At the day job, I put together a Year End Review of achievements my team had accomplished in 2012. You know the gig–the standard set of before and after metrics that show progress in the murky, complex world of Corporate America, or, since I live in a multi-national, perhaps I should say Corporate Earth.

After thinking about it a little, I figured I should take a moment to do the same thing here. After all, no one will really remember those day job things 20 years from now, I suppose. But all this personal stuff lives on and on.

In my own inimitable style I’m going to call it “Great Things That Happened to/for Me This Year.” I need to caveat that, though. Not 100% of these things are great, and not 100% are about me (yes, I know … but there are at least a few things that occur in this world that do not circulate around me. If you don’t believe me, just ask Lisa or Brigid and I’m they would fill you in). To make this easy, I’ll break this into four groupings (so you can skip over any parts that you don’t care about). These topics will be Personal Things, Writing Things, Fanish/Webish Things, and Reading Things.

That said, here are some …

Great Things That Happened to/for Me This Year

Personal Things

  • Over the past 18 months, I’ve bumped my total average to 19,000 steps a day, and managed to keep going to the health club at least 10 times a month. Weight is slowly sliding up, but my body fat ratio is dead steady, and well, I’ll just say that my overall shape is not terrible for a guy my age.
  • In the same light, I was able to run a string of ten or fifteen 30,000 step days together that made some people in the area doubt my veracity. That was kinda fun, I guess. Why do some folks let their own mental framework get in the way of their ability to achieve things? Dunno.
  • Lisa got the Cutest Car Ever.
  • Seeing my brother release “Bold Little Stranger,” his indie CD. Jeff’s an incredible musician. Every time I hear his music I think of him down in the basement fiddling around with chords and running scales.
  • It’s a great time to be a Louisville Cardinal fan. The Cards made it to the Final Four last spring, and are in the top five this year with a really solid team of kids who are both fun to watch and fun to pull for (which are two different things). On top of this, the football team is slated to get drubbed in the Sugar Bowl … unless, of course, they can somehow manage to make it through the big, bad SEC representative from Florida. No way, right? Right? Go Cards! (Update — beating UK today is a great cap to the year, eh?)

Writing Things

  • The publication of “Midnight at River’s Edge” in Daily Science Fiction, and the publication of “The Collector” in Misty Lackey’s Elemental Magic anthology. Both of these stories mean something to me, and were interesting pieces to write. I’m really pleased they found homes. “Edge” is a short little piece that people either liked or didn’t–which is cool either way, of course. “The Collector” is a considerably more ambitious piece, which makes me glad to note that 2012 also included …
  • This PW review of the Elemental Magic anthology that called out my work in a particularly satisfying way. Realize that it will always be acceptable to say that a writer’s work “stands out with passion and disquieting depth.”
  • I actually heard my beloved wife call one of my stories “brilliant” after she read a first draft. Admittedly it was a tiny story. Hopefully you’ll hear more of it later, but even if you don’t, well, it’s already served its most important purpose–making me think my wife thinks I’m cool. (Note, I know this is completely different from actually making my wife think I’m cool. Don’t freakin’ burst my bubble here).
  • The release of Five Magics, a collection of some of my fantasy work that I’ve been wanting to get together for some time. It’s nice to have them available. Two or three of those works have really special places for me, including “The Time of Leaving,” a 3,000 word piece that always reminds me of Lisa’s grandmother, who was a truly remarkable woman in many ways.
  • I wrote the first draft of Wakers during NaNoWriMo. It’s a short piece right now at 55K, but will expand on second draft. Best part was writing alongside Brigid, Nick, and, of course, Lisa Silverthorne. This is the first “new” novel that I’ve written in some time, so it was nice to know I could make this happen again.
  • In a similar vein, I’ve also spent much of the past four months (not counting November, of course) restructuring Glamour of the God-Touched and Lords of Existence, two of my fantasy novels, into a series of novella-length works that I will attempt to market under the Lords of Existence title, but that will each also stand on their own while conveying a full story arc. The first four episodes are pretty much in the can, having experienced a pair of fairly extensive scrubs, and are at a collection of early readers to see if they stand up. Goal for early 2013: Cover art. Marketing plan. Make it happen. Somehow.
  • Rejections. All right, these don’t generally fit in the “Great” category, except that they represent action. And, well, let’s just say that the data shows there’s been a little action this year, and that is quite great.

Fanish/Webish Things

  • Went to WorldCon again. First time in a decade. Yes, I got deathly ill the last two days of it, and that cost me a bunch of dollars, but still. WorldCon is wonderfully weird, and I think I missed it. Goal: more cons in 2013. As a starter, you can look for me up in Michigan this Jan 18-20 at Immortal ConFusion in Dearborn, Michigan.
  • Attended and spoke at the Bartholomew County Writers Conference. The best part was meeting all the other writers, as always. My talk focused on rewriting, and while I have no idea if anyone else gained from it, I enjoyed researching the topic and getting my mind focused on what it means to write, and of course to rewrite. In true Corporate Earth style, I made a PowerPoint slideshow of it, natch.
  • I actually managed to keep this site a bit more up to date than I have in the recent past. Yay, me!
  • Perhas as a result, traffic here is up. Noticeably. The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers say you’re finding your way over here more than in the past. Thanks! I’ll see what I can do to make it worth your time as we move into next year.
  • Somewhere in the next week or so I may actually pick up my 50th Twitter follower. Depressingly low, I know. But, hey, you could be #50. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Reading Things

  • Read John Scalzi for the first time. Besides the fact that it was much fun, I just don’t think you’re allowed to say you’re in the SF community these days if you haven’t read the guy. Can you?
  • Read The Count of Monte Cristo. This is one huge book, and given how I read, the fact that I finished it is remarkable. Due mostly to time available, my reading style is much more attuned to short fiction or non-fiction, but I decided I was jumping into this thing, and that I was going to finish. It only took 3-4 months. [grin]
  • Kris Rusch‘s Free Fiction Mondays. Kris does remarkable things with short stories, and I admit I look forward to her Monday postings. Time to buy another one of her books to pay for it, eh?
  • Read Stephen Leigh’s The Woods. Really special book. Fun to read an early work from a writer and person I admire.
  • Read Ruth Nestvold‘s fantasy collection Never Ever After. Ruth is always good.
  • Read Lisa Silverthorne’s Shipwrecks in Sea Minor, a beautiful pair of short stories centered on the Titanic and Lusitania disasters. In a just world, Lisa Silverthorne would be doing big book tours these days.
  • Backed Vera Nazarian’s Cobweb Bride Kickstarter project. Can’t wait to read it.
  • Joined Goodreads. Not sure this is good, bad, or indifferent. But I’ll give it a few months and see if it changes my life in any way.

So, there it is. All the Great Things That Happened to/for Me This Year. Sometime I suppose I should think about planning for great things to happen in 2013, but you know, I really didn’t PLAN much of any of this. But I look back on it, and I see there’s a lot of stuff here. Amazing, when you think about it. All this stuff, and not a bit of it is work-related. I see why I’m so tired all the time. [grin]

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