What a Year It’s Been!

I don’t know about you, but for me, 2011 was quite a doozie.

In January I was diagnosed with a parathyroid tumor. It turns out that it had been doing crazy things to my body for years. In April, just before I underwent a surgery that yanked it out and cured me (thank goodness!), I self-published my second fantasy romance, The Source of Magic. In the months since, I’ve been thrilled to watch Source‘s sales surpass even those of my first novel, Kismet’s Kiss. But while this summer was a giddy time career-wise, September, erm, “blessed me” with a very difficult personal situation.

A few months later, I find myself living 1000 miles away from the state that had been my home for eight years. I’m in a truly nutty but special place at the top of a mountain, with (yes, I’m biased) one of the best vistas in the world. Okay, I may not have an oven, or even hot water every now and then, but at least I have one helluva Room with a View.

I’d originally hoped to be announcing the release of a new fantasy romance short story today. I’d envisioned 1500 words in the style of a fairy tale, but “Swords and Scimitars” has a mind of its own and is refusing to end where I’d planned…or heck, even take the same GPS route.

I’m realizing that sometimes it’s okay to take that new path, even when my life might be, well, simpler if I’d stuck with the old one. One of the gifts I’m trying to give myself these days is patience. After all, when I began 2011, I had no idea what was awaiting me. As I’m ending it, I’m so glad I’m where I am today.

During this hectic holiday season, I hope you get a chance to breathe, look around you, and remember what’s good and beautiful in your life.

What wonderful things did 2011 bring you? What do you seek from the brand-new year to come?

29 responses to “What a Year It’s Been!”

  1. For me 2011 started with a signing a contract for my debut book, which is being released January 2012. Along with that our first grandchild was born….my husband had a stroke but 95% recovered. For me it was a great year. I’m looking forward to 2012 with hopefully another release on the horizon, seeing sales from preorders of my debut book starting to roll in.

    And of course starting the year off with the Writing Festival.

  2. liz talley says:

    Isn’t it nice to allow yourself to take a new path? Hard to do sometimes, but often God, Karma, fate, whatever the heck you put your faith in, has plans for you that you can’t really see.

    I sold to Superromance because I stepped off the historical path and followed a hunch…or a wild goose chase. And it’s brought me to a whole new place, a place where people can read my books.

    This past year I did a couple of things I’m happy with. I signed an agent I love, I won a contest (took me a while), and I put three books on the shelf.

    What do I seek? To improve my craft of writing, to have new contracts awaiting, and to find time to work on a single title I’ve been flirting with, but most importantly, to like the author I am 🙂

    Cheers and happy holidays, all!

  3. Hope Ramsay says:


    It takes real courage to find the outside door and step through it. Good for you. New beginnings are stressful, but taking the road less traveled very often leads to new and exciting places.

    2011 was a banner year for me. My first two novels hit bookstores and sold unbelievably well (still reeling about that. . .). But, by far, the most important event of this year was the birth of my first grandchild. Little Ella trumps everything else.

  4. Tia Ramirez says:

    You’re year sounds like a hand full! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve conquered the worse and are discovering new paths to travel down.

    This year held for me finishing a novel I’d been working on and off with for years (thanks to the ruby winter writing festival). Since then I’ve been bouncing from idea to idea, restless and unsure of what to work on next. I have big plans for 2012 that include finishing another novel and entering it in the golden hearts. Now if I could just stick with a story to write about haha.

  5. It’s inspiring to read how everyone has overcome the struggles of 2011 and is looking forward to 2012. My year has been similar… major illness in our family has taken a toll on the original plans I had set for the year, but I’m happy to say I’ve adapted. It was truly a year of highs and lows.

    Congrats, Cate, on the brand new start. I picture you on that mountain top like that zen guy, sitting cross-legged and meditating for inspiration. 🙂

    • Cate Rowan says:

      Highs and lows indeed! I’m glad you’ve adapted.

      Thanks for the congrats. I’m not much of a meditator—yet—but doing sunrise yoga up here is pretty spectacular. 😀

  6. Elisa Beatty says:

    Oh, yeah–what a year! Much slower on the writing front than I’d hoped, but I think the road blocks I’ve been fighting are mostly clearing out.

    Definitely looking forward to 2012!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Oh, and it sounds great that Swords and Scimitars doesn’t want to be limited to 1500 words! Perhaps novel #3 is being born?

      • Cate Rowan says:

        Noooooooo…. Hold your tongue, gal! (g) I have too many other WIPs waiting impatiently for me to return to them. I hope S&S will just end up as a longer short story, or at most a “novelette.” But yes, it’s being ornery!

        And I’m glad you’re clearing out the road blocks. 2012 will be an amazing year!

  7. […] have a new post at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood today talking about developments in my life and my writing. […]

  8. Life is what happens while we make plans. Sometimes it sucks, and sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise. Here’s hoping your 2011 was a blessing in disguise and 2012 will see all your hopes and dreams come to fruition. BTW, I do envy you that panoramic view. How can one not be inspired by such grandeur?

    • Cate Rowan says:

      It *is* pretty darned inspirational. However, it has its drawbacks—like the 3 hours I just spent shoveling snow, lol!

      I hope 2012 is your best year yet, Gwynlyn. 🙂

  9. Addison Fox says:


    I’m so excited for you and all the wonderful new things in your life!!!!


  10. Vivi Andrews says:

    Cate, congrats on coming out of the year stronger and happier than you went in – and good luck with that runaway story! 😉

    My year felt a bit like treading water. I need to remind myself to keep pushing, keep moving forward, and keep growing rather than relying on what I’ve always done. Here’s to 2012 changing everything!

  11. Rita Henuber says:

    One of my favorite sayings is, “When things don’t go your way change your way.” I’ve changed my way a lot this year.
    You and my other Ruby sisters have been a constant source of inspiration to me,so thank you all.

  12. Cate, I’m so glad you got your wonderful view! At times our lives are a little bit like coming out of the darkness and into the sun. We have to blink a few times to get used to the light, but once we do…no going back!

    Very inspiring post! Thanks for this!


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