Year in Review

I can’t believe it’s the last day of 2011 already. A whole lot has happened this year, both good and bad, but overall I was very blessed.

On the family front, we bought a cabin at our favorite mountain spot, took trips to Monterey, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, L.A. and Humboldt. (Not including the trip I took by myself to RWA New York City!!) We picnicked, spa’d, soccered, laughed, smore’d, bbq’d and all around cherished our time together.

On the writing front, I published three books this year, got some really great reviews, sold three other books that are coming out in 2012, met some of my writing idols, killed a chunk of my TBR pile, and learned some tools to help me with character development that I hadn’t thought about before.

And, if you don’t mind, I’d like to keep my NYE tradition alive…I make really freaking lofty goals every year, strive my best to do a tad over normal, then see where I land.

Here’s my list of goals for 2011 that I wrote at the end of 2010:

*Sell a book in The Crimson Bay Series to one of the major publishing houses in NYC.
*Find an editor who believes in my work like I do.
*Write every day
*Spend more time enjoying the little things rather than worrying about them.
*Finish another two books: the third in The Crimson Bay Seres and another (maybe a paranormal YA??? I’m tossing ideas around…)
*Final in the Daphne duMaurier Contest
*Final in the Golden Heart Contest

Now…for those of you in the writing biz, you know how hard some of those goals are to reach in a single year. (A final in both Daphne and GH?!? What was I thinking?)

But overall I think I did all right. I didn’t only find one editor who believes in my work, but two. I’m working with the wonderfully talented Esi Sogah over at HarperCollins and AnnLeslie Tuttle at Harlequin. What stuns me about these women is that they’re not only knock-your-socks-off smart, but very kind. They not only care about the writing, but about the writers, as well. I’m a lucky gal.

I didn’t write every day, but darn close…minus the two month hiatus when I had men working in my kitchen during the remodel. My writing time was sucked up into the Home Depot vortex. Other than that, I think I was on the money.

I have been enjoying the little things. Instead of worrying how I’m going to afford gas back and forth to San Francisco Friday and Saturday for SFARWA meetings, I just go to the dinners Friday night, have a great freaking time, turn around, drive home, drive back in the morning, spend time with really great friends, and figure the friendships made are worth more than the money spent. That’s just one example, but a good one, I think.

I didn’t finish the third book in the Vampires of Crimson Bay series, but it’s 1/4 done and IT SOLD to Avon Impulse, the publisher who bought the first two. I also wrote two paranormal novellas and sold them to Harlequin Cravings.

(And, in case you were curious, I don’t have any plans to write a paranormal YA. Not anymore. I’ve got two other paranormal series stirring up in my brain after the Vampires of Crimson Bay series. I’m going to focus on those. My agent will KILL ME if I come at her with a YA at this point. ;))

Lastly, I didn’t final in either contest. HOWEVER, I got really good scores (or at least really good for me–best yet),and one of my critique partners finaled. Seeing her all dolled up, heading to the Death by Chocolate Award Ceremony at RWA in NYC…I just couldn’t be happier for her. For now, I’m living vicariously through her. 🙂

Okay…Really Freaking Lofty Writing Goals for 2012…that’s the official title. Officially.

*Final in the Daphne (I want this sucker so bad…)
*Write and sell a third (and maybe a forth) novella in the Isle of Feralon series for HQN (Cravings)
*Write every day
*Write and sell another dark, gritty, sexy paranormal full-length novel to a major publishing house for a traditional print run. I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to work with HarperCollins again…time will tell.

Okay…I think that’s it. Of course I could say I want a brilliantly starred RT review or to hit the NYT and USA Today Bestsellers lists, but I won’t put those goals here. Not yet. I haven’t made it to the point where I can start looking that far ahead without feeling like it’s unreachable. Know what I mean? It’s like waking up every morning saying you’re going to hit the lottery. Sure, it’s a goal. It could happen. But that doesn’t belong on any Really Freaking Lofty Goal Lists either.

And what would a year in review be without The Year in Review from JibJab? Enjoy!

Hope you have a wonderful New Year! Bring it, 2012! I’m ready!

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