Looking Back, Looking Forward, December 2011

Beware the wonders you are about to behold!

Pausing on the slow decent into madness that is the holiday season, it occurs to me to take stock. Sure, 2011 isn’t over yet, but I can New Years from my window, so it’s good enough. Anything that comes up between now and then will be a pleasant surprise, the icing on the gingerbread cookie, if you will.

It’s been a hell of a year. If feels like I barely slowed down, and there were legitimate concerns that I was overworking myself. So let’s break it down and see what I got done in 2011.

Short Fiction: I had five stories published this year. Among those, one was a dark little clown noir story in a market I’ve been wanting to crack for a few years. One was the first non-Timid Pirate appearance of a Cobalt City character. One was the lead-off story in an anthology with a great table of contents. While five stories doesn’t feel like a lot, each individual story meant a lot to me. And I honestly didn’t spend much time sending out stories this year, so percentage wise, it felt great.

Novels: I finished my 10th novel last month. That leaves me with three books that I need to do rewrites and polishes on in the coming months. One is for a specific publisher, one is my mystery novel Murder Frontera which I need to polish and get on the agent hunt, and the third is the one I’m taking to World Fantasy in Toronto next year. That’s a lot of editing, rewriting, and polishing. But I have the tools I need and a good start, and I’m anxious to get underway.

Podcasts: We had three six-episode scripts that I wrote for the Cobalt City Adventures Unlimited audio drama podcast get recorded and produced (the third is in production now). And we won the Parsec Award for Best New Speculative Fiction Podcast or Team for 2011, so that’s something to be proud of. I also did several readings for the Wily Writers podcast and had some lovely thanks from two of the authors I recorded.

Publishing: Timid Pirate put out three original fiction anthologies this year. The third one, Finding Home, is not only the largest one we’ve done yet–it’s also got a ton of great stories! I’m super proud of what we’ve been able to do in just our first year, and of the authors for whom we were among their first publications.

RPG Work: I guess this is semi-official because I’ve seen the publisher Tweet about it. I wrote a role-playing game sourcebook for the Bulldogs! RPG earlier this year called Ports of Call. It’s deep in the editing process now, and I don’t know much more than that. But as gamer for the past 30 years, getting to do a sourcebook is kind of living the dream. Even better, it’s for a great game that’s incredibly well reviewed, and published by some genuinely awesome people. If you’re a gamer who likes their sci-fi with a side of blaster pistol, this is the game for you.

Community: Our little writing group that was homeless after a fire late last year at our main venue not only survived but blossomed. We added several new, talented, and dedicated writers to the table, and just expanded to a weekly group rather than meeting every-other week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Writing can be a shitty, miserable, lonely way to pass the time. But having people around to share that journey makes it all worthwhile.

Personal: I’ve made some good friends this past year, both here in Seattle and around the world. If a person’s wealth is measured by the quality of the company he keeps, then I’m the richest man in Bedford Falls. (Apologies to Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra.) My health hasn’t been the greatest, but compared to the scare I had last year, I’m in doing great! I’ll take a bout of the flu or a bad cold any day over a massive sub-dermal infection! I’m still gainfully employed and I haven’t been arrested for lewd behavior or being drunk in public, or anything else for that matter.

Now it’s just tying up some loose ends and clearing the decks.

2012 is right around the corner!

5 thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Forward, December 2011

  1. Dear Nathan, you read my story The Deepest Hour beautifully for Wily Writers and I hope you received my thanks for it?! Just realising now how to comment here. I’m delighted to have subscribed here and hope you’ll check out my blog (where you are mentioned!) Looking forward to talking to you in the future.
    Best wishes

  2. Yes! Angel passed along your note. So glad you enjoyed my reading because I sure enjoyed the heck out of your story. I’ll be checking out your blog this morning.

    Very pleased to make your acquaintance.

    1. Thank you. And very glad to have lured you into our circle of misanthropic writers.

      When I was deep down IN the year, it was difficult to get perspective. The list is almost more for my benefit than anything else. So when I wonder where the hell the year went I can look at this and think, “Oh. Yeah. I had some stuff going on.” 🙂

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