Off you go, 2010

31 Dec

So. Tomorrow, I have to start remembering to write “2011” on checks and things. This is a pain in the ass. I can barely keep the day’s date and the month straight, without the year changing on me.

But looking back, let’s review a little bit…

2010 was a turning point year for me. I’ve never had one like it. In 2010, I continued a shift which had already been occurring, well away from my science fiction roots and into my horror (and non-genre entirely) areas of interest. I also discovered, as the year progressed, that this area of my life had roots too. What did I read when I was young besides SF, after all, but Goosebumps and Tales from the Crypt? So it was not totally out of the blue.

My writing shifted entirely to handwritten in 2010. This was not on accident. It slowed me down and forced me to focus on the words, on each scene. It meant that I began writing stories I cared about, rather than just flinging things down and getting on to the next project. This year, I’ve written less fiction than ever before…and all of it (even the duds and stinkers) have been better and more useful than any other year, for as long as I’ve been writing.

(they’ve also been the hardest to sell. They aren’t genre, or aren’t clearly genre, and are sometimes long and unwieldy character pieces. I love them, but they’re tough.)

This year, in July, my oldest son, Zach, turned 3. And in March, Nathan was born. I love them both and am glad to have them, but they have wrecked my ability to work (and yet, not really. They make it harder, but that makes the work better when it comes, if you ask me)

2010 was a year I watched better films than ever before. I discovered amazing films like The Devil’s Backbone and Let The Right One In, 28 Days Later, Blair Witch Project. Amazing films. I also discovered Hayao Miyazaki (I had seen Howl’s Moving Castle years ago. This was the year I began watching everything else.)
In 2010, I wrote one short story which is, I think, really, really good. It’s frustrating, in that it seems to have transcended what I can write, so that if I re-read it, I just despair about my later work. That’s fine, though. It happens. I’m really, really proud of it. It’s called The Dark to End All Nights, and I’m awfully proud of it. I said that twice, but so what?
In 2010, I watched some fine TV shows. These are, as usual, the fault of the nifty Kristine Williams . She is unerring in her TV suggestions, and so I always listen. So in 2010, I got to watch Doctor Who, Warehouse 13, Leverage, and Wipeout. All summer shows. Ironically, when fall came around, I’d been watching TV all summer and now needed a break. We stopped watching TV for the most part when the fall season started up. Go figure.
Late in 2010 was also when I learned how to, for the first time ever, really write comic scripts. Thanks to my wife, Renee, I began working with the tremendously talented Nicole Swimley on comic sort of projects. We haven’t done much (to be fair, she has, you know, a JOB and I have KIDS) but it’s been fun so far. I never wrote a script to my satisfaction before, and now it’s like a small wall busted and I get how to do it. It’s wonderful. I have lots of scripts to write in 2011.
And short stories.
And novels.
And articles.
It all fell apart toward the end of 2010. Zach no longer naps during the day, and Nathan is sleeping unsteadily at night (and has suddenly become extremely clingy to me). Lack of sleep and busy holidays meant that I had, for most of November and December, stopped reading, stopped writing, stopped watching anything, stopped SLEEPING (the cause of it all), and completely fell apart at answering e-mails. Really rough. I think it’s on the up-slope, though. Or at least, I hope like hell it is.
My New Year’s Resolutions?
I want to write more. I want to get more done, more often. I have too many ideas in my head, and it frustrates me how slowly I get them out. I want to produce more work. Maybe somewhere in there, I’ll transcend myself a little bit and do something really, really good.
I need to submit more. I just don’t send stuff out enough. In an ideal world, I’d have an agent to whom I gave my stories and who dealt with it. But then, in that world, the agent delivers my stories to publishers riding a unicorn. So I’ll send out my own stories.
I want to read more. I read too little in 2010. It was just too frenetic and out of control a year, good though it was in places. The days of five-books-a-week are long, long, long gone…but I want to read more than I do now.
(and a side note to this, I want to get all my books cataloged somehow. Into Goodreads and then printed off, perhaps. It’s not like the collection is going to get SMALLER, and I’d better get it sorted before it gets to be too much more)
And I’d like to exercise more. I don’t drive, as I’ve said before, and in days of yore, I walked everywhere, all the time, and was in great shape. Now I don’t leave the house, because of the kids (I can’t take them out much, because of the weather, and where we live. There are NO SIDEWALKS and a clusterfuck of a busy road right outside).  so. More walks, more runs, and so on. My metabolism, normally a nuclear reactor, is slowing down (cause of, you know, aging) and I’d like to be in good shape when it quits on me.
And now, my pie-in-the-sky resolutions. Everyone should have a couple that are nearly unbelievable.
1) I want to write and finish a novel I’m happy with and send it out into the world.
2) I want to run a marathon.
There we go.
And that’s the end of 2010, at least as far as this blog is concerned. I’m going to go have some more tea now.
“The last pot of tea of 2010, you mean, Pete?”

Hell no. It’s only 4:00 in the afternoon. I’ll have a couple before tonight. But in honor of the year ending, I’m going to make them really excellent end of the year pots of tea.

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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Uncategorized


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