Happy New Year

Seems a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook had a rough 2010, and I’m sorry about that. I hope 2011 is better for you and is filled with joy and good news.

We had a pretty good year around here. I got lots of freelance work, mostly through The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and through the press (WLUP) itself. Throw in the odd professor’s paper and I was busy pretty much all the time.

It was a year for travelling as well. In May I went out to Regina for the annual Canadian Down Syndrome Society conference and stayed with good friends Gail and Ted Bowen instead of the hotel, which is always nice to do. The conference was excellent and the company fabulous. A few weeks later I was off to Montreal for a week for the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences (Learneds, for the old folk). I love Montreal and didn’t want to leave. We stayed downtown and walked to Concordia every morning for work. Perfect. Right after that we were off to Salt Lake City for the annual conference of Association of American University Presses. Strange city, but good times with colleagues. And a great book store.

The summer brought change for us. Mary was accepted to a French program at Université de Montreal and I had to drive her there since she couldn’t cope with a summer’s worth of supplies on the train. First time I’ve ever driven that far, but Kathleen came with me and we made a weekend of it that included the jazz festival and some very cute Starbucks employees (cue Kathleen swoon here). Kathleen was busy herself this summer. She volunteered in the summer playground at the community centre and also at Camp McGovern up near Hanover for a week. Strange having her working and away.

Change continued into the fall with Mary starting university at Laurier and Kathleen starting high school. She’s on the bus early every morning to head across town to an integrated arts program. Best decision we ever made—she’s having a blast and learning so much. Russell is in grade 12 and although he has a few more years he has chosen to go through graduation with his age peers and so we’ve bought a suit and are getting ready for grad photos and prom. And Bobby is working steadily and not causing me any trouble. I see him once or twice a week and that’s just fine.

This has been the year I throw myself out there on social media as well, especially Twitter. I met a few of the publishing people at the BookNet Tech forum last year and it has grown online since then—to the point that I’m actually really excited about this year’s forum and I hope I have enough nerve to talk to these (mostly much younger) people in person.

2011 is starting with a bang. I leave for San Diego on the 5th for the American Library Association conference. I’m looking forward to being warm for a week. Then we have a big splashy book launch at the Royal Conservatory of Music the week I get back and hopefully after that things will quiet down until the next travel in June (Fredericton and Halifax).

Wishing you all the best in 2011. I said on Twitter yesterday that my resolution is to believe for myself what I tell my girls. That is an all-encompassing message of empowerment, and I do believe it wholeheartedly when I say it to them. As for me, well, I’m a work in progress.

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