Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Top 8 of '08 and Resolutions

Canadian author and good friend KC Dyer invited me to join her Top 8 in 2008 year-end blogfest at leftwriter this week. We were supposed to come up with our top 8 picks for 2008. Picks of what, you might ask? Well, she left that up to us. It was tough deciding what to list, but I finally decided on my Top 8 New-to-me Discoveries in 2008.

1. Blog parties. Love them! I hosted a couple to celebrate my last two book releases and have participated in many more. They're a great way to connect, share the love, meet new people and have fun. And you don't even have to get out of your pajamas to party!

2. Scrivener. I'm a Mac user, but I had never thought of using this software until this year when I heard from other authors how much they love it. Perfect for organizing and laying out the story.

3. The Mentalist. My sister Trish introduced me to the series just this fall. I quickly caught up with season 1 online. Smart, funny, and Simon Baker = awesomeness.

4. Twitter. Microblogging on Twitter is highly addictive. But it's also a great way to keep up with other readers, reviewers, librarians, authors and other interesting people. Plus Twitter automatically updates my facebook status, so it's doubly effective.

5. Scotland. I've always felt a tug in my heart for Scotland since part of my ancestry is Scottish (we hail from the clan Colquhoun) but I hadn't expected the awe that came over me when we visited for the first time this summer. When we drove up into the highlands, it was like coming home. Alba gu Bràth!

6. Maggot Milkshakes. In preparation for my gig as the visiting author at our science center's CSI exhibit, I learned all sorts of gross but cool applications for forensic science in criminal investigations. And I got the chance to take my newfound knowledge on the road by offering Forensics in Fiction presentations for school visits.

7. Obama in my backyard. President elect Barack Obama visited our local high school on the campaign trail and we got to see history in the making on our own football field!

8. Ypulse. Geared at marketing for youth, their newsletter has interesting articles and insights from teen contributors. My kids might not think so, but I feel like I'm more in the know by keeping up with the trends.

And, just in time for the New Year, I was tagged by Dominique from The Book Vault to share at least three of my New Year's Resolutions. So here goes:

1. Enjoy the ride!
I tend to worry a lot and I hereby resolve to relax and look for joy instead.
2. Stop procrastinating!
One of the reasons I worry so much is because I procrastinate until small things become critical. Hint: this is not smart.
3. Reconnect.
This year has been crazy. Good crazy, but busy crazy. I've lost track of friends, family and myself. I resolve to give myself at least fifteen minutes a day (which doesn't sound like a lot, but believe me, it's way more than I'm getting now) to stop, reflect and reach out if needed.

So... as part of that reaching out, I tag Jen McAndrews, Nicole Maggi, Ginger Calem, Barb Aschliman and Julie O'Connell.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve, everyone! Don't forget to stop by the blog tomorrow for a surprise and Friday for an interview with Carrie Jones!