Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking Back and Forward

I love this time of year, to reflect back on the last 12 months and plan for the next. It seems ripe with possibility. I hope you all had a nice Christmas. What an incredible time of year it is. I love it. But glad to be back blogging!

I had too many huge events this year to list. Family changes, career changes, even a house change coming up. It was all good except for my mom's strokes. However, I'm thankful she is still with us and that she has excellent care, family visiting her and sending constant messages of love. She is kept comfortable without pain. What I miss the most is talking to her on the phone, as she always called every week without fail. Yes, I do miss hearing her cheery voice. She has always loved the telephone.

Looking back on my blogging year, what can I say? It's been an amazing journey of discovering new friends, getting motivated in my writing by all of you, having fun with contests, blogfests, and sharing the joys of the publishing journey with many who made huge strides in their careers. My most popular contest was the Lettuce Write Contests, culminating in the Labor Day BBQ where over 100 people joined in to discover new blogs. So I have got to do something like that again!

Looking ahead, I've got a few surprises in store. With the advent of the Celery Tree blog and website, I'll be using those forums for posting about marketing stuff, leaving this blog for writing, editing and publishing topics.

There's some exciting contests planned to brighten our post-holiday doldrums. First up will be a submissions contest, in partnership once again with Allie, the acquisitions editor at WiDo Publishing. She was impressed with the quality of manuscripts that were entered in the Lettuce Submit contest. Several fulls were requested, and Clarissa Draper received a contract. Allie wants to find more good stuff, so she's willing to do another contest. Details coming up real soon on this one. So get your manuscripts polished up!

Meanwhile, how about those New Year's resolutions? Have you written yours yet?


  1. Happy New Year!
    I'm glad you see the old year as having been a good one. I'm glad your mother's condition is made comfortable. It must make your pain easier to cope with too
    Good luck with your goals for 2011.

  2. Happy New Year lovely KarenG! I wish you and your family joy and peace and love and good health especially for your mum.

    This year promises to be most exciting for your blogs and other blogs planned!!! Yay! Take care

  3. No resolutions for me! I'm just concentrating on following through....

    You had a very successful and eventful year and I'm glad your mother is doing well.

    Good luck with the contests, and the house change, and happy new year!

  4. Happy New Year, Karen!!! Can't wait to see what the future holds for all of us!!!

  5. Glad to see you back Karen and a Happy New Year to you. Did not do resolutions but I posted my goals on Thursday. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. Hi Karen.... Happy New Year to you too.... Lets hope that 2011 brings us all good things.

  7. Hope you 2011 holds lots of joy and magic for you. It's sure to be fun! :)

  8. Happy New Year, Karen! I hope 2011 brings you much joy. :)

    Resolutions? Nah, don't do them. I'm too contrary -- I tend to break them on purpose. ;)

  9. Wishing you and your family a joyous and Happy New Year. Looking forward to see what new and exciting things you have planned.

    Thoughts in Progress

  10. Karen, I just want to congratulate you on your amazing year. I remember meeting you at Nicola's party, and you have really kicked butt since then. Kudos!

    I am not making New Year's Resolutions, I am making plans -- which orgs to support, which projects to prioritize, and what I want to focus my time on.

  11. You did accomplish a lot this past year, Karen!
    No resolutions, but my goal is to complete, polish, and have my publisher accept the sequel to CassaStar.

  12. Hi Karen .. you've certainly pushed the boat out in 2010 .. and I look forward to seeing what excitement you've got ahead for your authoring bloggers ..

    Go with peace into 2011, and thinking of you with your mother .. and your family .. I still enjoy my mother's company when she's not sleeping!! Blessings .. Hilary

  13. Happy New Year, Karen! No resolutions for me. Just one day at a time. :)

    Hope this year even more successful than last.


  14. I can't wait to see what Celery Tree has to offer. Happy New Year, Karen.

  15. Sounds cool Karen. Hope your mother recovers and can start making those calls again. ((HUGS)) Happy New Year to you and yours.

  16. Somewhere along the way I quite making resolutions and now that I'm over 50, I just shrug my shoulders, barrel on ahead, and hope for the best :-D

    Happy New Year!

  17. I hope you have a wonderful New Year! All the best to you and your family. :)

  18. Happy New Year, Karen! I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you, your family and your writing.

    I don't make resolutions as such but I do make goals and then have strategies to help me meet them. It makes it easier for me and harder for me to break than a resolution.

  19. This is the most random thing ever, but since you like to talk to your mother on the phone don't get her a caregiver from Mongolia. We had one for my Nanu (grandpa) when he had his stroke and he was paralyzed, but sometimes when I would call to talk to him the caregiver would tell me he was downstairs and hang up. It wasn't funny at the time but now I laugh..

    Anywhoo, here is to a great and progressive new year for all!

  20. Let's hope 2011 brings some good health for your mum. I talk to my mum
    On the phone a few times a week and I would definitely miss her if she couldn't
    Ring me or me her. An eventful year brings more memories, best wishes that
    This one will make those memories memorable.

    CJ xx

  21. Karen, I'm sooo glad I met you through blogging this year. And your Labor Day BBQ was awesome. I look forward to all your entertaining posts in 2011. Happy new year!

  22. Karen, you were one of the first authors I met, the week of my debut novel's release, and you've remained one of the friendliest and most encouraging. That barbeque was nuts! I'm still formulating my goals for this year but I look forward to Celery Tree as being part of the publishing success.

  23. Welcome to 2011, Karen! I'm so glad I met you at your BBQ. Here's to many successes and special family moments in the new year!

  24. Happy new year, Karen!
    And many thanks for being second on this list I received from Wordpress today: The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and