As 2009 comes to close, I wanted to talk about what it has been like for me as I look to begin 2010.
I think every year as the year closes, we cannot help but hope for a better year than the one ending. As humans, hope springs eternal and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Like most years in my memory, 2009 was a mixed year of some good and some bad and some really good and some really bad.
The Good -
I managed to have 13 releases this year. One from Dreamspinner Press, two from Ellora's Cave, and ten from Amber Quill Press (I seriously doubt I will come close to this in 2010). My releases were: At Long Last, The Other Side, Wanting Sam, Jake's Regret, Most Likely to Succeed, Trust, Car Wash, Sorcerer's Lover 2, Until the End of Time, Beyond the Norm, Sweet Reunion, Ticket to Ride, and The Best Gift. Really I had 14 because Perfect Man came out December 31, of the prior year.
My popularity as an author increased. I know this because I made the top seller lists a few times at Amber Quill and All Romance Ebooks, as well as getting some lovely fan mail, and very kind reviews on places like Goodreads from readers who enjoyed my work. Plus I have more blog followers this year, too, as well as more hits on my website.
I've made some decent money on royalties this year writing as Shawn Lane which helped me financially quite a bit.
I met Shayne (this falls under the really good).
I met lots of other great people on line and I probably can't recall them all and it isn't because they don't matter, believe me, but Jack, Shellie, Eyre, Maggie, Drew, Josh, Brent, Lindsay, Gabbi, Dorothy, Sandy, Ivan, Nick, Zach, Stacey/Devon, E.H., Spring,..oh probably many more. You all rock.
I went to Morro Bay twice this year. If anyone knows me, they know this is where I want to live.
I read some great books this year. Not as many as I would have liked, but still some really great ones.
The San Diego Chargers have made it into the playoffs.
I went on a really great trip with my friends to Coastal Oregon and Northern California (wine country).
I went to Las Vegas twice. Once with my mother and sister where I actually won money and was one of the best times I've ever had there and the second time with my friends and that was a lot of fun too.
I still have a job that pays me and provides benefits.
My family is still with us, and my 83 year old mother appears to be doing well and has fully recovered from the cancer she had the year before.
I still have my house and two worthless cats and was able to pay my taxes and provide friends and family with a nice holiday season.
I got a Kindle and a laptop both of which I adore.
I've had great cover art for my books.
My own personal life has been touched by extended job loss.
Two ladies I considered second and third moms broke their hips. One in February and the other two days before Christmas. Georgette died in August and I still miss her. Christmas Eve at her house was not the same without her. Nancy has had a rough year. She has been battling lung cancer and the treatment has been rough on her. Because she was weak from the treatment, she fell and broke her hip and had to spend Christmas in the hospital. She's still there and will probably have to spend many weeks at a convalescent home to recover.
I've struggled with depression. I can honestly say that I've had trouble sometimes over the past year trying to see any bright side to anything. Likewise, I've had some serious trouble with insomnia.
Many people close to me have suffered illness and loss of their own including Dawn, Lynn, Shayne, Jack, and Shellie. I know there are others and I'm sorry not to have mentioned you.
I had a pipe break at my house and had it flood while I was in Vegas. Fortunately, my sister came by and diverted it from being a lot worse.
My cat's illness worsened and for a while I thought I was going to be forced to make a terrible decision this year, but she has improved somewhat. I still don't know how much longer she'll be with us but she has some of her spunk back.
I rather reluctantly decided to give up writing the heterosexual historical romances under my other name. The main reasons are I prefer to write m/m romance now and the other is it just wasn't making much. I had trouble selling the novels to mainstream New York and traditional historical romances just don't do well as ebooks at this point. It's frustrating putting in the effort to write a 80,000 page book and making $12.00.
I wish I had been able to spend more time talking to my bff than I have these past few months. I've hardly had but an hour or two since before Halloween, maybe even before that. We miss each other.
I think that's probably enough bad stuff to mention though I know there is likely more.
I am grateful for the good things. Like I said, 2009 is a mixed year. And I hope, as I always do, when this time comes around, that 2010 will be a better year. For me. For you. For all of us.