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2015: Dun dun dun

Wind, by Rhads

Wind, by Rhads

We spend a lot of time making resolutions — lists of things we mean to do — but do we ever look back and take note of what we’ve actually accomplished? We should. Here’s some of what I did in 2015:

Submissions: I made 63 submissions this year (and I’d like to double that next year ).  It’s a challenge when so many good pro-paying markets stay closed, argh!

Rejections: As of this writing, I’ve gotten 51 short story rejections this year (if I double my submissions, this number should also double?). If you think that working writers don’t get rejected, think again. It’s 100% part of the process. I queried four publishers about short story collections and only received one response. None of my agent queries received a reply.

Short story sales: 14 stories sold this year, which is fewer than last year, but 14 is a super great number. This includes my seventh story sale to Clarkesworld. “The Abduction of Europa” will appear in the January 2016 issue. Never thought I’d be able to say that, my seventh sale to Clarkesworld…

A novel by any other name: The Glass Falcon (novella) came out in April and was reissued in November with a new cover. The Kraken Sea (novel, but on the short end at 40k words) sold to Apex Book Company, and will appear in June of 2016. (And yes, The Honey Mummy is on track for early 2016!)

Written: I wrote 11 new short stories, a new Folley & Mallory novella (#4 in the series), and 1/3rd of a broken book. It’s broken because after reading another novel, I realized much of the ground I wanted to cover had already been covered, and I think that was like jabbing a pin into a balloon. Still, there is a good character core here and I plan to revisit one of my earlier ideas for them, and see how it works going forward.

Shimmer: Shimmer had its first fully digital year in 2015. We published six issues, woohoo! More than that, I took over the design/layout/assembly stage with issue #25 in May. That was a huge learning curve, and I found myself very thankful to have learned HTML and CSS a hundred years ago, because that allowed me to do this. I got to work with 17 new-to-Shimmer writers, and that’s always just the best part.

Fitness: I didn’t track the miles I walked/ran this year, which is super annoying. (A few years back, I was keeping track via the Walk to Mordor challenge.) But I lost twenty pounds along the way. Thumbs up. In 2016, I’m headed to the gym with a device that might actually be able to track those miles for me… I also swam a ton–I feel so strong in the pool!–and squatted two-hundred.

Reading: I read 81 books, though that may turn into 82 by the end of the year, because the book I’m reading now should be devoured in quick order. (My goal was to read 70 books.) When it comes to slush, I can only estimate that I read more than 1000 shorts over the course of the year, and I didn’t track my short reading otherwise — I probably really should have. My favorite book of the year? Probably Wylding Hall, Elizabeth Hand.

Video games: I became obsessed with Minecraft, Monument Valley, and Fallout 4. And let’s not kid ourselves, Neko Atsume.

What did you do this year?

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