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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Blur That Was 2010

More books I loved next post.

I promise.

My parents just left. They came for a pre-holiday visit all the way from Albuquerque to see my kids in their various holiday concerts, which miraculously fell in the same week. (That will NEVER happen again.) They brought ornaments (of the garden gnome variety....don't ask) and New Mexican food (of the green chile variety.) It was a crazy busy wonderful week.

They said things like, "It's been quite a year."

And you know, it really has.

This time last year, I was trying desperately to figure out how to keep the writer part of me alive, while my job threatened to take over. Now I love my job don't get me wrong, but it is hard, HARD to work full time and get the writing done. It just is. Add to that the fact that I was in the middle of trying to discover how to query agents, since I figured all of my years of schlepping my manuscripts to editors on my own was just not going to cut it with a middle-grade novel. But querying is hard. It just is. (And my first few queries were kind of lame...Hi, I'm an author already.....blah, blah, blah.....I've written lots of stuff.....blah, blah, blah.....don't you want to rep me?)

Okay, not quite that lame, but probably pretty close. I am choosing not to look in the files to see exactly how lame they were.

But the more the rest of my life threatened to take over, the more the writer part of me squeaked its little head up, No! I will not be conquered! I will not be ignored!

And so I wrote late into the night. And at my lunch time. And in the car whilst waiting for kids to finish their activities. I revised. I queried. I revised my queries.....And within the last year, I finished a couple of books, got an agent, sold a book....and, well, wow.

On top of that, two of my daughters went to China to perform Irish dance, my youngest graduated from elementary school, I met great authors at some tremendous events, I got to see the galleys of my new book....and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

It's been quite a year.

I'll be the first to admit, I don't always carry around with me the attitude of gratitude. I'm no Grinch, but I do my share of complaining that there just isn't time to do all that needs to be done.
There just isn't enough time.

What I think I long for is the time to appreciate how lucky I am. I mean, it was a great year really. But I am always rushing to the next thing....rush, rush, rush......too much to do and way too little time. And sometimes I just need to stop.


And remember to savor the moments, because otherwise they will become a blur.

So I am wishing you this week, before holiday craziniess takes more than just a foothold in your life, a few moments of quiet pondering.

May you find much richness and lots of roses to stop and smell when you think back on the blur that was 2010.



Corey Schwartz said...

AW, what a sweet post! Congrats again to you Shelley for having a stellar year and having the grace to sit back appreciate it!!!

Janet Johnson said...

That is a great year! But I'm so with you . . . sitting back and enjoying the greatness is not always as easy as it sounds. I hope you make the time, because it sure sounds like you deserve it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

'Well, wow,' is exactly how I'd describe your year. :D
You paid your dues in full. It was all deserved,and I'm so glad you're getting that moment to reflect on it. And thank you for the wish to all of us.

Karen Akins said...

Just stopping by to say your post made me smile. :) And maybe your 2011 be full of even more "wow."

Myrna Foster said...

That is some great advice.

And it doesn't matter how lame those first queries were. You figured it out. And I am so excited to read your MG.


Laura Pauling said...

And what a great year you had! It's amazing what just 12 measly months can do! Congrats on everything!

Lydia Kang said...

Oh boy, I need to read this post as a reminder, often, to stop and remember to be thankful for how lucky I am. I also often am so busy and wondering how I'll get my writing done with all my other responsibilities, namely work, family, and home.

Jackee said...

A great reminder! And you truly have had a beautiful year, my friend. :o)

Here's to many more!

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, it's definitely been quite a year!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Love this post, especially about the lame query. Nice to know that it's not just us unpublished authors who struggle with them. ;)

I hope you have a rockin' 2011, Shelley.

Kelly said...

Wow, Shelley, I don't know how you do it between being a mom, teaching full time and writing. You must be busy every second of the day. Though I do want to get back to teaching at some point so I hope to be doing the same one day (and handling the pressure!).
2010 has flown by and I'm glad you had a great one!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks for the reminder to take time to remember all the things that have happened this past year.

Jessie Oliveros said...

Wow, you described my 2010 very well. Blur. In fact, so much so, that for the last several months I keep thinking it is 2011.