So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish, 2013!

(There were no fish. That was a dirty, rotten lie I just told.)

2013 was a pretty decent year for me. I failed to get married, have children, lose thirty pounds, or buy a house — but none of those things were serious goals for me anyway, even if I am . . . *ominous music* . . . pushing 30. (Well. I just turned 28, which I think qualifies. My gray hairs certainly qualify. Boy did those jump up in number this year.) My actual goals were mostly about reading more, writing more, and publishing more, and while none of those things make for particularly exciting photo albums on Facebook, they are decent resolutions if you’re slowly trying to build a writing career. And I didn’t actually do so bad at them, either.

I sold two short stories to pro-rate magazines this year. I could be disheartened by this if I compared it to the sheer number of rejections I got — but I won’t because, a, I don’t like to count that high, and b, it’s still two more stories than I’ve ever sold anywhere else before. And I’m pretty proud of those stories. I’m really looking forward to seeing “We Share the Dark” in Shock Totem later this month, and I’ve gotta say that selling my very first story to Lightspeed was kind of the highlight of my whole year.

I also read a decent amount in 2013 — less than I should have, probably, but considerably more than I read the year before. I’m still working on my Book Superlatives (I’ll probably post those on Friday; Monday evening at the latest), but I think the total breakdown ended up being something like 40 fiction novels/novellas/short story collections, 2 non-fiction books (yeah, I kind of fell down on the non-fiction reading), and 12 graphic novels (primarily Batman-related). I also pushed through and read my tiny collection of classics that I never read in school: Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, 1984, and Othello.

Looking ahead to 2014:

1. Read this year’s literature: Pride & Prejudice, Rebecca, Beloved, Twelfth Night, and A Doll House. (It is only a matter of time before I embarrass myself by calling it Welcome to the Dollhouse.)

2. Read the bazillions of other important science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery authors I haven’t read yet. I have an impossibly long list going — which I will not post so that my writerly friends don’t shun me in horror.

3. Sell more short stories — I’m kind of hoping for three this year, but we’ll see. The publishing industry is a fickle thing, I know.

4. Finish a new draft of my novel.

About that novel — prior to going to Clarion West in 2012 — oh, was it so long ago — I wrote a hugely messy first draft of a superhero novel. I decided to put it on hold to focus on building up an inventory of short stories, but it’s 2014 now, and I’m going back to it. Pray for me.

I also have twelve noir films to watch and review for you people, lest I be mercilessly mocked as a total failure and forced to watch some terrible thing that, in all honesty, I would probably watch anyway. I mean, I’m willingly going to see Manos: Hands of Fate sometime this month. Can Showgirls really be any worse? (Maybe it can. If you have an opinion on the matter, please let me know what you think.)

All in all, 2013 was pretty good for me. Here’s to hoping 2014 is even better.

5 thoughts on “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish, 2013!

  1. Happy New Year!

    Not to overrate Showgirls, but I definitely found it to be better than Manos, because of its budget if nothing else. I mean that both in terms of production, and because I think it’s harder to make a $45 million dollar movie without the studio or anyone saying “Hey, maybe the 83 hours or so of catfighting isn’t such a great idea…”

    I also found “Manos” The Hands Of Fate a great deal harder to watch. Have you heard any of the trivia surrounding the movie? Some of it is pretty awesome. For example, “manos,” is just Spanish for “hands,” making the film’s title “Hands” The Hands Of Fate. And the film was initially something that its hometown were really proud of, until it premiered at the local theatre and they actually saw it. The reception was quite negative, and most of the cast and crew snuck out during the movie, some of them going straight to a bar.

    Where are you going to see it? Is it screening at a cinema? Is it the MST version or the normal version?

    • I know just enough Spanish to laugh at the title, but I didn’t realize that the hometown was all proud at first before they actually saw the movie. That is both sad and hilarious.

      My dad got me one of those compilation DVDs that has, like, twelve of the worst films ever made supposedly. The first one on it — and actually the only name I recognize — is, of course, Hands: The Hands of Fate. So I’m obviously going to have to watch and review it, now that I own the thing. I do not have a specific date in mind, but I expect I’ll get around to it sometime this month.

      • Ha, that’s a pretty awesome gift. However, it sounds like it’s the normal version, in which case, good luck. I know I would’ve had a great deal more trouble making it through the movie without the snarky commentary accompanying it. Although I saw it alone (and sober!) so hey, maybe you and your sister can provide your own snarky commentary, and survive this abomination that way.

  2. Oh god, Showgirls! There are just some things you can’t unsee. My brain is seriously scarred. I can’t even tell you how many times random scenes from that movie have played in my brain FOR. NO. FUCKING. REASON. AT. ALL. Except to torture me. Don’t have OCD and see Showgirls, that’s for sure.

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