Friday, December 30, 2011

Dear 2011

Dear 2011,

you were a mighty fine year.

Now I can't speak for others, but for ME you were the best year ever. You were a year full of wonders, miracles and lovely events. You made me smile more than all your brothers I've met before. You were a stellar year, and if I could I'd frame you in gold, give you your own platinum record, name a planet after you or give you your own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Yes, you were that brilliant, and I'm hugging you right now!

The first thing you gave me, right after the fireworks and the hangover of your first day, was an email telling me that yes, I'd written a good book and someone was thinking of signing it.
Right after that, right after making "First Contact" with my future publisher, I got my plane ticket, and my passport.
Only a few days later, the 2011 Neil Diamond tour was announced, and he CAME BACK TO MY TOWN for a concert! Sadly I have to say that the concert was not as exciting as it would normally have been for me because it took place just before I was getting on that plane.

In April, I got THAT call, the one every writer dreams of and waits for, and I don't have to go into that again because it has been documented ad nauseam on many blogs, on twitter and on Facebook.
Let me just say, the lady who called me via Skype to tell me they wanted to sign me was nice, pretty, and NOT as old as dirt.
I've never regretted signing with Buddhapuss Ink, not for a single moment. I'm probably their happiest author.

In June, I left home for that longish trip through the US to meet my twitter and Facebook friends.
Here they are: Sue and Rich, Denise, Tara, Moniera, Susan, Jane, Laura, Leslie, Marianne, Patti, Bunny, Jen, Nancy and Steve, Alicia, Keith and Emily, Sylvia, Denise, Adam, Julie, Paul and Claudia, Sam, and MaryChris.
Hope I didn't forget anyone.
I was in London, Vancouver (Can.), Seattle, Ellensburg WA, Washington DC, on the Eastern Shore, Topsail Island NC, Wilmington NC, Lynchburg VA, Charlotte NC, Portland ME, Freeport ME, Boston, New Haven, Jersey City, Edison NJ, Amagansett and New York City.
And I loved every moment of it. Oh well, the Luray Caverns, not so much. A lot of walking, and my bad leg balked.

In NJ, I met my publisher. In NYC, I had lunch at Carnegie's, and in DC I saw the Library of Congress (at least in passing). On Topsail, on my birthday, I bought a silver ring with shark teeth. In Wilmington, Bunny and I ate ice cream. In Vancouver, I smelled skunk!!! (and thought it was a burning tire). Bunny and I, we had a fabulous morning meeting Jen in Lynchburg.
In Jersey City, I visited with Keith. Nuff said.
Edison – and that's a bowl of spaghetti highways away from Jersey City – in Edison I visited my publisher.
Yes, folks, the dreamed-of moment. Meeting in person the people who think you deserve to be published.

When I got back home I started writing the next book while "Distant Shore" went through its last rounds of polishing.

Then, another miracle happened. And to this day I really think it is another miracle.
Someone on Facebook posted this painting:

I thought my heart was going to explode.
No one knew who the artist was, and the friend who had posted it had forgotten. FORGOTTEN!!!
I tried everything to decipher the signature, to no avail. Finally a twitter friend pointed me to Google's reverse image search, and I found the painter's homepage.

and this painting.

I fainted. Honest to God.
Eric had seen into my mind, he had PAINTED my book.
This picture, titled "Echoing The Sea", it HAD to be on my book cover. And it is. Long story, fantastic story, miracle story, but it's there. It's where it belongs, on the cover of "The Distant Shore".

Yesterday my publisher sent me the pic that's at the top of this blog post. They were wrapping up MY books to send me my copies.
Can you begin to imagine how I felt, seeing this photo? I bet you can.

So, once again, thank you, 2011. You rocked. You opened a totally new path for me, took me to strange and wonderful places, introduced me to lovely and wonderful people.

2011, you were a star among years.