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Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Super Cool, Cool, and Not So Cool Experiences of 2011

Life is a journey, so they say. But this year has been an *&^(ing roller coaster ride, with more chills, thrills, and spills than the Brooklyn Cyclone experience of 2009.

Super Cool

Attending Taos Toolbox for two utterly idyllic, fantastic weeks from July 10-23, 2011.  

There I met very fine writers who I am privileged to be able to call on (and I have) to help out with emergency revisions and to keep me up do date on the all the best brands of beer and whiskey (in the greatest Western saloon tradition).

In addition, I can boast that I had several early morning chats with Nancy Kress over English muffins and coffee, and a discussion on my career goals with Walter Jon Williams in the hot tub.

Thanks to the advice I got and connections I made there, I recently published an article in Lightspeed about smart houses, robots and artificial intelligence and no longer have tachycardia when I see a message from John Joseph Adams. And Boulevard of Bad Spells of Broken Dreams is done and a partial submission is now being considered by a major West Coast agent.

Nope, doesn't get much better than that.

Cool (in no particular order):

One son graduated from high school and went away to college.

The other son is doing well in his music studies and I got to hear one of his "new music" compositions at a end of the year performance.

Published a "playbill" type article for the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association's 360 project entitled Making the Music Dance: Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Suite. 

I'm still dancing despite the arm injury (details in the not so cool list).

I was cast as Hannah Townsend Lawrence, a Victorian socialite, for the Bayside Historical Society's annual "ghost tour" of the Lawrence Cemetery. After my reading, upon touching Hannah's gravestone, the Paranormal States EMF meter recorded exceptionally high levels  of activity.  I perceived no restless spirits, so I guess she was pleased by my performance.

Just published "Breakwater Beach," a short story set in the same time and place as my Cape Cod paranormal romance series. I would LOVE some feedback from readers if they would like to read more about Mike and Liz (and Edward and Elisabeth) so I can let the agents know there is a ready-made audience.

Check Out Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, edited by Rayne Hall.

I completed Astrology for Writers I and II with Mary O'Gara and can now read and interpret charts (at least for fictional characters). This spring I'll be starting Tarot for Writers. 

I've long been interested in natural healing, herbal, and homeopathic remedies. As a way to make lemonade out of lemons, I've consulted both a santera and two Chinese medicine specialists.

Santeria is a fascinating, mysterious practice that appears to have somewhat alleviated the root causes of my arm pain: stress and overwork. I've also experienced two acupuncture an energy healing/meditation sessions and am looking forward to more. 

Not So Cool

My Dad died in June after a long illness. I miss him so much.

College tuition payments, which require me to do tons of overtime, leading to aforementioned stress and overwork.

Two teenagers, who tax my brain, my heart, my soul, my pocketbook, and my patience to the breaking point.

Being a health care professional in the United States--and the triple whammy of being woman, in a women's profession, taking care of women.

Hurricanes, tornados, assorted floods and other manmade and natural disasters.   

The  combination of all of the above, which resulted in calcified tendonitis of my right shoulder which has morphed into fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Typing doesn't help, but voice recognition software doesn't like my pitch or Bronx accent.

Yes, life is a journey. But I will keep Going On Pointe for as long as I can.

Happy 2012.

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