As the end of 2011 fast approaches, and having received some good writing related news today, I find myself in a Baileys fuelled, contemplative mood. *hic* Well, it would have been rude to leave that last little bit in the bottle now...
So, indulge me in a little trip down memory lane, because this year has been one huge roller coaster, professionally and personally speaking.
This time last year saw us coming out of a bout of ill health, that seemed to have plagued the family for months. Our eldest son had an operation on a mass in his jaw and tentative first findings were hopeful that it was a benign mass. With that worry lifted and the kids finally over their never ending tummy bugs it occurred to yours truly here that really my tummy bug had been going on far too long. Nothing fit, yet I hadn't gained any weight, and I know I was busy, but really why was I so tired?
Well, I found out in the wee hours of Boxing day that a certain little Budda was on the way. This is him, playing at being Santa's little helper one year on.
We were delighted of course - slightly sheepish at not having noticed earlier- but delighted. We had decided in August of 2010 that we would have one last baby, but being that I was fast approaching 43 I didn't really think it was going to happen, and certainly not that fast. We worked out that I must have conceived sometime in November. Not having a clue about dates was 'fun', I tell you.
So 2011 dawned all shiny and new and I made a New Year Resolution. I was going to try darn hard to be published this year. I'm not very good at sticking to New Year Resolutions, but I did manage this one! I shan't bore you with the details, you've all heard them, lol, far too many times already ;-)
I would be lying if I said it has been an easy journey, far from it. I'm sure I cried more this year than I ever have in one year. I've swung from elation to despair and right back again in never ending circles, but the one thing that had kept me going is my writing. I wrote through all the uncertainty concerning our eldest son, hubby's concerns about finding a testicular lump, the emotional and physical ups and downs of my pregnancy, family upsets and fall outs, teenage problems and tween traumas and a few marriage ups and downs too. I'm not the easiest person to be around when I'm pregnant, let's just say that...
Those of you, who've been reading this blog for a while, will know my ranty posts, which, funnily enough, are still the ones with the most hits. The following are the top three.
Breastfeeding older children
Large Families and other people
Happy Father's Day
Nothing at all to do with writing you will note, just me letting off steam. Guess it resonated with people.
The middle of the year, everything changed. Both hubby and son got the all clear, it wasn't cancer after all - phew. I got my first two publishing contracts - YEY- and of course little budda arrived. Actually, he wasn't little. He weighed in at 10lbs 13.5 oz and I can honestly say that it was the most gruelling labour and delivery I ever had. One could say my body was making sure that this baby was indeed my last. He is of course absolutely delightful and one of the easiest, most chilled babies ever. I wouldn't manage to get half the writing done that I do, if he wasn't so easy. As long as he can see me and can disappear under my jumper at regular intervals, all's well in his world.
You have got to love the simplicity of having an exclusively breastfed baby. 'If in doubt get the boob out' has long since been one of my personal mottos and it certainly works for him. As long as I'm close by, he's a happy little chappy. In fact my nine year old pronounced him to be not a normal baby. "Babies are supposed to cry, Mummy. He doesn't cry enough!"
Hmm, I think there is a compliment in there somewhere! Personally I firmly believe that babies aren't meant to cry. I know my personal stress levels go sky high when he does cry, and you can forget about getting any writing done. Though he is my little muse I am quite sure.
My writing became more and more erotic the further my pregnancy advanced. In fact the night before I went into labour the idea for a new story hit me. Hubby and I plotted it out whilst I was in early labour the next day. Crazy, I know, but it kept my mind of the huffing and puffing. The naughty boys were born, my first proper attempt at a BDSM type story.
And if you had told me a year ago, that I would not only be an Erotic writer, but venture into BDSM, I would have called you crazy!
Just goes to show you never can predict where this writing journey will take you. I also added paranormal writer to my dossier with my Debut Novel Lure Of The Blood which released in November. That was another surprise story I didn't see coming. The more I opened myself up to being completely character driven, the more the words flowed, and the more I constantly surprised myself.
So, here I am. A year on, with three published stories, one novel due to be published in January, and contracts for three more. Who'd have thunk it.
I am incredibly grateful to my publishers Noble Romance, Breathless Press, Evernight Publishing, my readers and of course my family and friends, who are my biggest cheerleaders. I couldn't do it without you and I love you all. Ok I promise that is the only soppy bit, but it had to be said!
So, 2012 looms large and I can't wait to see what it brings. One thing is certain - it will not bring any more babies. Hubby has his vasectomy booked in January, so the only babies will be literary babies. Hopefully there will be lots of them.
I have today signed a contract for that story I first thought about when I was in labour. It is now called Miss Frigid Knickers and will be part of Evernight's upcoming Virgin Anthology.
Never gets old I tell you.
I have lots of things planned for 2012. There is Lucas' story from Lure of the Blood, book two and three of my sexy Giovanni Cousins, another naughty fairytale that came to me as I was brushing Barbie Rapunzel's hair for my seven year old on Christmas day - don't ask, my mind works in mysterious ways - another BDSM shortie and who knows what else...
The joy of being a panster is in the winging it. It seems to work for me. Ideas are not the problem, finding the time to execute them may get trickier as budda gets older, but we'll see.
For now, just let me wish you all a happy and prosperous 2012.
May all you dreams come true :-)