Thanks to all of you for supporting Laurie's Wild West this year, even when I couldn't be here all the time.
If there were two words that would sum up 2011 for me, it would be Hope and Health. Here's a summary of my highs and lows from this year.
High: The release of RIDING THE PULP TRAIL. Matt Moring's (Altus Press) fantastic design made this book beautiful and a collector's item. I am so proud of this book and can't wait until the next release of Paul Powers' stories.
High: Doing book signings this year, both for PULP WRITER and WRITING THE PULP TRAIL, at the invitation of Bobbi Jean and Jim Bell of OutWest. Participating in a panel discussion at the Cowboy Festival on the popularity of the movie TRUE GRIT, and another panel at OutWest with other authors in the fall. I'm continually amazed by Bobbi's and Jim's support of both the Western community and the local artists in our area. They are true champions of the West.
High: Speaking of the movie TRUE GRIT (the 2010 version), having it be such an enormous success in 2011 and nominated for so many Academy Awards.
High: Pulp Fest 2011, in which I was asked to be on a panel again and was nominated for a Munsey Award. Best of all, I was able to hang with some good friends that I only get to see once a year - never enough - and made some new ones. Oh, and picked up plenty of good pulps.
Low: My health took a dive this year. Finding out I have significant scoliosis which is starting to make my back unstable. After 50+ years of being healthy as a horse, I now deal with pain on a daily basis, and have spent significants sums of money on medical expenses, even with insurance. The only good thing is that I'll have a healthy tax write off this year.
Low: The economy this year, which many of my friends and relatives suffered greatly. I was lucky enough to stay employed this year, although the workload increased significantly this year and the stress contributes to be a factor in my health issues.
Low: Not being able to go to London this year. Wait until next year.
High: Being able to spend time with my goddaughter and develop a closer relationship. She will be going off to college this year, which I still can't believe.
High: traveling to the East Coast in October to do research on my new project. More on that in 2012.
High: Going to Phoenix twice: to see my cousins Claudia and Carole (who I never knew until I was researching my grandfather' life) and then again to see my great-uncle George, my grandfather's half brother, who is now 90 and still as sharp as a tack and a joy to be around.
High and Low: The Dodgers this year. Lows because of the obvious: (1) Frank McCourt. (2) Bryan Stow being beat almost to death after the Opening Day game and his struggle all year long to live; and (3) abysmal win-loss record. Highs: (1) because of the abysmal season, being able to buy tickets at record-low prices; (2) being able to buy tickets right behind home plate for a steal AND seeing Clayton Kershaw pitch that night; (3) Clayton winning the Cy Young; (4)Matt Kemp becoming a major star and runner up for MVP and (5), seeing Bryan Stow sit up and carry on a conversation a few weeks ago on television. Let's hope he continues to improve.
Low: Losing Xena, who was an angel both in life and now on the Rainbow Bridge.
High: Adopting Chloe. At first it was an extreme low, because of her disasterous health issues, but now I've got a cat that is affectionate and beautiful, and I can't imagine my life without her. Even if she does yowl in the early morning hours making me want to kill her.
High: Annie is still Annie.
What about all of you? What were your highs and lows?
Happy New Year to all. "Twenty Twelve" has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?