A Look Back at 2013

If 2011 was the year of cancer and 2012 was the year of recovery, 2013 was the year of seizing the day. I was looking over the blog, and wow did I jam a lot into 2013. Some highlights:

January: Showed my agent a book proposal for a new mystery series, a paranormal mystery featuring female alchemist Zoe Faust and her sidekick, a gargoyle accidentally brought to life by a French stage magician.

My own gargoyle: stuffed animal Dori.

February: Received my first royalty check from Henery Press (for Other People's Baggage). I knew I should do something fun with part of the money, so I bought this super-cute pair of glasses I'd been eying.

Cute new glasses!

March: Attended mystery convention Left Coast Crime, held in Colorado Springs in 2013. Had a great time both meeting readers and catching up with writer pals I only see once or twice a year. 

April: Wildside Press published Fish Nets: The Second Guppy Anthology, featuring my locked-room mystery short story "The Hindi Houdini." I love this story because I pulled off writing a true locked-room mystery like the classics I love, plus it features Sanjay from the Jaya Jones series in his first starring role.

The anthology includes "The Hindi Houdini."

May: This was the month that began to me wonder what my life had become -- in a good way.  Not only did I get to interview one of my all-time favorite mystery authors, but I also went on a last-minute trip to Europe, tagging along with the husband on a business trip of his (a business trip???). If you'd asked me about either of these things just a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have expected either of them to be in my future. (The surreal events of my life were to continue, especially in June and September.)

Attended Malice Domestic -- with a surprise highlight of being asked to step in for Barbara Mertz and conduct the Aaron Elkins Lifetime Achievement Award Interview!

Tagged along with the husband on a business trip to London with an excursion to Lisbon.

I can never resist a trip to the British Library.

Spent my birthday exploring Moorish castle ruins outside of Lisbon.

June:  Signed a three-book deal with Henery Press to publish the Jaya Jones treasure hunt mystery series!

Gorgeous new book cover from Henery Press.

July: Wrote an outline of Jaya Book 3 for Camp NaNoWriMo.

August: Henery Press published the new edition of Artifact.

September: Signed my second three-book contract of the year! After reworking the book proposal I gave my agent in January, the series sold in a three-book deal to Midnight Ink. The new series takes place in Portland, so I have plenty of excuses to visit.

October: Began 100 days of being a full-time writer, taking a sabbatical from my beloved day job to meet my writing deadlines.

November: Traveled to France on a trip that was half book research and half romantic vacation.

Participated in NaNoWriMo and attended the Night of Writing Dangerously.

December: Learned how to balance writing and life as a full-time writer.

It took a while, but I was finally finding my groove by December. My sabbatical ends at the end of January, coinciding with turning in The Accidental Alchemist to Midnight Ink. It's going to be a fun and intense January, but I'm also looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule. I've learned that I love having the structure of my day job (it helps that I love the job and my coworkers), which has been a wonderful thing to realize at this stage of my writing career.

Happy New Year, everyone!