…although could you blame me? I’ve heard all the praise and had the books recommended to me a thousand times, but still I didn’t get around to reading them until now. I just plowed through all three books, however, and of course I’m now a shameless, blubbering train wreck. Incredible stuff.
So I guess my tardy discovery of Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy is something I like about 2010, eh? This is very likely to be my final blog post of the year, so hey, perfect time for a recap! There’s been an abundance of purely personal good news this year, topped by the birth of my son, but it’s undoubtedly been the most eventful year of my writing life, so that’s what I’m going to focus on.
Something that pleases me is how much memorable stuff has happened to other writers I know to some degree or other, and that spurred an interesting (and typically neurotic and oversensitive) thought: if I celebrate the good news and good fortune of other writers who I think well of, will I manage to offend those people who I don’t include in the list through a foggy-bottomed mind or through sheer laziness? I know hurt feelings happen and people feel left out and all that stuff, but is that a reason to not make the list at all? I’m just thinking out loud here – I’ve obviously made the stupid list already. I’m no more interested in making anyone feel excluded than the next person, so I’d feel genuinely bad about it, but on the other hand I’m not a believer in the idea that if you want to say something celebratory or complementary about someone you’re obliged to say it about every single person that you could possibly say it about, know what I mean? Urk, I’m babbling, I’m just gonna get on with it. Here we go! Stuff I Liked About 2010 begins NOW!
STUFF I LIKED, BOOK DEAL/LAUNCH DIVISION
- Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s book deal (that came directly out of an SCBWI conference);
- Natalie Lorenzi’s debut MG novel FLYING THE DRAGON, due from Charlesbridge in 2013;
- C. Lee McKenzie’s second YA novel PRINCESS OF LAS PULGAS, which launched in October;
- Agent-mate Tara Lazar’s debut picture book THE MONSTORE, which will be released in 2013;
- NEVER EVER TALK TO STRANGERS by Anne Marie Pace, which became available through Scholastic Book Clubs in September;
- Carol Anne Shaw’s debut HANNAH AND THE SPINDLE WHORL, which hit the streets in August;
- BEDTIME MONSTER by Heather Ayris Burnell and Bonnie Adamson, which you better believe I pre-ordered last year (but launched this year);
- My other agent-mate Anna Staniszewski hitting the deal charts with MY UN-FAIRY TALE LIFE;
- Hilarity dispenser Lynne Kelly’s debut CHAINED, which hooked enough fish to go to auction;
STUFF I LIKED, SCBWILA DIVISION
- Wearing my “low expectations” sign to Arthur Levine’s master class;
- The fact that Jolie Stekly was totally creeped out by my costume for the Heart & Soul gala but took this picture anyway;
- My epic battle for galactic supremacy with the fabulous Colleen Ryckert Cook;
- Hanging out with awesome dark humor PB author Boni Ashburn;
- The Funnest Lunch Ever with Cindy Pon, Gretchen McNeil and Amaris Glass.
STUFF I LIKED, RANDOM DIVISION
- Courtney Summers won a Cybil;
- Emily Hainsworth got an agent;
- Blythe Woolston was shortlisted for the Morris Award;
- Nova Ren Suma unveiled the cover of her upcoming YA novel IMAGINARY GIRLS;
- I met Maggie Stiefvater, who recognized the top half of my face and signed a book for me;
- Zombie Mike, courtesy of the world’s most groovy female foursome, writer buddy Ellen Oh and her daughters Summer, Skye and Gracie;
- Martha Flynn’s continual development of her zombie apocalypse survival skills;
- The fully awesome autographed Megan Whalen Turner books I got via an incredible victory streak in Cindy Pon’s blog contests;
- The Bloggy Wog got another shoutout from droll and influential librarian/blogger/author/raconteur Betsy Bird;
- Receiving a specially awarded signed hardcover of NEIL ARMSTRONG IS MY UNCLE in Nan Marino’s howling at the moon blog contest;
- This Blueboard thread about achieving publication after 40, which I’ve now done! Mwahahahaha!
And, of course…
STUFF I LIKED, OBVIOUS DIVISION
- I signed with my agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette!
- I got a book deal with Arthur Levine at Arthur A. Levine Books!
A splendid and satisfying year, all told. In the spirit of the approaching new year I’d like to raise a glass in your honor, o blog readers. I’m grateful to every single one of you for reading my inane natterings on this thing we call the writing life. I hope the past year has given you a complete, multi-layered set of experiences. If you’ve had troubles, I hope you’ve weathered them as well as possible and found help and commiseration when they were needed. If you’ve had triumphs, I hope you’ve been able to savor them to the fullest possible extent, and that they’re part of a ladder of triumphs you’re still in the process of climbing. I hope the new year brings each of us at least a little bit of what we need and desire, and that the fulfillment of our needs and desires takes a shape that is surprising in the best possible way.
I hope 2011 will bring us each our fair share of joy. We deserve it, don’t you think? Go ahead, you can say it – “why yes, Mike, I think we do.” Indeed, we sure do. Happy New Year, my friends. Live and be well.