Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back at 2012

Taking a moment this morning to look back at the year that was. And 2012 was a big year. Huge in a lot of ways, but two big things come to mind.

I started the year unemployed, having lost my newspaper job in September 2011. Gina and I made it through thanks to a lot of prayer and knowing that we wouldn't be given anything we couldn't handle. But even having the confidence we'd make it through, it was still tough. My unemployment check kept us from having to dip too deep into our savings, but by the time 2012 rolled around I think she and I had both had enough of me being out of work.

Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too much longer for me to find employment, because in February 2012 I started my current job. It was something that happened quickly, like I'm sure most of things do. I went from hearing about the job to being hired in less than a week. I wrote more about the process and my relief over finding a job here, if you want to read more.

It's a great job working with great people, doing everything that I love in an industry that feels much more stable than newspapers. I really do feel like I've been tremendously blessed.

But the blessings didn't end with a new job. At almost the same time I lost my job, we found out that Gina was pregnant. So we spent the first half of her pregnancy with me out of work. But, obviously it all worked out, and in June we welcomed Ellie Harper into the world and our family.

(Ellie on Dec. 18, the day she turned 6 months old.)

She's amazing. She's hilarious. And she's been life-changing in all the best ways. We already can't imagine our lives without her.

People tell you that the time flies by so treasure every moment. You hear it so much that you start to ignore it. At least, I did. But it's really true. I'm writing this with her in a jumperoo next to me and she's bouncing away. It's hard to believe that she's already 6 months old and cutting teeth. We saw her first one on Christmas. Unbelievable.

So, that's my year. Those are the highlights of 2012 for me. Hope your year was as blessed as mine, and I hope your 2013 is doubly so.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I need other writers' advice

Hello, blog friends. I seem to be staying away longer and longer lately, only checking in or reaching out when I need something. Horrible behavior, I know. But this time's no different. I need some advice from other writers.

I have a former coworker who teaches a creative writing class at a local community college. Last year she asked me to speak to her class at the end of the semester. It was great. I talked about what to do with your book once you're finished with it, and I discussed the traditional publishing route versus the indie path.

The former coworker has asked me to come back this year, and I accepted. I can give the same presentation as last year but with some tweaks. I feel like the divisions between traditional and indie have kind of melted away over the last year. More and more traditional authors are climbing into the indie pool, and there are more and more traditional publishers picking up previously indie folks. And there are a bunch of people who are picking and choosing publishing routes by project now. So, I could update last year's presentation.

But I thought I'd ask other writers I know what they think I should talk about. If you were in a creative writing class and could hear someone speak, what do you hope they'd talk about? What questions would you like answered? What topics would you like addressed?

Help me out. The last class of these kids' semester is counting on you, writer friends. You're their only hope.