www.marilynbrant.com

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

As 2011 comes to a close, I know that -- as difficult as this year has been at times -- I have a lot to be thankful for... My husband and I have a New Year's Eve tradition of writing down the most memorable moments from the past twelve months and sharing them with each other. So often, until we start thinking and talking about it (I even flipped back through my calendar to jog my memory), we forget major events that happened during the year. We're so forward focused, which helps in getting work done, but it's not necessarily conducive to reflecting on all that's been accomplished and experienced.

This year, I visited a bunch of wonderful book clubs. I saw Dennis DeYoung perform live and my friends' band, The Mojo Daddies, open for him. I had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn Stockett and hearing her talk about The Help. I got a fun cooking lesson from Fabio Viviani. I released my first two digital-only novels, On Any Given Sundae and Double Dipping (which is on sale now for 99 cents!), and delved into the fascinating world of ebook publishing. My third Kensington novel, A Summer in Europe, was also released, and I got to snap pictures of it on the shelves at fabulous independent bookstores, like Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville (above left), as well as at one of my favorite local B&N stores (right). It was a December release, so I was especially honored to see it on two "Best of 2011" lists!! I was on a women's fiction writers panel with some terrific authors (Barbara Samuel O'Neal, Therese Walsh, Megan Crane and Jane Porter) this summer and got to visit New York City with my husband and son. I went on two writing retreats -- one in Wisconsin and the other in Oregon -- with lovely friends and critique partners. And I finally came to appreciate the way social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, really do help connect people, and I was delighted to make a few new friends as a result.

But I'm especially grateful to all of you who visit this blog -- for being here with me and sharing your thoughts throughout the year. I'm raising my glass to you in a toast (I followed the recipe for a Starbucks VIAtini -- see photo to the left and the recipe below ;), and I wish you all a 2012 that is peaceful, joyful, healthy and fulfilling. May your days be full of rewarding work and time spent with those you love, and may your nights be a time to dream of things that ignite your passions, fuel your imagination and inspire you. Happy New Year!

To make a VIAtini: 1 1/2 oz vodka, 1 1/2 oz prepared Starbucks VIA Ready Brew (cold), 3/4 oz amaretto, 1/2 oz Irish cream. Combine in a cocktail shaker, shake well, strain into a glass and top with a cherry.

16 comments:

Candy M said...

The cocktail looks yummy! Marilyn, it looks like you've had quite a year! I enjoyed reading your books, watching a movie with you and chatting with you. It's been a pleasure getting to know you! Here's to a fabulous New Year!

~Candy

Virginia C said...

Hi, Marilyn! Happy New Year! I wish you much happiness and continued success : )

Thank you for the yummy drink recipe. I will think of you when I drink my eggnog later this evening. Following your blog posts and reading your lovely book, "A Summer in Europe", were bright spots for me in 2011. I look forward to reading more of your work in 2012 : )

Marilyn Brant said...

Candy, since I'm a coffee lover, it was a very good cocktail ;). And I've truly enjoyed getting to know you, too!! Wishing you the joy of a wonderful year ahead -- may it be a safe and peaceful one!

Virginia, I hope you enjoyed your eggnog last night! And thank you so much for all of your lovely comments about A Summer in Europe and for being so supportive of me and my books -- I really appreciated it! Wishing you the happiest of New Year's beginnings ;).

Hugs to you both!!! xox

Edie Ramer said...

Marilyn, you're an amazing writer and a wonderful friend. I would be surprised if A Summer in Europe wasn't on any favorite lists. You just get better and better!

Sara Daniel said...

Marilyn, I love your tradition of writing down your memorable moments of the year and sharing them with your husband. That is a lovely tradition! Happy New Year! Wishing you all kinds of wonderful things for 2012.

Maria Geraci said...

Great list, Marilyn! Happy New Year to you right back. I absolutely loved A Summer in Europe!

Marilyn Brant said...

Edie, you're a sweetheart to say that and I truly appreciate it! Thank you for your friendship and kindness to me. xox

Sara, Happy New Year to you, too! As far as our tradition, it's fun to do, but it's amazing how much I'd forget if I didn't have that calendar to look back on!! My memory is like a sieve these days, LOL.

Maria, thank you!! And thanks so much for the reviews you posted for it. *HUG!* Wishing you a wonderful New Year as well!

Caryn Caldwell said...

That sounds like a terrific tradition! I know Thanksgiving is traditionally the time to be thankful, but I find myself reviewing things I'm grateful for right around the new year, too. Glad you had such a good year! Hope next year is even better.

Marilyn Brant said...

Caryn, I love Thanksgiving because of that spirit of gratitude, too, and the New Year is a continuation of that for me as well ;). Wishing you, your hubby and Sunshine a wonderful start to 2012!!

Robin Bielman said...

Happy New Year, Marilyn! I hope the coming year is filled with everything you love most! (And I really, really, hope you make it to Anaheim this summer!)

Nicole Basaraba said...

That's so sweet you and your husband share your favorite moments of the year. Very nice idea. I so want to try out this drink recipe. Looks yummy.

Jakki L. said...

What a wonderful year you had, Marilyn! So many blessings! I am totally going to try that VIAtini! I love me a good martini & Sam will only drink them if it is flavored, so it is perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
It has been so nice reading your novels & getting to know you, like Candy said! I look forward to what This new year has in store!
Congrats on such a successful year!

JOAN REEVES aka SlingWords said...

Last year sounded wonderful as you recounted it. I hope 2012 will be even better.

Happy New Year!

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin, Happy New Year to you, too, and now I can say "YIPPEE!!!!!" here as well! Congrats on your shiny new book contract!!

Nicole, if you're a coffee fan, a VIAtini is pretty tasty ;). I hope you'll like it if you try it!!

Jakki, thank you so much! It's been a blessing for me to get to know so many fabulous people online this year, like you :). I really didn't expect that at all when I first started blogging, FB/tweeting, etc., but it's been such a gift. I loved "watching" the movie with you, Candy and the ladies (so fun!), and I really love how often the friends I've met first online go on to be friends I get to meet for real offline...

Joan, you had an amazing 2011, and I'm so pleased that we got to know each other through our email conversations this past year! Thanks for your good wishes and for being such a gem of a lady :).

Melissa Lockhart said...

Yours sounds like a wonderful New Years tradision. Hope 2011 is good to you, Marilyn.

Marilyn Brant said...

Melissa, thank you so much!!
I hope your 2012 has been off to a fabulous start as well ;).