Wednesday, January 19, 2011

50 things that make me happy

  1. A hot cup of tea in a travel mug for the drive to work
  2. A good audio book to listen to in the car
  3. My little space heater next to my chair
  4. When Dinah gets under the covers at bedtime
  5. Knitting during my lunch hour at work
  6. Aaron cleaning off my car after work today
  7. Changing into my pajamas when I get home from work
  8. Going to bed early
  9. Staying up late
  10. Free Kindle books
  11. My stash of quilting fabric
  12. Great-niece Abigail's giggly smile
  13. My niece Mallory sending me a text message
  14. Hugs
  15. Bob cooking me eggs Benedict for dinner
  16. Macaroni and cheese
  17. A snow day
  18. A new book by a favorite author
  19. Using my reusable grocery bags at the store
  20. Pocket Frogs iPhone game
  21. Christmas trees
  22. Magazines
  23. Browsing in the fabric store
  25. New tires
  26. Good hand lotion
  27. Clinique gift-with-purchase
  28. Birthdays
  29. Hot baths
  30. Painted toenails
  31. Grapefruit as big as my head
  32. Zulugrass bracelets
  33. Bed Bath & Beyond's Twisted Peppermint soap
  34. Clinique moisturizer
  35. Urban fantasy
  36. Indigo Wild products
  37. Big, loose cardigan sweaters (I need one!)
  38. Angels
  39. The ocean
  40. Sunshine
  41. The dogs at work, especially Jojo and Clark
  42. Jojo lying on her back for a tummy rub
  43. Clark coming over to visit me by himself
  44. Wooden knitting needles
  45. Mimosas for breakfast on New Year's Day
  46. My MouseRug
  47. Crystal Light Peach Mango Green Tea
  48. SoftLips Vanilla Mint lip balm
  49. Cats
  50. Our electric blanket

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Saturday, January 01, 2011


I'm not sorry to see 2010 go. It definitely wasn't one of the better years, although at the end of the year Bob always says that they're all good years, as long as we're together, and of course that's true.

In March I finally gave in and admitted that I needed to do something about the almost constant pain I was in, and drove myself to the emergency room. I ended up in the hospital for a week, and had gall bladder surgery. I still don't feel like I've completely recovered from it--I almost never feel truly well, almost everything I eat upsets my stomach--but I'm confident that it will improve.

I didn't write very much this year; I just now went through my journal entries to see if anything stood out, and I discovered that the few times I did write, I was mostly writing about writing. 2010 was also the year that I finally decided to admit that I would probably never sit down and re-write Fallen Angel, and I made the decision to put it out there and see what happened. It started out slowly, but it really took off the last couple of weeks, and by the end of December it was in the Top 100 in Contemporary Fantasy at Amazon.

It's dropped out of the top 100 the last time I checked, but over the last few days it's been hovering between 90 and 100. Last night it was at 95. Seeing my name up there with Neil Gaiman (82), Laurell K. Hamilton (89), Charlaine Harris (98) and Kelly Armstrong (100) was pretty heady stuff. I'm always tempted to be self-deprecating, but I guess the evidence speaks for itself.

Media Shift says 2010 was "The Year Self-Publishing Lost Its Stigma." If 26 year old Amanda Hocking can sell 99,000 books in a month, I think we all need to sit up and take notice:

My total sales for the month of December as of 8:30 PM, 12/30/10 are an absurdly even 99,000.

Which brings my total books sold, since April 15, 2010: 148,887 books

The interesting thing, of course, is that these books are "self-published" ebooks and are priced at between $.99 and $2.99. My book is priced at $2.99, but is discounted by Amazon (I don't know why, but since I get the full commission based on $2.99, I don't really care) to $1.99 (and at times shows up at $1.79). $.99 and even up to $1.99 or $2.99 seems to be an impulse buy, whereas the same book would cost probably $7.99 in paperback, and in these times, is something that does take some thought. If I can read 3 or 4 ebooks for the price of paperback, it's a no-brainer.

I also love it when a publisher puts out one book in a series for free. Sure, the purpose is to get you to buy the rest of them, but I don't see anything wrong with that. I've been on something of a young adult paranormal kick lately. In the last few days, I've read:

So I'm thinking maybe YA is where I should be concentrating. I haven't really made resolutions this year, but I've been thinking of making 2011 "The Year of Living Creatively." I definitely want to write another book this year. I've also been reading about people who choose one word to concentrated on in the coming year; this year my word is "Believe." In other words, I'm going to stop being surprised by things like my book selling 200 copies in a week, and believe that it can happen.

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