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Hundredth, and Final, Post

Ok, I confess, that was a bit of a tease. Yes, it is the hundredth post. And it is sort of the final one. Because for post 101, I'll be moving this blog over to my new website, Because, let's face it: What was I thinking?

But in the meantime, I'm going to swipe an idea from my pal Kelly and use this hundredth post to solicit questions from the audience. Anything you want to ask me about, I'll do my best to answer in the next post. Questions about writing welcome, questions about anything else welcome as well. I sort of doubt I have many lurkers, except maybe my Dad, but if I do, this would be a great time to delurk!

See you on the flip side,


Ten Years, Man

So, it's a new year all over again. And since we're changing the penultimate digit this time around, I'm thinking less about everything that's changed in 2009 and more about everything that's changed since 2000.

When 2000 rolled around it was, if you'll recall, a big damn deal. I'm talking pomp and circumstance, and dancing in the streets. Remember... hee hee... Y2K? I was just twenty-two, spending a good chunk of my time resenting my awesome job at a newspaper because they expected me to spend so much more time on it than I'd ever had to spend on college.

And then here it was: 2000. A big freakin' number that said clearly that we were moving forward into the future, that this was a Day to Be Marked. It never honestly occurred to me that I'd even be seeing New Years Eve 2010. I mean, I expected to, but only in the way that you expect to die someday. It was a length of time I really couldn't envision.

But here I am. And I'm a different me. In evidence of which, I offer these pictures.

These are the shoes I wore on New Year's Eve 2000. I wore them around downtown Fort Worth, in the midst of a rockin', rollin' Texas-style celebration. They hurt my feet, my toes nearly froze off, and I spent all night worried that I'd scrape through that thin sheen of blue to reveal the papier mache or whatever was underneath.

And here are the shoes I wore this year:

I wore them in my living room, while Mark and I watched a Burn Notice marathon, then switched to the Times Square ball drop for the last five minutes. We toasted with half a can of Coke apiece, kissed, spoke of our undying love and fidelity, and then got back to Burn Notice. Full disclosure: I was also wearing socks at the time.

So what those shoes are saying, I guess, is that things change--sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better, and often for both.

That's how my life has been, but much more on the better side than the worse. I've got a decade less of life to run with here in 2010, not to mention fertility and facial elasticity. But I've also got a husband and a life I love. And I think (I hope) I'm more a bit wiser now, a bit more generous, more patient.

What I'm not, and what I would have expected to be by now, is finished.

I'm not finished figuring out how to be the person I want to be. How to be disciplined, and courageous, and stylish, and organized. Nor am I established in my career. By any measure, I'm farther along than when this millennium started, but I am not there.

And because I'm 2010 me, and not 2000 me, I'm old enough to know that maybe you never really get finished. Maybe it's all really about the journey

Or maybe that's malarkey, but here are a few things I know:
  1. The 2010 me likes comfortable shoes and doesn't care who knows it.
  2. Burn Notice is very, very good.
  3. The optimism I felt at the beginning of 2000 is nothing like the optimism I have now. And I think that's because I've got the right companion for 2010.
Happy New Year, everyone!

In Case You Haven't Heard, Vampires Are In

Take a look at this snap of the Teen section at the good ol' B&N and tell me if you see what I see.

I see a metric ton of red, black, and purple. A good assortment of chillingly beautiful, yet otherworldly faces. And confirmation that vampires aren't just a thing in teen fiction anymore; they're The Thing.

This, my friends, is the power of marketing, and of storytelling. Between them, Stephanie Meyer and her publisher have moved an entire generation. I predict we'll be seeing ripples of this effect in adult fiction for years to come.

I'm Officially Old

Mark and I had this conversation in the car today:

Mark: "You know what? Maybe we should start bringing plastic cups with us when we travel."

"Why would we start bringing plastic cups with us when we travel?"

"Because then we wouldn't have to use the glasses in the hotel rooms."

"Oh, right, because of that thing I read. That they don't really wash them, just swab them out with the cleaning rag."

"Right. We could bring plastic cups, and then we could use those instead."

"Sounds great." (Pause.) "You know, maybe what we should really do is start keeping a sleeve of plastic cups in the car. Then they could be called into service on any number of occasions."

"That sounds really good."

Then we high fived. Ok, we didn't. This isn't even a verbatim transcript; I added in a little bit of the dreaded DAE (dialogue as exposition) to catch you up on our previous marital conversations. But I think it's pretty clear that any days we had as a young, hip couple are officially in the past.

Merry Christmas, Awesome Dude

This is the third year in which I've been treated to the breathtaking Yuletide spectacle that is my neighbor's Christmas display. Actually, he isn't really my neighbor, meaning that I can't see his house from anywhere on my street. Except for at Christmas, when I can.

Lest you think this isn't impressive enough, here is the view of the side lawn.

Maybe it's just me, but something about this year's decor seems... I dunno, subdued. What happened to the rest of the Peanuts cast? I swear there used to be more of them out here. And why does the Abominable Snowman have electric boobs? I really can't say.

At least this drummer boy border is new -- and a worthy addition, I think.

Yes, I know, I know. Some might find this annoying. But me, I can't help but admire someone who isn't afraid to dream big.

So Merry Christmas, Mr. Insanely Overdecorated Lawn Man. Your power bill is large, but your heart is ginormous.

First Partial Request

Well, what a whirlwind day. Remember that rejection I blogged about oh, six hours ago?

Well, it wasn't entirely a rejection. I mean, it was a no. But at the end of that no was a "Why don't you contact this other agent? He likes mysteries."

So, I did. I researched Mr. Other Agent, then sent him a query, mentioning that he had been recommended to me by Ms. First Agent. And darned if he didn't e-mail me right back with a request for the first fifty pages.

So, the first partial has been dispatched into cyberspace, and I am keeping my fingers crossed. We'll see if my "pro status" lasts through the emotional loop-de-loop that is the partial submission.