1. My spiffy new Kindle leads the list. Are you sick of reading my gushing posts about the Kindle? I've yapped enough about it here previously that I'll just say this now:
I wouldn't have bought one as soon without Kristin Nelson leading the way. Kristin has been a friend, colleague and sounding board for years. When she bought one, and showed it to me, and told me how much she valued it, I got one for myself. Thanks Kristin!
2. Google reader. I subscribe to 144 blogs. I follow all my clients, and as many of the trade oriented blogs I can find like bookstores, editors, other agents, and interesting observers of the scene. The ONLY way I can do that efficiently is by using Google reader. I know it's helped me help my clients. If you're not on Google reader, I encourage you to do so.
3. Twitter. I use Twitter for a very specific purpose. I stay in touch with my clients by a gossamer thread. It helps me know what's happening in their lives that's important (things like the death of a dog, death of a close friend, two bombs, and a lot of snow!) without them having to email me.
It's also been invaluable for early news. I don't use it to market myself, or do much actual business, but it's been extremely useful for what I want it for.
I started using Twitter because I read a post on DorothyL from someone who was excoriating all the new fangled things they thought were a waste of time. I realized I didn't want to dismiss something as useless unless I'd actually tried it. Twitter turned to be very useful. I tried a couple other things that weren't, but the key was I tried them first. Sort of the like Spinach Principle: how do you know you'll loathe it unless you've tried it.
4. Joanna Stampfel Volpe. She arrived at FinePrint in February as an intern. She soon became an assistant, then an agent. She has an extraordinary editorial eye. I value her opinion very highly and in some categories I value hers more than mine.
I had the great good fortune to have her with me on our foray to Wichita Kansas. We talked the hotel shuttle bus driver into taking us to the liquor store when we arrived on Friday night. Well, Joanna did. I just egged her on. The image of pulling up to the liquor store in a hotel van is either horribly embarrassing or really funny. I'm not sure which but most likely it's both.
Joanna is a class act and a delight. I'm pleased to be her friend and colleague.
5. Bouchercon. Five days in Baltimore with clients, friends, and crime novels. I didn't have a single obligation other than hang out at the bar and listen to a lot of very talented people talk. It was so fun I came home and registered for Bouchercon 2009 in Indianapolis and B/con 2010 in San Francisco.
6. Barbara Poelle and Holly Root. Technically they are two separate people but they've been joined at the hip for years since their desks are about six inches apart. I had the good fortune to meet them at the Thomas Dunne party this year. It was love at first sight and all of 2008 proved that to be true. The fact they are my competitors makes it all the more more fun. I adore them both and plan to drink them under the table for years to come.
7. The Abbeville Manual of Style blog. I just plain love it. The writing is incredible. Read it. Don't argue. Just do it.
Other favorites are Fail and CakeWreck which have nothing to do with publishing but on the eighth rejection of the day, they are invaluable mood brighteners.
8. New York City. It will be on the list of things I love until I die. I love this city with a passion beyond reason. I'm profoundly grateful to have a job I love, in a city I love, working with people I admire and respect. I'm extraordinarily fortunate in this, and I know it.
Unstated, unnumbered but always there: my appreciation for those of you who read this blog, offer comments, insights, and goat tales. The time you spend reading and writing to me is deeply appreciated this year and every year.
Happy New Year!