(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.