I got inspired by a fellow writer’s blog post on her top five things from 2008 ( http://sherionwriting.blogspot.com/). So I’m going to derail from my “how starving artists can buy a house” series to reflect a bit, and post about some of the highlights of my 2008.
1) 2008 was about finding balance between my writing life and my music life. How to balance traveling while teaching piano lessons? How to deal with lots and lots of students wanting lessons – while fewer and fewer editors are buying stories? And what about practicing the piano (which is its own juggling act, as I bounce between jazz, classical, and rock music)? I won’t say I figured out the answer, but I found some new writing markets, went on some great trips, have my teaching studio at a manageable level, and enjoyed playing out. Can’t ask for more than that.
2) Trips: Scuba diving in Belize, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia reminded me (as if I needed reminding) how much I love being underwater. Diving the Lesleen M. wreck in St. Lucia was an absolute highlight: Swimming through the corridors between windows covered with brilliant coral was like floating in fairyland.
3) Learning that my DK book, Backpacking and Hiking, was translated into 12 languages. When the publisher sent me — unexpectedly, and with no forenotice — the Czech and Hungarian editions, it occrred to me to think it was pretty strange that a book would be translated into only Spanish (an edition I already knew about) and two relatively obscure eastern European languages. Some vanity-googling discovered editions in several other languages, and a request for info from the publisher revealed that there are actually 12 editions out there. I gave the Czech edition to my dad, who is Czech. He rerpots that the translator used informal “street” language — which “hurts his ears.”
4) Playing out: We had some fun gigs in 2008, especially the Riverside Jam, which took place in Fox Lake in August, the Dewey Hall Folk Series, where we headlined in October (bet you didn’t know you could get away with playing “Time Bomb ” at a “folk” series!), the Monterey General store, where we not only gave a couple of our regular shows, but were also featured as an act in the semi-annual “big big concert” in the church across the street, and of course, Fod Fest, where we celebrated the life and music of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl by performing at the beautiful Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington at the tour’s kick-off concert.
5) The elections. The elections. The elections!!!!!!