Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010

Since is a new decade and a new year, I thought it would be fun to do a sort of 2009 year in review of the things that’s happened this year. At first I thought I’d do it sequentially by month but then decided my brain cells are practically fried and there’s no way I can remember things like that. So it’s just in random order. Anyway, here goes.

Here I Go Conferencing

I attended by first RWA National conference in Washington, DC. I met a lot of friends I had only known via Yahoo groups and via email. It was nice to put a face with a name. I also met a lot of new people, wore my fabulous red party dress and shoes to FF&P’s “The Gathering” event. I attended workshops and heard speakers. I walked away from the conference feeling inspired and energized and ready to take on my next project. I also had my first pitch appointment (which later got a rejection). I also attended the literacy signing where I spent way too much on books, met the awesome Nancy Haddock, Gena Showalter, and even got a book signed for my mother by Nora Roberts. It was too cool.

Providing Feedback

I think I judged seven contests and read some fantastic entries and some entries that had hidden potential but needed a lot of help. I tried very hard to provide each writer with detailed feedback on their entry. Hopefully I helped make a difference in their writing and they took something that could use.

I got a Nook! And I think that’s adequate.

On the writing front

I finished Fight of the Phoenix, aka the gladiator book. I shopped it. I got about 10 rejection letters for it (go me!). I submitted it to two publishers (shh – don’t tell them I simultaneously submitted!) which I’m waiting to hear back on. I love the story and hope that it’ll find a home on a book shelf soon.

I started working on my very first urban fantasy story. It’s sort of a re-imagined version of a story I started long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. It’s based heavily on Celtic Mythology. My hope is that I weave a magical fairy tale for grown-ups. This month, I’ll be starting back up on that hot and heavy and hopefully have the first draft completed by April 1. That’s the goal, anyway.

Goals

I’ve set goals for the year.

1. Not volunteer so much. I love my chapters but I’ve come to realize I can’t do it all for everyone. So I’ve stepped down from one board and am going to try really hard to par down my volunteerism. That includes judging contests, or at least not so many.

2. I have to focus on writing and finishing in a timely manner. I can finish the draft of a book in about 6 weeks if I try really hard. I want to do that this year. I want to finish the urban fantasy and start on the second in the series. I’d also like to at least outline a contemporary or two. But the main goal is to finish the fantasy and hunt for an agent for the book I’ve already finished.

3. Write every day and meet or exceed a daily word count (I participate in a group that posts random numbers daily to meet or exceed). It’s going to be tough to find time to write between the job and the kid but I think I can do it.

I’m looking forward to Nationals in Nashville this year. Plus I’d love to try and travel more. In fact, I’ll be flying to Houston for a wedding in a couple of weeks.

So here’s to 2010! It’s going to be a GRAND year.

By Michelle

I love dragons, castles, fairies and elves. I drink coffee, wine and martinis. Fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance author. Proud Texan.