As in, "Open, Sesame!" As in, open to opportunities that come along. As in, open to trying and failing and trying again (see my resolutions for both driving and writing.) As in, open to new experiences in my new hometown (as well as beyond it--like meeting new people at the SCBWI conference in February, which is a challenge for me.) This is an uncertain year for me--as I find ways to get back into teaching in this new city, I don't really know what I expect. I know that I have one promising lead that seems to be moving along, for something VERY part-time and VERY exciting. I also have tons of ideas for other jobs I think I would enjoy, in education and in other fields. I'm going to do my best to be open enough to recognize opportunities when they present themselves, and hope that, with the right mix of perseverance, timing, hard work, skills, and (let's face it) luck, some doors will open for me. Right now I don't have a hard-and-fast career goal in mind for the end of the year, but I do hope to have at least a steady part-time job that I enjoy by the end of this year. (And in the meantime, I am so grateful for the luxury of time and support from Mr. S as I try to figure out what that might be.)
Also, I will be keeping that in mind as I read the Cybils YA Fiction shortlist! I can't talk about the books as I read them (I'll post short reviews after the winner is announced) or about our deliberations, ever, but I will say that I'm excited to get reading because with the exception of the one finalist that I've read, I might not have picked up many of the others on my own. A few I wasn't familiar with at all; others just wouldn't have caught my eye. But they've all been vetted and vouched for by the hard-working first-round judges (and it sounds like the competition for spots on the shortlist was FIERCE, so I'm sure these finalists are really fantastic.) So as I read some books that are outside of my usual reading zone, I will be open to their individual merits, as well as to the points my awesome fellow judges will make.. I look forward to potentially discovering some new favorites!