11 Awesome Things: 2017 Edition

It's New Year's Eve, time once again to reflect on the year that's coming to a close. 2017 has been quite an unforgettable year. Here are some of the many highlights.

Bookish Awesomeness

1. THE LAST THING YOU SAID landed in bookstores on April 4, 2017. What an amazing moment - seeing years of hard work and love on the shelf in a real bookstore. Truly a lifelong dream come true.

2. The launch party with Andrew DeYoung, author of THE EXO PROJECT, which published on the same day as TLTYS. Connecting with Andrew has been one of the best parts of this journey to publication.

3. Dig Me Under and their single, "The Last Thing You Said." Check back soon for a blog post about the band and how they came to exist. In the meantime, check out the single on Spotify. A full-length album will be available soon!

4. Texas Library Association - TLA Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. What a fun experience - my first conference signing, the Texas Tea event, getting to meet and hang out with other 2017 debut authors, and spending time with my dear friend, Rebekah Faubion, including some ghost hunting with chef and author Sarah Penrod (Urban Cowgirl) at the Menger Hotel.

5. YA Roundtable at the Red Balloon Bookshop on July 21, 2017, moderated by the incomparable Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary, with authors Andrew DeYoung, David Oppegaard, and Sonia Halbach. 

6. For years, I've dreamed of having a book signing at my local indie, Buffalo Books and Coffee, and it happened on October 21, 2017. 

7. Love from real-life readers - photos and messages that remind me of my why

8. In November, I was thrilled to announce more wonderful book news - Amulet Books will publish my next YA novel, COLD DAY IN THE SUN, in spring of 2019. 

9. Navigating the debut year with so many fantastic, wonderful authors, several of whom have been writing pals for many years. I'm thankful for the support, encouragement, and lifelong friendships. 

Family Awesomeness

10. #ScoutLife - my son has had an amazing year in Scouts, including a week at Grey Wolf National Leadership Training, a trip to Washington D.C. and the National Jamboree at Summit Bechtel, earning Life Rank, and serving as Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and currently Senior Patrol Leader of his Troop. My daughter has excelled as a Cookie Sales Specialist and is enjoying her time as a Girl Scout. I'm grateful to be involved with both of their Scouting endeavors.

11. Good times with my awesome family - many days at Valleyfair, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, fun and relaxation at the lake, concerts (Coldplay - Birdy's first concert!), and of course, all of the kids' performances: band, jazz band, drum and piano recitals, dance, choir, and plays: The Lion King, Jr., Legally Blonde, Jr., Frankenstein, The Aristocats, Annie, and Cinderella.

I'd love to hear about your 2017 awesomeness in the comments. Cheers to 2017, and here's to a wonderful year ahead. I look forward to more good times, bookish and family and otherwise. Happy New Year, friends.