I like lists. I like making them, looking at them, and checking them off. Here's a list of ten (writing related) things that happened to me this year that mattered:
10: I received over one dozen partial and/or full requests from agents since May (I am still waiting to hear back from 5 for one manuscript and 1 for another manuscript)
9: I had my blogs read by real authors like Ellen Potter and Tanya Lloyd Kyi.
8: I sat in a room with Diana Gabaldon, Michael Slade, and Jack Whyte for an entire evening. I didn't say much but I nodded like a fool and didn't hide in the bathroom.
7: I connected with an amazing group of fellow writers via Twitter, such as Brenda Drake, Jessa Russo, Rachel Pudelek, Roselle Kaes, Lauren Spieller and so many more I'm probably forgetting but not because they aren't awesome.
6: Rainbow Rowell and Jill Shalvis tweeted me and The Bloggess followed me. All three events made me inexplicably happy.
5: I read Elenor and Park. It matters. It made me want to be better.
4: I met this truly awesome agent that I won't name. She might not be my agent, but she became my friend, which is pretty cool all by itself. Turns out agents are real people.
3: I found critique partners and new friends, Tara and Kelli, that will go beyond writing and be part of what makes 2014 special.
2: My story, A Not So Lonely Christmas, was published in Foreward Lit's anthology, Holiday Spice
1: I self published Forever Christmas via Amazon
As writers, we must be readers. In honor of Mother's Day and the fact that I have a picture book on submission, I wanted to share my top ten favourite cuddle-up-with-mom-and-read picture books. We are inspired by everything around us and what we read helps shape what we write. So if you write picture books, or just want a great read with your little one,
here are some great ones.
Sometimes, writers have nothing to write. You can call it writer's block, but sometimes, it's just a matter of having nothing to put on paper (or screen). Fortunately, being a writer, you can come up with a long-winded way to share that you have nothing to say.
See, I just did a whole paragraph on how this blog is, technically, about nothing. The beauty of words. So, since I had nothing of particular importance or consequence to say this week, I thought I would try a Top Ten List (not laminated, of course, because I often change my mind). Once I decided to do a top ten, I started wondering what the list should be about.
I won't give you the top ten list of my ideas for top ten lists. Instead, I'll skip ahead and tell you that I've decided, as part of my attempt to establish an online presence as an author, that my list will just be about me. Don't be disappointed. If you've come to this site, you have some reason to want to know about me; hopefully it'll one day list my top ten children's books that I've written, but for now, it'll give you a clearer idea of who I am.
Top ten things that make me happy
10. Having my counter tops clean. This may seem random, but my counter tops are rarely visible. They have homework, planners, piles of books, papers, treats, lunch kits, and many other things on top of them. There are these moments, each week, where I get them cleared off and it's really enjoyable to look at the open space. I now take pictures when I do it, so I can remember what it looks like.
9. Re-reading the mushy, cheesy, adorably-sweet, romantic moments in all of my favourite books. I go back and just re-read these parts. No matter how many times I read the part where he realizes he loves her and says the perfect thing, I get that little flip-flop in my belly.
8. Finding Dawson's Creek re-runs on T.V. I actually have all of the seasons on DVD but that makes watching it seem intentional. This way, I can say I was just flipping channels and happened upon it.
7. Winning at a game-any game. In particular a game I'm playing against my husband. He wins at everything. I win at nothing. But every now and then, the unthinkable happens (and it doesn't matter that it might be during a game of Sorry) and I win. That's a good moment.
6. Doing absolutely nothing with the people I love. It's not that I want to do nothing, because I actually am not very good at doing nothing. However, I really enjoy just being in the same room with the people I love. They don't have to pay attention to me; they just have to be there.
5. Being on time. This rarely happens, unless you include work. I show up on time for work. But that's about it. Sad, because I do think that being on time for things is important and respectful. The ability to pull this off on a regular basis elludes me. Our friends now invite us over and expect us on "Holford Time" (about a half hour late).
4. The moment on a T.V. show when your favourite characters FINALLY get together. Love that. Truly love it. (See Mer & Derek above)
3. Snuggling in bed with my whole family when it's raining outside. I hate the rain. It makes me morose. But there's something about laying in bed, together, snuggled up, cozy and warm, listening to the rain beat down on the house and not having to go out in it.
2. Writing. I have to put it on here because it's silly not to point out that it is one of the things, and definitely in the top ten, that bring me inexplicable happiness. On the flip side, it also brings nerves, self-doubt, and uncertainty. But mostly, it brings me happiness. Especially when I write a story that my girls love.
1. The people in my life. I am reminded, daily, through a number of actions and words, how lucky I am to be surrounded by people that get me, accept me, support me, love me, and take me as I am, even when I'm not always easy to take.