A look back, and two steps forward

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The calendar has been replaced. Sins of the past tallied and new resolutions made. As far as years go, 2012 was mediocre on many fronts but there were a few bright moments that give me hope for what’s to come.

Home:

When we moved out of our house to help my Dad after surgery in May of 2009, I could never have foreseen the journey ahead of us. Alone or apart, we’ve been staying with other people ever since. This past July, we moved into our first apartment together. Piece by piece, we’ve made it feel like us. And hey, it’s great to have a washer and dryer again.

We’re pretty content here. We’ve begun building a small coffee shop where our dining room might have been, giving us a nice ambiance to write and create in. Our bookshelves are here (although half our books are still in storage in the US). Even the pets are cozy despite the smaller yard to roam in. We want to get a house, to build an even better space to do our thing in, but that will probably wait til next year.

Immigration:

We’re still waiting for my Permanent Residence to come through. We’ve been expecting it “any day now” for several months, but the Immigration system here has been getting overhauled due to fraud and that’s delayed everyone. Based on current estimates, we could hear something within the next two months. I have a renewed Visitor Record, my drivers license, a health card, and now an open work permit. It’s comfortable, but it’ll be better when the paperwork is done and I can cross the border again. I can’t now for fear of being turned away trying to come back, which would cancel our application and send us back to the beginning of the line.

Friends:

I MISS YOU ALL. This was another year of not being able to travel far due to the above immigration issue. I got to see quite a few friends at World Fantasy in Toronto this year, which was awesome, but not enough. I expect that we’ll be doing some travelling this year and hopefully that brings us closer to distant friends.

Health:

While I’m not completely out of the long, dark woods on the health front, I feel substantially better than I did a year ago thanks to a daily regiment of vitamins. Now that I have health care, I’m getting all of the tests I need to rule out/verify various things and that will help with the feeling better.

Family:

Perhaps the best news of the year came a few days after Christmas. We got the call that a kidney had been found for my little brother, who’d been on dialysis for two or so years. He had the transplant last Friday (his third) and it went so well that we were Skyping the next morning.

Writing:

Sales-wise, 2012 was a light year. I sold “Control“, a revised version of one of my Clarion 2012 stories, to the nascent Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi, and “Man Out of Time“, my Tesla story (and Clarion application story) to the Mad Scientist Journal.

I wrote a handful of new short stories and rewrote a few others. I meandered a lot and that shows with the lack of finished new work but I feel like the new words I do have are some of the best I’ve written to date. The mantra for the new year is Finish Things.

I slacked off on the submissions, especially in the last half of the year. I only have one story out now but it’s a good one. I have high hopes that it will find a home eventually.

This was also the year I started focusing on writing long. I restructured my first novel draft and am focusing on finishing that during the first half of the new year. “Black Mirror” now stands at 35k words.

Duotrope has gone paid as of this year. I have many feelings about that, which probably deserve a post of their own. I will not be subscribing, though, so this year will serve as an experiment in record keeping, among other things.

Posted on 2 Jan 2013