^^^Very old photo that I found while cleaning up my writing-space. Nostalgia.
I am writing this now because tomorrow I have houseguests arriving, and they’ll be here through the last days of December, and I’m not sure I’ll have the headspace to sit down and look back.
It has been a . . . frustrating year. Frustrating, upsetting, at times even frightening. Both personally and in this society that I live in. I am not sorry to see the end of 2014: it has shown me more violence than I can remember for some time now, and it’s given me some sobering episodes of self-examination. I found myself going back to coping strategies I haven’t used since college just to keep myself going.
Writing-wise, it had its highs, but it also had a lot of misfires.
But I want to focus on the positives, and looking forward.
- I am no longer employed. This has been more huge and fraught than I anticipated. I nearly blew it this past three months—blew the schedule I had concocted for myself, blew the budget we had carefully drawn up to try and make this work. I nearly blew it because of guilt, because I could not truly believe it was okay for me to simply write (although this was the point of it all). I started other projects. I invested heavily in homemaker-ness. And as a result, nothing got done.
An instructor once told me, “you can always be a little more selfish than you think you can,” and went on to explain how he saw women especially put other things before their work, women always feeling like they have to do for another before themselves. How long will it take me to really hear such advice? That was ten years ago now.
So in January, there will be nothing but words, though it means the front yard will stay hideous, the floors will remain a patchwork of hardwood and ugly beige, the bathroom faucet will be loose for yet another month. All words in January, even if it means me sitting here typing All work and no play . . . over and over again.
- I had my first panel and my first public reading in years. Panels have never been my thing, but the reading went good and felt good. Hoping for more opportunities in 2015.
- I had my first two pro sales in 2014. This is a milestone that still hasn’t sunk in yet. The writing thing is odd that way: it takes me so long to write, so long to polish, so long to submit, that the hurrahs of publication come very far apart and their impact is diffuse. There is a story coming out in early 2015, that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, which has taken nearly two years from writing to publication. I am proud of it, but when I look at it now it also feels . . . distant. Like it has become hardened into some other form, something I can see my hand in but can no longer affect.
- I wrote more short stories this year:
Little Men with Knives
V is for . . .
The latter half of 2014 I felt like I was in something of a rut—working on the same few problematic Talassio scenes over and over, coming up with story ideas that felt similar to stories I had written before. But I got out some rough sketch/draft things during my poor attempt at Nanowrimo, and I have a thing in my head now, a kind of collage of a story-spine: a few strong images, an emotional connection, an ending, a myth. I’ve done more with less. Looking back over this blog, I know I always come out strong in the first quarter of the year especially, so I have high hopes for a very productive January.
A short list, but helpful.
And I want to say Thank you. To those who follow me here, on Tumblr, on Twitter, even on that Facebook account thing that I made on the fly to participate in Fae‘s launch. To the readers who have taken the time to say kind things to me, and the editors who have accepted my work and handled it with such care—I know editorial butchery, and I am so, so grateful every time I see a reasonable set of copyedits. I am mulling over ways in 2015 to give back: freebies, perhaps reconnecting with some letterpress folks. But it is a privilege to be published; it is a gift to find readers who understand and respond to your work; and I am bloody grateful for all of it.