(Don't get to proud of me, I haven't actually DONE anything in those clothes quite yet. Except a load of laundry. Life is so glam.)
So here we are at the beginning of a new year (2010, in case you're just joining us) and even though it's not of general interest, I'm going to review some highlights of 2009 (just the professional ones, don't worry - you wont' hear how adorable my kids are.)
January 15, 2009 I submitted the manuscript* that, after several back-and-forths, would become misplaced for months and gather a great deal of dust on Mr. Publisher's desk. It had a different title then, but you may recognize it as "My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions."
February 4, 2009 "Bright Blue Miracle" was officially released. I spent a great deal of time checking the ranking on Amazon.com. I do not recommend this behavior. Except for the time the book actually made it into the 4-digit rankings**. That was blissful for about 10 minutes, and I wouldn't have seen it happen if I hadn't been stalking my own page. Also several friends left kind reviews here and there, and it became clear that validation is my drug of choice.***
In March I continued to wait by the phone and compulsively check my email for news about RRO. No such luck. Also I spent a great deal of time on stage as a Singing Virgin. See? You knew I was a multi-faceted personality. Also I wrote.
In April I experienced shame at a book signing gig where I sat with two of Shadow Mountain's golden boys and watched their books fly off tables. I sold 2. But they were generous and kind and gracious, and in a very casual way, I made friends. At the end of the month, I attended LDS Storymakers' conference, where I met a few of Very Good Friends (one of whom I actually SEE once in a while, the others I get to blog with) and also learned a few great writing tips. (And I blogged every day, I think.)
May? I waited by the computer. And wrote. Drafted. Sort of just word-vomit, but it landed on the pages, so we count it.
In June, July and August I played with my Kids and wrote more stories. Also met with my Writers' Group and loved those women. Still do. We eat fine, fine foods when we gather. Also we work on pages. In July I got the message: Mr. Publisher wants the book. Also the message: Nobody really likes your title. So there was back-and-forth. And more. And more. And finally, agreement. (*Sigh of relief*)
In September all four Kids went to school. You may not consider this "professional" news, and if that is the case, you've never been a writer with four kids all in school. I can either #exercise, #shower, #write, #volunteer at one of their schools, #call my sister, #clean something, #have a meeting, or #take a book into the bathtub during the 2.5 hours Kindergarten affords me. Sometimes two or three of the above. I know, right? Also I kept writing at that story. At least 500-1000 words every day.
In October I got a cover. My first instinct was to cry, since the gorgeous girl on the cover doesn't look ANYTHING like the Sarah in my head. But my second instinct was that she does look an awful lot like my adorable niece J. J. and since I love her, I'm planning to love the cover. (And I do. Love the cover. See it, over there ---->? Adorable, right?)
In November I tried NaNoWriMo. I tell you what that came down to, here. Also I did a fun and productive book signing where actual fans (the kind I've never met before) came and bought books for their friends. And also my Mama came. And Kid 1, who said, "Really?" because people bought books. **** (like, in double-digit numbers, I'm telling you.)
December was full. I did a couple of book signings - one that doubled as Girls' Night Out with Ally Condie and Lisa Mangum (don't be jealous, just be happy for me...) and a repeat of April's signing with SM's gentlemen. Who were great, excellent, and funny. Also, the staffs of these stores are awesome - remember that there are BAKERIES inside? Brilliant. Also in December I got The Box of The New Books. And a friend of Kid 1's called to tell me that someone (who wasn't me) bought her a copy of RRO for Christmas. From an actual STORE. So they're out there... somewhere! Also I submitted something else.
And now, we're on to take 2010 by storm.
Happy New Year!
*Did you know that technically "manuscript" is written out by hand? So I didn't send that. Not even a "typescript" really. I sent a digital file. No paper involved, no trees harmed during the submission process. But "manuscript" is such a writerly word, and since I don't hang out in University libraries or *ever* drink coffee, I'm sticking to it.
**6 thousand and something. I know, right? Simple pleasures.
***Not all the reviews are my friends. You can tell which one(s) isn't(aren't).
****She totally believes in me and loves my books. She DOES.