Happy New Year!

 Each year I check the archives and see what I wrote last January.  I’m amused that I was contemplating an MFA a full year ago and that I’m back to the same discussion. It seems a perennial inner conflict. Now to the top 10 high points of 2009.

1. The Move. While it has not been an especially happy highlight, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give it some space. Interestingly, it has become its own character in our family story. The Move and the Job sit on our shoulders a menacing reminder of grown-up decisions. Certainly, we are lucky to have Job and therefore Move was necessary. However, they are the characters that catch your eye in the mystery. Red herring or villan?

2. Old friends. My old writing group disbanded and I moved, but I became even closer with some of my writing buddies. The Schmooze was again a high point as was my collaboration with Joyce. Facebook and my 20th high school reunion allowed me to reconnect with friends of long ago from school and camp. It is good to know that those folks are well.

3. New friends. A move is hard on everyone but I’ve made a few new connections here in Maryland that have helped me through difficult times.

4. Family. The best part of this year has been being physically closer to my family. It has been great for the kids and even better for me to be able to get to see my parents and siblings more often.

5. Freelance work. I really loved writing to deadline and interviewing some amazing military servicemembers and tradesmen and women about their work, and their dreams for the future. To all of those who are away from their families in service to our country I send you wishes of Peace.

6. WRITING. Even though things have been crazy (the move, freelance work, the conference) I have continued to write. I finished and revised a novel for submission, revised a PB for an editor (still waiting to hear), and collaborated on a new PB.

7. The election. What an amazing year for a political junkie. The results. I’m confident that President Obama will bring honesty, and intelligence to the office and restore our standing in the world even if he cannot "fix" the great number of issues that plague us.

8. The 2008 NE SCBWI conference. While it is a ton of work, being involved in the regional SCBWI on this level is incredibly rewarding. I loved working with our fabulous volunteers, meeting industry professionals, and seeing it all come together. See you April 24-26, 2009 for this year’s conference. Note: registration will happen online, and participation will be limited to the first 400 registrants. Watch the mail for your informational postcard and http://www.nescbwi.org come mid-January.

9. My kiddos. From piano to  poetry, plays to playoffs this has been a big year for my children. I’ve so enjoyed watching them solve problems, try new things, excel, grow and question the world. I’m very proud of them.

10. I got an agent! I am very thankful that Steve Fraser is such a supportive agent. It has been difficult for me to release control of the manuscript marketing piece but letting go is part of shaping a relationship. The other is communication and honesty. I found that when I was straightforward about my needs, I felt more comfortable about representation.

The year is brandy new and I’m looking forward to all that it has to offer.

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