I think we can all say that 2009 was a tough year all around. Many notable and much-loved people have left us forever, including Charles N. Brown, the marvelous founder of Locus Magazine, David Eddings, Barbara Bova, and many more. In October my ex-husband, Horace Wright Johnson, succumbed to cancer. Although we’ve been divorced for nearly forty years, the news still came as a sad shock. Fortunately, both my boys, Alec and Todd, were able to be with him shortly before he passed away, as was my granddaughter, Ceara, who met him for the first and last time.
It was also tough year economically for all. Writers are not immune but, through good fortune (and the loyalty of my fans!), we’ve pulled through.
It’s been a tough year for me, too. I particularly disliked having to cancel my plan to travel to the Writers of the Future Awards in August but my hips and knees were causing me too much discomfort. Things, as they often do, got worse and in November I went into hospital because my hip had locked up twice in the space of a week.
The doctors had me, at first, in a huge brace to keep the hip from dislocating but it was unbearable and they decided, with some concern about my age, to operate and rebuild the hip. That operation went well but there were complications (at my tender age of eighty-three, there often are) which they dealt with quickly and then, with my blessing, they replaced my old bum knee, too! And so now I’m not only bionic Annie but re-bionic Annie! I’m still in physiotherapy and it will be a while before I get all the parts moving in the right direction again but there’s a chance, when the dust all settles, that I’ll be fully ambulatory — although I might need a walker for a bit. So.. knock on wood, I’m still a going concern!
As for writing this year, sadly, that takes energy and I just don’t have as much of it as I’d like. However, I’d been reading Todd’s latest — Dragongirl — and I really liked what he was doing with it. So I suggested that perhaps we collaborate on the sequel, Dragonrider. I didn’t have to push too hard nor did he find me a great imposition as my role was mainly one of making suggestions or being a sounding board but even that much was a lot of fun and, I might humbly say, I think the result was well worth the effort. So much so that we moved on to the sequel to *that* — Dragon’s Time — as well and Todd tells me he’ll have the second draft of that to me shortly. And, of course, Annie Scarborough and I have been continuing work together — “Catalyst: A Tale of Barque Cats” will come out from Del Rey in hardcover just at the beginning of the new year. So, while I would dearly love to have the energy to tell a tale all on my own, I really cannot say that I am not ably represented with my collaborations. I grew up in the Great Depression, and I know that for some the hardships of these times seem far worse but I assure you that it will all pass. Hang on, there’s lots worth waiting for!