Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve, 2006

Well, here we are at Christmas again. It's hard to believe how quickly the last year has flown by. Actually, it's kind of scary, now that I stop to think about it. How does time go by so fast and where the heck does it go? I remember watching Rudolph's Shiny New Year as a kid (you know, the one with Baby New Year and his gi-normous ears?), and on that show, the years all went to the Archipelago of Time (or something like that). I always thought it was a cool idea, and it would be cooler still if you could actually visit one of those islands. How awesome would that be - say you wanted to see what Colonial America was really like. Well, just pop on over to 1776 and check out the beginning of the Revolution. Okay, I'll admit, it's a little dorky, but I'm a history nerd, so I think it'd be totally cool.

So, as we reach Christmas, my mind begins to wander and I reflect back (really, who doesn't, actually?). I've taken most of this month off, and so haven't really been posting - altho I have popped up in comment threads on a few of the other blogs I read. Sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut. It's a blessing and a curse.

And now, I'll be a little self-indulgent and look back to the good things that have happened.

It's hard to believe that my son, who is a little over a year old now, is no longer that tiny bologna loaf we brought home from the hospital. He's walking now (drunken baby on the loose, look out!), and he's starting to talk. Dada and cat are two of his favorite words. He doesn't know the meaning of the words having a bad day, even though he was having the mother of all bad days yesterday. I've never seen such a happy baby (or happy toddler, I guess is the right word). Even his pediatrician is always saying, You know, this boy needs to smile more as my little man's giggling away during his examination. He's a little ray of sunshine and endless joy.

My daughter started kindergarten this year. She's five going on twenty-five. Her birthday's a few days after Christmas and it's hard to believe that that bologna loaf we brought home from the hospital is going to be six. She says the damndest things - like the morning she woke her dad up by saying, 'Hey, big guy. Mom says time to get up.'. Or my favorite gem (during a road trip to the shore to visit her grandparents) 'You know what? We're ahead of all the other cars behind us!'. I swear I couldn't make this stuff up. She comes out with the funniest things sometimes. She's a little moodier than her brother, but it's so hard to remember what life was like before she was born. Scary to think, really...

I had two books released this year. My first came out in February to four and five star reviews and reader raves (yay!). I recieved my first fan letter as well, which was a total and wonderful shock. My second book was released this December 1st. I'm waiting on the reviews, but I hope to write that they are equally good. It's been one hell of a ride, and I'm looking forward to see what next year holds.

I've discovered some terrific blogs out there (which take me away from writing, but they are soooo worth it!). In particular, here they are:

1. Miss Snark - I read her religiously and often comment there. I've gotten into some silly arguments on that blog, but then received a lot of 'go get 'ems' from other readers, so there you have it. Check her out. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

2. Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books - If you need a laugh, check out this one. They are sarcastic and witty and funny as hell. I highly recommend any post regarding romance novel covers. And check out their reviews - they give honest reviews, regardless of the author. In short, they'll shred Nora Roberts as easily as they would a newbie.

3. Agent Kristin Nelson - Now, I'll admit, I've queried Agent Kristin several times without any luck and I grit my teeth and swear under my breath, but I'm hooked on her blog (and apparently a huge sadist, since I keep trying). She's given me a great insight into the world of agenting.

4. Agent Nadia Cornier - I sat in on her presentation at NJRW's Put Your Heart in a Book conference this past October and this chick rocks.

5. The Rejector - Go take a peek at what it's like for an assistant at a literary agency. I've gotten into spats over there as well and it's pretty funny.

6. Writer Beware - This is probably the best blog for writers who are just starting out. Their whole goal is simply to educate against the sleazeball scammers out there who prey on writers who don't know what the hell they're doing yet. They're a great source of information to keep writers from becoming separated from their money by unscrupulous agents and publishers (such as PublishAmerica) who exist to crush dreams all the while ripping off their authors.

7. Preditors & Editors - This isn't a blog, it's a website, but Dave & Co. share kudos with Writer Beware for the same reason. P&E is entirely devoted to publishers and agents and whether or not a writer can trust them, or whether they should run like hell in the other direction. For anyone out there thinking of doing the PublishAmerica route, please take a look at P&E. They've got a whole section devoted to this publisher. (and I use that term very loosely). It's backed up by actual testimonials and the like. It'll open your eyes and make your hair stand on end.

Oh, this list could take days - but these are my top ones - the ones I look at almost daily (or, as in Miss Snark's case, several times daily!).

And so, as the new year rapidly approaches (and I gear up for another year of writing and, hopefully, publishing) there were other things that happened as well. My other half had shoulder surgery on the 12th and he's beginning PT real soon, which is going to be brutal on him. Right now, he can only lift his arm slightly and his range of motion is just about zero. He tore his rotator cuff and, from what we've both heard, it's a rough recovery. The surgery's the easy part. It's the rehab that's the killer. It's going to be a long winter for us, I think.

I have several new projects in the works along with the pirates. I'm working on a sequel to my first book, a paranormal that's been pretty fun to write so far, and some ideas are brewing for a new historical. So 2007 looks to be a busy as this year's been. With any luck, it will also be as successful.

Merry Christmas!


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