We'd discussed it for a while before that, but it was last January when Rachael and I decided to stop talking about it, and go ahead and start that Newbery-themed blog. I'm not even sure what our expectations were, but I think as long as we actually managed to keep writing, we would have been satisfied with the results.
On the "keep writing" front, we were able to succeed. In 2012, we wrote reviews of 59 different Newbery-eligible titles, as well as 14 previous winners, and 2 other books; posted our reactions to the YMAs; and managed to put up a few essay-style posts as well. I don't know if I would have kept at it without having a writing partner, but Rachael always helped me to read more and organize my thoughts.
And, to my surprise anyway, people started reading! Indeed, as the year went on, I got a chance to interact with some of my children's lit heroes, including, but not limited to, Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes; Nina Lindsay and Jonathan Hunt of the legendary Heavy Medal; Monica Edinger; K.T. Horning; and even, for all too brief a time, the brilliant and sorely-missed Peter D. Sieruta. I've appreciated their comments, suggestions, and kind words more than I can say, and my experience in blogging has only heightened my respect for what they do and how well they do it. I've also gotten to know many other bloggers, librarians, publishers, authors, and readers, and I'm grateful to all of them.
This year, I'm fortunate enough to have a ticket to ALA Midwinter, where I'm planning on live-tweeting this year's YMAs. Then it'll be on to the 2014 books, and another year of reading, writing, thinking, and learning.
So many thanks to everyone who's encouraged us along the way, and a special, special thanks to Rachael, who is awesome, and who always makes me want to read more deeply, write more clearly, and think more elegantly.
Here's to a wonderful 2013!