Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year in Review

So here we are: New Year's Eve, 2008. Well, it's New Year's Eve on the more civilized side of the International Date Line, but the rest of you will catch up.

2008 is over. Finally. It's been a hell of a year. Lots and lots of change this year.

In January, Eddie and I made the decision to go from "trying to have kids" to "childfree by choice". That was a bit of a strange transition, but we're happier now. It doesn't make the preceding four years any less painful, but I'm glad that's behind us now, and we can look forward to a future of just the two of us.

The first half of the year saw Eddie fighting tooth and claw to change from Aviation Electronics Tech to Master At Arms. He finally won, and we promptly got orders to Okinawa, which is what prompted me to start this blog. He went off to school, I started working on the house to get it ready to rent out. That was a hell of a couple of months - Eddie's school was certainly eventful, but he made it through and got his badge. The house put me through hell, but it's done and now has people living in it.

In April, Eddie's best friend, William, passed away suddenly. We went home to Seattle for the funeral and as luck would have it, my family was in the middle of gutting my grandfather's house to get it ready to sell since he was being transferred to a nursing home. That was a hell of a visit. Nothing like watching your husband mourn his best friend, then coming home and helping to dismantle pieces of your childhood in the same afternoon. Pass the Cuervo, please...

My career also went through some major shifts. I nixed the photography business during the first part of the year because I realized it's just not what I want to do. I love photography, but the business aspect of it sucked. And the weddings...holy hell, the weddings...*gouges eyeballs out* I also decided I wasn't happy with my customer service job. I needed a change, and I needed it now. After a few months of applications and interviews, I got the job at a rental car company. It was a sweet job, too...but of course, a week into it, I find out we're moving to Okinawa. *sigh* It all worked out in the end though: I ended up walking off the job in August after a run-in with some car thieves. I have been unemployed ever since, and am finally doing what I love to do more than anything: Writing. A year ago, I would have given my right arm to be able to write full-time. And here I am.

I finished the first draft of Sins of the Father in September after plugging away for over a decade (this particular draft took about 2 years). Then I decided to do NaNoWriMo in November, knocked out Camera Shy, revised it, and submitted it to a publisher. I started writing the book on November 1 and received a partial manuscript request on December 4. Fingers crossed for a full manuscript request!! In December, I finished Fit for a King (which had roughly 15K words done already; finished at about 55K), then wrote Luke Boydston's Baby and Playing With Fire. I think the last few years' worth of procrastination is catching up with me and I'm finally putting fingers to keyboard and getting the damn stories written. The plan is to have all five of those revised and ready for submission within the next few months, as well as finishing a few more first drafts. Updates to follow, of course.

Of course, I must give credit where it's due, and the fact is I wouldn't have gotten nearly as much written without the whip-cracking and "SEND MOAR NAO" IM's from a certain someone. I have been friends with Ms Papercuts for about two years now, but we started IM'ing regularly a few months ago. This has resulted in numerous exchanges of freshly written chapters, ideas for stories, mancandy pictures, and a multitude of other things. She has served as my muse, my sounding board, and my beta reader. Ms Papercuts, your friendship, piss-taking, and writing input have been much appreciated. Anyway, enough of that sappy bullshit...Here's to more in 2009.

Back in the non-writing world...As mentioned earlier, Eddie and I relocated...twice. In October, we packed a few belongings and our four cats into my Prius and drove across the United States from Norfolk to Seattle, where we stayed for about a month before moving on to Okinawa. I still haven't gotten my cats out here, but I'm working on it. That was a hell of a trip. Gotta love traveling 3,000 miles with 4 cats.

So now here we are, at the end of 2008, on the other side of the world and living a completely different life than a year ago. It was a crazy year, but we made it.

Here's to a badass 2009 for everyone.

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