Things to look forward to

This year is shaping up to be totally awesome.  Lots of cool stuff has already happened, and there's a lot more to look forward to.

First up, Steve and I are going to Las Vegas for a few days at the end of the March.  We just booked the hotel.  Actually, we booked two hotels, because right after we put our deposit down for New York New York, I got an offer in the mail for a great rate and free third night at the Wynn.  What a weird coincidence!  So of course we canceled the first hotel and booked a room at the fancy-shmancy place.  Thanks to the promotion, the cost for three nights at the Wynn is only a little bit more than New York New York, and it also includes two free tickets to Le Reve, a $50 dining credit, and a $25 credit for slots.  Woo hoo! Bring on the contortionists, video poker, and complimentary pina coladas!  And, we've also got tickets to see Jersey Boys.

This is what I love about going to Vegas.  There's always something new and exciting to do.

Then in May, Steve and I are planning a trip to Portland, Oregon.  He's gotta go for a work thing (what else is new, he's in Oregon every month), but I'll be tagging along this time because a girlfriend of mine will be there and I miss her.  And, I love Portland.  And, I can go to Powell's.

What is it about the thought of going to Powell's that makes me giddy?   I liken it to the way kids must feel about going to see Santa at the mall (not me, I hate Santa... but that's a blog post for another day.  And another blog).  I'm going to stock up on a lot of books.  A LOT of books. I need to, if I'm going to make my goal of reading fifty-two novels this year.  So far I've read seven, which is slightly behind schedule, but not bad at all.

My goal for 2010 is to rediscover the passion I had for books before I started writing.  Yep, you read that right.  There's nothing like writing a book to kill your mojo for books. (I wonder if this is how porn stars feel.  Or gynecologists.)  Because now I can't help but nitpick.  I can't help but edit as I go.  I can't help but question the author's choices.  And it's damned annoying.  Who the hell do I think I am?

But slowly, I'm getting my reading mojo back. I've read some really good books lately and that helps.  I'm reading more widely and that helps.  And I'm carving out more time to read and that definitely helps.  So keep your book recommendations coming.  If you've read something recently and you loved it, I want to know.  If you've read something and you hated it, I want to know.

Russell Peters is performing at the Paramount in Seattle in June, and I just bought tickets this morning.  We were actually supposed to see him in Vegas, which was the whole reason for the Vegas trip, but he cancelled.  Dude's making a movie.  No matter, we still get to see him.  And we still get to go to Vegas.

I'm signed up for ThrillerFest in NYC again this July.  No better place to light your creative fires than to be around other writers, both published and aspiring-to-be-published. I went last summer and had the time time of my life meeting so many of my favorite authors (check the Thrillerfest tags in the cloud to the right if you want to read about my time at the conference).

This time around, I'm looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the panel discussions.  No workshopping.  And, thank God, no pitching my manuscript to agents, which I probably would have had to do if hadn't signed with someone by then (the thought of an in-person pitch makes me want to barf).  I really hope I get to meet my agent.  And don't forget the shopping!  And eating!  And more shows!  There's so much we didn't get to do in New York last time.  If anyone's familiar with NYC, send me some suggestions on where to go and what to see.

Then we're planning a big road trip back to Toronto in August. Steve's car was leased in Canada in 2006 and it's due back at the dealership this summer.  We'll drive it there and fly back to Seattle.  We don't have the dates firmed up yet, but we expect to be home for about a week (not including the 3 days it takes to drive back) somewhere in the first half of August, so clear your calendars because I'm going to want to spend time with all of you.

So, what are you looking forward to this year?