Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thoughts On 2013... And Bears?

Quick! It's dark here in FloridaLand, and I have time for one more post before my blog archive directory rolls over into a whole new year! Only a few hours left to bring the grand total of this month's entries up to....

Seven???? Seriously?

Okay, so obviously, this year I have been somewhat blog impaired. I used to do seven entries in a couple of weeks. But I've been online much less than usual this year, sometimes by choice, sometimes not. Here's a recap of what my 2013 has been like:

1. On May 21st, I welcomed my beautiful baby girl into the world. Of course, this is a red letter moment for any parent, but it's especially true for me, because my husband and I hadn't planned on having any more. It wasn't even medically advisable, actually, but Boo had other plans. And I am so so glad. She's totally and completely healthy and beautiful and funny and by far the happiest of all our babies. And yes, a ton of work. Which brings me to:

2. I signed contracts with my publisher for a total of seven books: two trilogies and one stand-alone. The first trilogy was my backlisted Angel's Edge books, which, under the masterful tutelage of Team Lisa Gus, have far outperformed my wildest expectations. I was pretty much ready to just let them go. Angels, thought I, had peaked as far as YA fiction went. But Lisa said, "Hold up a minute. The world is holding it's breath for Book 2 of Susan Ee's angel series, and here you have a completed angel trilogy, and you just want to let it sit on a shelf and gather dust? Are you crazy?" Well, that's not exactly what she said. but close enough. And thus began the whirlwind re-release which would push me into multiple bestsellers lists.

3. I started a brand new NA contemporary that so far, has turned into the truest, darkest, grittiest thing I've ever written. I mean, hot damn. This book. I'm to the point that I don't even care how well it sells (much). It's just a story I have to tell, and at times, it feels like it's writing me. Which is a very cool thing to happen between a writer and her 'script. And it's full of All The Swoon. Promise.

4. I moved from Auburn, Al to Central Florida. I traded a somewhat progressive college town, with organic supermarkets, coffee houses, independent bookstores, and public transportation for an eight acre farm on a private lake in the middle of the Ocala National Forest. Where there are bears. Big black bears. Which, for some reason, don't scare me as much as the alligators. And honestly, this is really a bigger deal than I'm describing. The move also meant going from being a homeowner to- not exactly a tenant, since it's family land- but something like it. It meant saying goodbye to some pets that had been part of our family for years. It meant new schools for the kids, new jobs, changing relationships with extended family, a different climate, cuisine, and language- pretty much change on every level. But did I mention the lake? It's spring fed, and private, and looks like glass most of the time. And I can spend time writing and raising Boo instead of immediately jumping back into the workforce, which really makes it surprisingly worth it.

5. I spent a few months in an isolated cabin on the upper Elk River in Limestone County, Alabama, where we actually used the fireplace for warmth and the children slept in a loft. Like Little House on the Prairie kind of stuff. I mean, an honest-to-god 150 year old log cabin with ancient wood laid criss-cross like Lincoln Logs and sealed together with some kind of cement-type substance. Only it wasn't cement; it was whatever Little House on the Prairie people used to seal cracks. And it had been in my husband's family for... however many generations 150 years is. People had babies in that cabin, and died in it too. I had a baby in that cabin. Well, actually at the county hospital, but that cabin is where I brought her home. And I will never forget it. There's a book in there somewhere, but I have no idea what it is yet, and that's okay, because books happen on their own timetables. They're annoying that way.

6. Some bad things happened, too. Lots of bad things, actually. Enough to last me the rest of the decade, but it's getting closer to midnight, the neighbors are shooting fireworks from their boats in the middle of the lake, and I really really don't want to go there right now. I've done enough blog entries on some of these things already, especially over the last couple of months, and right now all I want to do is be grateful for the progress I've made. And chocolate. I might eat some of that, since I don't drink or party anymore. I completely used up all my New Year's partying mojo in my twenties, and now I just want to spend it with the ones I love most. That, and laughing at the bears, imagining them cowering in the forest, scared of the fireworks.

Hey, a girl can dream.

Happy New Years, all!