All in all, 2011 was fairly decent with a few lows and many more highs. As we say “so long” to 2011 and hello to 2012, I felt the need to be self indulgent and review my year with you!


2011 was the year my book, Unfinished Projects published by Main Street Rag, debuted. I traveled about 5,000 miles this year promoting my book throughout the Carolinas along with visiting New York’s Book Revue Bookstore and the St. Louis poetry scene. I met so many fantastic people on all of my road trips, but my favorite gigs were in Charleston and Waynesville, NC. I don’t think I laughed so hard in Charleston after the Monday Night Poetry and Music show in April—ever. (I think it involved not getting caught on Spruill Ave, Hurricane Katrina and Star Wars tattoos—thank you, Aaron, Kevin and Katrina!) Waynesville (about 20 min west of Asheville) was also a trip and a half. My hosts from the Mountain Writers Club took me and my best buddy/honorary poetry roadie Jane to the Sweet Onion where the conversation was a lively as an electric eel. Stay tuned for more road trips in 2012 when I visit Columbia, SC, Asheville, Charleston and Hickory to promote my new book, After the Steaming Stops, coming out in March or April.


2011 was the year I cut my hair. I was so bored with my long hair and tired of strangers telling me I looked like Kathy Griffin, the comic. So I got my hair cut in mid-May. It was a good cut, but so…different. I couldn’t style my hair like before and my husband kept calling me “Prince Valiant.” Oy. The good news was that folks said I looked younger than my 29 years. I’ve got my hair now to about my shoulders after 7 months and I want to go long again. Another part of the good news is that I found a curling iron that keeps up with my style even in bad humidity and my long hairs don’t clog our sinks anymore.


2011 was the year I became a Reiki Level II practitioner. Reiki has helped calm me down—but only so much since as you all know I’m a very intense person. I’ll be training to be a Reiki Master this spring! I’m using my Reiki to be more aware and intuitive, plus with my hair growing longer, my intuition will only get stronger! (there’s a theory that the longer your hair, the better your psychic abilities)


2011 was the year I called 9-1-1 after my three-year-old daughter Erin severely sliced open the bridge of her nose when she jumped from the bathroom sink onto the edge of a plastic trash can. I guess she was practicing for a role in Spiderman? I remembered my health ed classes and kept steady pressure on her wound. She was cool with everything and found it interesting that her older brother practically fainted when he saw her five stitches. 2011 was also the year my son wandered into the deadly April 16 Raleigh tornadoes—I wrote a poem about it. He ended up safe but you should have been a fly on the wall when my husband, who was at work at the time, asked me where Daniel was and I said, “IDK!” and then he said, “Well, the roof of the Lowe’s in Sanford just blew off!” Daniel followed a neighbor with Chihuahuas back to her townhouse to ride out the storm. Oy vay.


2011 was the year I got Craig-Listed by my boss. I was the editor for a fledgling magazine for three months and the publisher (I use that term loosely) put my position up on Craig’s List with me still in the job! I quit the next business day. I have to say I met SO many awesome people in that position that it was worth the time. But I realized I don’t want to take a “jobby job”—I’m having too much fun as an entrepreneur where I set my own hours and have the opportunity to increase my income. Take this job and shove it!


2011 was the year I sang in public for the first time in 10 years. I got the singing bug back, so watch out! I want to take singing lessons next. 2011 was the year I gave blood again after 10 years. And 2011 was the year I took a humor workshop AND wrote and performed five humor-themed speeches. I used one of those speeches in my emcee duties at the CHERUBS Angels Masquerade Ball for babies born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), but I cheated since I made fun of Charlie Sheen the whole time.


2011 was the year I visited the Ozarks, Fort Smith and St. Louis for the first time with my husband. In St. Louis I saw my first cousin KC after 17 years! That was cool. 2011 was the year I took up running again and published a blog post once a week—do or die!


2011 was the year every single one of my dresses, save one or two, came from the boutique consignment store, Our Friends Closet in North Raleigh off of Durant Road in Falls River Town Center. 2011 was also the year of teaching fantastic writers in my memoir workshops, fiction editing workshops and blogging workshops (both in person and online)—may the knowledge continue in 2012! I taught poetry at the Nazim Hikmet Festival in April, sponsored by the American Turkish Association and the Town of Cary, and will return to teaching at the Festival this year as well. I do it to be invited to the crazy Turkish after-party, but please don’t tell anyone that!


Well, goodbye 2011 and I know 2012 will create a wealth of good memories and fun! In 2012 I’m going to keep posting my blog once a week, memorize a classic poem every month and practice my singing and comedy routine, along with writing some more riveting poetry—so watch out!


Your Turn:


How did you survive 2011? What are your promises to yourself for 2012?