Monday, January 02, 2012

Random Thoughts' Monday: It's A New Year!

Hello beautiful people!

Can you believe we've crossed into 2012 already? I still have a hard time with it - reminding myself to use 12 instead of 11 whenever I fill in the dates on official papers, such as bank slips. A new year tiding in is a time of change, innit?

Speaking of change, I cannot believe how much has happened to me in 2011. It's been a fast & furious year, totally fantabulous and with more highs than lows. I was sitting at my desk this morning and taking stock of the past year, and some of the things that have happened, well, I still can't wrap my head around them.

For instance, I am now a published author. Yes, I've had books out in the past, under my pen names. But it's not the same as looking at a book and seeing your real name on there; like having people saying they've read your books and recommending it to others; getting fan mail (totally giddy factor here!), people putting two & two together between the book and little ol' you ...

...and the sheer amount of amazing people I have met throughout the year! The clan at Noble Romance, and then the striking posse of Six Sentence Sunday! You guys totally, and I mean, totally, rock!

Good friends have become even better friends (my soul sisters Natalie G. Owens & Rae Lori showed me even more that I don't need to bemoan the fact that I don't have a biological sister - sisterhood happens across blood lines and geographical borders!);
some people I've met, I've felt like I've known them all my life after barely a few words/lines exchanged (Jessica E. Subject - I'm looking at you specifically here! Then there'd be Noble's JS Wayne, Ingrid Michaels, Lucy Felthouse & Elizabeth Morgan; Sue from Sassyspeaks, Layna Pimentel, Cate Peace on Twitter, among so many others, and I apologize for not citing your names here. You know who you are though, & I love ya all!).

So much has happened... and it all started on that day in December 2010 when I was dashing out to go to the beach and the bungalow my brother-in-law had rented for the holidays... and email-addict me just had to check her inbox before she went out. That's when I saw the request from an editor at Noble Romance Publishing, asking if the full of Walking The Edge was still available for their consideration.
Fast forward a few weeks in February, and *Gasp!*, they wanted the story! Acquisition, contract, meeting the fab folks at Noble (Owner & CEO Jill Noble, submissions editor Becky Dampier, my very own editor, the fantabulous Mary Harris who has become a dear friend on top of the one who pushes me to be better, brighter, & stronger, the awesome Fiona Jayde who does the most fantastic covers ever!).

Hint of a cloud health-wise though - and the scare that I would need more surgery to keep any possibility of cancer at bay again. Pulled from the irreversible point by my team of fabulous doctors (Dr. Mrs. Thacoor, a gifted ob/gyn who actually listens to her patients, & Dr. Mrs. Poorun, a fabulous, kind, & compassionate oncologist with whom there's never any b*llsh*t!) who have never let me down. They both did everything they could to find out how to make my life easier, and erase the spectre of cancer that hangs like Damocles' sword over my head. That's how, after consultation with specialists in South Africa and in Switzerland, they got me on a hormone-therapy regimen that's to stave off the prospect of recurrence.
Now the side effects are a total b*tch (menopause at 28? Seriously???), but hey, I'm alive, and I get to see a new dawn every morning; to see my kid grow up; to spend time with the wonderful man who decided, despite my basket-case neuroses, to make me his wife and stand by my side through thick, thin, and hormonal madness; to live one more moment and do what I want to do...
I started 2011 after another brush with breast cancer, and through daily trips to the hospital for radiation therapy treatments, a time during which I had an hour to kill every day in the waiting room, and my trusted qwerty phone came to the rescue... Add to it fatigue and the need to race through life at 150mph while your body can only go to 50 mph - well, that made for an interesting time :)

Then in the maelstrom of hot flashes, drenched-type night sweats punctuated by terrible bouts of insomnia, I was working on edits for Walking The Edge, which *gasp again*, morphed into a 3-book series. So much I learned through that edit, through this process of getting my book out by fantabulous professional people who were behind me 200%! Had to stop fiddling with certain writing projects and wrap myself around the concept of writing to a deadline, to finish specific WIPs before I jumped into new ones. All through that, the to-be-written list got bigger and bulkier as I wrote down all the ideas I could pursue but just not right now!

Did I add that I had my last university exam during that period? Menopause doesn't only make you got postal, it also scrambles your brain and plays with your memory. Now I understood why people say that it's better to learn when you're still young - age (whether real or brought on by, say, your medication regimen) really does play a part in how mentally fit you are to undertake certain tasks, like studying.

And then June was here - Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides: Book One) came out, and I haven't had a minute to look back. Amid subtle reminders that I better bust my a*se to get Book 2 written and sent ASAP, another world of possibility opened when I asked my editor if I could submit another story to Noble.

Remember the 1-hour to kill in the waiting room back in January, and the trusted qwerty phone? So it turns out that I did what I do best during that time - I wrote...

And the result was a 50K sweet romance story between a cold & uptight forensic pathologist whose world takes a spin when she lands custody of an 11-year-old girl, and who meets the handsome & sexy village doctor next-door... Yes, that was Calling Home (A Destiny's Child Book)! This one was snagged again by Noble, and came out in December!

1 year, 2 book contracts & 2 releases, and a 110K story completed (and currently on the editor's desk *gnawing cuticles here*). Not bad for someone who'd started the year with the goal to simply 'be out there' as she worked towards publication...

There have been some lows too, like the death of one of my uncles after his courageous battle with cancer. I didn't use to be close to him, but battling the same disease brought us together in a way someone who's never had cancer will not really understand... It was a blow to lose him, especially when he seemed to be doing so well with his treatments.

So all in all, it's been an eventful 2011 for me, and generally, a good year...

I plan to make 2012 even better - what about you? Starting with, giving back. I'm not rich, I haven't got awesome amazing fantablous resources, but what I can give back, I will.

In this light, I'm opening my blog to authors who want to come promote their books or themselves. I've already met with a wonderful response (check the box at the top left of this page - that's where you'll see who'll be visiting me throughout the month!).

The blog will be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays. Still have some slots open in January, so if you're interested, don't hesitate to get in touch. I want to help my fellow authors as many have been a tremendous help to me, so please help me out here :)

Here's to a magnificent 2012, peeps! I wish you all the best, nicest, brightest, and most beautiful for each and every day of this new year.

From Mauritius with love,



Chicki Brown said...

Wow! What a year you had, Zee, but it was all good, because you're still blessing the world with your wonderful presence. I feel so fortunate to have you as a friend, and I wish you nothing but the best in this New Year!

Jessica E. Subject said...

Huge hugs, Z! :)

I'm so happy you made it through all of the lows to experience all of the wonderful highs. It's definitely been an exciting year for you.

I hope 2012 is even better with none of the lows, all highs, because you deserve it.

All the best!

Rebecca Royce said...

Thank you so much for sharing your year with us! My life was enriched in 2011 for having you in it and I know 2012 will be a great year!

Brenda said...

Zee, what an eventful year you've had. Thanks for sharing your highs and lows with us!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Hi Zee! Happy New Year! May your 2012 be most excellent too. I've watched you over the year or two that we've known each other and am still amazed by your gracious soul. Mauritius is beautiful, because of you.

Zee Monodee said...

Lol Chicki! It was all good, yes :) Thanks to the amazing people in my life, all my good friends like you - every day is a blessing

Hope 2012 is bright & beautiful for you too! XOXO

Zee Monodee said...

Thanks Jess! I sure hope 2012 follows upon the same path as 2011, at least where the highs are concerned. Things can only get better, right? Gotta have faith... :)

Here's to a brilliant 2012 for you too, girl! XOXO

Zee Monodee said...

Awww Rebecca - you always know exactly what to say! I am truly blessed to know people like you, people I am proud and totally stoked to call my friends *hugs*

Zee Monodee said...

Lol Brenda - the rambles of a neurotic basket case. Maybe I should re-title my blog... *grin* Big hugs

Zee Monodee said...

Thank you Sheri! 2011 was a year when I met/deepened so many friendships and experienced so much through amazing people like you. Huge hugs, girl!!

Unknown said...

I'm late, but I finally make it here. Zee, you have made my life richer, and I so thank you for it. You deserve every blessing you received, and I'm sure that 2012 will be a rocking year for you. Hang tight, keep believing, and it will all come to you. Love you, my sister xoxo

sue said...

I never evaluate my year! But I agree about SSS and family does not necessarily include blood line nor proximity
We spent 5 days in Houston Texas with an online writing friend and her husband. It was wonderful how we all got along as if we’d been friends for years.
I feel the same about you Sis! Thank you :D
Hey congrats on having such wonderful docs! In this day that’s a rarity. My husband had a bout of prostate cancer two years ago. And thanks to the docs he is fine now. When he finished his radiation therapy the gave the techs a thank you note. Sorry, I had to laugh - yes hormone therapy is excellent. Spouse was on that too. Gave him hot flashes. So on his birthday of the first year of the therapy I gave him a birthday card
Just think of your hot flashes
as your inner child playing with matches
(yes he did laugh)

thank you for everything and 2012 will be great!

Margie Church said...

Zee, what a year you've had and I hope this year is filled with only good things. I look forward to working together soon and getting to know each other better.

Zee Monodee said...

Nat, no worries over being late! And lol, you're not late. :)

You made my year brighter and richer too - where would I be without your unfailing support? You've picked me up when the going got tough, you've raised me up through your smiles and messages. Thank you so much, sis! Love ya!

Zee Monodee said...

Lol Sue - that would be it totally, my inner child playing with matches. A totally out-of-this-world experience, a bummer when it's happening, but a good laugh after the fact... I'm glad your husband's doing better now. And so right - good doctors are a rarity. I've been blessed with my team.

I've met so many amazing people online. I really feel like they know me better, and that we've known each other 'for real' for a long, long time!

Here's to an amazing 2012. How could it not be, with so many wonderful people in my life?


Zee Monodee said...

Thank you, Margie! I look forward to us working together too - 2012 will be awesome, because we'll make it so! Big hugs :)