December, 2010 didn't go exactly the way I'd planned.
The end of the year saw some unexpected house problems, some unexpected day job turmoil, some greatly unexpected financial hassles. In spite of all this I managed to squeeze in an interstate road trip to visit the rels (negotiating some torrential rain and whiteouts on the road to Queensland, but avoiding the floods that have caused many people much hardship in some northern coastal and regional areas.)
Finalising my publishing project was temporarily put on hold, writing new material was shifted to the back burner, and posts to this blog have been in absentia.
2010 is over. Long live 2011.
Once the new year is underway, so too, I hope, will I be. Back in the writing saddle. Back on track.
I'm reminded of some of history's greatest writers' most quotable quotes. 'In the end is my beginning'. This is the opening sentence to Agatha Christie's crime classic, 'Endless Night," and is one of my favourite lines. Works well here, agree?
'The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.' Poet Robert Burns wrote this in the 18th century.Many of us, over the years, must've found comfort in knowing we aren't the only ones to have things go pear-shaped from time to time.
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.' I still haven't mastered this one, but what good's a new year without new year resolutions, and this one's always on the list.
Like anyone else who was paying attention, I observed interesting changes developing in the book industry in 2010.
A year ago I'd never seen an actual e-reader, except pictures of the Kindle on the Amazon site. It was also the only e-reader many of us had heard of.
By year's end I'd seen the Sony e-reader, the Kobo and the Iriver being displayed in bookstores, and along with the occasional Kindle, I saw them being used by commuters, as well as books being read via their apps on the Ipad and various cellphones.
Amazon announced the e-book market was around 10%, and greater than their hardcover book market.
Bestselling traditionally published authors such as David Morrell, F Paul Wilson and Scott Westerfeld self-published in e-book format some of their backlist titles, and in some cases, new material.
Indie author/publishers rose sharply in number, with a few such as Amanda Hocking, J A Konrath, LJ Sellers and others achieving previously unheard-of success. Amanda Hocking's various titles in the vampire and paranormal romance genres have reportedly sold 100,000 copies. Congrats, Amanda. Many thousands of others are selling a lot less, but this is an exciting and growing market that offers new opportunities for up and coming authors - something that hasn't happened in the book publishing biz for a long, long time.
Authors and publishers are also utilising POD (Print on demand) technology to make both backlist and new titles available.
So whether seeking traditional publishing and distribution outlets, or this alternative brave new world, aspiring authors have broader options and much to look forward to.
If I'm writing this then maybe I'm getting my mojo back in harness. Okay, so it's not NYE, but what the hell I'm pouring a bottle of bubbly, kicking back with my wife and a few friends, and raising a glass to 2011 and the brave new world.
As Agatha wrote, in the end is my (our) beginning.