My thanks for a year
Well, that’s about done and dusted for 2010: anyone ready for a new year?
I’ve never been much for New Year’s Resolutions—who needs to start a clean slate with a cloud of threat and incipient guilt over her head? But taking down a heavily marked-up calendar whose dozen images you know by heart and replacing it with pristine white squares (2010’s kitchen calendar, stared at daily while waiting for the kettle to boil, had Carl Warner foodscapes; 2011’s is handmade, images of my daughter’s travel year) encourages a person to flip back through the pages, to where the year began.
A year ago, we’d made it through our first Christmas without Noel, and packed away the decorations with a certain amount of relief. But from there, the year grew brighter, starting with a bang on January 15 when I was given the astonishing honor of being invested into the Baker Street Irregulars.
Then in March, I began an experiment of writing while on the road, spending some weeks in Portugal while working on the first draft of Pirate King, which I found both surprisingly productive and a whole lot of fun—especially a side-trip to Morocco, which I hadn’t intended to use in that novel but found it rather taking over my plans…
At the end of April, I left Lisbon to spend a glorious few days (fewer than intended, thanks to that Icelandic geothermal event—remember Eyjafjallajökull?) in southern France. Mary Russell will have to go there one of these books, although I’ll be forced, totally against my will you understand, to return. Just so I get the details right. I made it back to the US in time for the God of the Hive book tour, where friends far and wide flew in to Boston to celebrate the launch, and turned up for events across the country.
In June, I wrote madly, and finished the first draft just in time to leave for the UK and another publication party, where again, I had the pleasure of meeting friends old and new. And in October came BoucherCon, which felt less like a conference than a party put on so the guest of honor could have a great time with her buddies.
Looking back through that much-scribbled calendar, friendship is what I see. Friends (I’m not going to name everyone; you know I’m talking about you) who travelled far to see me, whose enthusiasm shot the book onto bestseller lists, who talked it up to friends and wrote to tell me they’d enjoyed it. Friends who shared their expertise, making me look smart and keeping me from appearing the idiot I would have looked like otherwise. Friends who politely overlooked acts and words of pure idiocy or apparent rudeness. Friends who welcomed me and brought me coffee and offered me shelter; friends who introduced me to ideas and places I’d never have discovered on my own; friends who threw themselves wholeheartedly into the myriad elements of the online celebration of God of the Hive; miraculous friends who shouldered some of the busy-ness of life and handed me hours to spend putting words on a page. Friends who laughed at my jokes and pretended they hadn’t heard them before. Friends who made me feel clever.
And above all, friends who bought the books—who keep buying the books—thus making the publisher happy enough to offer me another contract.
2010 was rich with friends, and I am blessed indeed to feel that 2011 may be more of the same.
Thank you, all, for your friendship, and may your new year contain even a part of the joy that 2010 has brought me.