Monday, December 30, 2019

2019: A Year of Firsts

When I look back on the year 2019 I realize it is full of many firsts for me, both personally and professionally. Most of these firsts are pleasant. All of them, even the ordinary ones, are significant to me. And that is why I would like to share them with you.

2019 was the year...

I had oral surgery (two wisdom teeth). 

This was also the first time I've gone under general anesthesia. Waking up after general anesthesia was a strange experience. Recovering from wisdom tooth extraction as a 40+ year-old was a nightmare, mostly because my anxiety was in overdrive regarding the gaping hole in my mouth. It healed without complications, thankfully.

An agent requested that I revise and resubmit one of my verse novels. 

It didn't work out with that agent, but receiving the revision request and the feedback that resulted from it was encouraging and helpful to me as a verse novelist.

I catered a wedding (sort of) and became a mother in law. 

My daughter's wedding was low budget, and one of the ways we saved money was to prepare most of the food ourselves. It was an evening wedding, so there was no meal, but there was a dessert bar. We ordered a cake and chocolate covered strawberries. And there were mints and nuts, as well as m&ms in the wedding colors. But I also made two kinds of biscotti, dipped pretzel rods, Mexican wedding cookies, arroz con leche, and horchata (regular and dairy free). It was lovely and sweet, in more ways than one.

I led a rhyme webinar through SCBWI.

Don't Tip the Scale: Balancing Story and Rhyme in Picture Book Texts was about how the purpose of rhyme in a picture book text is to support the story, and how to achieve that balance in your own writing. It's a topic I am passionate about as a writer and a reader, and though it was a little nerve-wracking at first, I had a lot of fun presenting and answering participants' questions!

I mourned the loss of someone not related to me.

You may have seen my post about my friend Cap, who passed away in August. I've never been so personally affected by the death of someone outside my family. She was a dear friend, and I miss her a lot.

I mentored an aspiring picture book author through the PBChat Mentorship Program.

This mentorship program was a lot of fun! I got to work with a smart and funny aspiring writer who wrote a darling rhyming picture book about a sneezing racehorse. She worked so hard to polish her manuscript and prepare herself for the rigorous query process, and I'm very proud of her. One of these days I hope to be able to tell you that she got a book deal.

A few other firsts from 2019:

  • I tried Indian food.
  • I made a T-shirt quilt (possibly never again as it was a major pain).
  • Rented a cabin on a river rather than a hotel room when we vacationed in Colorado.
  • Baked conchas (a Mexican sweet bread).
  • Started a manuscript critique service.
  • Moved into my own office.

It's been a good year, and I look forward to discovering what "firsts" 2020 has in store. 

Happy New Year! 

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