I've been reflecting on 2009 lately - a year end tradition for many of us, I'm sure. There is so much to be thankful for - here is my short list of fab moments:
January: Blog Novel Matters goes live. As life-changing relationships go, my friendship with these five authors is right near the top. The blog enriches my life, educates me, challenges me as a writer. The friendships of Sharon K. Souza, Kathleen Popa, Latayne C. Scott, Patti Hill, and Debbie Fuller Thomas are answers to prayer.
February: Party month: Heather turned six, Ben turned eight, Steve turned forty-six, and we partied like crazy.
March: Your Best You: Discovering and Developing the Strengths God Gave You releases. To celebrate, I hold a one day seminar in Saskatoon - a life-changing event for all of us. It was a privilege to be in the room and witness the things God was doing in the lives of the women present.
April: Travel to California to attend the career track at Mount Hermon. All six Novel Matters women attended. We inhabited two cabins, held nightly late night chats and readings (I LOVED listening to the authors read from their current works. Amazing!), and reveled in each other's company. Pure joy from start to finish.
May: Advance copies of Talking to the Dead arrive at my home. I hold a copy of my first novel and feel at a loss for words (always a problem for a writer). The words, "Thank you, God" are spoken often.
June: Talking to the Dead releases. Interviews, blog tours, radio, signings - a flurry of activity and fun. Reviews pile up - I'm overwhelmed with gratitude by the positive response to the novel. It had the joy of spending time with my amazing publisher Don Pape, and my editor, Nicci Jordan Hubert. We hung out in Ontario, ate great food, laughed, dreamed a little, laughed some more. Definitely a highlight!
Later that month Steve is ordained in a ceremony in Calgary - I kiss The Reverend.
July: Promotion for Talking to the Dead takes over life and limb - it is fun and fantastic. It is also the coldest July EVER and gaffers nearly freeze at swimming lessons at outdoor pool. Proud Mom moment: Ben learns to ride a two wheeler in one long (sometimes tearful) day. Way to go, Ben!
August: Talking to the Dead goes into third printing. New ideas/proposals for novels make their way to the page as I work on the outline for my next novel (coming 2010!). Hubby celebrates my birthday by giving me a framed cover of Talking to the Dead with a card signed by everyone at David C. Cook.
September: Heather starts grade one (Ben grade three) and I suddenly have full days in which to work! We take a road trip to Alberta where I teach at a writer's conference and present a two day seminar for Your Best You.
Talking to the Dead is chosen as a winter pick for She Reads - my introductory post spurs a heartfelt host of comments - 170 comments by the time we are done!
October: A Saskatchewan Your Best You seminar and the start of a seven week Your Best You small group helps women make a fresh start. Plans to take Your Best You to the inner city develop (we start Your Best You in the downtown core of Saskatoon January 29th!).
November: My first royalty cheque arrives! Much blinking and blinking, and thankfulness to everyone who bought a copy of Talking to the Dead. I'm amazed, humbled, and grateful to each of you!
Complete manuscript for new novel - Title? Time and Time Again (details to come early 2010)
Novel Matters and She Reads announce a partnership between blogs that will knit together the communities of writers and readers.
December: Ten thousand Christmas concerts/dinners/recitals for gaffers. They sing, dance, play piano, wear sparkly tinsel, memorize lines - and perform with aplomb (Mommy watches it all with teary eyes and a heart bursting with joy and pride). Talking to the Dead is listed in Rachelle Gardner's Favorite Fiction in 2009.
Yes, it's been an amazing, and sometimes exhausting year. You have been a huge part of making 2009 fantastic!
I bid you Merry Christmas, and good writing!