November is always a time when I stop working on my goals for a while and look back at what I've accomplished so far. So many wonderful things happened in 2010:
My middle grade novel doubled in size!
When I joined the critique group at the end of 2009, my novel had 7,000 words, about the size of a chapter book. It has now 14,000 words, and I'm still working on it. My goal is to bring it to a middle grade novel size of at least 20,000 words. Making progress, thanks to my wonderful reviewers!
I received 177 reviews and gave 82 reviews.
My novels and short stories are posted on writing.com for people to comment on. I've been focusing on reviewing chapters of my critique group, and most reviews I received are detailed, helpful reviews from that group. I'm still occasionally receiving random reviews for my short stories I wrote over a year ago. I'll work on those once my novel is ready for publication.
My kids now have their own computer.
I used to have to share my laptop with my kids every time they had homework requiring internet access. Not anymore! My laptop is all mine now. Muahaha!
My social network grew:
Facebook: I now have 121 friends. Not much compared to my daughter, but good enough for me! I never knew I had that many friends before Facebook. Haha!
Twitter: I have 490 followers and I'm following 421. Whew! Where did they all come from?
Blog: I have 46 followers, I'm following 82 blogs, and my blog was viewed 3366 times;
MySpace died. R.I.P. Everyone migrated to Facebook.
I read the whole Harry Potter series.
I had read random books from the series a while ago, but I decided to read them all from book 1 to book 7. I'm glad I did. Enough said.
I participated in WriteOnCon.
This event was a free online conference for children's writers in August, that turned out to be HUGE! Over 11,000 people attended, worldwide. The conference included live chats with agents, query critiques, a forum where people could post the first few pages of their novel and receive feedback from other writers, raffles, and much more! I learned a lot, made new friends, and got to know several agents. Priceless!
One of my short stories has been published!!
I can now say that I am a published author. *grin* One of my flash fiction stories, Paradoxical Neighbor, was published in an educational e-book for 10th graders by Nelson Literacy. This is my first paid publication. Yay!
I published one short story on Squidoo...
... and made $24 with my other nine pages I had put together in 2009. One of them displays all my flash fiction stories. This is how Nelson Literacy discovered my story and asked me for the right to reprint. Squidoo is completely free, by the way, and it only takes a few minutes to create a new page. Just saying. Great tool! Love it.
I wrote 25 blog posts.
Well... 26, counting this one. I know it's not much compared to other bloggers I know that blog EVERY SINGLE DAY, but for me, considering my busy schedule, it's quite an accomplishment that I find the time to blog at all.
My team won the Review Frenzy organized by Ralene on WDC.
Team A9 rules!! We had to review as many chapters as possible in one week, three chapters per review. My team won against two other teams. *beam* It was great fun, and I enjoyed reading so many chapters in such a short time. I normally review one chapter per week. I reviewed 18 chapters that week.
I chatted live with my critique group on Skype.
It was awesome to hear everyone's voice, after communicating only in writing for over a year. I also spoke with a few individual writers a couple times, which was great. There's nothing like hearing someone's real voice, and it saves a lot of typing time. And best of all, it's completely free! I can talk to someone in Australia for an hour, or to a whole group of people around the world for the whole evening, and it doesn't cost me a penny. How cool is that!
I took two trips with my family.
We went to Canada in July to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday, and we went to Maine in October to attend my brother-in-law's wedding. Ahhh! So good to get out of the house once in a while! We had a great time, and it was good to see everyone again.
Things I'm grateful for
Even though there's still one month left in 2010, it's the Holidays, and I'm not planning to go crazy working on my writing goals. This is a time to enjoy my family and friends, make new goals for 2011, write whenever I feel like it, and eat too much turkey and pumpkin pie.
I have so much to be thankful for. All the regular things, of course, having a family I love and that loves me, having a roof over my head, being healthy, having parents that are still together after nearly 50 years of marriage, and all that... but I don't want to state the obvious and bore you with the same old stuff everyone else always mentions. LOL
One thing I'm grateful for this year particularly is for the chance I had of networking with so many wonderful writers. The writer's community I've discovered is amazing, and particularly children's writers. I found that in general, children's writers are supporting and encouraging each other freely, regardless of race, nationality, age, background, social status, or writing style. Friendship is made possible despite all our differences, based on our common passion for writing. To me, this is amazing. Now if the rest of the world could do that, focus on what we have in common instead of what divides us, the Earth would be a better place to live.
Thank you for all of you who helped me in so many ways, by giving me feedback on my stories, by leaving a comment on my blog, or by simply being there with a word of encouragement when I needed it. Thank you!!
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