A Year in Review

Well. It’s mid-December, the month and year are waning, and as seems traditional, everyone is dutifully filing their What I Did This Year reports. I will add mine to the stack.

The list of things I meant to but didn’t do this year is longer by far than the list of things I did. But 2017 was Like That, I guess, for a lot of us.

The most important thing I did this year is that I did not die. (I’m not being flip.) So that’s cool. I have an amazing new professional on my side and she’s gotten me on some medications that have done amazing things for my psyche, and some days I wake up and am just super happy, full of ebullience, ready for the world. So that’s real cool.

Professionally, I became a full member of SFWA after languishing indifferently at associate status for … five years? And I published two stories, both of which I’m pretty proud of.

The first was “The Storyteller’s Sleight,” in the anthology No Shit, There I Was. It’s unfortunately not available to read online, but the anthology also contains the likes of E. Catherine Tobler, Darcie Little Badger, Premee Mohamed, Matt Dovey, and many illustrious others, and it was edited by the one-and-only Alex Acks, so I feel it’s worth the modest investment.

The second was “After Burning,” which appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #227, back in June. I’m so proud of this story, and so grateful to everyone who read it and everyone who remarked on it, and to everyone who has put it on their various blogged or tweeted recommendation lists (and the Nebula Recommended Reading List).  The characters and world of that story mean a great deal to me, since they’re also the characters and world of The Interminable Goddamned WIP Novel.

I’ve also drafted two other short stories I’m pretty proud of, one of which is making its rounds now, and the other of which is for a prospective anthology I’m excited about. And I’ve dreamed up a whole new novel and world based on the latter, so whoops. Oh, and I also have an SF novelette finished, but I’m trying to decide what to do with it.

Insofar as the Interminable Goddamned WIP Novel (aka, Ash & Ordinary) goes — no, it’s still not done. But I still hover on that horizon feeling, that sense of oh, just past that hill! It’s a novel that began life as a fanfic I wrote for NaNoWriMo umpteen years ago (six) and then sort of inflated into this sprawling, extremely pantsed thing that involved a lot of worldbuilding-on-the-go and wait-wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if!-oh-well-now-I-have-to-rewrite-chapter-three. But this was the year I closed most of those gaps and contained the beast, and now I’m finishing a respectably plotted-and-outlined(ish) novel.

So in 2018 I’m excited to complete that one and get it out to my patient beta crew, and also to finish (fingers crossed?) the newly-planned novel, tentatively titled Empire of Wolves.

I had a brilliant time at a couple of cons this year — 4th Street Fantasy in Minneapolis, and our local Readercon — and though I had to miss the latter couple I’d planned, it was such a delight to see friendly faces and meet bright new ones. If I saw and hugged you at a con this year, thank you for making my con experiences great! And if I didn’t, well, God willing I will see and hug you at a con next year.

And I offer real, genuine, heartfelt love too big to fit into words to all my friends both in personspace and internetspace for all their love and support and good humor (and terrible humor) and righteous anger, and all the ways they’ve held each other and me up during a dark and trying year.

2017 was rough for a lot of us in a lot of ways. But we’re still here, friends, we stayed the course, and now we’re in the season of lighting candles and waiting faithfully for the sun to climb back out of its winter sleep, while seeds and bulbs wait under the soil for the snow to melt.

And it will. The snow will melt, the sun will return, faith and patience will be rewarded and we will still be here, lighting our lights, staying the course.

Happy end of year. Happy new year.

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