With bright eyes, we look forward to . . .

by Pari

Pc310079What a wild year it’s been. A day spent looking at posts from Murderati 2007 yields too much: manuscripts completed, books published, awards, nominations, struggles, strikes, births and deaths. At times, we’ve bared our sorrows to you. At others, we’ve twittered with the laughter of success.

We’ve seen ‘Rati come and go due to work loads, family commitments and just the need to do something new. And, in our time-honored tradition, we’re welcoming two new contributors in 2008 . . .

Starting this week, Brett Battles and Zoe Sharp will enrich our world with posts on alternating Thursdays. Brett begins on January 3.

Murderati continues to amaze me. Even with as fluid as our mix can be — with ten scribes and at least that many voices — we somehow manage to have a distinct essence. Even more astounding is that we continue to build such a strong, intelligent and sharing community.

While perusing entries this last week, I’ve enjoyed reading about how we each, differently, approach the coming of a new year. The gratitude that J.T. sung on Friday is flush with newness and joy. Alex broached another facet of the writer’s life in her exploration of passion and effort, of speed and quality, the work of being a writer when life isn’t all starry eyes and rosy cheeks. And, then, Toni asked us what risks we planned to take in the new year.

I wondered what I could add to this end-of-the-year conversation . . .

Unlike some of the ‘Rati, I love making resolutions — even if they aren’t met. I don’t feel a failure for only writing 1 and 1/3 manuscripts instead of three. It’s all right that my new series isn’t the one I thought I was going to write last December 31. Sure, I missed goals, but this has been a good year, one of professional and personal (yeah, weight loss is on my list again) growth.

P1010100 For some reason, I’m NOT beating myself up. As a matter of fact, I’m feeling incredibly optimistic. Who knows where this new road will take me? Maybe it’s the advent of my new book hitting the world in January, that goofy sense of anything-can-happen that we feel before the reviews start coming in. Perhaps it’s that we’ve passed the Winter Solstice and the days are getting longer again. I don’t know.

And guess what? I don’t care. I’m not interested in analyzing it today.

What I want to read in the comments on this last day of 2007 is simple: tell us about some of your victories, your accomplishments in the last year. Share a happy something you’ve planned for 2008.

Let’s bid 2007 farewell with joy.

To all of you, every single person who makes Murderati the pleasure that it is . . .

To everyone who
buys books
talks writing
struggles with the Muse
tells friends about books and short stories
supports creativity in any way . . .

Thank you.

May your 2008 be blessed with love, happiness, good health and abundant success.

27 thoughts on “With bright eyes, we look forward to . . .

  1. Ken Bruen

    My dear PariHighlight for me is joining Murderati, and what a blast it’s been. May your book in Jan soar and flyTo all the crew and readers, warmest Happy new yearMay it grace-d bebheannachtKen

  2. billie

    Rewrote first novel and queried it anew. Kept rolling with new work. Got my horse in front of my leg.

    For 2008 – I’ll join in with the ‘Rati mantra – write more, write faster, write better. 🙂

    And another thumbs up – I just noticed the scrolling book covers to the right up top – wow!! Love it.

    And Pari, love your photos – the new one of you, the gorgeous tree, the compelling path.

  3. B.G. Ritts

    I’ve spent the last ten months volunteering at the local symphony orchestra’s offices. Although still undecided on retiring or looking for another job, I’ve signed up for a computer networking class at the community college. I’ve taken adult continuing ed classes there several times, but this is the first class for credit I’ve taken in over 25 years. I’m a bit apprehensive about homework for grades, but looking forward to being challenged by the work.

    The new ‘Rati members should make wonderful additions to the postings here, and I really appreciate the listing of everyone’s books — both links and scrolling covers.

  4. JT Ellison

    HUGE welcome to our new members!!!! Brett and Zoe will be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to their participation.

    This will shock everyone, but I think 2007 goes down as the year I conquered my fear of public speaking. Or at least whipped it into a semblance of submission. I’m still not jumping for joy at the chance to speak to a crowd, or be the center of attention, but my worries and preparation for events doesn’t include that innate terror anymore. All the encouragement I received here made the difference. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Happy New Year!

  5. JDRhoades

    It’s been an interesting year. The third book didn’t break out like I’d hoped, but it definitely got a lot of notice, and built my audience to the point where I think the fourth book might just be the one. I had a blast doing some really fun appearances, including several with our very own Alex and out newest ‘rati, Zoe Sharp.

    Next year…who knows? Life, as the man said, is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  6. Pari Noskin Taichert

    Ken,I can’t tell you what a wonder it has been to have you with us this year. You’ve brought such a gorgeous voice to Murderati.

    Thank you.

    And, thank you for the wish for my book; I’ll go back to it on those days when things don’t look as rosy as they do this beautiful blue-sky morn.

    A glorious New Year to you, too!

  7. Tammy Cravit

    2007 has been an interesting year on many levels. On the upside, we got to take our first family vacation in many years, I wrote 28 chapters (and counting) of a novel and my first national magazine article (a short appearing in March’s issue of The Writer). I’ve also gotten back into photography professionally, and have made a commitment to myself not to continue neglecting my creative side for the sake of a job I hate.

    2007 hasn’t been without it’s ugly parts, too, but I choose for today not to dwell on them. I’d much rather look forward to the good things I’d like to create for myself and my family, and for my friends and those I care about (including my friends on the ‘Rati) in 2008.

    Happy new year, and — as my nautically-minded relatives would say — “all ahead full!”

  8. pari noskin taichert

    Billie,You’re one of the people I was thinking of when I wrote about our community being intelligent, strong and sharing.

    What a pleasure it has been to get to know you — at least virtually — during this last year.

    I love your accomplishments, but don’t understand the term “horse in front of my leg” and would love an explanation.

    I hope 2008 is the year for your book to find a good home. That’s my main wish for you.

    It’s great you like the changes here at Murderati. We’ve got JT to thank for that. She worked like the dickens during her “vacation” and I think the results are wonderful.

    Glad you like the pictures. I adore the one with the path; it leads to some of the most astounding ancient Native American pictographs I’ve ever seen.

  9. pari noskin taichert

    B.G.,I LOVE that you’re taking a class for credit. What a step of courage. I suspect it will have a whole new vibe because of that kind of commitment.

    It’ll be interesting to see if it does.

    And, thanks for the comments about our newest Murderati members and the redesign. We’re really excited about Brett and Zoe.

    JT gets all the credit for getting our books up there. I do think it’s a great addition.

  10. pari noskin taichert

    JT,First of all, a public THANK YOU for the update and redesign of Murderati. As you can see from the comments, our readers are taking notice and they love it.

    Second . . .I remember sitting in your kitchen drinking wine and talking about how much you hated being in front of people. You’ve certainly risen to the challenge and I’m glad.

    2007 was a stupendous year for you. I can only hope that 2008 is even better.

  11. pari noskin taichert

    Dusty,I think what you write about your third book is key — it’s building your audience even more — and that’s how it works for most of us.

    I’m sitting here on the verge of SOCORRO hitting the world and have the same hopes you had for #3. But who knows what will happen? It’s such a crap shoot — from the marketing perspective — and all we can do is (wait for it) Write More. Write Faster. Write Better. From the Heart.

    It’s been wonderful having you here this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

  12. pari noskin taichert

    Tammy,”All ahead full”That’s how I’m feeling today. What a perfect expression. Just perfect.

    Yeah, 2007 had some downsides and in other years on Dec. 31, I was often delighted to get rid of that past year. But my overall feeling about ’07 is that it was far more balanced than usual.

    Still, I absolutely love the idea of ALL AHEAD FULL. It’s got such gusto. That’s how I want to enter ’08.

    Happy, happy New Year to you, too!

  13. billie

    Thanks, Pari, your wish makes my day. 🙂

    Getting my horse in front of my leg means he has some impulsion – when I ask for “forward” he goes without hesitation.

    He’s a huge 1200 lb. Hanoverian and when he moves out it’s powerful and BIG. But he’s got a calm demeanor and is perfectly happy to slog along. It took me a year to get my seat back (after 20+ years out of the saddle), another year to learn to sit his huge gaits, and this year, 2007, is the year I got my leg steady and he started responding with some “oomph” when I ask him to move. He knows I can stay with him now!

    Our goal for 2008 is developing “schwung,” forward motion with swing and style.

    If you apply all of the above to my book, which actually fits year by year, it makes sense that 2008 might indeed be the year it “moves.”

    I sure hope so.

    Looking forward to the new voices here on Thursdays and all the new books forthcoming from the ‘Rati!

  14. B.G. Ritts

    For the accent challenged, like me before looking it up, to put a diaeresis above the ‘e’ in Zoë: in comments hold down [ALT] and key 137 into the number keypad (the number line above the letter keyboard won’t work). In html, you may use the ampersand followed w/o space by either “#235;” or “euml;” (w/o the quotation marks). (The comment section won’t allow the html entries — they just disappear.)

    A Happy New Year filled with peace, health and good books to all!

  15. Rae

    Good wishes to everyone here for a terrific 2008. For all the writers, I’ll go back to someone’s great thought about Cormac McCarthy reviews and Dan Brown money. For the readers, I hope you have lots of time to read and enjoy the great books these folks write.

    Personally, I’m looking forward in the new year to the completion of a 5-year long project; after that, some quality vacation time.

  16. pari noskin taichert

    Billie and B.G.,Thank you for the explanation AND the information. You’re both such wonderful resources.

    Billie — I like using that schwung for the book . . .

    Rae,What gorgeous wishes. Thank you. A 5-year project. Wow. You’ll deserve a vacation after that! Happy New Year to you, too.

  17. Louise URe

    WM. WF.WB. From the heart.

    Brett and Zoe, you’re just the folks to egg us on in that.

    And I did try the “Alt + 137” magic, B.G. Really I did!

    Happy New Year one and all. This is the year of The Rat (‘Rati?) isn’t it?

  18. pari noskin taichert

    Louise,I like the refined version, it’s in-the-know.

    I’m serious about getting tee-shirts or camis (though I’m not sure how Dusty would look in one of those) for the ‘Rati and Rati fans.

    Is it really the year of the Rat? Brouhahahha.

  19. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Gosh, honestly, my sturm und drang post notwithstanding, I had an absolutely stellar year. I really made that scary leap from pro screenwriter to pro novelist. THE HARROWING got nominated for a major mystery award AND a major horror award, which means I somehow actually pulled off my intention to cross those genres. I finished my second book and I got contracted for TWO new ones, and wrote my first short story ever, coming out in an ILLUSTRATED anthology this next year.

    It’s kind of beyond belief.

    And I joined the Murderati team and get to hang out and grow with this fabulous community. I just love that all our gorgeous and magnificent regulars are posting today – it wouldn’t be Murderati without you.

    You know my aspiration for the new year.

    (All together now)

    Write MORE. Write FASTER. Write BETTER.


  20. JT Ellison

    Funny, I HEARD everyone on that last, X. Damn voices…

    And thanks for all the nods on the new look. I’m not the most technologically savvy computer programmer, and I tend to take the long way up the mountain. I appreciate all your nice thoughts.

    WM. WF. WB.

  21. toni mcgee causey

    Terrific post, Pari. And a big welcome to Brett and Zoe.

    This year was a lot of firsts for me: first novel out in May, started shooting a movie in June, first grandchild in October (and her official name is Cutest Kid On The Planet). There was more traveling this year than in the previous ten put together, and more amazement as readers came and readers wrote.

    But I think the overall tone of the year has been influenced by this group and the writing community–there has been such a warm welcome, a support and inclusion, that I am honored to be among you. Of all of the things I thought or hoped may happen when I finally had a book out, it never occurred to me to even wish for a community like this. It has been one of the greatest gifts of the year. Thank you, all.

  22. Louise Ure

    Old Beeg and I have been emailing back and forth about the directions for adding an umlaut to Zoë’s name.

    For those of you who are Mac inclined, just hit “Option + u” then type in the letter e.

    Voila, you have ë.

    I think we’re going to need it a lot this year.

  23. pari noskin taichert

    X,2007 was a stupendous year for you! And, that new photo? OHMIGOD!

    JT,Yep. It’s going to be the Murderati mantra.

    Toni,What a delight it has been to get to know you. I’m so glad you’re part of this group and this community. And, you can keep that official name until my kids grow up and have some of their own . . .

    Dusty,Yeah, Toni’s kids have their work cut out for them.

    Louise,I’ll leave the umlaudes up to you. Merci, cspacibo, danka, do jeh . . .

  24. guyot

    I think we all need to stop and remember the single most seminal moment of the year – and I mean that both ways…

    Robert Gregory Browne’s moving rendition of MANDY.

  25. D.A. Davenport

    First, I have to thank everyone involved with Murderati. You all make it a wonderful, exciting, funny, heart-breaking and addictive place to come. I count it as one of my great discoveries of 2007.

    This year saw me not only beginning to write, but also screwing up the nerve to send my stories out there, then seeing 3 of them accepted and several short-listed and awaiting notification. Way beyond my wildest expectations.

    The best news was getting a story accepted by Sandra Ruttan and Jack Getze for the January 2008 Issue of Spinetingler. What a heady mixture of glee and terror, knowing a lot of people I admire may read it there.

    My resolutions in 2008 are to work even harder on the WIP and to join The Mystery Writers of America. I also want to get to as many conventions as possible so I can start meeting everyone in person.


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