Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking back...

My CP did this and I never thought of looking back on a decade rather than just the last year.  When I did, briefly - in my mind - I was staggered at all that's happened since the year 2000.

2000 marked the non-event that was Y2K.  In 2000 I had our second daughter, and had a not so nice experience with post partum depression.  That was also the year that the dh switched jobs.  I said no more children as each time I gave birth he changed companies. In 2001 I was getting better, but still not quite there and after 9/11 and a visit "home" (we were living in Calgary) I started writing.  First as therapy and then because I was hooked.

In 2002 I submitted my first manuscript and got the first of many rejections.

In 2003 I became a school mum.  In 2005, I was still writing and getting rejected and had both kidlets in school.  The husband had switched jobs (at least within the same company) meaning no more shift work.  I began working part time at the kids' school - my first time working since having children - as a teaching assistant and lunch room lady.  The years I spent at that school either working or volunteering were wonderful.

In 2006 I sold four manuscripts, 2 to Samhain Publishing and then 2 more to Harlequin Romance.  We were still living at the same house in Calgary and I was starting to hate it.  That year I got a passport and used it for the first time at customs - for trips to Las Vegas and Orlando.

My Romance debut hit the shelves in May 07.  My passport got used again that September for a bit of a dream come true - I flew to London for the AMBA lunch and reception.  I had lunch with my editor and saw the offices.  I took the tube.  I stood inside St. Paul's Cathedral and meandered through St. James' Park.  I saw many many friends in person for the first time.  It was a magical week.

2008 was the big year.  Harlequin Romances 3 and 4 were released.  My debut won an award.  We had had enough of the neighbourhood and were looking at moving - cue huge surprise when the move turned out to be across the country to the East Coast.  We bought a house - twice the size of our old bungalow, on over an acre, in a quiet and lovely neighbourhood where my biggest  concern for a while was the deer nibbling on my new apple trees.  I gained an office.  And yes - the dh switched jobs again (though still with the same company). 

And my mum got remarried after 19 years of being a widow.  :-)

2009 was the year we seemed to settle.  Not perfect, as we had some family health issues and the rejection fairy visited again for a few months.'s all good.  I handed in my 10th Romance, and sold another to Samhain making for book 13.  I had an incredible trip to Washington DC for RWA National Conference and found my agent there.

And I'm looking ahead to the next year and decade with optimism.  More books, one would hope.  And more travel.  At the end of 2019...the kids will be adults.  It boggles the mind.  We can fit a lot of adventure into a new decade.

When I look back at where I was then and where I am now...if you had told me this was where we'd end up - back in Atlantic Canada and a multi-published author - I would have laughed.  But life has a funny way of ending up different from what you plan, and right now I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Thanks for sharing your "looking back" - it has given me some much needed motivation to get cracking on the wip! Hope you have a great 2010 and here's to the next 10 years. Take care. Caroline x

  2. Thirteen books?! You go, girl! Donna, I am so unbelievably proud of everything you've accomplished in the past decade! I get all giddy with warm fuzzies when I think about it! :)

    Here's to another fantastic decade -- the next ten years will be the best, ever!


  3. I can still remember how thrilled I was for you when you got 'the call'. It was wonderful to meet you on your visit to the UK. Here's to another wonderful ten years and more fab books.

  4. I've done something sort of similar for PHS blogpost tomorrow. It was wonderful being part of your life in the past five years (or is it longer?) and you know you always have a place to stay in London.


  5. Caroline - go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    Kris - aw, you've gone and made me all squishy. FWIW I truly think 2010 is going to be YOUR year when all sorts of good things happen.

    Nell - we've kind of been right in there together, haven't we! My only regret about meeting you was that we didn't have longer. That day flew by in such a rush.

    Bids - right back at ya with smooches. I can never repay you - being able to stay with you made the trip so much more enjoyable and relaxed.

  6. My mother died in 2000 - sorry to kick off on a gloomy note, but her sudden demise kind of set the tone for the whole decade - and after that, it was all about keeping my head above water, adjusting to huge swampy-feeling changes, and then struggling to get back into publishing my work after a gap of several years due to depression and other bad stuff. During that decade I published six erotic novels with Virgin, and four books of poetry, but failed to place three full-length literary novels I'd written, which was very damaging to my self-confidence. I do love poetry, and am reasonably well-known now in the UK as a poet, but I'm hoping I may also find a home in historical fiction somewhere. One cannot live by poetry alone, alas, and I do love histroicals - particularly Regency romances!

    So a busy decade, like yours, and no real idea what lies ahead. Isn't that exciting?

  7. Wow 2006 sounds like it was a good year. What a great post, its inspiring for me because I'm not there yet, and yet on the path. My new year resolutions are just to keep walking, one foot in front of the other towards my goal of publication. (Eating from the chocolate trees and picking fruit from the liquorice all sort bushes on the way of course.)