I've decided that 2022 wasn't so bad after all.
Many opinions this time of year revolve around how exhausting the past year was for them. Adjusting to new normals nudged folks out of their comfort zones, or some might say cocoons. Working remotely had been pretty terrific for many of us. We didn't have to know if the pandemic was over or if we could simply exist maskless in a place of benign neglect.
I've been on the slow-to-adapt side of the New Normal Bell Curve. Yes, I'm fully vaxxed and boosted, but being a writer has its benefits, and not having to wear hard pants or heeled shoes are two of them. Zoom has been another great tool, but life is more than seeing other humans sixteen to a screen.
In April I hit two amazing goals. The best was the release of my short story, Currents, in the Mystery Writers of America's anthology, Crime Hits Home. The thrill of seeing my name alongside crime-writing greats like Walter Mosely, Sara Paretsky, Naomi Hirahara, and more as crime fiction's top authors hasn't faded. Nope. Not one bit.
The second April goal? Fitting into said hard pants for the book launch at the iconic Mysterious Bookshop. Yep. April was a banner month.
I watched my fellow writers inch back into in-person events over the summer. Masks became optional. Heartfelt hugs returned. As wonderful as these things were, I found my writer's brain had taken a vacation to points unknown. My productivity for new work tanked but I found I was able to focus on revisions of a WIP and submissions.
The lead-up to November brought all things Crime Bake to priority status. This three-day conference for writers of crime and mystery has been an anchor of the New England writing community for over twenty years. From dreamers with an idea or unpublished manuscript to seasoned pros with dozens of titles and awards to their names, it's truly a must-go event and I'm proud of being its co-chair even if I whine a bit about the time commitment involved. (Truth be said: running a conference during that pesky COVID uncertainty is not easy.) My interview of NYT best-selling author William Martin with co-chair Paula Munier was an absolute highlight. Yes. I wore heels and lived to tell the tale.
December brought the publication of a non-fiction piece in Mystery Reader's International's Legal Mysteries compilation of essays and columns edited by Janet Rudolph. I was happy to leverage my doctorate in law, my writing chops, and my passion for giving to the larger community into this piece.
This past year wasn't all about writing. I'm the parent of three amazing kids who have grown into adults despite my habit of referring to them as kids. Each has set their own course and I try really hard not to over-parent but to be as supportive as possible. This support has come with the following conversation:
Middle Son approached me one day last summer. "Mom, can you watch my dog when I travel?"
"Of course!" I said with too much enthusiasm and commitment thinking this would be at most a two-week stint. "How long will you be gone?"
"About a year."
It appears that two weeks was not enough time to pedal a bike from Boston to Key West to California with a planned hike on the PCT. Silly me for being so naive.
So, my husband and I are the proud keepers of a very adorable Beagle named Pop. Our two cats are not as pleased, but if 2022 taught me anything, it was to just roll with it.
This is my round-up for 2022 and I'm looking at 2023 with guarded optimism.
I wish you and yours all the best.