That’s it, then. Over for another year. Mother safely delivered home, daughter driven back to the beautiful city where her life happens, as the world slowly cranks itself back into normal motion. Plenty of festive reminders around the place, of course, and I don’t just mean the tree and tinsel: far too much chocolate and marzipan, a deep freeze drawer full of turkey soup. (Yes, folks, this year I actually got around to simmering the leftovers for two hours and throwing the results in the blender. Impressive or what?)
The final glass-clinking bit of midwinter ritual takes place tonight, then suddenly it’s 2009.
Time to reflect a little. Where did 2008 disappear to? And did I use it wisely? I may not be the best person to pass judgement on that, but I’ll have a go anyway.
I try to exercise positive thinking whenever possible, so on the plus side:
- Five new titles added to Crème de la Crime’s list.
- A small breakthrough with one of the bookshop chains, a good relationship formed with several branches of another; fingers crossed for a knock-on effect from this, especially with our charity anthology.
- Some great reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.
- One title proved unexpectedly popular in the US, and sold out its print run.
- Our murder mystery evenings started to catch on; we averaged one a month over the year, and already have several bookings for 2009.
- On a personal level, I enjoyed a pleasant few days in Guernsey, two magical weeks in New Mexico, and an energising four days in Baltimore at BoucherCon; and among other inspiring reading matter I discovered the books of Phil Rickman and Julia Spencer-Fleming, and though neither my best friend nor my worst enemy could accuse me of having truck with organised religion, both Clare Fergusson and Merrily Watkins are on my list of fictional characters I wish were real people.
- And on a global level, amid the warring and bombing and starvation and economic gloom rose a shining beacon of hope, in the shape of a US president-elect who appears to have his head screwed on the right way.
There were probably minuses as well, but I try not to dwell on them.
And so into the new year. I don’t go in for crystal balls, but if I did, I think it would foretell the odd setback, a triumph or two (or maybe three, or even six or seven), a little bit of luck and a lot of the hard work which creates it. Business as usual, then.
When midnight strikes I’ll raise a glass to friends: old, new, present, absent, past and future. Success and happiness to you all through 2009 and way beyond.