First of all this is long, so happy holidays to you and yours, and feel free to skip the rest!
After I type this I’m unplugging this computer and moving it to the living room, where it will be set up for family Zoom calls all day tomorrow. I’ll shift to writing on paper for a day or two, which is a new joy thanks to discovering fountain pens – my handwriting is still atrocious, but the pens have alleviated some of my wrist issues. (I had a bad bout of RSI years ago.)
I used to do a roundup twice a year, but writing less short fiction and an ever-shifting work situation has meant less to report. This year had begun no differently, with a work crisis that put me on temporary leave … and then just as I came back to work the city shut down, and we began hospice care for our beloved cat, and stimulus ran out … looking back now it’s all an unhappy haze. On top of it all I felt like I had finally gotten something I had longed for—time to write—and I’d done nothing with it.
But brains lie. They lie like rugs. Behold:
The Painter’s Widow
Apple special edition chapbook
“An Elegy for Landings” in Truancy
Seeds of Truer Natures
Prima Materia revision
“Open All Night”
“In the Field”
“The O’Brien and Palmer Show”
“All This Could Be Yours”
“What the City Wants”
“In Her Mind a Darkness”
A Shining Path
All Things in All Things
The Glorious and the Vile
Writing all this out has been kind of a big deal for me. To have done this much in spite of 2020 feels impressive to me; it’s also encouraging for the future, because it tells me that if I ever hit a point where book sales cover my portion of the bills, I can write at a pace to sustain that income. Which has been a nagging concern as I plan and re-plan the next five years (and will be re-planning again with unemployment running out next week).
I wish there was more talk among creatives, and for creatives, about this kind of strategizing, when you’re working around day jobs and financial uncertainty. Add that to the 2021 list? In the meantime, though, it’s taken the edge off the pain of the stalled stimulus bill, and given me a glimmer of hope for the year to come. I’ve got a number of seeds on that list. Let’s see what kind of harvest they bring.
And if you’ve read through all of this, thank you for listening, for reading, for just being out there. Happy holidays, again! See you in the new calendar.