2011 was full of ups and downs. For the most part it was a pretty good year…in fact, I think it was the best year I’ve had in a really long time.
Some highlights of 2011:
In no particular order...
Becoming a book blogger in April. Becoming a book blogger was one of the best, smartest things I’ve ever done. I love it so much, I don’t think words could do it justice. I have met so many incredible people, and have read a ton of books I might not otherwise have read. Being a book blogger has helped me set and reach reading goals. I’ve always been a slow reader, but by reading so much, I think I’m actually becoming a bit faster. I love all my blogging friends, love peoples’ comments, love visiting new blogs and making new friends and also discovering new books. I don’t have many friends who like to read, so it’s amazing to me to have this whole world of fellow book lovers from all over the world. Blogging has also been a huge help with spreading the word about my upcoming debut novel, Blue Sky Days.
U2 concert in July. U2 is my all-time favorite band. I bought my tickets for the show in the pre-release membership sale, and ended up having them for almost 2 years before I actually got to use them because of the tour being postponed due to an injury Bono sustained. It was my first time with general admission tickets, and although waiting in line for 12 hours in the scorching heat wasn’t a walk in the park, we made an incredible new friend in line who took us under her wing, took care of us all day, and got us into the third row in the pit, almost right in front of Bono. It was a dream come true. Best moment of the show (and possibly my whole life): when Bono came swinging out on his mic during Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, stopped almost right in front of me and posed. My camera was being touchy and wouldn’t work, but he literally stood there until I got my shot. I almost died.
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me...I started the video right after I got my picture of Bono since my camera was being so touchy and was delaying every time I went to click. I have more videos from the concert on my YouTube Channel if you're interested!
The royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April. Don’t laugh! I was really excited for the wedding, and my mum and I got up at 4:45am, had a fancy breakfast and sparkling wine, and watched the entire thing on TV. It was so beautiful.
Niagara Falls trip in November. Last year, my sister-in-law and I took my brother to Niagara Falls for his birthday as a surprise and we had a blast. We decided to go again this year, and we took my friend Suleena as well. We had a great time. It was so nice to get away after working 7 days a week for months on end.
The whirlwind that has been deciding to independently publish my book. After seven years of sitting in a folder on my computer, I pulled out my book Blue Sky Days, and finished it. I spent weeks researching independent publishing and decided it was the right path for me - I liked the idea of taking my future into my own hands and running with it. The feedback, encouragement, and support I’ve received has been humbling, surprising, exciting, and has brought me to tears on a regular basis. I have an epic blog tour planned for the book, starting the date of the launch (January 17th) and running a full four weeks. Almost all my pre-release reviews have been 5 stars, which is mind-boggling and exciting beyond belief. I am so grateful, I can’t even express it properly.
Those are just a few of the amazing highlights of this year. My worst moments of 2011: the moment I realized my Grama wasn’t going to recover from her sudden illness, and then her death, funeral, burial, and many days since when the grief has been so overwhelming, I can hardly breathe. My Grama was one of my best friends - my inspiration, my confidante, my biggest fan - and her death just about killed me. She was just a little over three months shy of her 100th birthday. She was one of those people that everyone loved instantly. She was so full of light and love, and she was a real lady. I miss her so much that sometimes it’s like a physical pain. She was such a huge part of my life, and the world has been a little less bright since she left it. It absolutely kills me that she never got to read Blue Sky Days, because as I said, she was my biggest fan, and she was so excited for me that my dreams were finally coming true. I know she’s looking down, shining her light on me, and cheering me on.
This year, I learned a lot about people. I expected my friends would support me with my writing, but most of them couldn’t seem to care less. I have a few friends who know that being a published author has been my lifelong dream, but I haven’t heard a word from them about my book. And I know they know about it because they’re on Facebook all the time, and I talk about the book quite a bit. That hurts me so much. However, I’ve had an immense amount of support from some surprising places, and from my online friends - bloggers, fellow writers, etc. And that means the world to me. I’ve learned that some people who say they’ll always be there for you actually aren’t there when you need them most, and others you expect not be there sometimes are. That particular lesson has been one I’ve seen a lot of in the last few weeks. I’ve also learned that friendships that have stood the test of time have done so for a reason, and they’re to be cherished.
2012 promises to be an amazing year. My book will officially launch on January 17th, and in the next week or so I’m hoping to get back to writing and get to work on my next novel. My big goal for 2012 is to publish three novels. I’m going to continue reading and blogging (I’ve signed up for something like 15 reading challenges in 2012…I seriously need my head checked lol), and hopefully I’ll make a lot more new friends in the blogging community because you guys are AWESOME.
What were some of the highlights of 2011 for you? What are your goals for 2012?