2019 was quite a year for me. I suppose it was a year for nearly everyone who made it from January 1 to December 31. In my case, however, it was a year of much change, stress, and some success.
The bulk of the change (and stress) involved a long-planned move for me and my wife from our Ohio home of 24 years. We spent the first five-plus months of 2019 packing and preparing for the sale of our home (which sold in ten hours from listing to accepted offer, a surprise that prompted more than a few adjustments, I hope to tell you). We packed our possessions into a moving pod, closed on the sale of our home in late June, my wife accepted a new job, and we journeyed to Las Vegas, Nevada to start a new chapter of life within driving distance of our kids and grandkids (all of whom tried to get away from us within the last few years by moving to new homes and jobs in California; but while they can run, they can’t hide). After living in temporary lodgings for about three months, we moved into our Vegas home in late September and have since been unpacking, enjoying regular trips to see family, ordering and awaiting new furniture, and adjusting as well as possible. But we survived and hope in one of the boxes we have yet to unpack to find some semblance of a new normal.
As a writer, I was blessed by the publication of two books in 2019 (Don’t Close Your Eyes—my first children’s book— in February and Closer to God in May). I did a little article writing for Mature Living, Bible Advocate, Peer, and War Cry. I continued my daily contributions to oneprayeraday.com (a daily prayer blog) and posted weekly to my “A Thousand Ways to Pray” blog (on guideposts.com) and this agency blog (stevelaube.com).
My speaking schedule took me to three engagements in California, two in North Carolina, two in Ohio, and others in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, and Oregon.
In my role as a literary agent, I was honored to help clients sign a number of new book contracts and one video curriculum deal. I added a bunch of new clients into the agency this year, and I expect many to get good news on their projects in the very near future. (Some have already received their good news.)
I often tell people that writing for publication is a “long obedience in an uphill direction,” to paraphrase both Friedrich Nietzsche and Eugene Peterson. That continues to be the case. The Christian publishing picture these days looks more like a late Picasso than a Rembrandt or Van Gogh. But I continue to be blessed and inspired by the perseverance and perspicacity of my clients and by the beautiful and life-changing books being produced by the editors and publishers with whom we work. Overall, though, I’m supremely confident that, like my personal 2019, the road ahead promises much change and stress but also some success.