2011 altered my life in a lot of ways, so it was definitely a year of change. I said good-bye to my dad, which broke my heart, and saw the end of his many years of suffering, which helped me let him go. So did the many kindnesses shown to me by my family, friends and colleagues during those terrible weeks at the end of his life.
Professionally I gained a new editor who has been a dream to work with; I published my first YA novel, started writing a new series and ended another one. There have been some unexpected negative moments as well, mostly behind the scenes, and nothing I particular care to dwell on. I definitely bid farewell to the last illusions I had about the biz, but I also learned some valuable lessons, and I'm glad I did. I needed them.
I don't really like choosing the best book of the year anymore because I have so many great authors that I read, and I don't want to pick. I will say the most surprising novel I read this year was Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughhart, recommended here on PBW by Cloth Dragon. It was a completely delightful read from cover to cover. Which only goes to confirm my belief that we should all listen to our visitors and read what they're reading because so often they do recommend gems like this one.
Despite all the troubles I've dealt with over the last twelve month, I am looking forward to 2012. I see it as a chance for a personal renaissance, a time to set aside the old and get moving in new and different directions. I hope it's going to be a very creative year for all of us.
I've sifted through the archives and put together a list of what I think were this year's best posts on PBW:
January: Got ISSN?, Know Thy Hub, The Book Wubbie, 28th of Snowfall, Year of the Vulture.
February: Bad News, Worry and Death, Just. Not. Ready., Ten Signs That You May Be Writing a Literary McNovel, Writers Hospital.
March: Writer Math, If Manuscripts Were Lovers, You Know You're an Older Writer When . . ., Character Trading Cards.
April: Self-Publishing 911, Color Idea Cards, The Third and Seventh, Productive Task Listing
May: Writer Excuses for the Digital Self-Publishing Age, Promo No-No Ten, Apocalypse Not Now, Taking Shelter
June: Name Clouds, Facebookless, Novel Series Outlining, Butterfly People
July: Ten Things I Hate About Your World-Building, Reinventing the Bookmark Idea #3, Hunting Metaphors, Characters R Us
August: Green Journal, Character Keywords
September: Peace, Symbols and Words
October: You Are My Fire, Color Reference Notebook, NaNoWriMo Prep I: The Mountain, NaNoWriPrep II: Stand-Out Characters
November: SPAMcam, Ten Things Women Do Only in Novels, NaNoWriMo: Writing Your Dragons, Google Street View Weirdness
December: Ten Things I Would Like for Christmas, The Holiday TBR, Baggage
Adieu, 2011. Hiya, 2012.