Monthly Archives: December 2012

Farewell to 2012, Hello to 2013

If you haven't yet seen where this cartoon comes from, I shall remedy that failing at the end of the post. :D

If you haven’t yet seen where this cartoon comes from, I shall remedy that failing at the end of the post. 😀

As it is now New Year’s Eve, and I am not dead (that I know of), I think we can safely assume that the world did not, in fact, end. Rejoice! /requisite2012joke

Because it is That Time of Year, and because I am now able to break my mini-blog-hiatus after finishing my book (see this post and the full progress meter in the side bar!), I thought today might be a nice day to round up some highlights of 2012 and look ahead to 2013.

I’ll try to keep it interesting. No snoring.

The Bloggy Bits

For starters, WordPress emailed me this ever-so-nifty little page detailing some of the stats of my blog this year including super cool graphics and FIREWORKS. I made it public, so if you want to see the whole thing, you can visit my 2012 Annual Report here!

If you’d rather just see something shiny, here’s a screen shot of the fireworks:

This makes me look so much snazzier than I can manage on my own.

This makes me look so much snazzier than I can manage on my own.

This blog had an amazing 55,000 views this year from 150+ countries. That’s rather a lot, considering last year it had…much less. Here are the top five posts from this year, in terms of views:

None of those are particularly surprising to me. The Spike post is a perennial, it seems. It pops up in my stats just about every day, as does the second one. Glad to know people are still coming for the sexy vampires and staying for the fart jokes.

Why yes, I did just put those two things in one sentence.

Here’s to making 2013 a year of new classics. I’ll have to think up some better jokes.

And here are my top 5 commenters:

 

A tremendous THANK YOU to you ladies for being so engaged round these parts. 🙂 It means a lot that I haven’t sent you screaming to the hills yet. *pats self on back*

So, after all that, I went from an average of around 100 views per month to 5,000. Thanks to you. And SEO. And Abraham Lincoln. But mostly you, because the almost 400 shares (documented through WP, not including those who posted links on forums, etc.) didn’t come from Abe or SEO. Many thanks for making this a vibrant little hole-in-the-web for all of us!

Onward.

The Write-y Bits

This year was a year of firsts.

I finished one novel in 2008. Another in 2011.

And in 2012 (as of today!) I finished two. From beginning to end. Two books exist that didn’t before. That alone feels like an accomplishment akin to something undertaken by Man vs. Food.

I may not have eaten five pounds of steak or three liters of milkshakes, but I wrote two novels this year. Eat that.

In January, I went to my first ever writing conference. And in October, I went to my second. I met other writers and bloggers in person who I’d only spoken to online, and I met a couple who live in my area who I didn’t know before. I even missed one who lives in my area who I’ve known from the blogosphere and didn’t realize she’d be there.

Agents are people — I learned that because I met some. They’re often even lovely people. Kind and funny and not at all dragon-y. John Cusick is one such person. I accidentally pitched him in person when I got my signals crossed and didn’t know he only repped YA. We ended up chatting about Buffy and Joss Whedon, and he’s written a very interesting YA novel called Girl Parts that you should investigate.

Publishing houses are real places and not just cartoony-fonts in the clouds that spew out books a la God in Monty Python. (See below for photographic evidence.)

Looky there. Random House. It is not exactly a house, but it is a real place. And you can't see it in the picture, but to the left and right are floor-to-ceiling shelves of BOOKS.

Looky there. Random House. It is not exactly a house, but it is a real place. And you can’t see it that well in the picture, but to the left and right are floor-to-ceiling shelves of BOOKS.

I got my first rejections. Which means I’m sending stuff out there.

I got my first requests. Requests for partials, requests for fulls, even one request for revisions. And requests to see future work. Some came from agents, a couple from small presses. All of them feel like drinking pure magic.

I killed some huge darlings. I shelved the first two books I ever completed. It takes a lot to do something like that. A lot. But they weren’t ready, and from book one to the 70ish% finished book three, my writing improved so drastically that the first two need to be wholly rewritten if they’re ever going to see the light of publication. That may be a project for later in 2013. I’ve considered self-publishing them just for funsies.

I’m going to estimate that this year, between my 270 blog posts (which tend to average about 800-1000 words, so we’ll call it 900) and the two and a half novels I wrote, that I scribbled 414,000 words this year.

That’s a whole hell of a lot of words. That’s almost half a million words. If you add that to all the writing I’ve done prior to this year, the first two completed books (around 250,000 total words) and the school papers and few started manuscripts (equivalent to probably another 400,000 words), I’ve passed my “million words to lack of suckery.”

I don’t know if it’s true that writers have a million words of shit in them, but if it is, I’ve gotten all the shit out. Good for me.

Let’s hope I don’t suck.

The Personal Bits

No, not THAT personal.

Three times for me. Image by Jordan Jaquess Imaging.

Three times for me. Image by Jordan Jaquess Imaging.

But this year was, among other things, my first full year of marriage.

We got our first kitten, who is a Christmas baby and a gift of perfect timing for us:

Willow Kitty on her first day in her forever home.

Willow Kitty on her first day in her forever home.

This beautiful little love now looks like this:

Look at that beautiful girl.

Look at that beautiful girl.

A week later, we got our first puppy:

Pouncing is very important for puppies.

Pouncing is very important for puppies.

And this baby polar bear creature turned into a wolf:

siberian husky, huskies, puppy, dog

Albeit a sort of doofy one. She gets more beautiful every day.

Our marriage hit financial rock bottom and we had our first arguments about money. We also made it through stronger and happier and still love to spend time in each other’s company. We had our first serious conversations about starting a non-furry family. We talked about moving to a new city. We loved a little better every day.

The Final Bits

Today my friend Angie Richmond posted on her blog that she planned to start something new for 2013: an abundance jar. The point of this is to scribble down every good thing that happens to you (big, small, whatever you feel belongs in there) and put it in the jar. Then a year from today, on New Year’s Eve 2013, you’ll empty out that jar and read all the wonderful things that happened to you over the course of the year.

For my jar, I chose this cobalt blue vase below. It held a flower arrangement from my grandmother’s funeral, which, rather interestingly, contained the flowers pictured here with it. The flower is (to me, anyway, as it’s the only name I’ve heard for it) Lethe’s Bramble. My mother used to call them straw flowers. They preserve their color beautifully when they dry, and they symbolize forgetting. An interesting addition to a funeral bouquet, made more ironic by the fact that my grandmother had dementia.

I choose to have it symbolize forgetting the small ills and woes that befall you. Forgetting the final conversations with Gram where she didn’t quite remember things and wasn’t quite there. Remembering when she was there, and the good memories that encompassed most of my time with her. I wanted to include it with the abundance jar as a reminder that the jar is for the good. For always remembering the good and letting the bad slip away.

My abundance jar and some Lethe's Bramble (if you watch Buffy, straw flowers if you don't) from one of Gram's funeral bouquets. They dry so nicely I thought I would keep it.

My abundance jar and some Lethe’s Bramble  (if you watch Buffy, straw flowers if you don’t) from one of Gram’s funeral bouquets. They dry so nicely I thought I would keep it.

So that’s my quick, long-winded recap of an entire year.

Tune in for 2013. I promise more sexy vampires and fart jokes.

Probably not many fart jokes.

Just enough.

Much love and blessings to all of you. May 2013 bring you closer to your desires for life, fill you with joy and gratitude, and leave you ever hungrier for what this world has to offer.

And oh…because I promised it 1500 words ago, here’s the video you need to see. Because it’s awesome.

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Boxing Day, Breaks, As Told By Buffy Pup (Willow Too!)

Once upon a time on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), I woke up to Buffy Pup laying on the floor and looking rather exasperated.

"Jeebus, Mom. Are you EVAR GOING TO FINISH IT? I'll just lie here until you do."

“Jeebus, Mom. Are you EVAR GOING TO FINISH IT? I’ll just lie here until you do.”

By “it,” I can only assume she was referring to the book I’ve been working on these last couple months. Sure, two months isn’t a horrible amount of time for book completion. One might say two months is quite quick. But when there are other books to write and much distraction is needed, sometimes finishing the first project opens up all sorts of room for the next.

Buffy knows I meant to finish it by last week (or even before), and she’s quite disgusted with my slovenly lack of attempts.

At this point, Willow looked up from sneaking a lick of my empty cereal bowl.

"Oh. Were you not done with this? What exactly were you talking about?"

“Oh. Were you not done with this? What exactly were you talking about?”

She seemed to agree with Buffy that the writing of this new WIP was taking A Very Long Time. Two months to a kitten and a puppy is a quite interminable amount of time. To them, it’s like a year. And they made no secret of how silly they think it is that I’ve been hovering around the last quarter of it for Three Entire Weeks.

Then Willow perked up and asked, “Mom. If it’s Boxing Day, are you going to get me MOAR BOXES to play in?”

At this point, Buffy had gone to sleep to wait for me to finish the book and didn’t much care about a conversation concerning boxes she is too large to fit into comfortably. Willow quite liked the idea of an Entire Day devoted to boxing things up, including small kitties who fancy exploring such things.

Unfortunately, I then had to break the news to her that there would be no arrival of gifts and their inevitable boxes, as Boxing Day is not much celebrated in this country. More’s the pity, because I actually do work in the service industry.

Her reaction was almost deliciously meme-like.

"You mean to tell me that I'm not getting any boxes? And you're not finishing your book? My world is over."

“You mean to tell me that I’m not getting any boxes? And you’re not finishing your book? My world is over.”

Buffy woke up, perhaps brightened by the idea that she wouldn’t have to be jealous of Willow getting a large number of boxes to play in when Buffy has tried and failed so many times to enjoy such a past time.

She trundled over and looked at me very seriously.

“You’re always staring at the black foldy box thing and making it go click-click-click. But you still haven’t finished your damn book, and I’m not getting any younger.”

“I’m blogging,” I told her. “In fact, today you’re one of the stars of my blog post.”

She brightened a bit at that, then shook her head and roo-rooed at me.

"Flattery won't charm this dog, Mom. Get your arse working. I want to eat filet mignon every night instead of this dry crap."

“Flattery won’t charm this dog, Mom. Get your arse working. I want to eat filet mignon every night instead of this dry crap.”

And then she continued, “You’re not clicky-clicky-ing on the right thing, Mom. Finish your book so you can take me out to pounce the white stuff outside again.”

I don’t think Buffy quite realizes how long it takes to do what she wanted me to do, but shhh, don’t tell her. Besides, the snow that fell last night will likely be gone in a few hours. I also don’t think she understands that finishing this book will not, in fact, result in her eating filet mignon every night. (She got a taste of prime rib fat last night and has become a bit overbearing about the quality of her normal food.)

Both Buffy and Willow had a point, however. If, for the past month I had been say, writing 1000 words a day on my book instead of blogging, it would be done by now, softly simmering on the shelf while I plot and plan the next one.

Cough.

Not that I don’t love blogging, gentle viewers. I do. Quite a lot. And I’ve a number of things planned for 2013 that shall be (I hope) exciting. However, the critters are right. It’s time for me to get this book done.

So, that is my Boxing Day announcement. Due in part to the fact that I am having to pick up a lot of work shifts and thus give up my days off this week, I have a lot less time. I shall return after the new year (possibly to regale you with tales of Louis C.K., who we are going to see on New Year’s Eve). When I do, I shall have another completed book in tow.

See you next week!

Someday…

I was going to write a post. Because it is Sunday and therefore the day for writers.

Then I had a thought. With December coming to a close and dragging 2012 close behind, the best thing I can say to writers is this:

Ass in chair.

Repeat until published.

Go write. That’s what I’m going to do.

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