Is it my imagination or did 2018 sneak up on us like some stealth ninja? I have a post-it note on my desk that I wrote in November with my year-end wrap-up ideas and … it’s still there. But I’m just getting around to writing this post. I get props for the effort, right? Right?
Well, without any more of my lame excuses, I need to start out by saying that 2017 was a pretty damn incredible year.
I broadened some horizons. I met some incredible people. I was gobsmacked to win an award for my novel “Dragonfly Lake.” I attended a book signing … where I signed books! I think I had about a million “pinch me” moments throughout the year that defied my expectations. Here’s a bit of a recap:
In January, I announced that the Sh*tty First Draft (SFD) of Dragonfly was done (finished in December 2016.) Guess what … still editing that SFD.
February – Attended the Minnesota Writers Workshop and pitched to two agents. It was nerve wracking, but helped me to polish my pitch. Money well spent.
I spent March working on a short story. And my children seemed to be sick for most of the month. (Note to children … please do not schedule a repeat.)
In April I moderated my first panel that featured some kick-ass Minnesota mystery writers that I admire immensely. I also started (and apparently I subsequently abandoned) a feature that I called “Book Dump” that featured AAAAALLLLLL of the screenshots of books that have caught my fancy on social media. The sad part? I could revive this feature in a heartbeat, because I screenshot books “To Be Read” (TBR) on a daily basis.
May … the only thing of note in this month is that I changed the Friday Fare logo to reflect what my children call “dandi-flowers.” Man, I miss spring.
What I lacked in May, I made up for in June. I read “Jane Steele” by Lyndsey Faye and have subsequently nursed a girl crush on both Jane and Faye since then. Lori Rader-Day and Kristi Belcamino kicked some arse at Subtext Books in St. Paul. The night before that, I got to worship at the Church of Neil Diamond and I even made time during June to take a class at the Loft Literary Center from Tamara Hogan.
[Insert Gratuitous Neil Diamond Picture Here.]
Aaaaaaaaaaaand then I didn’t post anything in July, which … shame on me. Two important things happened though in July. OK – a few things happened in July. I turned 39. (<– I love birthdays, because … well, cake.) I got to see the final cover proof of “Cooked To Death II: Lying on a Plate.” (I’d announce my involvement in the anthology later, but trust me – there were squeals of joy when I saw the back cover. Especially when I saw a blurb from William Kent Krueger.)
Another crazy thing happened – I got an email from Nashville, informing me that my unpublished novel “Dragonfly Lake” (why yes, the novel of the SFD) was nominated for the 2017 Claymore Award:
AUGUST. There was a lot of August and only one of me. And that particular me drove 1,500+ miles at the tail end of the month to Nashville, Tennessee and back. I got to cross rivers and see landmarks that I had only read about in books and heard in old country songs. And I found out that I’m really, really, really bad at speaking in public when I’m caught unprepared:
I also made some lifelong friends and tribe members. So. Amazingly. Blessed.
September. Finally wrote a recap about my Killer Nashville weekend.
October. Finally lifted the lid on my story’s inclusion in CTD. Was surprised and thrilled that my parents drove 3+ hours to come to CTD’s first book event.
November. Got to spend a girls weekend with two of my favorite writers.
December. My blog presence was the equivalent of a lump of coal, apparently. 🙂
Man alive … sorry for the longest blog update ever, but considering I personally know the majority of my blog readers – I gotta extend my sincere thanks and my appreciation for being on this journey with me. I hope that we all have a peaceful and productive 2018.