What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Seven Swans a-Swimming

Looks like it'll be a quiet New Year's for us. Bette isn't feeling well and has a temp, so our plans to go over to the neighbors fellowship, games and champaign are being adjusted to soup and a movie. It's better than getting everybody sick for the new year.

There's been quite a number of bloggers and news organizations doing wrap ups of the decade as well as the year, so I won't retread a lot of those discussions and arguments (they mostly fall into the Stephen Colbert's question of "So, is (insert politician or event name here) the best (whatever), or the bestest ever (whatever)"). Let me wrap up most of the decade saying that personally like the growth I went through, professionally it was a mixed bag, for the nation I had hoped we would be in a much different place by now. This past year's roller coaster began with reduced hours and discussion of layoffs. After 2008's resolution to focus on the writing, and then have my best year freelancing, with the prospect of being out of a day job I made a vow to focus on freelancing in 2009. Then I had my best year in writing and saw the freelance work dry up. So this year, 2010, I'm going to focus on... freelancing. Of course, Murphy's Law is not recursive, so maybe I should just make a promise to make a focus on what's working well.

My friend Mer decided to hold a novel critiquing workshop and wondered if I could participate. The Post-Rapture Comedy Romance was in no shape to even do a partial, and I had been banging my head against walls trying to get it to flow. I switched gears and resurrected a short story stub and started Bladesman (it always felt longer than a novella). The writing came out and the story flowed to the point that now I know I can write a novel in a year (sure, the first draft isn't done yet, but I actually have until February, and I'm hoping to be done next week at the latest). And that's with all the other distractions of the day and night jobs and exploring retraining for a medical related job. So if I can get a first draft out with all that, I can do more with only a day job (2 years and counting).

I rewrote the first few chapters and applied to Viable Paradise, which I was very surprised to get accepted. I did my second panelist gig. I had a poem accepted for publication this year. Some blog and twitter fic will be published in a book early this year. The only real disappointment I had with writing was not being able to attend the Hamster meetings as often as I would have liked. I also still haven't finished critiquing a friend's novel than I promised to have done by Halloween.

In the end, while the same person signs my check for the day thing, my old position is gone and I'm working in a different capacity. The night thing remained just as crazy as it had in 2008. I've improved my writing to the point where the peaks are going over the publishable water-line in the Bathtub Model of Publishing. The freelancing work which had added to the confusion in 2008 dried up in 2009. And I can see the end of the night thing (thanks to the citizens of Orwell approving the new charter). And I got out 68000+ words on the first draft of the novel.

It sucks that lots of my friends are still out of work. The economy hasn't improved enough for the second and third-tier businesses to start highering again. A third of the country lost their minds and wigged out, politically. A portion of thepolitical landscape came to the conclusion that if they're going down, they'll take the rest of us with them. I'm thankful for the extreme luck I had to keep a job. On the plus side we're no longer talking about when the recovery might start but when the recovery might start producing jobs.

So here's to 2009. Don't let the door slam you in the butt. And welcome to 2010. May it treat us all kinder than 2009 did. Here's hoping we see each other at the end of next year and get to think about how wonderful 2010 had been.


vince said...

As pointed out to me by a friend:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

Neil Gaiman

And I'll add "finish your never and have it accepted for publication."

Happy New Year!

vince said...

Uh, that was supposed to be "finish your novel."


Stewart Sternberg said...

I sing a different tune...

"On the first day of Hellmas, Yog-Sothoth gave to me...a deep one swimming out to sea. On the second day of Hellmas, Yog-Sothoth gave to me...two byakees and a deep one swimming out to sea. On the third day of Hellmas, Yog-sothoth gave to me...three black stones, two byakees, and a deep one swimming out to sea....

and so it goes.
Heres to the twenty teens.

Steve Buchheit said...

Vince, I was with ya, Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere, his first novel.

Stewart, I've seen a few variations of that one. But I thought I'd go traditional, you know, just to change things up.