Thank You, 2010!

Tomorrow is the first day of the New Year. This is a time when people are generally nice and when most of us attempt to make good on all our New Year’s Resolutions. (Attempt, being the key word).

But that’s tomorrow. Today is the last day of the year.

We Filipinos have an old proverb: “One who doesn’t learn from his past, cannot hope to succeed in the future.”

So before we start listing down all our goals for the New Year, and before we make an effort to fulfill our resolutions, we must look back at all our accomplishments, and the lessons we have learned this past year.

Since this is my very last post for the year, I will do just that. I’ll look back at 2010, and list down all the writing milestones I’ve passed, and all the goals I’ve achieved.

March 1, 2010

I joined a writing organization for the first time ever. It was a move that changed my writing life. Writing opportunities blossomed for me. Through the SCBWI, I met writers who continue to inspire me, and to help me achieve my goals. I also met two of my best writer friends – Jenn and Lucy through one of the schmoozes here.

March 11 – 14, 2010

I attended my first ever writing conference. It was the most memorable and most helpful conference I attended this year. I met so many wonderful people in the writing world (writers, agents, editors, etc) and even made a few friends. I learned so much from the Big Sur Writing Workshop that helped me improve greatly on my manuscript.

April 12, 2010

I started taking martial arts classes, not only because I’ve always wanted to, but because I felt like it would improve the way I wrote my fight and action scenes.

April 14, 2010

I attended my first ever SCBWI-LA Schmooze, where we critiqued a chapter from our manuscript. I got to meet wonderful writers like Lee and Rita and made great improvements on my work based on the feedback I got.

April 25, 2010

As always, I attended the LA Times Festival of Books. I got to meet some awesome people like Buzz Aldrin, Sarah Silverman and Pam Grier. They shook my hand and signed my books and even took pictures with me.

Pam Grier

May 14, 2010

The Writing Nut was born. I launched my website using journal entries about writing which I had written through the years. Nothing fancy, but it was definitely a start.

June 30, 2010

As I was desperately missing our SCBWI-LA schmoozes (we were on a summer break), and because I felt there was a need for a children’s book writing group in our South Bay area, I joined and established the Torrance Children’s Book Writing Group.

A few hours later, I still didn’t have members. I began to have doubts. I thought I had wasted the $19 which I had paid to organize the group. At the end of the day however, I had about 2 members (Yes, Lucy, you’re one of them). Now we have 54 members.

Best random decision I ever made.

July 20, 2010

The TCBWG had its first ever meetup. Only four people showed up, but out of the four, I have since made three great friends. Amanda, Lucy and Nandini have stuck it out with me since then. For their friendship, I rewarded them with more responsibility– as co-organizers of the group. J

August 18, 2010

I met Todd McCaffrey at his book signing in Torrance Borders. He signed my copies of Dragongirl, Dragon’s Kin and Dragon’s Fire and even allowed me to interview him for my blog.

September 17, 2010

I met Cornelia Funke, author of the Inkheart Trilogy. She signed my copies of Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath, Dragon Rider and Reckless, took pictures with me and gave a few words of writing advice.

September 24-26, 2010

I attended the second writing conference for this year. The Working Writer’s Retreat led to more writing connections and friendships as well as an outrageously fun photo shoot.

September 26, 2010

The West Hollywood Bookfair was a blast as usual. It was even better this year as I got to interact with my favorite middle grade and YA authors.

Here they are in no particular order: You can see their interviews here.

Frank Beddor  – The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy and the Hatter M Graphic Novels

Francesca Lia Block  – The Weetzie Bat series

Tracy Trivas – The Wish Stealers

Carolyn Cohagan  – The Lost Children

PJ Haarsma – The Softwire Series

Amber Benson – Death’s Daughter

Michael Reisman – The Simon Bloom series

I took pictures with them and they all gave awesome advice for beginning writers. You can find their interviews here:

October 9, 2010

I took my first ever Belt Test for my Filipino Martial Arts Class – and passed. This year marks my year as a Yellow Belt.

October 13 – 17, 2010

I flew to Orlando, Florida with my dearest friends. We enjoyed Disney Epcot Center and experienced the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time. We all promised to return for another round of Butterbeers.

October 27, 2010

I met one of my favorite actors Milo Ventimiglia at Borders Torrance. He and his friends and co producers were signing copies of their comic books Berserker and Rest.

November 10, 2010

I attended Portia De Rossi’s book signing at Borders Westwood. I exchanged a few words with her and got my copy of Unbearable Lightness signed. What a beautiful person inside and out!

November 12, 2010

I met the awesome Lauren Kate. She signed my copies of Fallen and Torment and graciously agreed to be interviewed for my blog. Her advice to “Never give up, it only takes one person to say yes” has become my writing mantra.

December 20, 2010

I finished the 6th draft of my manuscript. The same day I began the 7th and final edit of my novel. What a milestone!

This year has been an awesome writing year for me. It’s always a shock for me to realize that I only joined the SCBWI, started blogging, organizing our writing group and attended writing conferences this year. I feel like I’ve been doing it forever.

I end the year with gratitude and humble amazement. I am grateful for all the things I’ve accomplished, lessons I’ve learned, the wonderful people I’ve met and all the amazing experiences I’ve had this year

Thank you 2010!

Hello, 2011!

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4 Responses to “Thank You, 2010!”

  1. Jennie says:

    You had QUITE the year! But you left out the best part of your year – meeting me. 😉 All joking aside, I have all the confidence that 2011 is going to be YOUR year, sistah!

    • nutschell says:

      Of course I didn’t forget! Meeting you (and Lucy, Amanda, Nandini and other writing friends) was one of the very best highlights of my year. :) I will write a long blog on this at some point, but for now, forgive the smallest of mentions. Thanks so much for your confidence. I think 2011 will be OUR year!

  2. Lucy R says:

    Hey Jen, she did mention meeting us at SCBWI schmoozes. This is a great recap Nutschell! You have been one busy girl, and quite inspiring : ) I think all your efforts were stewing in the making for several years before 2010 and I am sure all your efforts that blossomed this year will help you make great strides to come. How time goes quickly…it is already time to announce the next meetup–let me know how I can help. It is an honor to have such a diligent writing buddy!

    • nutschell says:

      Thanks! I was quite the writing whirlwind last year (Little wonder I call myself the writing nut). But you’re right– my writing muse has been guiding me for years. I’m so happy I got to meet you and the others. This will be our year, I’m sure. :)

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