Last year was full of changes in both my personal life and my writing career. Here are some of the notable aspects of 2012.
From Vermont to Virginia
Up until last year, I’d spent pretty much all of my adult life in one area, encompassing parts of both Vermont and New Hampshire. I went to college there, I got married there, my husband and I bought a house and had three children there.
And then we moved to Virginia. It was a huge change for all us, but I learned that I still had to contend with the old me.
Some of the things we miss about Vermont (besides leaving many of our friends behind): Smoke-edged, leaf-crisped fall days. The farm stand down in town. Strawberry-picking and jam-making in the summer. A continual supply of real Vermont Grade B maple syrup. Snow! (At least, my children do).
Some of the things we like about Virginia: Living close to work, church, and activities. A great neighborhood. Level sidewalks for new bikers. An awesome library system. Warmer weather for longer in the year (children might disagree–see above).
Brave New World–Online
I took Kristen Lamb’s blogging class, We Are Not Alone, early in the year and recommitted to consistent blogging. Through the class, I met a great group of fellow bloggers-writers that I hang out with on Facebook and Twitter. I learned to tolerate–if not love–Twitter and finally got the hang of hashtags. I also had a brief, passionate, and unhealthy affair with Pinterest but decided we were better off being friends (which is working out well so far).
The Write Stuff
I hit a writing milestone when I went away to my first-ever writers’ workshop! It was taught by David Farland, and I got five days of great teaching, helpful critiques, and lots of time with other writers.
I’m terrible at keeping track of my wordage, but last year I worked on three novellas, wrote a handful of short stories, and started two novels. I also wrote my first-ever collaboration with my good friend Jo Anderton, and was delighted to have it accepted for publication. Look for the news of Sand and Seawater’s release some time this year!
Last year, for reasons enumerated here, I self-published two collections, one short story, and one novella. I received my first fan email (that sent me over the moon). I got lovely reviews from bloggers like Tehani Wessely, Sean at Adventures of a Bookonaut, and Ivana at Willing to See Less–not to mention the thoughtful reviews left by readers on Goodreads, Amazon, and other sites. Because of my self-published work, I received an invitation to submit to an anthology.
I got a lot of support from my family, including my husband David, who beta-reads and e-formats my books, and my sister-in-law Robin Cornett, who also gives me story feedback, makes my website pretty and functional, and designed my first three covers. Later in the year, I had the opportunity to work with cover designer Ravven, who did an awesome job with my novella covers.
But most of all I’m thrilled that my stories are being enjoyed by real, live, actual readers!
We started our fourth (fourth?!) year of homeschooling this fall. I watched my middle child blossom into an independent reader. Raising children is both a joyful and terrifying experience–and never boring.
Did you hit any milestones or experience big changes in 2012?