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2010 Year in ReviewDecember 31, 2010

 2010 will be known as the Year I Wrote More Than I Ever Thought I Could.

Seriously, I didn't see this one coming, and if someone would have told me I would write three books in 2010 while holding down a more-than-full-time day job, I would have smacked him right upside his crazy-ass head. But I did, essentially. At the beginning of the year, I rewrote a novel from the ground up, a revision that was, essentially, a new novel (and one that I'm pretty proud of). Then I wrote not only the third book of the series (yay! and less revising!), but a collection of essays (why am I so reluctant to call it a memoir? I'm not OLD enough for a memoir, but that's really what it is).

It's also the year I learned a little about balance. And how I don't haz it. I had to really think about making time for family and friends, and at some point, I realized I'd left myself out of the equation altogether, so I'm working on that, too.

In many ways, for many people, 2010 has been a crap year, one that we won't miss. But it will always, always be the year my first book came out. The book that I *still* get a thrill from finding on bookstore shelves. And therefore, a very, VERY good year.

This year wouldn't have been half as awesome without you, dearest readers. I mean it. When How to Knit a Love Song came out, YOUR response was the most important. Your tweets/FBs/emails telling me you'd found it on a shelf, that you'd finished reading it, and better, that you'd liked it, kept me afloat. They kept me writing. They kept me believing. And if I haven't told you before, THANK YOU. With all my heart.

January: We met Dad's girlfriend Lola, who impressed us with her happy smile, big laugh, and her love for our father. And we also met the newest member of our family: CLEMENTINE!

(Hint: Clemmy is the one on the right.) Our rescued  beagle-pit mix is wonderful, and loves all things except my sister's dog Boonie. Clementine cuddles happily with cats and Miss Idaho (practically a cat) but doesn't want anything more than to be in a person's lap, any person's lap, for approximately all the minutes in today and she'd like a loan on tomorrow's minutes, too, thanks.

February: Stitches West! I handed out one bajillion excerpts for the book and got REALLY excited about it. And we went to Disneyland, where I discovered I loved the Tower of Terror and I learned that Lala will never, ever, ever, ever go on it again.


March: How to Knit a Love Song hit the shelves. I expired of happiness.


It looks like I'm at a roulette table, huh? (Hey, you might have something there!)

(Psst - Save the date: Book Launch Party for the next book, How to Knit a Heart Back Home, will be at Bookshop West Portal on 3/3/11, with drinks and fun to follow. I want you there. Please?)

April:I took a zipline and got an iPad (because I love adventure, in every sense of the word. Except when that word is bugs, and then I'm not very adventurous at all). And I went to Stitches South where the yarn was good and the Key Lime pie was AMAZING.


May: I went to Columbus, where I ate at Jeni's ice cream every day, sometimes twice a day. I had three signings. I was, generally, overwhelmed, but in a good way.

June: My garden went crazy from neglect.


July: I gave up rebound medicines, and that really helped with the migraines (except for the monthly ones, which I'm still getting WITHOUT FAIL -- I'm getting Botox in the back of my neck as my next line of attack. And OH BOY my nape will look wrinkle-free! Bonus!). (None of the other diet changes I made all year made any difference, so I'm back to drinking coffee and eating sugar. I'd like to give up the sugar again though....) I gave up overdying my silver hair, and I did a sensory deprivation float which made me think I was DYING before I decided it was cool.  I wrote a hell of a lot. I was on the midnight shift at work, so I saw no one and I was quite a grumpy bear. And Digit was caught snuggling:


August:I went to RWA National in Orlando, which was like visiting the surface of the sun on a rainy day and having to keep your hair nice while doing so. I loved the conference, but I was stunned by the climate and ended up whimpering every time outside air hit my skin. I wrote a LOT. I went to the beach to get away from the Bay Area heat (which is nothing like Orlando, thank GOD). I wrote a lot.

September: We went to the Strawberry Music Festival, where I actually relaxed. And I got into wolf facepaint and performed Hungry Like the Wolf (a truly unflattering although funny pic is here as your reward for getting this far). I wrote a lot.

October: I finished the memoir:


I went to New York alone, then to Rhinebeck very happily not alone. I <3 NY.

November:I played the ukulele! I ran once! (BOY, 2011 has to be the Year Of Getting Back In Shape. Dude. I can barely run a bath right now, let alone 3 miles.) I knitted a lot as the writing slowed, and I made a shawl and two sweaters (I haven't even posted pics of those two sweaters here or on Ravelry. I keep forgetting. Whoops). And I relaxed more than I had in a while. 

[Aside - Hey, anyone up for Runagogo again? 100 miles in the first three months? There's already a group on Ravelry for it (which I don't moderate, but I'm proud to say it started here), and maybe if you all were in it with me, I might get it done.]

December: I started things: I started the revision of Book Three (a much smaller job than that of reworking Book Two from the first word). I started a weekly routine of sending a handwritten thank-you note to someone, somewhere. Oooh, and I started Alice Starmore's Irish Moss, sleeve seen here:


I'm modifying it to be knitted in the round (no idea what I'll do at the shoulder -- probably a raglan-to-saddle, a la EZ). I'm in love with the yarn: DROPS extrafine merino in color 6. I'm knitting it on US size 1s. Le Sigh. It'll take a good long while to knit this bad boy. The pattern is GORGEOUS. I received a promo copy of Aran Knitting from the publisher and pretty much read it cover to cover, and I've come to the same conclusion: that I don't necessarily need AS at my hot tub party, but DAMN, she's good.


So, from Chez Yarnagogo-Smartyboots (aka Chez Hehu), it comes down to this: Happy New Year, all of you.

May 2011 kick ass.


I too can barely even run a bath these days, physical fitness has fallen so far off the map... :) happy new year, lady. love ya lots!

Wow, so many great accomplishments! Congrats to you on the books and wishing you many more in the years to come. I always enjoy your postings.

Wow, were you ever busy this year! Lots of good memories, too.

I've exercised more this year than I have is that past few years, but that's not saying much. Count me in for Runagogo again -- I need a new goal to ignore :-).

congrats on all your accomplishments this year!!!

I was telling my son Elliot about Run-a-Go-Go the other day, and how it so thoroughly got me up off my butt and running, and how clever "Knitters on the Move" is. I'm way up for doing it again! How can I help?

I love your summary! And have loved being along for the ride -- or, at least to hear about it as it's happening. Yay you!

I wish like anything that I could have met you when you were in Columbus. It makes me very happy to have "met" you and gotten the incredible pleasure of reading your books.

I was just thinking about Runagogo and I am TOTALLY up for it! Except that I'll be walking not running. I'm actually thinking about doing the Avon Walk again this summer too. Maybe 2011 IS the year of getting back into shape. :)

Happy New Year to you, Lala and all your cute critters. Mua!

I am tired just reading about your year! I wish you a well-balanced, relaxed and fruitful 2011. You are a true inspiration.

Wishing a Joyous New Year to all of you Chez Hehu!

Happy New Year Racheal; you were a delightful companion in 2010. The book was brilliant and is still doing the round at my knitting group. I look forward to your new ones and sharing 2011 with you.

Can't wait for your next book. I'm in the Bay Area so hope to come to your book party!
Thanks for the great fantasies.

Loved to see your year in Review!

I would totally be up for Runagogo again. I am thinking about a half marathon in September. And a little incentive can only help!

Happy New Year, Rachael & Lala! One of my 2010 highlights (and I am one with a wheelbarrow of 2010 lowlights) was meeting up with both of you during my super awesome Berkeley vacation!!

So, so proud to see all you accomplished this year! You inspire me!

I was JUST thinking two days ago that I would love another round of Runagogo! I'm in!

Happy New Year!! And may this one be better (if possible) than the last.

Happy New Year to all of you!

You've inspired me to join the 100 miles in 3 months group. Good way to motivate myself to get moving!

Happy New Year. May the rest of 2011 be healthy and happy (and productive).

Add me in with Rachel and the "walkagogo" club. I'm *trying* to do 15 miles a week, but the weather here in Texas is slightly less...accomodating than the Bay area. Congrats on a wickedly writing based 2010!

Happy new year!

I've got a half-marathon to run in March, I'd be well up for run-a-go-go. I'll need all the help I can get!

Wow you have done a lot last year! Congrats! You did all that and have a job besides being a writer? You rock! and I am without excuse for my general sluggishness and not following through on my dreams. Keep living life!

Happy 2011! It's been my pleasure to follow along. I have so loved watching you come into your own as an author! And shake off the "memoir" label discomfort--Molly Wizenberg is younger than I am (and I'm tailing you by a little bit), and her cookbook memoir had me crying for three days. You don't have to have the longest life to have a big life. ;)

Your launch party is falling just between when I'll be in town for home finding and when I'll be in town for good. Perhaps a puppy playdate in the early spring, though? :)

I'm running the Oakland Marathon in March. They have a 5k and a Half Marathon as well. It's all going down on March 26-27.

I'm on Run A Go Go on Ravelry, join us!

Thank you Rachel for your delightful presence on the net. 2010 was a terrible year for me and I found much to cheer me up on your pages. Judith (notknittingsox)

Yup, looks like 2010 was a very busy year for you! And you forgot part of May - Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I remember because I got to meet your lovely self in person there! No, if I could just find a way to meet Digit in person.......

Happy New Year!
Beth P.

I just wanted to leave a comment saying that i've just (like literally 5 minutes ago) finished your book and a LOVED it. Thank you so much. Please do keep it up, you rock!

Um...like the style of your writing.*_*

Can barely run a bath... amen sister. If you can run a-gogo, maybe I can too?

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