11 Favorite Moments of 2011

Well, I am just WAY behind the eightball on this one. Most everyone else has come and gone with their “2011″ recap posts, but I’ve never been one to follow trends. Hell, I should put this post off until June and really confused everyone. Maybe not. At any rate, with the New Year just a little while ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about my favorite moments in 2011. It was a wacky year, but here are some of my own highlights:

11. Making the decision to move to Arizona/Putting our house on the market/selling our house in Illinois. This one is obviously a very personal moment for me and my family. We lived in Illinois for almost ten years (it was our “three hour tour” turned decade) and had a lot of friends there. But we had family in Arizona and a desire to reset. So we shut our eyes and jumped off the cliff, selling our house. It took forever, we had some stutter-starts and damn, but did we take a bath. But we did it. More on that later.

10. The Walking Dead, Season 2. I loved Season 1 of “The Walking Dead”, I even recapped it for Orbit on their blog. I hesitated to watch Season 2, as I had heard about the drama with writers on the show and honestly… sometimes Season 2s of shows just kind of suck (Heroes, I’m looking at you). But man… it was worth the wait. So good. Yes, I have major frustrations about the writing of the female characters, but I’m so sucked into the world that I can set that aside and just watch, mouth open as the story unfolds. Part 2 of Season 2… is it time yet???

9. Release of Halo: Anniversary and Portal 2. Yeah, I’m one of those. First off, I freaking LOVE Halo. I love that my husband and I can play it in cooperative mode. We have played Assault on the Control room literally a hundred times of more. It’s my favorite. So Halo with upgraded graphics. Yes, please. And Portal 2. I more watched Michael play Portal than played. I’m not big into puzzle games, they sort of stress me out. But he asked me to play Portal 2 to help him get some coop acheivements and I FELL IN LOVE. The story is funny, the music is great and please. Portals. Robots. Apeture Labs. Get me some.

8. Release of Flip This Zombie. January 2011, the second book of the “Living With the Dead” series was released. Continuing the adventures of Dave and Sarah after MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES was a terrifying concept. I had written plenty of books before, but never Urban Fantasy until MARRIED just kind of fell out of me during a blurry 2 week period where I barely stopped writing long enough to eat. Could I do it again? Well, I did. And I loved adding new characters and pushing Dave and Sarah’s relationship along the rocky road of marital discord and zombies.

7. Release of Eat Slay Love. I had already written almost the entire third book in the series when I made a joke about EAT SLAY LOVE on twitter. Orbit ran with it and the book came out in July, capping off the series (at least under Orbit unless some miracle occurs) and leaving hundreds to ask, “Are you going to write another Dave and Sarah book?” Also, there was Russell Brand in it (yes, he’s my coked up rocker, not that you asked).

6. Adele. Adele isn’t a moment, she’s a person. And her debut album 19 rocked my world. Everyone else seemed to figure her out this year. So I salute you Adele, for being the kind of person it seems like it would be fun to hang out with. Also “Someone Like You” inspired the “Crying” sketch on SNL and now I giggle every time it comes on before I sing along. And maybe cry a little.

5. The Royal Wedding. What?? I’m a GIRL. I love that Kate Middleton seems chill. I love that they actually seem to like each other. I liked getting up at 4am to watch the wedding and squeeing over the dress. Now for the Happily Ever After, thank you. And probably some very large-toothed children.

4. Moving into the wild world of self-publishing. Why did I do it? Well, I wanted more choice, I wanted quicker turn around times and I wanted to write more zombie books set in my “Living With the Dead” universe. My first foray under my Jesse Petersen name was IN THE DEAD: Volume 1, a collection of short stories set in the Living With the Dead Zombieverse. The sales have been slower than I anticipated, but those who have read it seemed to have enjoyed it. And I sure enjoyed writing it.

3. Eat Slay Love is a finalist in Goodreads Choice! A totally unexpected honor that I staggered into in November/December. I woke up to an email. And I realized that this award nomination was based on the best reviewed books in each genre. So, hello! HONOR! And then the readers got to vote for the winner. I managed to survive to the very final round, beating out some pretty heavy hitters before the end. Winning would have been awesome, but it really was just an honor to be nominated.

2. Sending out new projects to New York. I do love to publish on my own terms, but I also like having a book on shelves, expanding my readership and getting paid. :) So I’m very excited to have several projects out in the world, including a full book about monsters under my Jesse Petersen name. There might also be a zombie book (not Dave and Sarah) going out soon, too. :) Just saying. Will anyone nibble? Maybe. Maybe not. But I like that I’m trying.

1. Moved to Arizona. So about selling that house. Once we did, we bought a gorgeous new one in Arizona. In August, we packed up my car and our cats and took a very long road trip. Soon after, my husband repeated it and we were… home. My husband has started his own business for runners (www.sevenrunners.com)  and is training beginner triathletes (www.therunningmike.com). We are close to our two beautiful nephews and have a mountain pretty much growing out of our front yard. It is bliss. And it was the best/weirdest year ever.

What about you? Favorite moments now that your hangover from celebrating is long gone?