Skip to main content

2011 in Review

So here we are on the penultimate day of the year. I survived the Christmas holiday. I even went to church. More on that in a future post (possibly). The last week or so has been a wonderful combination of relaxing and productive. I admit that I haven't blogged much but I've been busy with other projects at home.  


In thinking about the close of the year, I considered a collection of lists. I've been enjoying all the other Top 10 Lists populating the Internet these days but when I considered my own, I felt horribly inadequate.

I've only seen from 1/3 to 1/2 of the movies that people are talking about on their 10 best list. I don't think I even saw 10 movies in the theater this year. I wouldn't be a good authority on movies.


I've read a lot of books this year but I've already reviewed those books on my blog. You can always find me on Goodreads to get an idea of what I liked or didn't like. 


Music. Well, I listen to a lot of music and my taste is certainly eclectic. However, other than Adele, I can't name too many new artists who absolutely knocked my socks of this year. And she's on EVERYONE's list. I will put in a plug here for Goat Rodeo. Totally cool musicians doing some really unique things. Check that one out. I can't give you a top 10 list, though. 




So I won't bore you or try to reinvent the wheel with any year-end lists. 


As I was reviewing my own events from the year, I realized that so many of my defining moments revolved around writing. It seems that 2011 was the year I became a writer.  To review:

  • I started a blog. You're here and reading it now. Thanks for coming to the party!
  • The blog has led to other writing opportunities. I have explored my satirical side at Insert Eyeroll and get to share my perspective on all kinds of topics at Richmond Mom.  I even got to hang with "real" journalists and cover the auto industry for a day. That was a trip!
  • I finished the draft of my memoir, signed a contract with Palari Publishing, and spent numerous hours working on edits for my upcoming book, Four Seasons for Charlotte.  We are looking at a March 2012 release. I'm so excited!
  • I was asked to contribute an essay to the December issue of Richmond Magazine. It was a short piece but a great opportunity to put myself "out there" as a writer. 
While it is still not my primary vocation, I can say with confidence that I AM A WRITER. I can't remember the exact quote, but I read something this year and the author said writing doesn't happen when you "sit down" to write. It's a constant process. I might not have related to that a year ago but I totally understand that now. I find myself thinking about writing almost constantly. I work out blog posts during my long walks or morning commutes. I find myself looking at events and thinking, "How can I write about that? What do I have to say about this issue or that story?" Sometimes I just wake up in the middle of the night and say, "I have to write about this." It's an interesting perspective. 

Thanks to writing, my life has been filled with new friends (real and virtual) and some amazing experiences in 2011. Thanks to you (dear readers), I have an audience. I'm looking forward to 2012 and seeing how the process continues to make me a better writer and a better person. 

See you next year!


Popular posts from this blog

The Edge of Seventeen

It's that time of year when the blog musings center on my grief journey. Every year, it seems like we are busy with end-of-the-year school activities and the start of summer, planning vacations, and then (kablam)...it's almost July 9.  Grief is funny. Grief is weird. I remember very early after Charlotte died, I watched the movie Rabbit Hole.  There's an amazingly poignant scene where Nicole Kidman's character is talking with another woman who lost a child over 10 years before (played by Dianne Wiest). She talks about grief being like a brick in your pocket. It never goes away. Sometimes you can even forget it's there. But it comes back and makes its presence known from time to time. And (she says) "it's what you have of them."    I probably did not fully realize then what a powerful and true analogy that is. As time goes on, our grief changes. Yet, it is always there on the edge of things. It sits in that pocket and sometimes makes itself known.  This

The Stages of Grief: COVID Edition

It's 2020. It's almost Christmas. We're still in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, we are experiencing what appears to be an incredible surge that is exerting tremendous pressure on our healthcare and social service system. The headlines are clear: we're not done with this madness and December 31, 2020 will not magically be the "end of it".  Earlier in the year, our family thought about whether we might be able to travel at this time. We thought that maybe the curve would be flat enough that we could take a few days away from home during the Christmas holidays. We realized that the pandemic would still be happening, but with the right protections and with prolific mask usage, we could get a much-needed change of scenery. During what is now (clearly) a delusional thought process, we booked a stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the week of December 19th. Spoiler alert: we canceled the trip almost two weeks ago.  Canceling this trip was not a tragedy. In fact, I

Bittersweet Sixteen

I think about Charlotte every single day. However, this time of year, I'm flooded with all kinds of memories as we commemorate the anniversary of her birth. This year feels like a bit of a milestone. Sixteen.  If cancer had not taken her life back in 2010, I have a feeling I would be planning a massive birthday celebration this year. 16 always feels like a landmark year in someone's life.  I have been thinking a great deal about the last birthday party we had for Charlotte in 2009. We didn't know it at the time, but we were halfway through her treatment journey. We had been through three major brain surgeries and a few rounds of inpatient chemotherapy. Treatments were not going well. In fact, right after her birthday, we would make the trip to Houston, Texas where we would settle in for about 10 weeks of proton beam radiation treatments and a new customized chemotherapy protocol. This was the unspoken "last chance option" to beat that aggressive brain tumor into