This year, I walked away from my day job.
It might be the wildest thing I’ve ever done (I’m very boring). It’s hard to overestimate the level of caution with which I approach life. I’m the gunslinger seat, the flosser, flat shoes, better not. A day job was a given; writing was the thing you supported with the thing you did ten, twelve, sixteen hours a day. But as it turns out, if you sleep three or four hours a night for a decade or so, eventually a doctor will tell you to sit down and make some choices. I had a steady job – nothing to do with writing, but it was there. I had no plans, no backups, nothing in the pipeline. That risk assessment was a no-brainer.
I walked anyway.
And I got fucking lucky. A lot of people took a chance on me in big ways and little ones, and I’ve had some amazing opportunities. I’ve discovered a circadian rhythm that’s better than before but also that no one should tell my doctor about. I burned out a mouse taking screencaps. My income chart looks like someone fell down a hill. It’s only the beginning of what I hope is a long road. I want to do more, and do it better; I always will.
It’s been a good year.
I joined the roster at The A.V. Club! In particular, I got to cover the fourth season of Boardwalk Empire, which was lucky, because it was amazing. (I checked up on other shows, too, including Reign, a marvelous thing that happened to all of us.)
I’ve written film reviews for the Philadelphia Weekly, an experience I’ve deeply enjoyed even if the same can’t be said of all the movies. (My Best of the Year list is missing some popular choices, because sometimes just no.)
I wrote about Elementary for io9, and am recapping Sleepy Hollow there, for which I’d happily burn through another mouseworth of screencaps. (I also recently talked about our epic epidemic, for obvious reasons.)
At Strange Horizons, which lets me write titles nearly as long as I can make them, I wrote about Catwoman (“Hell Here”), Batman in ten worlds, and Superhuman Masculinity and the Musketeer Mythos in The Fast and the Furious, which originally had the entire epigraph worked into it, because I’m a monster.
I also blogged, mostly costumes and pop culture (The Hour? Never over it. Women in silent film? You bet!). But honestly, if one thing on my blog mattered this year, it was “Dealing With It.” The reaction I’m both grateful for and sad about: it showed, painfully, how far we have to go. (For what happened next, I wrote “The Deal”.)
2013 saw no novels (though Mechanique made it to Brazil, in a gorgeous edition). That will change in 2014, with The Girls at the Kingfisher Club out in June from Atria! Also maybe other stuff, who can say, I’m not a wizard.
Storywise, I published:
“The Advocate,” Eclipse Online. (The magazine’s closed, but I’ve made the story available here for now.)
“Abyssus Abyssum Invocat,” Lightspeed Magazine.
“86, 87, 88, 89,” Clarkesworld.
“Captain Justice Saves the Day,” a story about an executive assistant in minor crisis, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination.
“From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvelous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire),” Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells. (Longest title yet for me!)
“The Lenten Rose,” a retelling of The Snow Queen in which Gerda has second thoughts, Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales.
And somewhere between fiction and not is “Trousseau,” about fashion, the past, and the future, in The Time Traveler’s Almanac.
More pajamas than ever!
And while it’s been a year of adjustment and challenges, I managed to keep my plans to go to Brighton and do some traveling book research with a friend, and everything felt worth it whenever I looked at the sea.
However, trying to get everything done that needed doing meant that I wrote less blog than I wanted, and engaged less than I wanted both online and in real life; I’m hoping to work that out next year, among other things. I’m also going to work on writing more, sleeping more, and hopefully watching more movies and TV (in my sleep if possible, where is this technology, it’s nearly 2014, come on).
Tonight, I finish a novella and start work on another project, starting as I mean to go on: working. In pajamas.
I’ve had a lucky year. Thanks so much to everyone, for everything. See you on the flip side.