Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year End Closeouts...Part One

Happy Last Day Of The Year!

It's not how I normally say Happy New Year but I'm still thinking about 2015 so let's not get ahead of ourselves. A few years ago, I did the blog topic "Year End Closeouts" and talked about things I should've done but for whatever excuse and reason you can think of didn't quite get accomplished. This time around, I'm not going to concentrate on what "didn't happen" but instead what "did happen."

I hope I get to everything, but you know what they say about middle-aged women---What? You can't remember?--Well, that makes two of us so let's just move on.

January--The first month of the year I was still recovering from an intestinal issue that sent me to the hospital. It might have been a bad case of the Mexican-Chinese flu but I'm not sure because I was diagnosed and dismissed with the same thing I went in for: "severe intestinal distress". Take two bottles of Pepto and don't call me in the morning.

February & March--After dropping 15 pounds during Thanksgiving, the Christmas Holidays and the first month of the year, my body decided it was okay and was starving for nourishment. I'm not just talking nourishment for the body, but a complete overhaul of the nourishment I was providing for my brain. I needed to read more. I needed to write more. I needed to make upgrades to the blog. I needed to do something other than stuff potato chips and Rolos down my gullet and "think" about what needed to be done.

I'd been thinking for years, but this time, something was different: I actually told someone what I was thinking and they took me for my word. The banner at the top of the blog was done by a friend that I met at the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop in 2012. Amy Hartl Sherman is an exceptional artist and can be found at Kranky Kitty dispensing quips as only she can do. She did a fantastic job and it really improved the looks of the blog.

Something else I was thinking about--and totally jumped the gun on--was the novel I was slightly less than halfway finished with and hadn't written anything in for almost 18 months and didn't know if I ever would write in again--was going to need someone other than me or my family to whip it in to shape and to quote a friend "give it the line edit it deserves."

I'm still amazed about what happened next. I emailed my friend Gina Barreca asking for a recommendation and two weeks later had someone interested and inquiring about the status of my project. Niamh Emerson is who I am thrilled to be working with and she's agreed to come along on the next book. Two books? WHAT? How did that happen? That's the thing when you stop thinking to yourself and let others in on the secret: something might actually happen! (Niamh is featured in the book Make Mine A Double.)

April--My birthday month--always a fun time--but this year something extra. I received an email from the library in my home county in Ohio inviting me to do a book signing in the last part of the month. WHAT? How did that happen? There was a small scheduling conflict: I was supposed to be on vacation in Savannah on the same day. No worries! I said "YES, I WOULD BE THRILLED TO ATTEND," and hopped on a plane and flew to Dayton where Sister lived and she drove me to the book signing. It was exciting! Oh, and since I had someone lined up to edit my book, I started writing again.

May--Mom was off on another trip of a lifetime. Aunt Phyllis went with her and they spent two weeks in Alaska travelling by planes, trains and ships. Aunt Phyllis didn't do too good on one of the plane rides and puked the entire time, wasting a cool four hundred bucks. Mom said it wasn't wasted since Aunt Phyllis had her head in a bag she could look over her and see out both sides of the plane and that doubled Mom's view. (Makes sense to me.) I also continued on my novel and was amazed how it was progressing.

June--Another fellow ERMA buddy, Kari Lynn Collins was in Atlanta for the weekend for a wedding and we somehow managed to spend a raucous Friday afternoon and evening at the bar in the hotel where she was staying. I met most of her family and got hugs from everyone--albeit reluctantly, 'cause I'm a hand shaker, not a hugger--but that's how they do things in Texas (where she's from) so everyone got their necks hugged.

A week or so after that I actually finished the novel I was working on for four years and shipped it off to my editor. (I really like saying that.)

But the month wasn't finished. Nope, during the time of writing my novel, I planned my 30-year high school class reunion and the last weekend of the month travelled back to Ohio for the fun event. I had such a good time at the book signing in April, I was invited to come back for another book signing event which happened to be the afternoon of my class reunion. I had about an hour between events and I'm not sure how it happened because everything went off without a hitch. We did almost get thrown out of the hotel for making too much noise and my oldest crush said he named one of his goats after me so you really can't top that...

I was going to put the whole year in one blog post but too much stuff happened so come back tomorrow for the rest of the year.

Be safe if you're out celebrating this year...


Amy said...

This has been quite a year for you! Thank GOD for the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop and so many great people in that tribe.

Revel in it while you keep your eye on the prize!

Unknown said...

Gianetta: You're wildly generous to offer ALL of us you mentioned hugs in your year-end wrap-up. Thanks, doll. You did all the work but you're lovely to offer everybody else some credit. Your accomplishments are inspiring. Go, go, go! Here's to 2016 and the #tribeofloudsmartwomen
xx Gina

Kari Lynn Collins said...

I am thrilled to be included in your year's highlights, but even more thrilled to have gotten to know you better! I have learned so much from you, and taken joy and motivation at keeping up with your hard work....and rewards. Sorry about the hugs, girl, but we only hug who we I hope that is some consolation. Keep working like you have been and keep giving us all a part of your beautiful self. And like Gina said, "Here's to 2016 and the #tribeofloudsmartwomen" I'm proud to be a part of.



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