Sunday, December 27, 2009

Best of PBW 2009

Thanks to the economy 2009 was a tough year all the way around. Too many friends lost their jobs; too many businesses closed their doors (although I and a bunch of non-writer friends were able to help keep one from going under.) Publishing had more than its fair share of new problems along with the usual turmoil and squabbling. I don't think I'll be alone when I happily kick 2009 out the back door for good.

On the career front I had many blessings: wrote six books, sold rights to five, finished two novel series (Darkyn and StarDoc), began a new series (Kyndred) and am now working on a novel trilogy in a new-for-me genre that will debut in 2011. I'm grateful to my guy, my kids and my blogpals and visitors for helping me stay upbeat and focused on what's important.

Memorable moments from 2009: Cole joining the family, me joining Genreality, having a book rank in the Times BSL top twenty for only the second time in my career, photographing stuff for my year-long art project, PBWindow.

Unhappiest moments from 2009: not receiving the original, beautiful cover art I was shown for Rob's book, having eye surgery and the aftermath, having to give up LB&LI, nursing my kid through H1N1.

Weirdest Moment of 2009: No contest there, it was definitely discovering that a bird had nested in our grill.

My favorite PBW post of the year was Publishing 911, which also proved to be one of the most popular with everyone who stopped in during 2009.

The book that was the most useful to the writer me in 2009 was definitely Sage Cohen's Writing the Life Poetic. I hate to pick favorites in fiction, so I'll just say the most surprising novel I read in 2009 was Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman.

Some other fun posts from 2009:

January: Ten Things to Explain Why You Can't Update Your Blog

February: Ten Things Your Romance Novel Heroine Should Never Do, The 22 Immutable Laws of Publishing

March: Hate-Mail Fun, The RITA Drinking Game

April: Warning, Writing with the Stars

May: Cafe Temptation

June: The Seven Deadly Writing Sins, Writer Jeopardy, Ten Things I Hate about Your Antagonist

July: Phalluses and Fallacies, LBL&LI Virtual Workshop #5 -- Art Vs. Life

August: Mawked by Dawkness

September: What Goes Around, Ten Things You Probably Shouldn't Ask for During Contract Negotiations, The Promonator

October: Ten Chinese Cookie Fortunes, and What They Really Mean for Writers

November: The Last NanoPost, Ten Things That Appear in Your Novel, and What They Tell Me, Ten New Terms for Writer Woes

December: Ten Things I Don't Want for Christmas

2009 was my eleventh year working as a pro, and while a great deal has changed for every writer, too much in Publishing has stayed the same. I'm looking at 2010 as a year of opportunity for me and the industry, and I hope we're both up to the challenge.

What will you all remember from 2009? Let us know in comments.


  1. Great round-up, PBW.

    For 2009 I just remember the workload at the office increasing to a ridiculous level, meanwhile we were down a body in the department. Made for lots of stress. Hopefully next year won't be as bad because they've (finally) hired someone.

  2. I'll remember three things:

    The death of Saxon, my dog, aged 17 - a punch to the heart;

    Losing my Aussie Nano word count crown - a kick to the vanity; and

    The staggering (to me, at least) success of Winter's Heart on my Scribd page. I mean... wow - an enormous boost in the right direction.

    I, too, will be glad to climb out of the murky waters of 2009 and dive into the clearer pool of 2010. Um... it's Summer here, so the pool analogy.

  3. Ahh, 2009, is it gone yet? I made many writing changes, did a lot of walking on the beach this summer, then moved to Michigan which we love, got oldest kid mainstreamed into school (ASD miracle), wrote, um, a lot. Sold a lot. Gained some new publishers. Oh, and got nominated for an RT Reviewer's Choice Award, that's always a nice way to end a year.

    Hope I'm up to the challenge in 2010, too.

  4. The thing will I remember most about this year is my kids suddenly turning from "little kids" into "big kids." Wow, what a difference.

    This year, I cut way back on my blog reading, but I will always visit this blog every day for information and giggles.

  5. The worst part of 2009 was losing my friend (and my daughter's godfather) way, way, way too soon. It was a kick in the gut reminder to stop saying "someday" and start saying "now" a lot more.

    I wrote a lot this year and began taking my artwork a lot more seriously. I ran my very first 5K run just a year and a half after surgery to repair my right foot and leg. In the rain, with a cold, not that I'm bragging. :)

  6. Anonymous6:23 PM

    The worst of 2009 for me just happened Thanksgiving Day. My horse and best friend of 10 years passed away to colic/impaction which ruptured his intestines.

    The happiest moment of 2009 for me was moving to a house with 2.5 acres and having my horse in my backyard for the last 4 months of his life.

    I am thankful for the joy he brought me, but saddened that his life was so short (Duxbury Jazz April 28, 1998-November 26, 2009).

    Other brighter moments of 2009 for me were reading PBW and winning contests from a wonderful person (Lynn, that would be you!). Looking forward to reading anything new and re-reading your well loved books in my collection.


  7. Charlene, dare I say, welcome to Michigan? Hey, it might not be in the best shape right now, but it's home :D

    Some of the best things:

    Having DD1 graduate from college.

    Having DD2 tell me she's going back to college.

    Getting to know you, Lynn.

    Having my family mostly healthy for the year. (2008 was the pits!)

    Lots more, but too much to mention.

    Things I'll be glad to get past/hope they go away in 2009:

    I'm hoping I'll get back into writing. For some reason, this past few months, I've done nothing but find excuses *not* to write.

    I'm kissing my lazy butt good bye and starting some kind of exercise. (maybe it will help my writing, ya think?)

    I have lots of other things. I just can't think of them now. Which is pretty much how the year has gone. *sigh*

    Tami, so very sorry about your horse! :hugs:

  8. Ahhh, 2009, it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. So bad that I've spent the last month thinking it was 2010. And so good, that I don't want certain things to end. Like Lynn leaving behind LB&LI, and the Darklyn series coming to a close. But, on the flip side, I learned to speak Dragon , my writing is stronger than ever (thanks to Lynn), the agent who penned my first rejection letter had nothing but praise for my voice and H&H and I finally have my very own writing chamber. So, bring on 2010 and with it Lynn's new ideas (which are sure to please), LB&LI's new host (or hostess) and maybe even a publishing contract or three.

    Nina, hoping Lynn will need a few ARC readers for DreamVeil

  9. 2009 was the year I made some tough decisions about my life, and got serious about my education. I'm pretty happy with how this year turned out, even if it was a huge wake-up call for many people in my generation (those of us floundering in our 20s). It has rekindled my love for writing, and woken my need for self-expression.

    Oh, and I learned to knit! That was a fantastic way to spend time this year.

    2010 will be the year I am angry past endurance with Canada's (my country) political and financial lallygagging; with the Olympics; and the state of our environmental impact.

    It will be the year of the bicycle.

    May next year bring passionate minds and open hearts to those leading our countries, and then the power to safeguard our world from ourselves.