Friday, December 28, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

Is 2012 really almost over? It seems to have passed by so quickly, but when I look back on the past twelve months I realize that so much has happened.



Back in 2010 I came up with an idea for a ghost story but didn't know where to go with it. After many agonizing rewrites I finally set it aside. In the first week of January I was reading Dante's Inferno when suddenly I was hit by a blast of inspiration so powerful that it burned inside of me like a raging fire that could not be quenched unless I wrote everything down as quickly as possible. (I guess that's what infernos do to people.) Thus, Rage's Echo was born. Or at least begun, because writing a novel takes time.


I finished writing the first draft of Rage's Echo. I cried writing the ending. I don't think I've ever been so emotionally drained in my life.


I turned 23. Go ahead, say it: I'm younger than a spring chicken and am probably still in diapers. For dinner on my birthday we ate at Quaker Steak. I spent the morning of my birthday purchasing these:


Hmm, April... What an interesting month. We had a medical scare in the family that doesn't need to be discussed here, but everything seems to have turned out okay. Toward the end of the month I signed copies of The Land Beyond the Portal during Bingo at my old grade school.


On May 25 my grandfather passed away at the age of 91. One of the most profound moments of my life was seeing his great-grandchildren gathered around the casket in silence, some of them standing on their tippy toes to see him better. It's one of those things that's hard for me to put into words. It was like the new generation bidding the oldest generation farewell, or the passing on of some unseen baton. Does that even make sense?


I spent a lot of time visiting my grandmother that month. Grandpa was her second husband (her first husband, my biological grandfather, had passed away 38 years before) and I felt bad that she had gone through so much loss in her life.

For entertainment, we would all watch my cousin's ten new chickens run around in their pen because they were so funny. That is, we watched them until racoons got into the coop one night and slaughtered every single one of them. Who knew that racoons could be so mean?


Did anything even happen in July? I think it was hot...


The husband and I escaped to the Smoky Mountains for six days. The weather was great and we didn't want to come home.


Jungle Jim's opened a new location in Eastgate, which is only a few miles from our house. They sell a huge variety of exotic and international food, as well as regular groceries (but who would go there for normal food?). For example:


Books by the Banks Book Festival was on October 20. It was my first year, and I had a blast! I got stuck on a discussion panel and flubbed my way through a few questions, and I ate a rather awkward lunch sitting next to former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and foodie Anne Byrn. (I had absolutely nothing to add to the table talk so I kept my head down and ate in silence.) I did get to meet Gillian Flynn, though, so that was pretty darn cool.

Oh yeah, and Rage's Echo was scheduled for publication. Woohoo!


On November 5 I made a two-hour trek across the wilds of northern Kentucky to see Ted Dekker at his book tour stop in Louisville. I love being an obsessed fangirl.

I'm not sure what those two orbs are doing floating in front of me. I thought I left all the ghosts at home.


I survived the Apocalypse. Did you?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just DO it!

At book signings I've often had people comment, "You're so young! How were you able to get a book published?"

I respond by telling them that nobody is going to ask someone how old they are when they submit a manuscript for publication. I've even read that it is wrong to mention one's age in a query letter, so I've never done that. There is no need for it. If the writing is good, it will stand on its own, whether the author is 15, 30, or 99 years old. Because age is just a number, right?

But for me it's more than that. My grandfather passed away from a heart attack when he was 35 years old, and his son--my uncle--passed away after a short battle with brain cancer when he was only 27. I am 23. I know that tomorrow is not promised. The clock is ticking and will not continue forever. We can't keep putting off things because if we do, they may never happen.

I write now because I know that if I put it off, I may never have the chance to do it later on. People have told me that they know people who want to be writers "someday," to which I respond, "There is no 'someday.' You're either a writer or you're not."

Just DO it. Don't wait until you're thirty, don't wait until the mortgage is paid off, don't wait until the kids are grown and you're retired. You want to pen the next great novel? Get cracking. Git-r-dun. Start right. And start right now.

Because you won't be young and goofy-looking forever, either.