It’s the first of January, the start of a new calendar year, and a glorious, sunny, summer’s day here. We didn’t stay up to see the New Year in last night – because, with daylght saving, we’d really have to wait until 1am to be correct! – but there’s a bottle of Moet champagne chilling in the fridge, which we’ll have with dinner tonight, to drink to the New Year in style.
2008 had some wonderful highlights: my first book published; the book launch, and dinner afterwards with so many of my cousins, my aunt, my mother and most of my family; catching up with friends and the buzz of the RWAmerica conference in San Francisco in July, and the same at the RWAustralia conference in August; teaching workshops – for Year 12 students in the UNE Mentor program, and for the New England Writers Centre; meeting so many booksellers at the Dymocks conference in August. And throughout the year, the joys and pleasures of good friends, fantastic family, great colleagues, a beautiful environment to live and travel in, and a wonderful partner and two gorgeous dogs to share it all with.
Yes, 2008 is being recorded as a Good Year. I’m even counting the medical stuff as Good – not pleasant, but I’m definitely lucky that the problem was found before it created havoc or worse, and medical staff at RPA hospital couldn’t have been better.
So, what’s on the agenda for 2009?
- First up… FTDB – Finishing The Damn Book. It’s due January 18. It may even make it 🙂 (Just don’t count on me being human for the next 2.5 weeks)
- I’ll be teaching the New Media course at my university in first semester (Feb-Jun), both internal and external students. I’m looking forward to it – there’s some revision work to do to the existing course materials before mid-Feb, and then lectures and online resources to prepare, but as the topics and issues are related to my PhD research, I’ll be making progress on that at the same time.
- The inaugural Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in Melbourne, 20-22 February. I’ll be on a couple of panels, and book-signing – should be fun!
- Our outback trip in May – the Strzlecki and Oodnadatta Tracks. This will be our third attempt – in 2007, we got as far as Innamincka, and then it rained and we were stuck there for a week, all tracks out closed. In 2008, we were all set to go again, but my anuerism was discovered the week before we were due to leave. So, 2009 is going to be third time lucky!
- RWAustralia conference in August in Brisbane, and the 1st international conference on the romance genre just before it.
- Book 2 – which will have a confirmed title sometime soon – is scheduled for release in September in Australia
- As Darkness Falls will be out in a smaller-format paperback in Australia in April, and will be published for the first time in the UK in September, and in Germany sometime during the year.
- Book 3, which isn’t contracted yet, will be the writing focus as soon as book 2 is done.
All in all, it’s a busy year ahead! I’m also hoping, but not definite, about going to the RWAmerica conference in Washington DC in July, and there’s a couple of other Australian engagements which we’re currently confirming arrangements for – more details when they’re finalised!
There will still, however, be time for stopping and enjoying the flowers, as azteclady recommended in comments in my last post. I’m a big believer in enjoying small moments as well as big ones (you may have noticed this… 🙂 ) So, yesterday I took a break from writing to go and photograph a couple of native orchids I’ve seen growing – we usually have more of these on the block, but for some reason (too many wild bunnies munching them?) this year there haven’t been as many. However, they’re still here and there:
Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful, joy-filled 2009 – may there be much love and laughter, good health and happiness in the year!