Saturday, December 24, 2011

Swimming, Winning, Whining, and New Beginnings.

Considering this is me (photo left, with my sister),
terrified by a 5 degree angle,
I'd say I'm doing pretty winning at life these days. ;)
In an oh-too-predictible microcosm of that old macrocosm of Time, 2011 flew by in a blink of an eye.

Damn you, Time. I wish the days would slow down.

I did my best to seize them, to make the most of the hours, some days more successfully than others.

In this, my 47th year, it seems essential to seize every moment, or at least to try, as they blur past me, out the windows.

Here are some of the highlights, the good, and the whiny:
That's me in the middle, finding my religion. . . and, yes, we swam on Christmas Eve day,
me sans Santa hat, but I did don my monkey hat after.

Swimming. My family fills me, my writing sustains me, but my swimming? My swimming saves me.

As I get older, the water keeps me young, keeps me pushing to achieve new goals. Frustratingly, I did not accomplish last year's resolution to complete a five-mile swim this summer (mostly due to logistics), but I am signed up for one this coming summer. Luckily, I did push myself in new ways, including by swimming faster, harder, in more challenging conditions, and through December. Good enough. I'll take it.

I am endlessly blessed to have found The West Neck Pod (here's the official blog of the Pod, if you are interested).

And here I am swimming today, on 12/24/11 with the other amazing nutjobs of the West Neck Polar Pod ;))
Winning. I've had some winning experiences this year, both family and book-related. My kids don't love it when I blog about them, so suffice it to say, both my boys are wonderful kids who are having some awesome and hard-fought-for successes, and I'm proud of them. This is my younger son, having one such moment (yes, that is his name they are chanting ;)).
They say you're only as happy as your most unhappy child, and I can tell you that this is true.
As for winning book news, some of the many highlights were:

the Dolphin Bookshop reading in October 

the high schools that have picked up The Pull of Gravity into their curriculum (!), my Skype visits with Mr. Hankins' class and especially the boys of Room 407, and with the 9th graders of Clio High School thanks to Mrs. Sarah Andersen,

and, the winning-most things of all: the confirmation that I will be going to PAPERBACK (!!! Winter 2013) and
my shiny, wonderful, and oh-so-geekily meaningful 2011 Nerdies Award in Young Adult fiction bestowed by the amazing teachers and educators who run the Nerdy Book Club. (Thanks again to all who voted in the final phase!)

Whining. I am out on SUBMISSION. Need I say more? (If I do, you can read this blog post, or this one to learn more). Also, my old lady, bum hip still hurts despite months of Physical Therapy, and then there was the night I passed out and broke my nose on the bathroom floor. Also, my freaking house is a mess and I have zero desire to clean it. There. That should do it. That wasn't too bad, was it?

New Beginnings.

So, there you have it. And, now, here it is, a New Year.

I have a fresh slate and a chance to do better. To be a better friend, to be a more patient parent, to let go of old wounds and find a way to embrace the unknown without so much angst and distraction. And to spend less time wasting time, and more time writing and doing.

This is what I've learned: the more I do, the less I long for all the things I didn't do. Simple, right?

I have books to write, friends to spend time with, a family that I love, and that deserves to have me not just there for them, but fully present.

I am grateful for all the good that has come to me in 2011, and I hope you know how much your readership, and friendship, mean to me.

Especially to those who inspire me, who swim with me, and to my classmates in the Class of 2K11 who got me through this first author year, a very heartfelt thank you.


- gae


  1. Happy holidays, Gae. I've enjoyed your blog posts and am mildly jealous at your abilIty and will power to continue swimming into December and beyond. And course I loved The Pull of Gravity and anxiously awaiting more from you. :)

  2. Thanks, Christi. Your support this year has meant everything. Happy 2012!

  3. Have a super new year, Gae. Thanks for everything in 2011, including hopping a train to meet a teacher and his students for lunch (above and beyond).

    Paul W. Hankins

  4. Are you kidding, Paul?! That was MY pleasure! I can't wait to hug you again. Not too far off, right? Can't wait, although it had better be with a new book deal in hand, or I'm going to be grumpy. ;)