Barb: Resolutions and goals for the new year are important, and we’ll get to those. But for me, part of learning to become a writer has had nothing to do with imagination or craft. It’s had to do with learning to stay motivated and disciplined over the months and years it takes to write a book, and over the decades it takes to learn to be a writer.
One of the things I learned was that in addition to looking forward and having goals, it’s important to celebrate achievements. Having that sense of victory keeps you going in through inevitable times when you question your talent and skills.
So Wickeds, tell me your 2013 accomplishments. Give me five–and here’s a challenge, include one that will surprise your fellow Wickeds and our readers.
I’ll give us all one to get started–Creating this blog. Who knew it was just a gleam in the eye of Sherry Harris in the spring of 2013? Now it’s an important part of my life–as are all of you.
Edith: What a year it was for all of us! I’m happy to celebrate: 1. The first book in my three-book contract came out, A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die. Which was also my first hardcover book. 2. I learned a huge amount about marketing, selling, and the limits of my own energy. 3. A short story I was strongly called to write, “Breaking the Silence,” not only made it into the Level Best Books anthology Stone Cold, but also won an honorable mention in the Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Contest. 4. I signed a contract for the second Lauren Rousseau book, Bluffing is Murder, and changed the manuscript (THIS week) from third person point of view to first person, an onerous but necessary chore. 5. Not sure this is actually a surprise, but I made a lap quilt in record time for a dying friend in the week before Christmas, realizing it was more important than a few more batches of cookies, expert gift wrapping, or even writing for a few days. Some people are surprised to learn that I know how to sew and quilt. I grew up sewing at my mother’s knee, love it, and do way too little of it these days!
Sherry: Barb you’d better share your five too! And since you mention our blog that will be my number one. The blog has been such an amazing experience, our guests, our friendship, and just learning what it takes to do one. 2. Getting the contract to write three Sarah Winston Garage Sale Series books. 3. Writing Tagged for Death the first in the series. 4. Joining the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime. I’ve been a member of the New England Chapter since 2005 and am so glad I joined this Chessie group too. Surprising the Wickeds with an accomplishment isn’t easy — I realized how much of my life you already know about so here goes! 5. I understand the offsides rule in soccer and can discuss British Premier League soccer without sounding stupid. Okay my husband thinks this is a great accomplishment. As for me, I keeping more secrets this year!
Jessie: I’m not sure I have any accomplishments that would surprise any of the Wickeds because they’ve been right there trudging along with me as I’ve gotten most of them done! There are some things I am proud of this year though. My first book with Berkley Prime Crime, Drizzled with Death, released in October. I wrote my second manuscript for that series and every turned it in on time! I sold the German rights to my first mystery, Live Free or Die. I was a panelist at a conference for the first time this year. I was so honored for it to be at the Crime Bake which was the first writing conference I ever attended and the place that started me on path that led to all of the other accomplishments on the list. And finally, I will mention the blog too because it really has been a major part of my life this year. The collaboration with all of these great writers and great people has been one of the very best parts of 2013 for me. Thanks to you all!
Liz: What an amazing year – and how great it is to be able to stop and think about the great things we’ve done along with all that’s still left to do….
My top five are: Publishing Kneading to Die, the first book in my Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. And, like Jessie, it was an amazing accomplishment to finish and turn in book two, A Biscuit, A Casket, also on time! Beginning this group blog with my Wicked sisters will go down in history as a hugely proud moment. I spoke on my first two large conference panels, at Bouchercon and Crime Bake, which was huge for me. And I had a story accepted for an anthology on rescue cats, which will publish in 2014. I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring!
Barb: My top five are: 1) Launching Clammed Up, the first book in my Maine Clambake series with Kensington. 2) Turning in the second book, Boiled Over, on time despite having spent the last three weeks of writing glued to my chair for 12-18 hours a day. 3) Completing my second and final year as co-chair of the New England Crime Bake with a successful conference (turning that duty over to fellow Wicked Julie Hennrikus for this year.) 4) Publishing Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, along with my fellow co-editor/co-publishers. This is the eleventh book in the series. 5) My husband and I had a fabulous trip to Cuba last January. If you ever get the chance, go!
Readers, what 2013 accomplishments are you celebrating?