Sunday, January 06, 2008

A New Year

In case you hadn't noticed, it is now 2008. A new year. What does that mean? Not much really, the breakdown of years is quite arbitrary. After all the Chinese New Year is in February, the Jewish New Year in the early fall, and I have always truly believed the the year turned over at the start of the new term at school.

But for all intents and purposes, we are facing a new year. And as I posted around this time last year, I think there is something really lovely in the idea that we can start afresh, really try to make some lasting resolutions. In that way, a new year is vital. It helps us keep the hope going. I really really like that.

This new year though I would like to reflect on the one that has just passed. I mean, I am looking forward as well, I have set several goals for myself and I have high hopes for the months ahead. But this year has been quite an important one to me, so I think I should take a second and think about it.

Things have happened this year. Things tend to happen during years, but this may be one of the first that I've taken stock of them.

Acting wise, the biggest thing was getting an agent. And not just an agent, but someone who is incredibly supportive and loves Shakespeare as much as I do. I also produced and directed a show for a theatre festival. When I think of how much work that was, I am shocked I managed it actually. I went on several auditions, to the point where I can't keep track of how many they were (which may not sound like much, but trust me just getting an audition is special), and of course I had a total blast reviving the Third Witch in the fall in Macbeth.

And all of this would be considered rather impressive on its own. But I am neglecting that other part of my life, the path that I was surprisingly and pleasantly thrown down around three years ago.

That would be the writing part of course.

And this year . . . well this year . . .

I became a published author.

I started it entrenched in edits and feeling slightly lost, and ended it by being accustomed to seeing my book on a shelf in a bookstore. I saw my cover for the first time, I learned what an ARC was, I saw the fonts my book would be published in and I saw it in a completely different language. I flew to cities I'd never seen before, learned how to order room service like a pro, and discovered that, despite my fears, I can be reliably funny in front of a large crowd.

I have made some wonderful friends in the writing world, in person and in the blogosphere. People without whose support would have made this journey far less pleasant.

I have also written a second book.

Now, I will always feel slightly in awe that my life ever considered going down this path. I know I have talked about it before, so I won't go on about it now, but my life has changed so drastically from what I ever expected it would be. I can't imagine where I would be, what I would be doing, how my social circle would be different, had I not decided, just for fun, to start writing a children's novel while spending a weekend in Bath. The smallest of choices. I guess that's why we have movies like that one with Gwyneth Paltrow, "Sliding Doors", about how one small decision can make all the difference. It's really crazy to speculate.

Anyway, it's been a good year. And I am very grateful for that. I hope that 2008 proves just as exciting. Well whatever it turns out to be like, I will always feel pretty darn lucky to have had a 2007 like I did.

So what about the rest of you? I hope you all had a lovely year, what were the highlights do you think? And what do you hope for next year?


J M McDermott said...

Hey, I made a lot of awesome writer friends this year, too!

Last year I was woefully unsuccessful at my resolution. I resolved to write on more people's bodies with markers and ink, as a break from scribbling all over my own hands.

This year, I think I'll resolve to eat more chocolate.

I like to set goals I can achieve.

Heidi the Hick said...

Hee hee, jm's comment is great!

Well, I had a very brain expanding year, and for 08 I'd like to learn even more! Something's going to happen with my book (positive thinking!) and by summer I'll be earning an income by teaching riding.

YOU are know that, right?!?!!

Balloon Pirate said...

Cool--I followed this link from Heidi's blog, and discovered my daughter's current favorite author (No mean feat; you beat out Lemony Snickett, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett to get that honor).

My son still likes Gaiman more. Sorry. Baby steps...

Highlights for me included getting a hefty check for some online writing I did several years back, getting said check the week I got out of bankruptcy, getting divorced, and getting custody of my kids.

The last one was the best get yet.

I'll be back...


Roland Hulme said...

Ohmygod. I actually saw your book in the Barnes and Noble where my wife works and thought: 'Dude, that's a great name for a book and the cover's awesome.'

Now I'm going to buy it and read it.

CONGRATULATIONS although I'm insanely and disgustingly jealous of you.

Adrienne said...

jmm - I think you should still try to follow through with last year's resolution as well. Eat more chocolate is a good one, but that tends to be more of a daily goal for me personally.

heidi - something WILL happen with your book! And so cool about teaching riding . . .would you do one off classes? Like could a city girl come for a day? Maybe . . .?

balloon pirate - love your name! And I am seriously honoured that I am your daughter's current favourite author (that is some list to top). Tell her thank you very much from me, and that I hope I can live up to the honour with the next one! Sounds like you had one heck of a year, I'm glad things ended well for you! (yeharr!)

roland - aw thanks! I do hope you enjoy the book, that it lives up to the amazing artwork of John Rocco (you should check out his website, there's a link on my blog)!

Heidi the Hick said...

Darn right a city girl can come up for a ride one day!

(It's not that long a drive to get to the horses!)

Holly Kennedy said...

Adrienne: Too fun! My son bought your novel and we just began reading it together last night!

P.S. Would you be willing to donate an autographed copy to a silent auction for 8-10 year olds in April? I'm hosting a reading for The Silver Compass near where I live and we're having a silent auction table, including a few kids baskets. All proceeds from the auction are going to the library at my son's school.

Herlihyville said...

I just found your blog, so this is my first comment...
I came across AatIG at a Barnes & Noble back in September while looking for my customary literary gift for my daughter's 7th birthday. After looking over the usual suspects (favorites from my childhood, many moons ago)the cover of your book caught my eye. My daughter's name is Alex. I read the synopsis. Ha, her name is Alexandra and is known as Alex, she has short brown hair (a touch longer than a boy's) has a strong need for adventure (she's a very accomplished skier, mountain-biker, hiker, tree-climber etc...) and has a young, male teacher whom she thinks is the smartest guy in the World. Well, next to her Dad, of course. I couldn't resist. We've been reading it together, and it is BY FAR her favorite. And, like others have said, you are in very respectable company (C.S. Lewis, Tolkein, Carrol, Graham)
Thanks for the story, we haven't quite finished yet, but will most likely this week. Alex (my Alex) is bursting with excitement as your Alex has just found Mr. Underwood. We look forward to more adventures after the conclusion of this one. Congrats on your success, and please, keep up with the writing, it has provided my daughter and I with unmeasurable quality time.

Adrienne said...

heidi - ooh! I see horseback riding in my future . . .so excited!

Holly - you'll have to let me know what you guys think of it! And yes I would be happy to donate a signed copy, just email me the info!

herlihyville - Wow. Seriously, wow. I am so thrilled you and your daughter have been enjoying Alex so much, and thank you for dropping a line! (I hope she approves of the ending!) Your daughter sounds pretty darn awesome by the way, give her my regards and tell her I am totally jealous of her name (I named my protagonist Alex because I always wanted to have that name)!

Thanks again for your lovely comments, I am totally flattered!