Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for December, 2012

2012 Was

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The turning of the year has a lot of personal significance for me. I’m not what you’d call a spiritual person, but I do acknowledge and adore the power of ritual: looking back over the past year and contemplating what I’d like to change for the next one is an important part of how I organize my life.

So: in terms of writing, last year was just fine. I produced about 320,000 words of fiction and non-fiction. (50K fewer than last year! I’m slipping! But that’s okay.)

For novels, I started the year finishing off The Constantine Affliction (writing the last 16K or so), then wrote a work-for-hire middle-grade spy novel (about 80K total) and my Pathfinder Tales novel Liar’s Blade (about 90K). All that was in the first six months of the year — and there were editorial revisions to do on novels during those months, too.

The first half of 2012 was so brutal in terms of work that I took it easy for the rest of the year. (Of that 320K written? 230K were written by the end of June.)

I wrote a few stories: “A Tomb of Winter’s Plunder,” “Right Turns,” “Wishflowers,” “The Cold Corner,” “Snake and Mongoose,” “A Cloak of Many Worlds,” “The Fairy Library,” “Cages,” “Care and Feeding,” and “Ghostreaper,” and co-wrote (with Heather Shaw) “Postapocalypsmas” and “Catching the Spirit.” All sold except “Care and Feeding” (which is in circulation) and “Ghostreaper” (which I just finished).

I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for my story collection Antiquities and Tangibles. Crowdfunding continues to be an interesting and exciting part of my writing life.

In the back half of the year I put together that collection, and compiled and wrote story notes for the Kickstarter backer reward e-book of my Complete Stories (So Far). I also worked on the Rags and Bones anthology with Melissa Marr, wrote a novel outline (and sold it), and did a few book reviews.

I published a gonzo-historical novel, The Constantine Affliction, and two roleplaying game tie-in novels, and the latest Marla Mason novel — a record year for me in terms of book publications. I published an audiobook of Briarpatch via Audible’s ACX program, with the narration assistance of Dave Thompson, and put the wheels in motion to produce an audiobook of my first novel Rangergirl. I sold a few other books, ensuring that my name will be on books appearing through 2014 at least. Did a couple of screenings of the short film based on my story “Impossible Dreams.” It was a busy, cool year.

I read somewhere upwards of 100 books (my record keeping got spotty in the last few months). Favorites include Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brody series (beginning with Case Histories), Bullettime by Nick Mamatas, Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole (mostly for the standalone short novel at its heart), K.J. Parker’s Purple and Black, N0S4A2 by Joe Hill, the Milkweed trilogy by Ian Tregillis (beginning with Bitter Seeds), Suddenly, A Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret, The Writing Class by Jincy Willett, We Learn Nothing by Tim Krieder, Every Day by David Levithan, and The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman.

I didn’t keep track of all the stories I read, but I really liked a couple of K.J. Parker’s, especially “Let Maps to Others” and “One Little Room an Everywhere.”

Otherwise? I played a lot of video games (mostly Skyrim, though Dishonored and Arkham City were also good fun). I hung out with my kid (who is awesome — he’s five years old now! He’s in public school! We play roleplaying games and video games and card games and board games together!). I drank many beers. I went down to Los Angeles for a week to stay with my friends Jenn and Chris, where I wrote most of one of those aforementioned books. Our dear friend D came out and stayed with us for a while in the summer. I went to a truly great party at poet Dana Gioia’s place in Sonoma. I had a few dates (but not enough) with my wife. Hung out with some local friends pretty regularly, making this a more social year than I’ve had lately.

All in all? I wouldn’t mind if 2013 was more of the same.

Worldbuilding, Interview, Xmas Story

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Here are some things that are somewhat me-related:

I’ve put a Tuckerization in my next Marla Mason novel up for auction to support Patrick Rothfuss’s Worldbuilders fundraiser, which supports Heifer International, helping people in need build better lives for themselves. You can bid on the Tuckerization here, and have your name (or a name of our mutual agreement) appear in the next novel, Bride of Death.  (I usually offer Tuckerizations for $300 or so when I do a crowdfunded book. Surely we can get to that amount at least, for charity?)

Pat blogs a bit about the fundraiser, and lists some of the other Tuckerization auctions, over on his website.

In more me-centric news, the first part of a long interview with me is up at Sense of Wonder.

And in half-about-me news: my wife Heather Shaw and I collaborated on a holiday story, “Catching the Spirit,” for Podcastle. Go listen! It’s about weaponized generosity and viral good cheer.

 

Sums

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Today is my 36th birthday. (Yes, on 12/12/12, I turn 36, the sum of 12 + 12 + 12 — the more numerologically savvy among you will have to let me know if that has any significance.)

It’s been a good week. I sold a novel — my 19th novel sale, and my 26th book overall, counting collections/anthologies — and sold audio rights to one of my other novels. (I also had a story rejected, but you can’t win ‘em all.)

Last night we secured a babysitter and Heather took me out to her favorite beer bar, and we hung out with friends and drank many fine strange beers and chatted with the bartender (a SF/fantasy fan). Afterward we got good Mexican food with a couple of friends and then wobbled home. I am only moderately hungover this morning, as I exercised a modicum of restraint, knowing I’d have to go to work today.

But even here, my boss provided savory ham/cheese/onion morning buns as a birthday treat for me — excellent hangover food. I give my 37th year on Earth a tentative positive rating so far.