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.