilbo Baggins, leaving Bag End.

I love adventure. I love the beginnings of new adventures - as scary and queasy-making as they can be in those first few fresh steps - and that's sort of what this feels like for me. Well... it does and it doesn't.

Truthfully, last year this time was closer to the beginning of my adventure - not just a writer but an author. This year, I am no longer a debut author. And, for some reason, that makes it feel like the road is finally reeling out in front of me. Like I'm stepping off the gravel track onto the asphalt! It's scary and exhilirating, full of unseen destinations and encounters. And I can't. hardly. wait.

My first book is doing wonderfully thanks to all of you out there whove taken care of it and given it a home, or at least a place to stay for awhile. My second book, DARKLIGHT, is just now beginning its adventure out in the world. My editor will be sending back my edits on Book the Third in the series and I am breathless with anticipation. I have new projects on the go, and a brain full of stories, and a waiting keyboard, and the best story-sounding-board of a guy ever to help me find the right paths to take. I have the best agent in the world riding shotgun with me. I have family and friends lining the road flag-waving and cheering me on.

2010? Bring it. I have excellent walking shoes and I'm looking for the sign that says "Adventure --> THATAWAY"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010, I Already Love You!

I’m not a big New Year’s resolution maker, mainly because I always end up breaking them fairly quickly. But this year, I made myself one giant resolution, and that is to keep a positive attitude and just enjoy life. In doing so I have convinced myself already that 2010 is going to be an amazing year, and why shouldn’t it be? I have a lot to look forward to!

On the writing front I’ve got two, yes, two books releasing this year! In February, my second YA book, THE LIFE OF GLASS, will be out. And some time in the fall my first book for adults, THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS, will be out. Rather than feel stressed, scared, or overwhelmed (as I might have done last year when THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS came out), I have decided to simply be excited. No, thrilled, really. Just three short years ago, I greeted the new year with nothing but an unsold manuscript and some rejection letters, so two books out in one year is more than a dream come true for me. I’m also looking forward to all that comes with it, book signings and book sightings, and really, going from a debut author to the author of three published books, in just a few short months.

I’m also looking forward to finishing up my second adult book (which is in the final stages of revision right now) and hopefully finding a home for my third YA book. In between all my promoting and, you know, positive thinking, I would like to also find the time to start my next book. (I already have the idea, of course!)

On the personal front, this is the year I’ll celebrate my ten-year-anniversary with my husband and we’ll take our much-discussed vacation to celebrate (our first kid-free trip since our kids were born– we’ve had the grandparents booked already for three years!). Vegas, here we come! My oldest son will start going to school all day, and my youngest son will hopefully finally leave toddler-hood, tantrums, and diapers behind.

I know it’s going to be a busy year, and it’ll probably fly by, maybe too fast. But I’m also looking forward to enjoying the ride!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking Ahead

Forgive me, but I'm in a bit of a haze today. 2010 greeted my son and I with a wallop of a cold, so I spent much of last night surrounded by tissues, cold medicine and cough drops. To everyone out there who has kids, you know that it's one thing to be sick yourself, but it's quite another to have a germ-y child running around.

But, despite the not-so-warm welcome into this year, I have an inkling that 2010 will be the best year yet for all of us Novel Girls. 2010 is really the year where we move from debut writers to career writers, and I know it's going to be filled with lots of blessings.

Of course, I'm excited about launching my next book on May 25, Not Ready for Mom Jeans. I've said it before, but I'm having trouble realizing that it's time to get back into promo mode, since I'll soon have two babies out there. I hope that the world is just as kind to my second book as it has been to my first. I do wonder if it will be easier or harder to launch a book that isn't my "debut," but I guess I'll find out soon!

I'm also looking forward to turning in my option book, In My Life. I'm in the middle of doing a big revision due to some pretty awesome agent notes, so hopefully 2010 will be gentle and allow me to coast right through 'em!

On the personal side, in 2010 my energetic toddler will turn three. I'm hoping the terrible twos will taper off as his birthday grows near! Lately, I've had to drag him out of bookstores, kicking and screaming, more times than I care to share. (You would think that it's a good idea for Barnes and Noble to have a Thomas the Train playset. You would be wrong, as it only leads to toddler furor when it's time to leave.)

I'm also looking forward to taking some trips this year. My husband and I will most likely make the trip out west and go skiing in Colorado again, and we'll shoot on down south to Hilton Head, South Carolina sometime this summer. I'm sure we'll also make a few weekend trips up to Wisconsin, to enjoy all of the beer, cheese, snow and water sports that are just an hour away.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm looking forward to reading even MORE books by my fellow Novel Girls. I love pointing to your books and declaring to everyone I know that, "I KNOW her! No, really!"


Monday, January 4, 2010

A Look at 2009 -- A Week Late!

So, last week I inadvertantly jumped ahead a week in my blog topic, so this week, I'm going to write about last week's topic. Sigh. I guess I truly couldn't wait for 2010 to get started!

In looking back over 2009, I'm astounded at how many things changed in my life. I began 2009 as an unpublished author; amazed, excited, and more than a little scared about the release of my first book, A TASTE OF MAGIC, and my second, A STROKE OF MAGIC. I hadn't received my first official review yet, and I'd yet to know the joy of recieving reader e-mails.

Also, 2009 is the year my eldest entered adulthood and left her high school years behind for her first year of college. Wow. I remember the day she was born in perfect clarity: her chubby cheeks, those so small hands and feet, and the terrifying fear that I was responsible for keeping her alive and happy. Scary stuff when you're barely 21! Even scarier when I realize she's now 19, and only two years younger than I was when she was born.

But wow, has she made me proud (and continues to do so).

2009 also brought grief in the loss of my aunt and god-mother: an amazing woman filled with love, kindness, and creativity. I miss her every day, and don't expect that will ever change, but she also gave me so many gifts to treasure.

And, of course, the economy has hit us hard. We've been without medical insurance for over a year now (hopefully, that status will change soon!), and we've really had to tighten the belt around here to keep things going. Weirdly, though, we're also closer than ever before.

Delightfully, my husband sold his first book in a three book deal in 2009. I'm so excited to see him experience all of the firsts that I've already gone through. And it's pretty darn special to share something so awesome with him.

So, as I sit here in the beginning days of 2010, I'm still shocked at all the changes--both the good and the bad, but I'm focusing on the good. My third book, A BREATH OF MAGIC, will be released at the end of April, seeing my second oldest graduate from high school and make the transition into college, and watching my younger two continue to grow and experience life.

I'm happy, I'm loved, and really...I can't think of a better way to end one year and step into a new one.