Monday, December 29, 2008

From the Archives

Before we start celebrating the new year, here's a link-look back at the best of 2008 here at PBW:

What not to say to your crit partner: Critique No-Nos
Tell me why I can't claim TUMs again?: Writer Fantasy Tax Deductions
Coming soon to BookTV: Make Me a SuperNovelist

Another backyard drama: Way of the Fledgling
Then Leto turns into a giant penis in book four: Ten Knockoffs I Will Never Write (and Neither Should You)
Retrospect Minus Sominex: Ten Things I Hate About Your Backstory

Because there is always some reason to stop: 25 Reasons to Keep Writing
The pasta sauce of writing: Past Perfection
Terribly wonderful temptations: Unemployment Fantasies

Lecturing this year's NaNoWriMo'ers: Pro-to-NaNo
La-la-la-la, I'm not listening: Ten Things Authors Don't Want to Hear (But Frequently Do)
Dolls for the rest of us: Alternative Barbie

Over at Sean Lindsay's 101 Reasons to Stop Writing is without a doubt my favorite interview I gave in 2008 (I'd say my favorite of all time, but Sean's head is big enough already.)

One of the most complicated and time-consuming projects Tom and I worked on during 2008 was the Friday 20 Index. We spent about three hundred hours altogether, half on the phone, while we were sorting through, indexing and coding all the links.

John and Marcia had some fun this year, too. They played hide-the-stupid-euphemism (My Sweet Savage Salami), talked quite a bit (Taggedy) and even got revised (Reviserable).

During the Left Behind & Loving Virtual Conference 2008, I broke all the workshop rules by having my character Akela from Red Branch and Black Queen teach World Building I. Now all of my other characters are jealous and want to do one next summer.

Best Generator of 2008 is no contest -- the ultra-cool Wordle, created by Jonathan Feinberg, which allows you to create and customize your own wordclouds (link originally found over at Elizabeth Bear's LJ.)

My favorite giveaway of 2008 was this one (winner and answer to the mystery here.) It must be all those Nancy Drew novels I read when I was a kid. The most popular giveaway of 2008 was this one, which I really didn't expect that many people would like, which just goes to show you how clueless I am when it comes to my own giveaways.

I transferred my library of free e-books over to Scribd* back in January and have since published twelve more new e-anthos, e-novellas, e-nonfic as well as lots of small how-to documents. I'll have more to report on how well this has worked for me and the readers next month when I hit the one-year mark on Scribd. *Note 9/3/10: Since instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed my free library from their site, and no longer use or recommend using their service. My free reads may be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs; go to my freebies and free reads page for the links. See my post about this scam here.

I wrote my dangerous book, and I sold it, and I published it, all in the same year. I don't think one NY-published e-book entitles me to call myself e-Paperback Writer, but it was a good learning experience and the completion of a big personal goal.

It helped to laugh with you guys at surely what was the worst professional disaster of the year, and then laugh about it again with you and my characters.

You guys also made this a great year by stopping in, joining the discussions and offering your views. You are as much a part of PBW as I am, and I thank you all for taking the time to visit, talk shop and share your love of books.

And that wraps up another year here at the blog. So, what were some of your defining moments in 2008? Let us know in comments.


  1. I just did my end of year round up at my blog.

    I think my most memorable parts of 2008 was when my laptop/office was invaded by the ants that wouldn't die...I made some wonderful friends this year...and found out I was moving again next year.

    The toughest moments...finding out my son's autistic...stress at the day job wearing me down to the bone

    The best moments...when my son had his first breakthrough...when my husband's cooking blog shot through the roof in popularity...every moment I got an email from someone who'd read one of my books. All the replies were great. :) And then...I beat NaNo. I've NEVER beat NaNo before so it was huge!

  2. And I never did another interview after that one -- there was nowhere for anyone else to go.

    My favourite line of the year: "A hack is someone who writes slower than me. Which is everyone."

  3. Definitely taking the submission plunge -- and getting four requests for material!

    Also, finishing two novels (first drafts of both, full revisions on one) in one year, and writing approx 250,000 words. Not bad for a beginner. :)

    Thanks for another great year, PBW. See you in '09.

  4. Anonymous10:17 AM

    My biggest defining moment for the year was getting engaged. There's nothing quite like getting a marriage proposal from the love of your life! ~JK

  5. Karen W.11:37 AM

    My best moment of 2008 was my swim with the dolphins in Nassau, Bahamas the end of August. It was *amazing.* Happy New Year, everyone!

  6. Finishing the mother of all kick-ass revisions was a huge milestone this year. It wasn't easy to even admit that the book it needed it. It needed it, and then some. Totally ripped the book apart, put it back together in ten weeks, and my agent is thrilled. And guess know what? So am I!

    Huge goal for next year: telling my best friend that I won't guest write for her blog. It won't be easy to tell her but it is the right thing for me now.

  7. You posted some great moments. I enjoyed looking back over them.

    For me, the most defining moment of 2008 was passing my Master's exam in April and actually graduating with my MA in English Literature in May. One of the best parts about it, though, was the fact that my school did a webcast of the graduation ceremony which allowed my grandparents who weren't able to make it to actually see me graduate.

  8. My first NaNo. I completed it at just over 75K words, some of which might be keepers. As a non-writer, it was a Very Big Deal.

    This year, I need to learn how to write.

  9. I'd have to say wmy biggest defining moment of 2008 was my decision to not go after another NY contract until I was ready. To deliberately let myself become an un-employed out-of-contract writer, so I could see what *I* wanted to work on next.

  10. Thanks for the recap. I missed some doozies. How you thought the idea of getting every single book you ever write as soon as it comes out (okay, I pretty much do that already, but the ones from you are special :p) wouldn't be popular stuns me. HUGS on the pink cover, but your publishers really like you in pink for some reason. And I'll still be buying. The word cloud thing is cool too :).

    As to defining moments...well, the biggest was when the docs finally figured out what was wrong with me and ended a year of terror.

    But the second most was finally finishing a version of Shadows of the Sun that is so much better than my original version that...even _I_ can tell :D.

    Here's to a smashing 2009!

  11. Hmmm...I think selling the 3 books to Ballantine would be a big highlight. That sale is going to help me branch out and focus more on the print side of my career, definitely a big moment.

    And the trip to Alaska.

    Then there was seeing my name in Near Dawn-definitely a highlight for me. *G*

    Downpoints-I made the decision to give up one of my ebook series-maybe for good. Sucked, hard choice, but it was the right one.

  12. Lynn it has to be discovering your Novel Notebook and using it to write a novel in nine days (which is now spending time with a top lit agent -having a look at it). I'd heard of world building and character development but had always been a pantser, you converted me to mad plotter.

  13. The biggest moment for me this year came just a week or so ago when I finally finished the final book in a trilogy that started this whole writing dream. Rose was the first book I ever finished, and I worked on it off and on again for years before selling it. Sometimes the dream nearly died and part of me would have died too. So bringing that final book home and coming full circle back to the beginning was huge, and I bawled like a total sap. It was great. :-)