Thursday, November 09, 2006

One Year


One year ago today, our plane had just landed at Heathrow. We were on our big adventure--moving to England!

We had an enormous amount of luggage (4 people, 2 suitcases [large suitcases] and a carryon per person). We had to get it all out of the airport, onto the train to Paddington station, then onto the train to Devon, then off the train and into 2 minivan cabs to our friends' house. It's still a blur.

But we did it! Within two weeks we'd finalized the sale of our house in Florida, found a place to live, bought some furniture and new mattresses for the beds...oh, man, I never want to do anything like that again.

More importantly, this time last year I'd written two novels and sold three short stories. As of today, I've written almost eight novels (finished four on my own, cowrote one, halfway through one, over 2/3 of the way through another), and have sold three (including the cowritten one). One is waiting on submission still. One comes out next month, the other the following month. No date on the cowritten yet. I anticipate finishing my UF by the end of the month. I've also got some scraps--a few thousand words of this project or that, including another historical, and a very loose outline (but with scenes already taking shape) for a sequel to the vampire book on submission now, because if it sells (please!) I'd like to be able to get in with the proposal for the sequel right away, and I miss that world.

So not a bad progress report. My older daughter can read and write now (she's one of the best readers in her class!) My little one walks and talks and is as demanding and grumpy as Napoleon.

I wouldn't say life is perfect--England is outrageously expensive. Nothing is ever open when you need it to be, and even if they are they probably don't have what you need. If someone offered me a Wendy's hamburger or some of those frozen appetizers from Target I used to love I'd probably give them a pint of my blood in exchange, and I really miss Mountain Dew. And, of course, my family.

Also, my best friend had a baby last night and I'm not there, which hurts. A lot.

But's been a good year.

What have you accomplished this year? What changes have you made? Yes, I know this is just like a New Year's Eve post, but I'm getting it in early. :-)

Also, what do you think you've learned?


Bernita said...

You have been tremendously, marvellously, productive and successful.

Erik Ivan James said...

Wonderful accomplishments, December.

I've learned that I still have much to learn, much.

Rhona said...

WOW....moving overseas....I did that when I was a kid....lived in Africa for a couple of years and hated it. Culture shock can be horrific!

However, you seem strong and I admire that!

Congratts on all the novels girl! I've written two this year myself, but only just began the query process with the second one this week.

I've learned too much to post here this year....but the most important thing was this.

Seize every educational opportunity possible and whatever you do....don't focus on the'll attract more!

December Quinn said...

I've tried, Bernita. Funny, it hasn't felt that productive, but looking back I guess it hasn't been too slow, huh?

Thanks, Erik. We all have a lot to learn. I think the difference between people with brains and those is who have none is those of us with, know we have a lot to learn.

December Quinn said...

Thanks, Rhona. And I couldn't agree more--the more you focus on the bad, the more bad you draw to yourself. Which is quite a motivator to think positive!

Anonymous said...

I like to hear folks are working successfully towards their goals. Congrats!

I know what you mean about missing things from "home". I lived in Japan in the 80's and I really missed Dairy Queen. Not to mention the 8 months I spent in the middle of "an undisclosed desert".

My biggest accomplishment is keeping my wife happy at least 51% of the time ;~) I did manage to sell an article and I put together an anthology of my poems and short stories to pass on to my kids. -JTC

Sherrill Quinn said...

Wow, December--it's been a year already?!? Wow. And you've had a terrific year. Way to go!

S. W. Vaughn said...

Holy crap! You are prolific, woman!! :-) I hope you are looking back with pride on your accomplishments, as well you should.

What have I learned this year? That there is more than one way to skin a cat, New York is not the nexus of literary heights, and without the Internet I would never have had the privilege of meeting so many awesome people. :-)

Robyn said...

What a wonderful progress report!

I've been in love with the U.K. since I was old enough to know what it stood for. My daughter wants to go to Ireland so bad she aches. She basically told me if we were ever to move there she'd be so grateful she'd never commit the slightest teenage sin.

Why did you make an overseas move? Was it a job? Even with all the culture shock irritants, you need to know that I am insanely jealous that you had such an adventure.

December Quinn said...

That's awesome, JTC! Congrats on the sale! And how cool that you did that for the kids. I'm hoping one day to have published stuff my kids can actually read. ;-)

Yep, Sherrill, it's been a year. I can't believe it either. And thanks--but it's nothing compared to what a great year you've had! You seem to have releases every month!

December Quinn said...

Thanks, SW! Keep in mind, though, I said almost--actual finished projects this year total three. I'm still pretty proud of them, though.

And right back at the awesome friends comment.

Robyn, we moved because my husband is English--well, he's a dual citizen, having been born in the US but growing up here. He's always wanted to come back, and we wanted to leave Florida, and honestly--when you have the opportunity to live in another country, you take it, you know? Especially for our kids, who will in the course of time become dual citizens themselves and able to live almost anywhere in the world--certainly anywhere in the EU, Canada, Australia, and the US.

So he flew out last July, got a job, and in November (after a lot of delays including Hurrican Wilma) we flew out here!

Anonymous said...

My son was born in Japan and one day, out of the blue (when he was about 6), he said, "Dad, when I grow up I'm going back to Japan so I can be with my people."

It still cracks me up when I think about it. He's 20 now but still hasn't went back to Japan. -JTC

December Quinn said...

Lol, JTC! That's awesome!

Jenn on the Island said...

Hm. It's been almost a year since I was laid off from the highest paying job I've ever had. I learned that loss of employment insurance on your ridiculously huge mortgage is a good thing.

I've spent a year hoop jumping for the Canadian unemployment system in order to get funding to start my own business and I've learned I really don't like being self-employed.

I've started two short stories, a novella and a novel and finished one short story that I'm still editing. I learned I write really slowly and have ADD when it comes to stories. But that's okay, cause hubby has promised that as soon as he can write a script, I'm getting some Ridalin.


December Quinn said...

Don't like being self-employed, Jenn? Why's that?

Heh heh on the Ritalin. Personally I always preferred gin, but whatever you like. :-)

Isabella Snow said...

Yeah.. that move over here is the reason I'm reluctant to move back. I would have given anything to move to a country where English was the native language. I'm so jealous, you know.

But lots of progress you've made! Go girl!