Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009: The Year in Review

As the last few days of 2009 wind down and prepare to unceremoniously dump our carcasses into 2010, I thought I'd take some time and bandwidth to reflect on this past year. Especially since I did the same thing in 2008, so I might as well make a tradition out of it.

2009 was our first full year in the Land of the Rising Sun, and I'm fairly certain Eddie and I took well over 15,000 photos over the course of that year. It was also my first year as a full-time writer, a job I still love like nothing else I've ever undertaken. It was an exciting year, a successful one, sprinkled with a few incidents of fun, fail, and frivolity.

So...back to the beginning we go...with links to relevant blog entries, but you'll be here all day if you try to click on all of them.

January marked the completion of my failtabulous novel, The Wedding Photographer, which I intend to revisit at some point in the future. In short, it was a good idea, but the execution left a lot to be desired. Also during that spectacular month of fail, I trunked The Enemy of My Enemy, Straight Up, and All The King's Horses. Oh yes, it was a glorious month. However, it wasn't an entirely shitty month. Playing With Fire was contracted to Linden Bay Romance less than 24 hours after the full manuscript was requested. Even with that highlight, I still found myself wangsting pathetic about the fact that I hadn't written or come up with anything worth writing during the month of January aside from the occasional rant. Scarlett then made a fateful offhand comment, and Between Brothers came into existence.

Thanks to an incredibly stupid paperwork error during the preceding November (by none other than yours truly), the end of January saw me on a plane bound for Seattle to pick up my cats. Much of my flying time was spent plottering and scheminating the first few inklings of Between Brothers in the untrod pages of YOOGN, which has since been filled and retired.

The month was now February, and I was slowly getting reacquainted with the concepts of "cold", "snow", and "rudeness", all of which had become foreign to me after moving to Japan. While I was in Seattle, through a series of uncanny coincidences, I ended up having lunch with the editor who was reviewing a partial manuscript of Camera Shy. This proved a fateful occasion, because her comments more or less shifted the direction of my writing. In short, my writing ended up getting a lot dirtier after that. I guess I just needed someone to give me the green light to pull out all the stops. During my travels, I also took a bunch of pictures and wrote one of my rare but lengthy motivational blog entries. Also, the first chapters of Between Brothers came to life.

In mid-February, I returned to Japanistan with my cats. After much jetlag, it was back to the usual routine of writing interspersed with trips off base to take pictures and search for the Holy Grail. March saw me, after much wangsting about how exactly to pull it off, jumping on the rewrite of Camera Shy in between continuing work on Between Brothers. By the end of the month, both books were finished, a castle had been visited, the Witt List had begun, and the Boilersaurus Rex in our house in Virginia had died and cost us a shitload of money. I missed my grandfather's funeral, Scarlett came up with an interesting theory about the universe, and I started doing a rewrite of Luke Boydston's Baby.

In April, Eddie and I came up with a new way to enjoy grocery shopping, a band was named, safety signs were ignored, a magic feather bestowed, wildlife was molested, Scarlett finished the first draft of her first book, and I ranted about those scenes (tm). Then, with Meghan's help, a wedding dress was trashed not once but twice. A gauntlet was thrown, a comment made, and Rules of Engagement came into existence. I also started working on Black Dark, which I would eventually bow out of, but Wayne and I are still talking about collaborating on a future project. All in all, it was a pretty typical month.

In May, Rules of Engagement was finished, Between Brothers was contracted, and snakes were found in Coke machines. In June, I gave up caffeine (again), raved about my harem of first draft beta readers, and decided to try writing a book without outlining. Scarlett, in a show of solidarity, opted to outline a book, which she didn't usually do. Ultimately, I ended up outlining my book, and The Best Man was the result. Scarlett stuck to her outline and finished Plus One, which is made of solid gold WIN.

Playing With Fire's contract was cancelled with the publisher merged with another. While this was a bummer, it was also a golden opportunity to revamp the book. I put it aside temporarily to work on Breaking The Rules and The Best Man, but promised myself I'd get back to it. I also officially announced my goal of hitting 1 million words in 2009, in between ranting about description and detail.

In keeping with the trend of 2009, July was an interesting month. I raved about Scarlett, ranted about writer's block and word counts, saw a gecko, and had a crab fall down the back of my shorts. I was also pissed on by cicadas, sold Rules of Engagement, made the front page of NaNoWriMo's website, rewrote Playing With Fire, and saw an eclipse.

August was busy as hell. Scarlett put an idea for Nine Tenths of the Law into my brain (and after Rules of Engagement and Between Brothers, let's just say I listen to her). I saw bats, flew home, drove to Canada, ranted, and went to Forks with Libbie, Will, Eddie, and Phil Collins. The Dictionarah of Destinah was started. I also attended my ten year high school reunion, which was a total blast (and was the whole reason we flew back to Seattle in the first place).

The first week of September was a bit crazy. After an epic cluster fuck involving seating on a military flight, we began what would ultimately become a 6.5 day journey back to Okinawa. Fortunately, I had final edits for Between Brothers to keep me occupied, because it was to be released very soon, and that kept me busy until we finally arrived home. Once I was home, it was business as usual. Scarlett doctored the hell out of the beginning of Nine Tenths of the Law, and shortly thereafter, it was finished, submitted, and (in early October) sold to Samhain Publishing. Amidst all this excitement, Between Brothers was released, the 3/4 million mark was crossed, and several men were gloriously objectified.

Now, after writing and selling three books that were spawned by offhand comments from Scarlett, I keep an ear out for such comments. As it happened, an e-mail exchange with the editor who bought Nine Tenths of the Law set off a series of synapse crackles between my ears, and the result was The Distance Between Us...which I wrote in October and sold to the same editor. I turned twenty-nine, and my husband bought me property in hell. I also ranted about being childfree, started outlining World Enough and Time, and capped off the month by starting the Friday Mancandy tradition in glorious bowtied style.

November was, of course, NaNoWriMo, and World Enough and Time was my NaNo novel, which I finished on the 22nd. In between, Eddie and I continued taking pictures of this glorious island we call home, including another castle and a haunted hotel. I ranted (shocking, I know) about writing fast. Rules of Engagement was pirated, then released. I started a website. Eddie and I sent our Christmas Letter.

And that brings us to December. Scarlett started off the month with a bang by getting a full manuscript request, which was well-deserved and will hopefully result in a contract. I sold Breaking The Rules, which has been retitled to The Next Move (Scarlett, ever the title ninja, came up with that). During the course of the month, after a lengthy absence, the infamous Kuwisdelu returned to a writing board that Scarlett and I frequent, and there was much rejoicing. (yay) I set my goals for 2010, hit 1,000,000 words for 2009, celebrated 7 years of marriage by eating steak and buying an iPhone, and slathered my blog with photos of shirtless men.

So, that was 2009. 2010 begins in a few short days, and with any luck will be another wild, successful ride. Best wishes to all of my loyal blog minions for a happy, healthy, and productive 2010.

It's going to be a good year. Hugh Jackman says so.


  1. You have had a awesome year. Plus, I think I've been reading this blog almost the entire time, which is new for me. But also kinda cool.

    By the way, I started Between Brothers two days ago, and I'm already halfway through. Holy. Crap. It really is made of win!

  2. Everything Lori writes is made of win. It's remarkable.

  3. Caught up with your year when Nano posted you and bought Between Brothers for my Christmas eReader :) Hope 2010 is even better for you! And if you could possibly see it in your heart to add more Henry Cavill to your mancandy displays...I would be most appreciative. Happy Holidays!

  4. Y'all rock. :D

    And Taryn, I will most certainly include more Cavill in the mancandy displays. Just...you know...twist my arm...