This first day of 2020 has been, for me, pretty quiet. I watched the first V miniseries dvd that I got for Christmas, napped, and Jess made and I ate a traditionalish German dinner of sausage, sauerkraut (of which I abstained), fried potatoes, and stewed tomatoes.
Our new year’s eve celebration last night was supposed to be a low-key affair with friends, but was actually a very loud dinner out with said friends, and then back to their house where we were slightly less loud, but still shouting questions and song requests at a struggling robot, and played with pups.
It’s been a perfect way to start the decade.
More so because 2019 couldn’t fuck off fast enough. I won’t bore anyone by getting into details, but 2019 was a pretty shitty year. Interestingly, I’ve talked with several people who’ve expressed similar feelings about 2019, so I guess it’s really more of a collective fuck-you to the year that was.
But — 2019 did have several bright spots. A trip to England, I had a story published, and, best of all, I got to spend the whole year with this lady.
Okay, onto some other 2019 look-back stuff.
Books: I read 27 books this year, with a goal of 25 set at the beginning of the year (pretty much the only goal I hit this year). I reread a number of old favorites this year, including Scalzi’s Old Man’s War trilogy, the second half of the Rob MacGregor Indiana Jones novels, JUMPER by Steven Gould, and a couple of William Gibson’s books. These were what I will call “comfort reads”: books I’ve been wanting to reread for a while now, that I knew would not be super challenging. Essentially, books with which I could easily unwind.
Favorite book(s) I reread this year were the aforementioned Indiana Jones books. I first started reading this series when the second book, INDIANA JONES AND THE DANCE OF THE GIANTS, came out in 1991, when I was nine. I’ve reread them too many times to count. MacGregor captured the voice of Indiana Jones and the tone of the movies perfectly. He also plays a mean game of Words With Friends.
Favorite new book this year was THE IRON DRAGON’S MOTHER, by Michael Swanwick. Swanwick remains one of the best sf writers working today, in my opinion. I am very grateful Nate randomly bought THE IRON DRAGON’S DAUGHTER — the predecessor to MOTHER — from the Science Fiction Bookclub all those years ago, and introducing me to Michael Swanwick’s work.
Writing: I set a goal of writing 20,000 words of fiction this year, which I knew going in was ambitious as I haven’t written regularly in a couple of years. I ended up with around 9,000 words in the bank, which I am still insanely happy with, because I actually started and finished two short stories. The first was “A Brief Detour” this spring, and then another story that I started in early December and wrapped up a couple of days ago. Also, the act of sitting down and writing has become easier, since I’ve been setting aside time specifically for it. I’m going to keep a goal of 20,000 words for 2020 because it’s reasonable, for me.
I have no idea with what kind of regularity I’ll be posting here in 2020. I’ve slowly been disengaging from Twitter and Facebook, because those sites are time sucks — and in the case of Twitter, toxic af — and I’m trying to be a bit more deliberate in how I spend my free time, and I expect this trend continue this year. I’ve been thinking of ways I could easily post the kinds of things here that I might normally post to Twitter, things that are short and quickly written. Jay Springett and Warren Ellis have interesting takes on how a return from the corporate-owned sites, which are by design more ephemeral, to the “Isles of Blogging” could be on the horizon. I’ve been operating this site in some form or another since 2001, and still enjoy writing here when I do. Much to puzzle out still.
Anyway, this has been way longer-winded and more wandering than I intended, so it’s time to wrap it up. My hope for 2020 is that it’s the best year yet for you and for me. Same goes for the new Twenties. At the very least, to quote a bit of art we saw at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London: