« A Merry Octopus | Main | Rest »

2013 in ReviewDecember 31, 2013


We went to New Orleans! We saw the dog parade! We had SO MUCH FUN.


I sewed a lot of dresses because I wasn't feeling the knitting mojo much. I wrote. I think--if I'm not wrong--I was working on Cypress Hollow #5, FIONA'S FLAME, which will be coming out in October(ish). I really like that one. I'd been trying to write Fiona's story forEVER. 


Got bronchitis! Fun times. Worked too much. 


I went to Italy with my little sister. HOW LUCKY AM I? 


And I'll say it again: traveling with the kiddo is like traveling by myself only with someone interesting to talk to. It's pretty perfect. (Want to go here? Nah. Want to go there? Sure! See you later? Okay! Wine? Hell, yes!)


I was in my favorite city, Venice. I miss it right NOW.


Isn't that photo ridiculous? Like a painting! From an iPhone 4! We live in the future, people. I say it every day, but it's true.


We built a kitchen island from my old Formica table and salvaged kitchen cabinets.


 Yes, we still feel very clever for this. 

I wrote a lot, judging by my calendar. I also worked a lot (too much) and volunteered quite a bit. Not much time in there for much else. THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN 2014, PEOPLE. 


Penguin bought PACK UP THE MOON! 

Smallpack up the moon_final3JPG

I'm still over it. The moon, that is, not the book. (I love this early review I got from Larissa Brown, whose own gorgeous book I'm totally going to pimp at you soon because it is AMAZING. Viking time travel love story. You will love it.)

Bookbookbookbook. So soon now! 


And my marvelous and sweet agent sent me these earrings for Christmas. All packed up in a box. *sigh of delight*


We celebrated Lala's birthday in Mendocino. Lots of baths, eating, drinking, drawing, knitting, and sleeping. Pretty much perfect. 


Prop 8/DOMA! We were still married! 




 RWA in Atlanta, dressed by Modcloth most of the month. My favorite dress of the year: 


 And I tried to make a lot of time for this: 


but honestly, for most of July, I worked too much.


I got a Vitamix!! 


 Life changing, y'all. I use it up to three times a day, not only to blend green smoothies but to chop onions, make soup, etc. 


Also in August, I realized why I couldn't eat much more than green smoothies. My gallbladder threw a fit and had to be taken out, and I spent three nights in the hospital. Here's to never having to dispatch my own ambulance to myself ever again! Or ever having to take off my clothes at work so coworkers can hook a 12-lead heart monitor to my chest! 

Up side: lots of time while recovering for this: 




This was the year Lala fell in love with opera. I think our favorite was The Barber of Seville. I don't love opera, but I do like it. Also, we get to dress up, so bring it. 

There was some knitting while I was recovering, too. 


Juliet Blackwell and Sophie Littlefield.

My favorite writing cafe closed, but I discovered that I LOVE writing at Mills College, where I got my MFA. 


There is something thrilling about getting PAID to write at the tea shop where I paid so much money to get that degree. I also love with an unreasonable passion my alumna parking sticker. 



Cora's Heart came out, the fourth in the Cypress Hollow series. YAY! 


Lost Digit.


Still don't really want to talk about it. But you know what? Remember when he came back from the dead and I said he needed a CalTrans vest to safely cross freeways? My friend Tash made him one. 


Right? Right. 

Also: NaNo! The most fun one in a number of years. 


Also: Boise for Thanksgiving, to the in-laws! We had a GREAT time there (we always do) and spent time with the neph. Good looks run in the family: 



Really, December was about working a HELL of a lot at both jobs and knitting a HELL of a lot. 


2014: May we all rest as comfortably as Clementine does on her chair:


Last year's word was NOW. I learned about meditation and sitting in one spot. I learned how to lie down and sink into the bed, turning my brain off. That was good, and needed. 

2014's word? REST. I think I proved to myself and everyone around me this year that working too hard just lands you in the hospital. I'm bad at balance, though, always have been. I work hard and then I rest hard. I'd like this year to bring more regular, planned rest. Fun rest. Chosen rest. Not enforced recovery. 

What about you? What's your chosen word or theme this coming year? 

Thanks, friends. I'm so glad and thankful for YOU. 


Happy New Year, dear Rachael !

I like your review, I was thinking about mine this morning too...

REST is a good word for 2014, I wish you to enjoy it in all kinds of direction and meaning;

Merveilleuse année 2014 à toi et Lala !
xoxo from France, Yan

Ah, Rest.

Our modern society has SUCH a hate-on for that concept, doesn't it? Well, I'm with you: choose rest or it will choose you. We live in bodies that are at once resilient and fragile; they will give you the smack-down if you abuse them. As an IBS sufferer, I'm here to tell you that the smack-down really freaking sucks. (Do you read Kate Davies's blog Needled? Girlfriend had a STROKE at the age of what? 34? Smack-down, indeed.)

So, I raise my glass (no wait, that's a mug of Earl Grey...whatever, it works, right?) to you and your resolution and vow to also heed the demands of my own rest-needing flesh!

(Also: seriously? A Vitamix? Fresh almond milk whenever you want it? How come I never get any good stuff?)

(Wait, I got a Kobo, a new sewing machine and my first spinning wheel this year. Ok, I'm being greedy. I'll shut up now.)

Compassion. For others AND myself.

And remember to pack a nice black skirt when you go to Israel because Rachel does something similar when she goes to Venice. And I'm sitting here by the sea in Tel Aviv planning on wearing that with a hand knitted sweater tomorrow,

(That is one stunning octopus sweater if I may say so.)

Happy 2014 to you and Lala.

My word for 2014 is MOVE, as in "you can't sit still for 6 hours straight and expect your 64-year-old spine not to resent it."

What a wonderful way to start the year! A blog post from you, the Rose Parade on tv, and a fresh cup of coffee. Then I'm off to a local organic/heirloom farm that is giving away 18 tons of gorgeous potatoes today and to pick up 10 gallons of raw milk to make cheese with.

I still have to figure out my word of the year, but leaning towards ABUNDANCE - of health, work (still job hunting), joy, happiness, friends, good, sharing, peace. Happy New Year to you and Lala!

I hope in 2014 to stay focused and "SEE" more clearly the world I live in and the people I share it with. I want to renew/improve my vision, both in my eyes and heart! The old prescriptions are still working; however my sight has become a bit muddled! Here is to a more "clear" 2014. xo

I had not seen the CalTrans vest - I can say no fooling that vest is the coolest thing I've seen in 2014 :) Without thinking too hard about it, I think my word is Faith: Faith that things will work out, faith in myself, faith in others, and faith in the universe to sort things out - thanks for helping me figure that out.

Love this. Love your writing. Love you! Hmmm. . . maybe my word for 2014 will be . . . drum roll. . . Love. I mean, really love/enjoy what I'm doing; love/enjoy others; love/enjoy my life. . . my work . . . love/enjoy Me! Okay. That's my 2014 word: Love! Thank you for this inspiration.~!

You had a great year with a few hiccups! I guess they are unavoidable in life. Hope that 2014 will be a fantastic year for you and Lala and the four-footeds. You have "made" me want to go to Venice desperately but not this year. Maybe someday. Got a beautiful coffee table book of pictures of Italy and another of Venice. It will have to suffice for now. Sending hugs and love to you both.

I think I will lean Forward this year, try not to be so frightened. I went to Italy 30 years ago, the weather was a little too chilly for Lake Como so we headed south for 3 weeks which was great. I saw a travel show last night including the lakes region. I might go. I might apply for a job that's twice my current salary. By God, I might try a few things differently this year!

November sucked for cats. (Blue is doing his best to recover; he waxes and wanes, but mostly waxes and improves, so it's all good so far.)

Every New Year's Eve after kissing cat lips at midnight, I grab my bag of "words" (strips of paper upon which are printed various intention words), give it a good shake, reach in, and pull out the Word of the Year.

This year, I pulled three, because I needed clarification. In order, I pulled out FLOW, then OPENNESS, then DEFINE. I realized that when I reverse the order, it's a prescription for positive transformation: DEFINE my vision; OPEN to the possibilities and open my awareness; and FLOW with whatever shows up.

May we all have a stellar, wonderful year. Much love to you, Lala and the furry crew from myself and the Mew Crew.

I'm ever thankful for you and Lala and your family and all the furbeasts, too. Wishing all of you a wonderful and RESTFUL 2014. Still looking for my word, though...


That's not my word, I just love accordions and GOT ONE for Christmas!

My theme is to be prepared for anything and open to everything.

Happy New Year to everyone!

You've had quite a year! Hope 2014 is awesome for you. And WOW on the octopus sweater. It looks fantastic! I knit a Multnomah shawl and a Summer Wind cowl for 2 of my friends and felt pretty good about myself. After seeing that sweater I'm feeling sorta lame. Ha!

I so enjoyed the look back at your year in review.

My word for 2014 is RUN. I took up running two years ago and I am finally starting to get good at it, which means, of course, that I want to stop doing it and start doing/learning something else. But running got me healthy and keeps me sane and off meds (both sleep meds and antidepressants) so I have to run. The larger theme is self-love, something I'm trying mightily to do. I spend my life taking care of others, paying for others and doing things for others, and I need to refill the tank.

Hope your 2014 is full of rest, blissfully abundant restorative rest.

And I'm with you on the death of DOMA-we had a big BIG party here. Love wins.

My word for 2014 has got to be ENJOY! Enjoy in the moment, enjoy in the process, enjoy the relationships in my life. Happy new year to you and yours. And always, thanks for sharing.

Happy New Year!


My word last year was DO and I did that with some success. But when I didn't DO I think it was often because I thought I couldn't. I need to be more positive and find ways to make things possible. I'm keeping DO a while longer, too, it's still useful.

Word for End of 2013: rest.
Word for 2014: be (rather than do. There's been way too much do).

Wishing you well with your word in this new year.

I'm Thankful for your voice in this world.

LOVE YOUR TREE!! I bought a 4' pink tree for my 4 year old granddaughter for her birthday on December 21st. It is metallic. She loves it. My word this year is FINISH. This will include knitting projects, quilting projects, treadmill and bowflex schedules. (Yes, I'm serious.) I'm very disappointed in myself that I've gained back 20 of the 32 lbs. I lost 3 years ago. I must get rid of them again and give my joints a break. Happy New Year.

Love all the photos. Love your year recap. You and Lala together are awesome. I feel your pain for Digit. I know my time is coming soon with my sweet dog Sandy who is 13 and definitely getting old. I didn't have a word for last year, but when I think about it, I actually think my word was "Now" too. My hubby is 18 years older than me and he retired this year. We did a lot of stuff NOW instead of putting off things for later this past year. It really seems like it was a NOW year for us in 2013, starting with his retirement in Feb. I think my word for this year is Create. I feel like I need to create things....writing, garden, etc. Wishing you and Lala a very happy 2014!

We bought a used Vitamix from my daughter. We love it! Hubby has the veggie/fruit smoothie DOWN! Love, love, love.
Speaking of love, your formica table island is Fabulous! Brilliant.
Um, what came to mind for your word for the year was Balance. I may suggest that for Hubby too. No, I won't. We all have the perfect word for what we need, right?

Wow, rest is good word for you now. I'm tired just looking at all you did last year. Best to you this new year with much health and wealth added to the mix.

I liked your blog post so much, I did a year in review post too. Still gobsmacked by the octopus sweater. That's a masterpiece.


Ah, Happy New Year to you and yours. I haven't stopped by your blog in a very long time, but when I did land recently, it took my breath away to read about losing your little man. I vividly remember reading about his unexpected return. I saw you in the ladies washroom line up down by the fried dough truck at Rhinebeck that fall and had to tell you how happy I was he was back. What a love story. I hope you write that one too. And Penguin! Could it get any better? All systems go for 2014 in the absolute best way.


No more martyring, spending time on me and not others, spending time with me, doing what I want to do, what makes me feel good, not what I feel like I should do.

-Read romance novels? Check!
-Play pirate video games? Check!
-Sew clothes for my toddler? You betcha!
-Ask my husband for more help around the house? Totally.

My word this year is RESOLUTION but I don't know what it means for my life,yet so I am listening HARD!

I only have one resolution for the year and it is simply "Do Better". At everything, even if only a little bit, I will try to do better, be better, etc.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

knitting projects

DSCN13632.jpg Email me