Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . 2011 in Review

Last year when reviewing 2010, I mentioned that I prayed for a word for the year--a word to live up to, or that represented a promise from the Lord. He gave me the word shine. As I went through the past twelve months, I often reminded myself that my purpose was to shine for Him, to be the mirror to His light, even when I didn't feel like it.




Did I succeed? Well, much of that is something I can't know. But I know the effect it had on me. And I know that I saw Him shining in my life in 2011--a lot.

At the start of 2011, I was launching Jewel of Persia. It was a slow launch, but it's been such a blessing to watch how it's grown and multiplied, until finally it hit the Amazon Kindle bestseller list in its category. Its ranking changes hour to hour, but it's there. That's so stinkin' exciting!



I spent the first month and a half of the year writing Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland. I wrote it with absolutely no idea if it would be good enough, if Summerside would like it, if it was my ticket to a big publisher or if--as I'd truly begun to think--the Lord wanted me to stay with our small press. Every single day, I woke up and gave that book to Him, saying more than once that it had to be His, because I just couldn't write it otherwise. Unlike Jewel of Persia, it wasn't a story I wrote from a fire within me, feverishly and without the desire to pause. I agonized through every chapter of Annapolis, uncertain the whole way.

I turned it in on my son's birthday, 11 February 2011. For the next month, I couldn't tell you how many times I prayed, "Make me okay, Lord. No matter what happens with it, make me okay." Because I knew that one way or another, I'd have an answer soon, and that this was my only shot with this story.

On March 15, I got the call from my agent. Summerside was buying Annapolis, and it would release 1 December 2011. Nine short months away!


But in this business, you have to always be looking ahead. Publishing lines are scheduled so far in advance, that if I wanted another book out around a year after this one, I had to get cracking now. So throughout the spring and summer, I decided on my next project, found an editor interested in it, and wrote it. I signed with a new agent, the fantabulous Karen Ball. I turned in this project to the editor super-excited about it. Got an offer for another from another. Was offered a three book deal on the one I'd just finished.

A banner year--a shocking, wow-look-how-it-all-clicked banner year. I went from having one solid lead for a contract but absolutely no certainty that I could pull it off, to having five contracted books in the works. I got to watch my biblicals, the stories of my heart, find their foothold. I got to work with some fabulous authors with WhiteFire, contracting and editing three amazing works of historical fiction.


In my personal life, I got to watch my daughter grow by leaps and bounds in her schoolwork, and my son develop a single-minded pursuit of all things with wheels. My hubby and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with an amazing weekend in Niagara Falls, and we topped the year off with a gift of kittens for our kiddos--hands-down the best gift they've ever gotten, they say. =)

Misty morning view of the American falls
My parents looking on while Rowyn jumps on the couch, totally startled, and Xoe squeals in delight.


So here we all are, another new year on the horizon. I'm praying for another word from the Lord to represent 2012, and praising Him for my year of Shining, for all that He did and helped me do in 2011. I'm praising Him for the friends I made, the friends I grew closer to, giving to him my grief over the friend I lost.

My friend Mary, who succumbed to cancer this summer but lives on in the legacy of faith she left in many lives.


Thank you, Lord, for a year of reaping after so many of sowing. Thank you, Lord, for the promise of all that's to come. Thank you, Lord, for planting the garden of my life with so many amazing friendships that have bloomed and made my world beautiful.

Thank you, Lord, for carrying me through every shadow, every valley, so that I can again glimpse and cling to Your shining light.

How was your 2011? And what are you hoping for in 2012?

7 comments:

  1. Cannot wait to see the books that you have in the works. I have absolutely LOVED all of the ones you've written so far and am sure that the upcoming ones will be equally amazing. :)

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  2. You know how I feel about your books. So VVVERRYYYY exciting!!! What a fabulous year you've had :D

    My last two posts on MY blog are about "how I did" last year and my goals, etc. for next. I'm definitely excited to see what God will do in BOTH of our lives! (http://www.joannesher.com)

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  3. Beautiful post. Five books—I am so happy for you. Although I've only recently met you, I truly believe you deserve this. You do shine, that's why I'm stalking you now. Seriously, keep giving God the glory, remaining humble, and He'll keep blessing you. (I'm studying Daniel now, and that's what's really standing out to me.)

    Also, I bought my very first e-book yesterday. I can't wait to start it. You may have heard the title before....Love Finds You In Annapolis, Maryland. Yeah!

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  4. Roseanna!
    You've had such a crazy awesome year. I can truly say that you lived up to your word "shine!" Yes, there is some bad mixed in with the good, but God has done so much with your writing and with WhiteFire. Praise the Lord, and here's hoping to another awesome year in 2012!!!

    Oh wait, you want to know about my 2011. Well, I don't have five book contracts to tout, but I did get my first contract in June. And April 2012 will see the release of my first novel with Love Inspire Historical, "Sanctuary for a Lady".

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  5. Last year around this time, I found a blog. The writer chose a word for 2011 - shine. I felt like gave me the word readiness for my year.

    Even with that warning, I was not expecting what I was to be ready for!

    Months later, this same writer emailed me asking to hire me. I too had a hand in the creation of one of those beautiful historical fictions. The opportunity to design the dress for the cover of Walks Alone was amazing for me. It has helped to ground me in my passion and purpose. It is helping me to know how to prepare for 2012.

    Thanks, Roseanna, for your part in one of the high points of my year! I am looking forward to working with you more in 2012!

    Jordan

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  6. Jordan, working with you was AWESOME! Your creation far exceeded expectations, and made the cover design of Walks Alone an easy task, with such a great costume to work from. And I'm so touched to realize my "Shine" post blessed you!

    Naomi, you had an amazing year! I loved seeing you go from a hopeful to a contest winner (over and over and over and . . .) ;-) and finally a contracted author!

    You guys are all among those new friends I made this year that I know I'll cherish forever.

    Tammy, I so loved meeting you in Oregon! (And how's your manuscript coming? I think of it often!) Enjoy that new ebook. ;-)

    Joanne, you bless me regularly, nearly daily, with your comments and encouragement. Here's wishing you a groundbreaking 2012!

    Jolanthe, thanks so much!! I appreciate your encouragement more than words can say.

    So glad you all stopped by!

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  7. Roseanna,
    On no, I hope I didn't send it wrong. It's done. I'll email you.
    Happy new Year.

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