Since I’ve in NJ, I’ve had access to live cable for the first time. I try not to feel pressure to watch television as it airs, but with the current crop of shows, I’ve felt compelled. And since some of my favorite television shows have recently premiered, I figured I would get in from the beginning. Since there will be some mild spoilers, you might not want to read beyond the cut if you’re not up to date.
Note: This was written before the most recent episodes aired.
Earlier this month I celebrated my 39th birthday. Not the big one that everyone makes a huge deal out of, but the one before. Only I realized that I was celebrating the completion of my 39th year, the start of my 40th.
My birthday has always been a useful divider for me, and recently has become what New Year’s Day is for others, a day to kick off the next year or so of time, redefine goals, start a new path.
This year’s path is quite a doozy.
Due to various reasons which I won’t get into, this year brings with it some massive changes. For one, I’m moving out of my apartment. I’m moving out of New York City. This may not seem like that big a deal, but it’s been my home for the past seven years, and New York is among the short list of places (London, Seattle, parts of California) that have felt like home to me. I’m heading back to my home town, where my family still lives, to figure out my next move. I once told myself I would never go back, but sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to find sure footing for the sprint ahead.
Distance-wise, it’s not that far from Manhattan, but it feels far. Especially without the benefit of NY public transportation and lacking a car. It will be…an adjustment. But it’s not forever. And it’s a safe place to be.
There will be some advantages. I will get to write more. I will be closer to job opportunities. The rest…well, we’ll see. But I’m optimistic that this is a step that will ultimately help me.
The path stretches out before me. Wish me a bon voyage and I’ll be on my way. But I’m pretty certain I’ll be back before too long. I’ll keep you all posted along the way.
I’m often aware that I spend way too much web space on self-promotion here. Which is why I’m happy to shine the spotlight on others when I can. Today I’d like to direct you to the story, “The Sounds of Old Earth” by Matthew Kressel, recently posted on the Lightspeed Magazine website. Matt’s in my writing group and we critiqued this story in the group. It started out as a great story, but Matt’s revisions took it into extraordinary territory. I think it might be the best thing he’s written (so far). I’m truly impressed by the power he managed to imbue into it. I would encourage everyone to read it if you haven’t already and please, if you’re part of the science fiction and fantasy community, don’t forget this story come awards season. It’s just that good.
Finally, my Top Ten of Fantasy for 2012 is up at LitReactor. As usual, the frustrating part of making lists like this is that I’m limited by what I read, but I’m happy with the choices on that list. I’ve already picked up a few recommendations from other lists as well.
Today marks a significant day in terms of music history and two specific music icons who had a very big personal effect on me in my formative years.
First up is Jim Morrison’s birthday. Jim would have been 69 today if he hadn’t died at 27. It’s odd to think that he was only born 2 years later than my dad. The Doors were huge for me when I was in college and I spent many nights listening to their albums.
Much more important to me, though, was John Lennon, who died 32 years ago today. I grew up with the Beatles playing in the house and My parents had bought the Double Fantasy album just a little while earlier. I remember being six years old and sliding the album out of its wrapper and putting it on the turntable. I must have scratched the shit out of that record, but I remember listening over and over again to (Just Like) Starting Over, Watching the Wheels, and my favorite, Woman. So when John was shot, I remember watching the news and my parents’ reaction and feeling like, in some way, I knew who this man was.
My relationship with John Lennon only became stronger as I got older and delved into both The Beatles and his solo work. He will always be one of my musical heroes and an example of how to be an activist and how to fight for peace.
I may have mentioned this before, but after he died, my mother took out the picture of John that came with the White Album (there was one for each Beatle) and she taped it to the back of her station wagon window. It got torn and battered, too, but I still remember sitting in the car and seeing so many people flash her a thumbs up, or beep or just nod their heads to her flying her flag.
I briefly considered doing another online Advent Calendar this year, possibly with fiction, but I eventually changed my mind. WIth everything I have going on, I know it would only make me crazy and who wants that, right? But for those who missed it last year, my 2011 Advent Calendar is still online and is probably still relevant.
However, I would like to point out that I put together a kind of Advent Calendar of Fantasy Fiction for LitReactor.com and it links to a free online story for every day leading up to Christmas. So check that out if you would like to read some really interesting holiday fiction.
I didn’t actually manage to pick up an Advent Calendar this year, and that’s okay. I’m doing things a little differently this year. However, could I afford it, I would have gone with this deliciously indulgent advent calendar full of whisky. I suppose it’s still early December. Someone could still get it for me, right? Of course that first night catching up would be a fun one…
So I have a lot to talk about since it’s been a while. Expect an explosion of posts in the coming days.
First, though, I have to share that my middle-grade novel, which I’ve been working on for the past few years, was sent out on submission recently. In a rare moment of pride, I actually feel really good about this book. Fly confidently, little bird. I hope you find a home.
Next up, I’m doing a reread of The Dresden Files for Tor.com. So far the first five books in the series have been covered and new posts will go up every Monday until we get through the series. If you’re fans of the books or thinking about reading them, I hope you’ll give them a look.
Finally, Diverse Energies is finally out. It contains my story, “What Arms to Hold Us,” but more importantly it has stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Paolo Bacigalupi, K. Tempest Bradford, Rahul Kanakia, and more. As mentioned here before, it’s dystopian YA stories highlighting diversity. I hope you’ll give it a read.