My Top 10 of ’10

Between losing my mom & having back surgery, 2010 was a pretty tough year. Still, sharing the Top 10 highlights has become something of a rite, so I went back through my blog & calendar in search of the peaks and found plenty of things to celebrate. Turns out life is good even when it isn’t.

10. In August I had a wonderful chat with Robert Jaquay on his program MyQmunity Gay & Lesbian Book Talk. A former librarian, Robert is a gifted interviewer whose insightful questions actually taught me things about my own writing. You can listen here.

9. The annual Xena Con always makes my Top 10 list, and if you read through the Behind the Book section for the Shaken Series, you’ll understand why. Yes, we’re an odd lot; Lucy Lawless once called it “a goofy show for smart people” but the reverse might be just as true. Some of those smart goofballs (or goofy smartballs) have become my dearest friends.

8. I may not be bragging next year about new releases, so I need to make the most of my 2 new books from 2010: Photographs of Claudia & Mother Load: Book 4 in the Shaken Series. Thanks to all of you who came along for the ride with Leo & Claudia and the Kaklis clan, and especially those who took the time to drop me a note or post a review. The best reward of writing is knowing that my work resonates with readers.

7. I had the pleasure of moderating 2 panels at the 2nd Annual Gay & Lesbian Literary Arts Festival (GALLA) in Ft. Lauderdale, a 2-day event hosted by the Stonewall Library, Museum & Archives and ArtsUnited. Many thanks to Susan X Meagher, Lee Lynch, Jean Redmann & Ali Vali for making the trip to South Florida.

6. Stonewall Library figured very big for me in 2010, and no doubt will for years to come. I was very proud & honored last January to accept their invitation to join the Board of Directors.

5. Worth Every Step got shortlisted for the Lammys in the Women’s Romance category alongside some stellar company. Congrats to Collette Moody for carrying off the hardware.

4. Small Packages (Dramatic Fiction) landed on the short list for the Golden Crown Literary Awards, and Worth Every Step won in the category of Traditional Contemporary Romance. Woot!

3. The Goldie Award capped a *spectacularly fun* GCLS conference in Orlando, where a number of our Bella Forum members gathered from all over the world. Most of them knew one another only through forum chats, but they left Orlando best friends. Seeing them bond so easily was really heartwarming … it reminded me of that magical feeling I got from the Xenaverse.

2. For our 2nd Bella Y-Tour event (following up on our Denver trip in 2009), I lured Katherine Forrest, Karin Kallmaker, Dillon Watson & Amy Dawson Robertson to Ft. Lauderdale with the promise of good weather. I swear it was perfect until they brought storms & cold air with them. Undaunted, Carol Moran threw us a fabulous welcome party in a downpour at the New Moon Bar; the next day Jack Rutland put us to work on a Volunteer Day at Stonewall Library, Museum & Archives; and we polished off the weekend with a reading hosted by Katherine that turned out a nice crowd of longtime lesbian book fans. If only it had been warmer …

1. The very best thing that happened to me in 2010 was the outpouring of support & compassion from this community as I weathered the year’s adversity. I was beyond blessed by your kindness, whether it came in the form of a note, a comment, a pat on the back or a hug.

The very best to all in 2011.

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