Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My 2011- A Very Good Year Indeed!!


Though most people get excited about Christmas, my favourite thing about this time of the year is New Year's. It gives me a chance to look back over the year and assess how it went and to look forward to what the new year has for me.

Link1. I had three fantastic trips this year. The first was to London in February to speak at the London School of Economics during their Space for Thought Literary Festival. See photos of the trip here. On that trip I had the opportunity to meet the fantastic writing trio of: Sue Guiney, Tania Hershman and Vanessa Gebbie. What a treat that was! A podcast of my talk can be listened to here. The trip was sponsored by Botswana's Department of Arts and Culture.

2. The second and third trips were actually combined. I set off for Lagos Nigeria in June then passed back through London on my way home to Botswana. In Lagos, I was privileged to attend the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop run by Chimamanda Adichie and included other fabulous teachers such as Binyavanga Wainaina, Tash Aw and Faith Adiele. So grateful for that opportunity and I learned a lot!

3. The last trip to London was a result of me being shortlisted for The Caine Prize. I was honoured even if I was not the winner.You can read my thoughts at the time here. Fabulous things have happened to me as a direct result of that shortlisting. One of the most important is I met the owner of HopeRoad the publisher of my short story collection ebook, In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories. We spoke, I liked her, I sent her my manuscript and now we're working together. I also met the folks from The New Internationalist and will be writing a column for them starting in March 2012. I really need to thank Colleen Higgs the boss at Modjaji Books for submitting McPhineas for the Caine. At the time I thought she was crazy, I was sure it had no chance. Just goes to show what I know about these things and how wise Ms Higgs is.

4. I was lucky this year to have three books published. The first was a romance published by Sapphire titled Mr Not Quite Good Enough which came out in July. The second book, which is doing very well in South Africa, is the young adult, humorous book, Signed Hopelessly in Love , published by Tafelberg that came out in August. The book has since gone on to receive fantastic reviews including being mentioned in Oprah Magazine's "44 Brilliant Reads". The last is my ebook short story collection already mentioned above, In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories (all stories set in Botswana), which came out last week.

5. Personally, it's also been a great year. Both of my children are now at university with my son starting his first year of a Bsc degree. My daughter is in her second year of architecture. My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and were lucky enough to do that in the UK, thanks to the Caine nomination. The 11th of July, our anniversary, was also the awards dinner in Oxford. A magical day on all counts. (the photo at the top is of Mr K and I at Oxford before the dinner, taken by NoViolet Bulwayo who went on to win the prize, a worthy winner and a good photographer too!!)

6. The only downside for 2011 is that one of my goals for the year was to have my first, full length adult novel published. This I didn't achieve. I have two out there; one with an agent, one with a publisher, so perhaps that dream is meant to come true in 2012. I'll have to wait and see.

I hope your 2011 was as great as mine and I wish you a magical, prosperous and healthy 2012. PULA!!!!!!

22 comments:

Joyful said...

Congratulations for all your success in 2011 and especially for your 20 years anniversary and the success of your children in university. You are blessed. I'm sure your other dreams will come true als.

OneStonedCrow said...

Great to read that you've had such a great year Laurie - may 2012 be even better ...

Best wishes to you and Mr K.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

What a happy happy pict of you and Mr K.
Lauri, it was one of my own highlights, getting to meet you in London - we had such fun, didn't we, and I don't know who nattered the most, thee or me!
It has been a wonderful year for you - and it is richly deserved, from where I sit. You have worked so hard, for ages, taken the knocks and not stayed down but bounced back, even if it didn't feel good at the time -and that is inspirational for other writers.
I wish you continued good things, in 2012 and beyond. And lots more happiness too. xx

Lauri said...

Joyful- thanks for your well wishes. Yes we really must pay attention to our blessings. Hope your 2012 is fantastic!

One Stoned Crow- Thanks Graham! Have the publishers sent you a copy of the ebook with your fabulous photo? If not drop me an email and I'll get it sorted. I'm planning to do a print edition for Botswana in the new year. If you'd prefer I can send you one of those when they're ready. Thanks again for your lovely photo- it so absolutely perfect!! Best wishes for 2012.

Vanessa, Vanessa, Two meetings and still I've not had enough. But then you'll be coming to Cape Town this year....right??? I love witnessing your rise, so very excited for you, and well deserved. All the best in 2012 to you and your family and your dear beautiful grandbaby!!

Sue Guiney said...

Great photo! great year! I'm so happy to have been able to be a small part of it. Getting to know you a bit better was one of the highlights of my year, too. Can't wait to see what 2012 has in store. I know more publications for you will definitely be in the cards. I just wish another chance for us to meet up and hang out might be there, too. Xo

Lauri said...

Thanks so much, Sue. It was such fun being able to attend your book launch, though I must say, looking back on that night I was seriously running on adrenaline ONLY. I was exhausted. I can't believe that in that state I stood up and read a poem. HA!!! My Capricorn objectives I'm afraid. I told myself "I will read a poem at the open mic" and I did it.

I really love London, I'll definitely be getting back there and YOU will be on my list. HA!

Helen Ginger said...

Love the picture of you and Mr. K.

2011 was a great year for you, but I believe 2012 will be even better. You are on a roll!

Selma said...

Awwww. You two look so good together. Don't be too hard on yourself about the full-length novel Lauri - you have achieved in one year what might take 2 or 3 years for someone else. You are one of the most productive writers I know. I am impressed and inspired by you in equal measure.

Wishing you continued success in 2012. It's gonna be a good one. I can feel it!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

What a wonderful happy photo reflecting a wonderful super successful year Lauri!

May your dreams continue to come true in 2012.

Judy, South Africa

Myne Whitman said...

You really had a fabulous year, congrats on everything, and for the goals yet to be met, 2012 it is. Here's wishing you an even more fantastic New Year!

karen said...

Fantastic year, Lauri! I love that photo.. and I've enjoyed catching up on all your posts that I've missed to..
So happy to hear that your children are doing well at university it can be so difficult to see them trying to get through the tertiary education phase (we are there at the moment!)
Wishing you a wonderful 2012 too!

Joyful said...

Hi again, just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! All the best in 2012 and may all your wishes come true.

Lauri said...

Helen- thanks. I hope your 2012 is a great one!

Selma- I'm still crossing my fingers one of the novels I have out will be a success. If not, it may be time to reassess if that needs to be one of my goals. Maybe I should specialise on kids and YA and my romance novellas. That's where I seem to have success in any case. I hope your 2012 is fantastic! And watch out for falling walls. :)

Judy- Thanks! You really are fantastic, you've helped me so much this year I really don't know how I'll ever repay you. I hope this year sees your writing soaring to even greater heights.

Karen- Well my kids are AT university, can't say they're the stars of the show anymore like they were at secondary and primary. I think they both like socialising a bit too much, but that's also part of university.Hope you have a great 2012 too- with lots of rain!!! PULA!!!

Joyful- thanks for your lovely wishes. I hope your holidays were peacful and restive.

Lauri said...

Helen- thanks. I hope your 2012 is a great one!

Selma- I'm still crossing my fingers one of the novels I have out will be a success. If not, it may be time to reassess if that needs to be one of my goals. Maybe I should specialise on kids and YA and my romance novellas. That's where I seem to have success in any case. I hope your 2012 is fantastic! And watch out for falling walls. :)

Judy- Thanks! You really are fantastic, you've helped me so much this year I really don't know how I'll ever repay you. I hope this year sees your writing soaring to even greater heights.

Karen- Well my kids are AT university, can't say they're the stars of the show anymore like they were at secondary and primary. I think they both like socialising a bit too much, but that's also part of university.Hope you have a great 2012 too- with lots of rain!!! PULA!!!

Joyful- thanks for your lovely wishes. I hope your holidays were peacful and restive.

Anonymous said...

Lauri,
I always enjoy reading your blog, but today just had to comment: I love that photo of you and Mr. K. You both look adorable! I'm glad 2011 turned out such a great year for you, surely 2012 will be too. Happy new year!
Nadiya

Lauri said...

Thanks Nadiya! Hope your 2012 is fantastic too!!

Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living said...

First, I love the colorful new background on your blog, and the photo of you and your husband. You both look wonderful and very happy after 20 years of marriage. I am so happy to hear about all your publishing successes. You know I lived in Lagos as a child, so it was fun to read that you were there. All the best in 2012, and I shall also publish my travel memoir. It's about time, even if I indie-publish. Thanks for being my blogger friend in Botswana.

Lauri said...

Thanks Sonia, I wanted to change the blog for the new year, it was getting boring. Good luck with your book!

World Famous said...

I hope as you spent your 2011, this year will be same for you...
Exam Notes

Squall said...

You really had a fabulous year, congrats on everything, and for the goals yet to be met, 2012 it is. Here's wishing you an even more fantastic New Year!
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Squall said...

Congratulations for all your success in 2011 and especially for your 20 years anniversary and the success of your children in university. You are blessed. I'm sure your other dreams will come true als.



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