1. I didn’t do Christmas cards last year. This is what I Photoshopped instead. That’s MY handwriting, by the way, and the picture is one I took at Ghost Ranch (a.k.a. Georgia O’Keefe’s chosen home) in early 2012.
2. I accidentally stepped away from the blog for roughly seven weeks. I’m so sorry! Next time I do that, I’ll just announce an online break. For some reason, life went from crazy to CRAZIER. Which is why I’m making up for lost time with a Saturday SIXTEEN instead of just a plain old Friday Five.
3. Three members of my family have had health concerns since I last posted. One or two were on the somewhat life-threatening scale, but—fingers crossed—everyone is well on the way to recovery now. It was just, you know, a bit scary. (Note: understatement.)
4. The Of Enemies and Endings copy-edits came in mid-December, with a tight turnaround so that we could get it back to the right people before the holidays. I returned it on time, but to manage that, I was up at 4:30AM the night before I flew to Montana to join my family for Christmas.
5. I was very tired when my mother, sister, and I got our tree and when we decorated it and when we drove back to the airport to pick up my father and brother. Exhaustion aside, we still had a great Christmas.
6. On New Years’ Eve, I hung out with friends around a bonfire. The brief video does not show scale or the way sparks flew worryingly into the nearby tree or the way the smoke seemed to chase me around the fire pit. It also doesn’t show how much I laughed.
My nice coat still smells like smoke, and it makes me smile every time I get a whiff.
It already seems like a long time ago, but I hope you guys had fantastic holidays as well!
7. Of Sorcery and Snow went into a second printing! This is the first time one of my hardcovers has done so, and I did a HUGE happy dance when I found it after returning to Portland.
Thank you guys so much! Not just for buying the books themselves and not just for reading them, but talking up the series and getting other people excited enough to try out the books. The second printing would never have happened without your enthusiasm and your support, and I am truly and sincerely grateful.
I would really like to give all of you a hug, but sadly, no picture, emoticon, or gif can pass along the feeling of a really happy, thank you hug. So, just know I’m sending you one through the screen.
8. Now that the book is mostly done, I am slowly attempting to catch up on all the messages I’ve received from you guys. Since there are so many, it’s going to take me a while, BUT I wanted to let you guys know that I’m working on it!
9. Speaking of things I’m working on, the Of Enemies and Endings first pass arrived yesterday. This will be the LAST time I see the book before it goes to print.
10. I’m not going to lie. It’s pretty bittersweet. The Ever Afters has consumed me and driven me for more than five years—the majority of my adult life, actually—and I feel so glad to have had the opportunity to tell such a rewarding story at such a young age and so unmoored at the thought of finishing such a humongous project.
11. 2015 is also the first year since 2009 where I DON’T OWE ANY MANUSCRIPTS TO OFFICIAL PEOPLE. That is kind of amazing. I forgot what January felt like without a major deadline right around the next corner.
Well, besides the Of Enemies and Endings first pass deadline on 2/3, of course.
12. I am, however, working on a number of other projects though. For instance, an author video! And a new blog series!
13. CONFESSION: Something about being too busy to read makes me want to buy ALL THE BOOKS. As a result, I have a lot of unread books in my room. You know how a lot of people have a TBR (a.k.a. To Be Read) pile. I have a TBR bookcase, taller than I am and crammed with books I haven’t read yet. This may seem out of control to you, but I didn’t realize what a problem I had until I had a whole TBR shelf of books in a SECOND bookcase.
So, I’ve made a new rule for myself: I’m not allowed to purchase any more books unless I have room in my TBR bookcase. I have roughly five books left to read before I’ll have a spot free for a new book. (The goal is to finish before Gayle Forman’s I Was Here and Marissa Meyer’s Fairest comes out. Otherwise, I may have to break my brand new rule.)
I also have a number of new obsessions I want to share:
14. OBSESSION: Leslie Knope—of Parks & Rec—is my new role model.
She is goofy, she is smart, she is passionate, and she LOVES HER PEOPLE. Unapologetically. I want to be Leslie Knope when I grow up. Or Amy Poehler. Maybe both. After reading her new memoir, Yes Please!, I get the feeling that the two are fairly similar, but Amy herself is messier and has a more intense temper.
15. OBSESSION: Parks & Recreation itself.
I watched Seasons 1-4 within a week. I’ve slowed down, because I don’t want it to end. Also, because I don’t have cable and have to wait to watch the season 7 episodes on Hulu a week after they air.
16. OBSESSION: I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
Less than a month in the year, and I already have a new Fave of 2015! It was recommended to me by Jenny Bean at Green Bean Books. She had trouble containing her love for it into complete, sensical sentences, and now, I’m having the same trouble. But I can tell you that it’s about grief and making art and falling in love and forgiveness, and it created a HAPPY BOOK GLOW that lasted all week.
(Quick warning to younger readers: it is probably rated PG-13.)