2008 has been an unprecedented year so far, filled with ups and downs.
1. On a personal note, my father-in-law, Jake, passed away early in the year. His absence still haunts me. In other difficult news, a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment. Another dear friend, Cary, lost her six-year struggle with ovarian cancer. It's been hard on her husband, Rey, and 16-year-old daughter.
2. This sad backdrop contrasts sharply with what's happened professionally. My first novel came out this past February, only two weeks after my father-in-law's passing. I was grateful to celebrate with friends and family. And my second humorous novel sold to the talented and lovely Stephanie Lane Elliott at Delacorte Press. I also had the joy of attending the ALA this past January and sitting in the audience as the Newbery Medal and others were announced.
3. On a local level, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series! Even though we live in South Florida, we're a Philly Phamily at heart and couldn't have been happier about this much-anticipated win. Well, we'd have been happier if Grandpop Jake were still around to share in the celebration.
4. On a more global level, the Olympics were absolutely inspiring. Who couldn't be moved by seeing people from all over the world giving their absolute best?
5. And on a personal, professional, local and global level, I'm excited that after this historic campaign and election, we have a new president and can move forward.
As this year draws to a close, I'm delighted to wake each day with loving family and friends and a shared sense of purpose, community and hope.