I don’t have a coherent retrospective planned out this year. It’s been an all-over-the-place kind of year; if I were to try to map it out, it’d come out looking like a spider’s web post-caffeine hit.
(which, by the way, looks like this:)
What happened this year, then? I moved house in August, attended my first ever Fantasycon in October. I spent a week in a cabin in rural Lapland, and a weekend in snowy Iceland. I wrote several short stories, some of which were published – ‘The Grey Men’ in Black Static, ‘The Fragility of Flesh’ in Wild Things: Thirteen Tales of Therianthropy, and ‘The Looking Glass Girl’ in Ten: Thou Shalt Not. (Early New Year’s Resolution: no more ‘The…’ titles.)
I was nominated for two British Fantasy Awards, which I’m still not over. I occasionally flick through the Fantasycon program just to check my name is still on the list, and that I didn’t dream the entire thing. Older, more grizzled writers might read this and chuckle at my hilariously low standards but quite honestly, these two nominations have been truly affirming in terms of the work I do and the value of it. And I know it’s bad practice to assert one’s value based on how others perceive you (a lesson I need to learn, perhaps to staple to my forehead) but…wow. Someone (or someones!) liked my writing enough to at least consider it worthy of an award. That’s an incredible feeling, and one that I can’t quite put into words – I’ve not yet worked out how to translate frantic arm-waving and the occasional seal noise into a readable sentence.
I don’t have any plans for 2016 as yet beyond writing more stories – perhaps even attempting a novel, if I’m brave enough. I suppose I would like to be a better reader: read widely, read more frequently, and share the books and stories I love with everyone I know, because what better way is there to keep fiction alive as an institution than to shout loudly and with passion about the best examples? To maintain this blog, as Facebook and Twitter have become the default to me and while I’m not opposed to social media, blogging seems infinitely preferable – and who doesn’t want to hear me ramble more about myself at length?
But most of all I plan to be silly, to be creative, and to enjoy myself.
Happy New Year to all of you. May 2016 bring you good books, pleasant weather and great happiness.