You had a tough job.
You had to measure up to your predecessor, 2011, and 2011 sure delivered in a big way: a first book deal with my publisher; a six-week trip through the US—all on my own—visiting twitter and Facebook friends; my oldest son’s wonderful wedding; and almost the best of all—a four month long remission of my stupid autoimmune illness, just long enough to last through my trip and the wedding.
2011 was brilliant, hard to top, a stellar year.
But you, dear 2012, managed to do it, and I’m bowing to you: it’s hard to find words for you.
You started with a big bang: the release of my first book, The Distant Shore, and a new two-book deal in January.
You surprised me with an IPPY Award in April, and you took me back to the US in July.
In October, you were there when my second book, Under the Same Sun, was released, and you watched with curious eyes while I started a new writing adventure, my fourth novel.
Now it’s nearly Christmas, and here I am, at my desk, in my new study, and as I look out of the window I can see the lit windows on the houses across the street. I imagine the people inside: baking cookies, wrapping presents, lighting another candle on their advent wreaths, drinking hot chocolate, and their days are as quiet and peaceful as mine.
It’s really curious, but since I left my parents’ house and married my husband, Christmas has always been a time of peace and quiet. We are never flustered, there’s never a fight or disruption in this house. Life seems to slow down during these weeks before Christmas Eve as we turn to each other and spend more time together. We go out to buy a tree, and gifts for the family, and while we’re at it, we take the time to have a nice lunch on the way, most of the time at our favorite Thai restaurant.
There’s always a stop at a bookstore, and we never leave without some books.
Granted, we drink a little too much in the evenings sometimes, but heck, we have to test the wine we’re going to serve for Christmas dinner, right?
My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas a while ago.
I gave him a blank stare.
What, in all the world, could I possibly ask for that I didn’t already receive this year?
Look at me: author of two published books, and looking foward to seeing the third released next summer. The words for the new novel, The Rosewood Guitar, are merrily skipping over the pages. I have my own desk, in my own room—my first ever.
I love my publisher. Don’t laugh—this is important! Well, for me it is. I don’t think I could work with someone I don’t like. I know. I’m weird that way. Maybe it’s because I got a late start in life at this author thing, and having fun with it is more important to me than fame or wealth.
My children are doing well, and my family is healthy. We don’t have a worry in the world. Well, maybe except that the car just died, but that’s not really a big deal because the bus stop is almost outside our door.
So, 2012. You are a grand old thing. You were, I mean. You’re nearly over. I hate to see you go. You were marvelous. I have one request, before you go.
Could you please tell 2013 to try and be a little bit like you? I mean, it doesn’t have to give me all you gave. I could deal if there weren’t a Neil Diamond concert again,or if there were no new purses. I could even deal with only one book published.
But I’d really like to keep on writing, and being an author.
And I’d like for my family to stay well and happy.
If that isn’t too much to ask.
So I’m letting you go now. There will be champagne to see you off, and the odd piece of fireworks, and a secret little tear when your last moment approaches.
I loved you dearly, 2012.