Alice plays her guitar

All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year, but this economy needs to get moving in the right direction, already!


As we say “so long, farewell” to 2012 and hello to 2013, here are some of my highlights from the past 12 months.


In April 2012, my 3rd book of poetry, After the Steaming Stops was published by Main Street Rag. I hosted a slew of book events and receptions from April until November and pretty much flooded the market with my family dysfunction poems. Thanks to everyone who supported me with wine, venues, marketing and bought my book this year.


Alice's POET License plate from

I also traveled about 2,800 miles sporting my new “POET” license plate on the back of my Subaru Outback from Charlotte, to Hickory, to Asheville, and to Charleston. I met so many fantastic folks on these trips that I know will be in my life for many years to come. That’s why we’re in this creative business—positive relationships with awesome compadres!


Later in the year, Tattoos, a Main Street Rag Short Fiction Anthology was published. I am the editor of this outstanding collection of short stories from authors all over the country. The funny thing is that I don’t have any tattoos, nor do I have any piercings. When my daughter, Erin, got her ears recently pierced on her 5th birthday I didn’t know what the process was like to help her out, but I didn’t have to worry. She handled the ear mutilation like a trooper. However, I don’t know how I’ll feel when she wants a tattoo…perhaps she needs to read this book first.


Also in April 2012, I started taking singing lessons with Dave Cox. Boy, is this fun! Dave is a noted singer/songwriter Nashville musician and a Real Estate Agent. Once I got the performing bug I decided to purchase a guitar, so now Dave is teaching me how to play. It’s going…but I need lots of work. My goal for next year is to perform at my husband’s holiday party. OK, Taylor Swift, watch out!


Keith fights a giant chicken

2012 was the year my husband Keith and I visited Minnesota. This vacation to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” was a total blast and the weather was tolerable for late June! We had lunch in Minneapolis with my poetry mentor/teacher Juliet Patterson whom I hadn’t seen since the 2007 Iowa Summer Writing Festival. We hiked near Lake Superior, toured the Split Rock Lighthouse, ate pie at Betty’s Pies near Two Harbors and avoided many, many sink holes in Duluth after their horrible weather event. Here’s Keith fighting a giant chicken. We also toured the Mill City Museum to see the Flour Tower of Disaster. I bought a red apron which I promised Keith would be used while I baked bread. Sorry, it hasn’t happened yet…but I did use the apron to make Christmas sugar cookies.


I had a reading scheduled at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville so naturally I wanted the whole family to come and make a weekend of it! The kids behaved reasonably well and I know I’ll never, ever, ever share a bed with my 10-year-old son. As soon as he went to bed, he sprouted about 10 tentacles and I couldn’t take all of the jabbing and kicking. Cots are in his future.  We got lost after finishing one of our hikes and thankfully a couple in a minivan picked all of us up to get us to our car—good thing, too, because my reading gig was starting in 2 hours!


Professionally speaking, I scored with my memoir editing and fiction editing boot camps. I was so happy to teach so many students via my webinar series and I can’t believe I was initially scared of the process. I also Skyped more with clients and continued to teach online workshops through 2012 was also the year of teaching so many fantastic writers in my memoir/fiction/poetry workshops and fiction/memoir editing workshops. I really appreciate my loyal students. May the writing fun continue in 2013! I also took the plunge of hosting my very first writers’ retreat in August 2013 and the risk is paying off—spaces are filling fast!


2012 was a huge year in networking and new friendships for me. I joined two boards: WBON-Cary (Women Business Owners Network) and Femfessionals, FemCity Raleigh and served on the leadership team for North Hills Networking. I also joined the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. All of these new friendships meant my 40th birthday party was memorable—in fact, people are still talking about it!


My Wonderland Book Club continues to go gangbusters and next year I’m hosting seven authors, whose books we’re reading. For Christmas, my mother-in-law bought Kindles for my family to share—now I know what the fuss is all about!


Sadly, 2012 held several hardships and tragedies. In late October, Superstorm Sandy wrecked my in-laws’ home on Long Island. No one was hurt, but they were without power for almost two weeks and the construction on their beloved split foyer home continues. And on Friday, December 14th, Newtown, Connecticut was forever changed when 20 first graders and six teachers were murdered in cold blood. My good friend, Eban Crawford emailed me that night and asked if we could host an Open Mic to benefit the Newtown families—and so we did! Our Triangle Benefit for Newtown, CT will be held next Thursday, January 3rd. If you don’t live in the Triangle, the event will be streamed and donations will go towards the United Way.


In 2013 I’m going to regularly practice my guitar, write poems for my full-length collection, create an e-book series and a stand-up routine, or at least write up some good stage stories.


Happy New Year! Wishing you a new dawn of creativity and fun!



Your Turn:


How well did you survive 2012? What are your promises to yourself for 2013?