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Looking Back to Look Ahead

Instead of looking ahead in this January post, I’m going to reflect back on 2011. In many ways it was a banner year for me.

January started with a bang. I celebrated the ringing-in of the new year with Debbie and Sandy at the lake working on our books. Also that month my husband and I went to the college football championship game in Phoenix, Arizona. Auburn won. Big, big deal at our house.

February brought health issues for me and a snow skiing trip for the family.

 March was the month my youngest had jaw surgery. He is downright pretty now. He also celebrated 20 years with a heart transplant. Amazing kid, but don’t tell him I said so. I also celebrate a birthday. I’m glad to have them the alternative isn’t pleasant.

In April, I spent some time at the beach and visiting with a friend. 

During May I made a road trip with Sia and Tammy to a conference in Florida. Learned a lot and did some great brain storming. A book we worked on is my work in progress.

June saw me receiving my first romance book contract. I was thrilled with a two book deal. I took my mother, daughter and niece with me to New York. I sent them home and attend the Romance Writers of America conference. I won’t lie, it was fun to wear a first sell ribbon. This was also the first year one of my workshops was picked up. Cool stuff. I had a chance to sit down and talk to my editor too.

July started with 4th of July at the lake. Hard to beat that.

August was memorable because we had NO rain during that month. None. I can’t remember being so miserable.

September meant school started again for me. I’m still substituting but not as much as I used to. I had to start working hard on second book.

October brought the Georgia Romance Writers Moonlight and Magnolias conference. I got to give a workshop and I was a finalist in the Maggie. Carol came for a visit. Always a thrill, I don’t get to see her near enough. At the end of the month, I celebrated 29 years of marriage.

November was the month for thanks and I had much to be thankful for. Petit Fours and Hot Tamales being among the things I’m grateful for.

December meant giving a 50th birthday party for a friend, a three book contact and an end to a happy year.

I met my writing goals for 2011, but I have some personal goals I’m going to give more attention to in 2012. If I have half as good a year in 2012 as I did in 2011, I’ll be more than pleased.

In honor of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales 3rd Anniversary I’m giving away a basket of books written by Georgia authors including mine to one lucky commenter. So tell me how 2011 was for you or your plans for 2012.

Jane - January 27, 2012 - 2:03 am

Congrats on the book deal, Susan. 2011 was an okay year for me. My mom and I visited my grandmother. It’s been a few years since we saw her. She lives half way around the world from us. We’ll see her again in October at a relative’s wedding. I also got to go on a mini road trip with my cousin to Toronto. For 2012 I’m hoping to reconnect with some friends I lost touch with and maybe even take a trip to Hawaii.

Mary Preston - January 27, 2012 - 3:44 am

2011 was a year of ups & a lot of downs, as my parents age. I hope 2012 is more settled.

Maxine - January 27, 2012 - 6:28 am

Congratulations on a wonderful year! So happy for your book deals! My 2011? Mostly healthy and happy. This year I will be able to say, “I finished that book – maybe 2 of them!

Happy 2012!

Lindy - January 27, 2012 - 7:49 am

Ok, so we all know 2011 was one for the “it’s going in the trash” for me and Red. But, 2012 is a hit. Plans coming to fruition. Writing, or at least outlining, again. Back on the road with Pam Asberry.

Susan, I am so, so happy that last year was an awesome year for you. Don’t be surprised if 2012 tops it!


Sia Huff - January 27, 2012 - 8:18 am

I’m so glad you had a banner year. I hope you keep rocking through 2012.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 8:52 am

It does sound like you had a great year last year, I hope this one will be just a good.

Pam Asberry - January 27, 2012 - 8:53 am

2011 was a tough one for me. Nothing terrible happened, but everything was a struggle, and little came to fruition. But I am hitting it hard in this new year, hoping that eventually all my hard work (in many areas) will pay off. Like Lindy, I am betting that your 2012 is going to be even better than your fabulous 2011! :-)

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 8:54 am

Parents getting old does make a year have its ups and downs. My mom is still doing well but I know those days are coming.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 8:55 am

Finishing a book or 2 makes for a wonderful year. You can do it.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 8:56 am

I know last year was tough for you but you came out looking like a class act. This one will be the best ever.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 8:58 am

I hope I have one that is just half as good as this one.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 8:59 am


Set a goal and go after it has hard as you can. We all have our ups and downs. This will be you up year.

Hildie McQueen - January 27, 2012 - 9:14 am

Great recap, thank you for sharing a year in your life with us.

Linsey Lanier - January 27, 2012 - 10:31 am

You impress me, Susan. I don’t remember most of 2011, LOL. I DO remember your finaling in the Maggies at M&M AND your book contract. Still celebrating that one. 2011 was the year I decided to put my energies into indie publishing my novels, so it was a landmark year for both of us. :)

Debbie Kaufman - January 27, 2012 - 10:55 am

2011 was a banner year for me too. So looking forward to the rest of 2012

Cathy P - January 27, 2012 - 12:17 pm

So glad you had a great 2011 Susan! I’m sure 2012 will be another great year for you. 2011 was a good year for me except for my DH almost dying on Valentine’s Day. Luckily, he pulled through. In 2012 we are losing weight. I have lost 15 pounds so far and my husband has lost 30 pounds. It will take lots of work, but we will get where we want to be.

Darcy Crowder - January 27, 2012 - 12:41 pm

Congratulations on a banner year, Susan. I’m guessing this one will be even better. :)

Linda Henderson - January 27, 2012 - 2:18 pm

I’m happy you had a great 2011. Unfortunately mine wasn’t a good year, well except for the fact that my family and I lived through it. In the early part of the year we had a bad ice storm that did a lot of damage, then on May 22nd we had an EF5 tornado come through my hometown and virtually wipe away about 1/3 of the city. My oldest daughter and her family and myself all lost our homes and virtually everything in them. But we made it out alive through the grace of God. So we pretty much spent the rest of the year trying to put our shattered lives back together. I have a home now with my youngest daughter’s family, and my oldest and her family are living with her father for now. On top of the devastation, my granddaughter had to have a major surgery back in November and is not fully recuperated from that yet. She has a trach and stomach tube, she’s not quite 3. This is my oldest’s daughter, the one that also lost her home. So it’s been a tough time for our family. But, we look to 2012 to hopefully be a better year and pray that our nerves can take it through another tornado season coming up in just a few months. We’re saving for a storm shelter.

Sandra Elzie - January 27, 2012 - 3:09 pm

Hi Susan,
Great summary of your year & I’m cheering for your 2012 to be every bit as good for you as 2011.

Linda, I’m so sorry for what you had to endure this past year…but you appear to have a fantastic attitude. Same for you, Cathy. I’m so glad your DH is okay. (FANTASTIC WEIGHT LOSS!!) I was blessed with a calm year…no book sales, but I put up 6 indie books and finished two novels that I currently have out (one to an agent and one to an editor), so we’ll see how 2012 goes.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - January 27, 2012 - 3:13 pm

Like for some others here, my 2011 wasn’t so hot. I had a lot of major changes in my life to put it mildly.

However…2012 is a new page, new year, and I’m ready for good and happy things to take place. Here’s to looking forward with a positive view!

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:00 pm

Thanks for stopping by.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:02 pm

You did take a huge step in 2011. I’m proud of you.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:03 pm

Wow, I’m glad to hear your husband is alive and well. The weight loss–I’m so jealous. I know you will have a great 2012.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:03 pm

Thanks Darcy.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:06 pm

Mercy, you did have a year. The wonderful thing is your family is all alive. My heart goes out you all. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy the good years because things do change quickly.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:08 pm

You certainly had a succussful year and have been busy. 2012 should be a great one for you.

Susan - January 27, 2012 - 4:09 pm

I beleive 2012 will be a great year for you.

Tami Brothers - January 27, 2012 - 6:53 pm

You are awesome, Susan!!! Well deserved break for someone who truly worked hard to achieve it. No one can say you didn’t earn your wings. :)

I’m wishing you ALL the very best for 2012. I know you can accomplish all those goals you are working on.


Susan - January 27, 2012 - 7:59 pm

Thanks Tami. I know you have goals and I’m sure you will achieve yours.

Walt M - January 27, 2012 - 9:23 pm

2011 started out great for me for the same reason (an Auburn victory)I attended two writer’s conference, wonmy first contest, and got my first revise and resubmit letter. (On the down side, I didn’t finish a new WIP, which I’d hoped to do in 2011.)

JB Hunt - January 27, 2012 - 10:11 pm

A wonderful year, Susan!

2012 will be the year of the query for me.

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