Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Our Christmas letter - 2010
The two biggest news items this year involve Colleen. First, it's become a cliché for years that "Colleen is thinking about writing a novel," but this year (drum roll) Colleen is writing a novel – and is about 50,000 words into it so far – and it is incredible! It is a psychological thriller based in upstate NY, and she is doing a meticulous amount of research for it. What I have read so far is truly incredible. Stay tuned.
Second, Colleen is now officially retired, according to Social Security, but far from playing shuffleboard. (As her husband, I joke that she is the only senior citizen who still looks like Shakira.) The other big news is that Colleen is on Facebook, jumping in with both feet and reconnecting with family and friends. If you aren't linked to her already and would like to, visit her at http://on.fb.me/gCSDr5 or connect through my page, www.facebook.com/rich.gallagher.
It has been a great year for me (Rich) as well. On the speaking front, I logged 42 paid gigs covering 20,000 air miles and over 5000 attendees in 2010. As a writer, I ghosted a national top 100 business book, developed several white papers and articles for technology and healthcare clients, continue to do monograph work for the National Cancer Institute, and recently landed a five-year contract to do more of the same. I am proud – and sometimes amazed – at being self-employed for over a third of my 30+ year career, and am thankful to the good Lord and my great clients every day.
Perhaps my proudest moment was developing and teaching a week-long communications skills program for Cornell's ORIE graduate students, taught in my late father's old building of Hollister Hall, that CU plans to continue with me next year. On a more personal note, I am now just a few weeks away from a lifelong goal of finishing my graduate work as a psychotherapist at Northcentral University, and putting "MA, MFT" after my name – a journey that began over five years ago, volunteering on a crisisline.
Some of you who know me well may be thinking, "what, no new book?" (Fair enough, I did have ones published in 2008 and 2009.) Fear not, I actually did complete a new project this year, a business fable entitled "The Last Customer." It is about what happens at a failing restaurant when people start treating everyone like their last customer, with a little divine intervention. A year after I started writing it, it still makes me laugh, and the ending still chokes me up – so either it's really good, or I choke up easily. My agent is shopping it around as we speak.
So how are you? We love to hear from you, and cherish the support and friendship between us and you through good times and bad. Hope you have a happy and blessed holiday season, and a joyful 2011.