If I’d sent out a raft of holiday cards, this is the letter that would have been inside the envelope:
The year has flown past, possibly because I did quite a bit of traveling or maybe because I’m getting older and it takes more to make the months and moments stand out in memory.
I prefer the traveling option.
My traveling began in February: a 1-week Caribbean cruise with my parents and my friend, Elaine. We had adjacent, balcony cabins onboard
the Emerald Princess. The weather was wonderful, which means that many of my fellow passengers probably thought it was cold. The cruise ships tend to visit the same ports, so after even a few cruises some of the ports start to seem a little too familiar and it’s tempting to remain on the (very large) ship. This time, though, we visited a new (to me) island: Grand Turk. Elaine and I and two ship-board friends rented a golf cart and putt-putted to a spectacular lighthouse at the northern end of the island, then stopped for a late lunch at little place with all the down-island charm and atmosphere that Jimmy Buffett extols in his songs (but has become very difficult to find since he started extolling it). If I ever need to “get away from it all,” I’m going back to the Bohio Dive Resort.
In May, I got away from Florida for a two-week swing through Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. In a masterpiece of accidental scheduling, I’d committed to be a guest at a big SF/Fantasy/Comic/Animé convention in Dallas one weekend before I’d signed up for an embroidery seminar in the same city! It seemed silly (not to mention expensive) to fly out and back twice, so I loaded up the car, headed west and, thanks to my GPS, managed to find my hotel (twice!) in Dallas. I holed up in the Oklahoma City area between the convention and the seminar. It was my first visit in several years, and the first time I’d driven up I-35 since I moved to Florida in 1997. The spring wildflowers hadn’t completely faded and it was a beautiful drive.
When it comes to roadside wildflowers, though, it’s hard to beat the state of Georgia and I found myself driving up to Georgia several times this year. Another friend, Diane, and her mother moved to Macon this past spring. We decided that while the Internet is great for staying in contact nothing compares to face-to-face visits, so we’ve marked our calendars and I drive up to Macon for Fifth Wednesdays, of which there have been two since May. And there was a third drive up I-75 over Labor Day for Dragon*Con in Atlanta. Bob and I were Guest-of-Honor at the first Dragon*Con; they’re having their 25th Anniversary in 2011 – time really does fly.
And for my final trip of the year, I flew to Puerto Rico for a long weekend in November. Elaine is a consumer bankruptcy attorney and every fall her professional association sets up a family-oriented, resort-based seminar. I tag along as her roommate and handle mundane things like car rentals, restaurant reservations, etc., etc. (As far as car rentals went, if I liked having my GPS with me in Dallas, I was absolutely dependant on it in Puerto Rico. I think I’d still be looping the airport if I hadn’t brought it with me). Everything about Puerto Rico was delightful–except the weather. Thanks to Hurricane Tomás, even the natives were complaining about the rain and humidity!
It was probably the first time I’ve been glad to get home because it was drier than where I’d been.
Writing-wise, 2010 has been one of those interesting years. Closed-Circle.net, the digital publishing house that CJ Cherryh, Jane Fancher, and I opened about this time last year, is moving forward, but publishing isn’t writing and we’ve each been scrambling to acquire new skills—a process that’s complicated by the speed with which digital publishing changes. Still, digital is the future and we’re committed to it. I’ve spent much of this year disentangling myself from my old “dead-tree” publishers. With that process nearing completion, I’m hoping to get back to writing new stories in 2011. At least one of those new stories will be a collaboration with Jane and CJ. We’re calling it Seeking North and starting January 1, 2011 you can read all about it at seeking-north.com.
And with that, I bring the 2010 letter to a close, wishing you a peaceful and joyous holiday season….