Hello 2012, or What I Was Up To In 2011

Hello, internet, I’ve missed you.

Last winter I started off the year with the belief that I was going to blog regularly.  I thought that if I expanded my blog topics to include, well, everything, that I’d never run out of things to blog about.  What I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t a shortage of topics that was keeping me from blogging – it was a shortage of time and desire to blog.  That said, I’ve really missed having a place to talk about all the new and great things that have been going on in my life.  So, without further ado…

In 2011, I:

  • Turned 35 years old
  • Finished first drafts on not one but two(!) novels
  • Bought a house with my husband – our first!
  • Moved to West Seattle
  • Went to my first (and second) writing conference
  • Went on my first writing retreat

So it was a pretty big year of firsts for me.  Most of my summer and fall were spent house shopping and making the new house a home.  Now we’re all moved in and I’m thrilled we won’t have to move again if we don’t want to.  I love the new house!  It’s little but it’s really cute and is perfect for us.

I have named 2012 as “The Year of Making Things Happen.”  One of the things I hope to make happen this year is this blog.  Another is my photography – I’ve got a lot of unprocessed photos that I’ve started to clean up, so look for those in my flickr feed soon.  I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking and baking, so I’ll be posting recipes and such here also.  As for the rest of my time, I’ve got two novels to revise and prepare for submissions to agents, so it’s going to be a busy year for me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Coming Out of the Writing Closet

I have a confession.  It’s a deep,dark secret that I haven’t really talked about here before.

I am writing a book.

Yes, you heard me right.  I’m just over 30,000 words into my first draft of a young adult novel about a girl who doesn’t know she’s a witch.

Please don’t laugh too hard, okay? :)

I’ve been writing fiction for about a year and a half.  I haven’t mentioned it because saying that I’m writing a novel is like saying that I’m going to climb Mount Everest.  Lots of people SAY they’re going to do it, and some people try to do it, but very few are successful.  As someone who doesn’t have the greatest track record at finishing things I start, I don’t think I was convinced I’d really ever actually finish the book.  Yet here I am, telling you I’ve written thirty thousand (!!!!) words, and I really think I can finish it.  It may even be a halfway decent read when it’s done.

Writing a novel is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I love the process, but there are days when it’s just excruciating.  I regularly doubt my concept, my plot and my writing skills.  There are days when eking out even 250 words feels like the hardest thing I could ever do, because every word I write feels wrong.  But there are also days when the writing feels really right, and the characters surprise me, and I surprise myself.

I have pledged over at Jo Knowles’ LiveJournal that 2011 will be my Year of Being a Writer, and I have pledged on Kaz Mahoney’s blog to write at least 250 words daily, so I’ve got a lot of writing to do!  I’m not the fastest writer in the world (I just might be be slowest), but I’m pushing on and loving it, even on the really hard days.

Whoa.  Feels good to get that out there.  Thanks for not laughing too much. :)

Merry Christmas!!

Shiny and Sparkly

On November 30 the movers came and packed and loaded all our belongings, and that evening we got on a plane and flew to Seattle, Washington. In the last 3 weeks we found a new apartment in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, moved in and started unpacking. We’ve barely had time to breathe let alone decorate for Christmas, but fortunately one of the radio towers in Queen Anne is decorated like a Christmas tree, so each night we fall asleep to the lights of a very tall and rather skinny tree sparkling in the sky outside our bedroom window.

This year the cards and presents that we’re sending are late, and all our decorations are in boxes waiting to be unpacked. We don’t even have a wreath on door. But we’re happy and healthy, and our family and friends are doing well, so I really can’t ask for much more.

In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling:
How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages boxes, or bags!

And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Not Just a Tourist

The Market

If you’re one of the few people that actually read my site on a regular basis (Hi Mom!) you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent lately. We’ll it’s been for a very good reason – I’m moving to Seattle! My husband, Jim, has taken a fantastic new job and we’re moving at the end of the month.

So starting on December 1st I’ll be blogging to you from the emerald city. I’ve only been once, last weekend, so I’ll have a lot of exploring to do. I’m looking forward to sharing this new adventure with all of you! In the meantime, feel free to peruse the handful of photos I took over the weekend in my future hometown.

Only Today Does the Fire Burn Brightly

A log on the fire

Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood.
Only today does the fire burn brightly.
-Old Inuit Proverb

My copy of Widdershins arrived today. Widdershins, by Charles de Lint, is the sequel to The Onion Girl, which I read recently and loved. This quote was on the inside, next to the table of contents, and when I read it I felt my eyes fill with tears. I’m not quite sure why. I think there’s just something about living in the moment, remembering that today is the only reality that we have, that makes me feel nostalgic. It seems like that’s the opposite of the reaction I should have, I should want to seize the day, but instead I get a sense of how precious this very moment is, and a strange sadness that we never truly get to experience anything twice.