As I limp toward the end of 2021, I’ve been reflecting on the year that tried to outdo 2020. Inspired by my friends Chana Steifel and Tara Trudel, I’m closing out the year with my very own superlative writing awards and my predictions for the 2022 awards.
2021 Year in Superlatives
Best Preschool Math Books Featuring a Inanimate Main Character Who Still Somehow Carries Half the Storylines: The Little Elephants’ big Adventures series
Also considered: Best Books You Didn’t Know Existed Because 2021 has Been, Like, A LOT.
The first 3 book of the Little Elephant’s Big Adventures series published in January 2021. I started writing the series in 2016 and this year finished up the 9th book in the series.
Early in the development process, the Purdue team told me that they needed me to add a third main character in addition to the brother-sister elephants. But that character couldn’t be a “real” character because it would throw off the gender balance of the characters. After I pieced my broken brain back together, Bear was born.
Most Books Written That You Didn’t Hear About Because Who has Time to Blog When You’ve Got 7 Book Deadlines: Me
Since September 2020 I’ve written, edited, and completed 7 picture book. That’s 7 books in 15 months and, yes, I’m counting. Three of those were new books in the Little Elephants’ series and three of those are part of a new series I’m writing with the team at Purdue. Which brings me to:
Best Book Series Nickname based on a Meme: “Birbs in the ‘Burbs” By My Husband
This new picture book series is targeted to preschoolers and focuses on environmentalism, advocacy, problem solving, and accessibility. And the main characters are all birbs.
Coworker Most Likely to Boost Morale Via Complete Disregard for Personal Space: Professor Catticus von Fluffybutt (AKA. Bitty)
I have several furry coworkers, but Bitty stands above the rest in his complete disregard for personal space or workday schedule. He’s a common visitor to my Instagram feed because what else can you do while a cat is trying to occupy the same physical space as your face.
Most Bullet Journals Used at Once: Me
My brain is run by squirrels and the filing system is just dropping important information into the void to never be seen again. Hard-core bullet journaling is my secret to any semblance of put-togetherness I possess. With so many book and other deadlines this year, I found myself being extra, even by my standards.
Winning Writing in 2021 and Beyond
Whatever 2022 brings, it will be superlative in it’s own unique way. Whatever that may be, I plan to continue my streak of winning the most important writing award:
Kept Writing Despite All This *waves around*: Me
I’ll take breaks when I need to. But I’ll keep writing. That’s all that’s required to be a writer. As long as I do that, I’ll win at writing.