Tag Archives: year in review

2017 in review

Wow, that was a year, wasn’t it? Like, the longest year in the history of everything.

I went through a month of radiotherapy in June, I saw my eldest kid through the first year of high school, and was team manager on my youngest kid’s soccer team. The Silent Producer and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a trip to the Continuum convention. (also in June, June was BUSY) I also got to go to Genrecon in November, sharing an apartment with Rivqa and Tehani which was so much fun.

I wrote 180,000 words of fiction, and nearly 50,000 words of non-fiction.

But what did I get DONE this year? Here’s some highlights.

1. Girl Reporter

This superhero novella about snarky millennial vlogger Friday Valentina and her quest to rescue her mother is my most recent release! Girl Reporter is available in paperback, on Kindle, on Kobo, on Smashwords and more.

Also check out the awesome Girl Reporter GoodReads page with so many reviews, ratings and lovely grab quotes. I particularly like the way one reviewer describes the book as being “a snarky eclair.” #goals

“Truly, the hashtag is the epic poem of the 21st century.”

2. Stories in Uncanny
I love Uncanny Magazine so much, they are publishing some of the crunchiest, most diverse & progressive SFF short fiction these days, so I was delighted to be in the rare position of having two stories published with them in 2017. “Some Cupids Kill With Arrows,” released for Valentine’s day, is a sexy, sarcastic tale of speed dating when Greek heroes and gods are the only men on offer.

More recently, “How to Survive An Epic Journey,” my Atalanta + Medea = BFFs story, is also about Greek heroes and the women who have to put up with them, but this one is more of a contemporary voiced retelling of the voyage of the Argonauts. I love it to bits.

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Things I Did/Had Published in 2016

bounty_preview_v2An award eligibility post. Wow, my writing resolution to work more at the novelette length has totally paid off!

Personally I think of anything at 15K or higher as a novella, but most awards definitions do not agree with me, so.

I really like novelettes, OK.

Collected Work
Bounty – collection of short stories – Fablecroft

Also HUGE shout out for In Your Face & Defying Doomsday, two powerful anthologies published last year. If you haven’t read them yet, do yourself a favour & check them out before nominations close.

Fiction

“Did We Break the End of the World?” – novelette – Defying Doomsday/Twelfth Planet Press – 9000 words

“Glass Slipper Scandal” – novelette – Sheep Might Fly/self-published – 15,000 words

“Kid Dark Against the Machine” – novelette – The Book Smugglers – 10,500

“Queen of Courtesans” – novelette – Bounty/Fablecroft – 15,600

“Delta Void’s Day Off” – novelettes – Bounty/Fablecroft – 10,000

“Unmagical Boy Story” – novelette – Sheep Might Fly/self-published – 16,100

“Death at the Dragon Circus” – novelette – And Then: Awesome Adventure Tales Part I/Clan Destine Press – 13,500

“Letters to Cleopatra” – short story – In Your Face, Fablecroft – 1110 words.

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The Shape of 2014 (how it was)

Last year, in my round up post for 2013, I said this:

I won’t be writing one of my usual ‘looking forward to X year’ posts because I honestly don’t know what 2014 will bring except kindergarten and a few travel invitations that I don’t 100% believe in yet, and I hope something finished that is written by me. Watch this space.

ALL THOSE THINGS HAPPENED.

Jemima started kindergarten and had a great year; Raeli was in grade 4 and had a great year too. Jemima loves school as much as her sister does. Raeli’s main sadness was that she wasn’t allowed to visit Jemima in her kindergarten room multiple times every single day, but oh, she tried.

Raeli is nearly 10, and has read all the Harry Potter books. I’m so proud I could burst. She also wears all black and a scornful expression most of the time.

I was invited to an honest to goodness literary festival here in Tasmania, AND went to London to visit the Worldcon, which is much shinier than going to visit any old queen. I met so many people that I’ve only ever talked to online. I went to the Hugos, and to the Ritz, though the happiest time was simply hanging out in the dealer’s room, selling copies of Kaleidoscope hand over fist and chatting to knitters and readers and Alisa’s baby Mackenzie.

My honey and I even got away on a trip on our own, to the Melbourne Natcon, and had a fantastic time. There was one day when we forgot we were parents completely, and oh we felt guilty afterwards, but it was rather nice 😀

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The Shape of 2013 (how it was)

I wasn’t going to do one of these this year. 2013 has been a bit of a crazy, scattered blur in many ways. But then I read my 2012 post and was so pleased I had noted things down for future reference. And then I remembered that I won a Hugo which is, you know, quite extraordinary and belies my general impression that I spent most of this year chasing a 4 year old and recording podcasts.

I did totally spend most of this year chasing a 4 year old and recording podcasts. It was a family and friends sort of year, occasionally punctuated by books, short stories and a whole lot of Doctor Who. There were hospitalisations and dramas, all of which are (KNOCK FREAKING WOOD) behind us now. ( I still don’t feel I’ve properly caught up after my pneumonia bout back in September! If I owe you an email, please remind me) It was a tough year in many ways, and a stupidly slack year in others.

Mostly, we came through it intact.

Here are some good things that happened to me:

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2013: A Year in Reading

A strange reading year for me – after reaching new heights of reading the previous year, getting the closest to my pre-motherhood numbers of books read than ever before, I put my feet up and took it all VERY casually this year. Not as much actual reading as I would like – as has been the case a lot lately, my reading desires have been rather stomped on by my love of listening to audio books and plays – but the books I have read have been decadently unstructured. Once I made my way through Parade’s End by Ford Maddox Ford and the entire Song of Ice and Fire thus far, I kind of felt like I didn’t owe the household library gods ANYTHING ELSE for the year.

It’s been mostly classic literature, re-reading and Doctor Who tie-ins. Which also, actually, means a much more gender-balanced year instead of my usual 80% female authors. I’ve read whatever the hell I felt like this year, and mostly it has not been science fiction and fantasy at all – or published this year.

I even stopped keeping track of titles read in my log. Sooooo slack.

Here’s an equally slack and slapdash rundown of it all:

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The Shape of 2012 (how it was)

It’s been an odd sort of year, and one in which I have tended to forget to stop and count my successes. I planned for many things in my writing career, few of which came to fruition, and I ended up with a bunch of words written, but nothing (major) new and finished, for the first time in several years.

On the other hand, some massive personal achievements surely help to balance that out. In particular I have seen Raeli grow from being very timid and panicky child into a far more relaxed, confident and brave young person. She has conquered her terror (and I don’t use the word lightly) of cats, managed her even more extreme fear of dogs, as well as getting over the hurdles of learning to swim and to turn somersaults. It’s been a big year!

Jem meanwhile has stopped being the baby (she is a BIG GIRL), and it’s quite extraordinary to see our three-year-old become herself, taking on an at times stroppy but quite original personality. (she can be a thug but she’s cute with it) And boy, can she talk. You may all pause your reading to faint from surprise.

They’re really good at being sisters, which makes me very happy. And we’re only a year away from Jem starting school now which feels… exciting and terrible, all at once. But by gods, it’s going to be cheaper. And those tiny windows of writing time are shrinking and shrinking between then and now. Somehow, she manages to fill every available space, which is what children are best at.

What other milestones did I/we manage to clear this year? Well, there’s that little thing of Galactic Suburbia getting its first Hugo nomination, which was extraordinary, and means that we will always look upon the Best Fancast category with great fondness. Galactic Suburbia also received the Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award for Excellence at the Aurealis Awards this year which was an amazing honour and really made us feel like we have made a mark in the Australian SF community. And of course we produced 23 new episodes, bringing us up to 73. We’ll be soooo close to 100 by the end of next year!

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2012: A Year in Reading

Trying something a bit different for my reading round up this year – I found this Annual End Of Year Book survey and decided to try out the questions for myself. Note I’ve already done a Pleasures of Reading etc. post over at Ambling Along the Aqueduct, and covered my experience with the AWW reading challenge. I talk about books a lot, all right?

At 175 titles, including graphic novels, audio books, ebooks etc, I’ve come the closest to my pre-motherhood reading levels than ever before! If nothing else, my ‘don’t buy without shifting books from To Read Shelf’ system seems to be guilting me into finding more reading time, which I am happy about.

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

Best Fantasy Novel: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Best Science Fiction Novel: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Best Collection: Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan
Best Anthology: Under My Hat, edited by Jonathan Strahan
Best Young Adult Novel: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein, only just edging out The Diviners by Libba Bray and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan.
Best General Fiction: Last Chance Cafe by Liz Byrski
Best Comic: Hawkeye & Captain Marvel
Best Graphic Novels: Astonishing X-Men #1-5 by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday
Best Doctor Who Book: Chicks Unravel Time! Yes, I’m in it. I still love it BEST!

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2011 A Year in Reading (actual novels edition)

As I mentioned in my Graphic Novels edition of the 2011 Year in Reading posts, I read 143 books this year, 60 or so of which had a lot of pictures in them.

Others were mostly made up of words, hoorah! I don’t want this to be the neglected younger sister of the graphic novels post, but I’m really not going to write reviews of these at length. Consider it a list of the best, absolute bestiest prose novels I consumed this year. Chances are, if you want to hear more about why I liked them, you can find me raving on a Galactic Suburbia podcast. Or you could just ask in the comments! I have been rather lazy about written reviews this year, but you can’t do everything.

Here we go…

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2011: A Year in Reading (Graphic Novels Edition)

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m curled up with my family watching the animated adventures of Batman. As you do. It seems oddly appropriate considering how my year in reading ended up!

In September, it looked unlikely that I’d even hit 100 books read this year, let alone equal the 120 books I read in 2010. But then I took an interest in the DC Reboot, and one of my best friends rediscovered comics and started raving about the Ultimate Spiderman, and one thing led to another, and my house spontaneously filled with graphic novels.

So, yes. My total books read for the year is 143. Of which 61 are graphic novels/manga, all but one of which were consumed in the last three months. YEAH BABY.

Let’s talk about those first. I’ll do a separate post about the actual prose books, for those people (cough, Alisa) who aren’t interested in comic books.

My stand out graphic novels/trade paperbacks for the year were:

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The Shape of 2011 (how it was)

Wow, I’ve been all gung ho and planningy in previous years, haven’t I! Maybe I’ve mellowed. Last year I made a stab at what the shape of 2011 would look like. Presented here with comments as to how it actually was.

1. Page proofs and copy edits to be done for Shattered City and Reign of Beasts
Done and done! Quite early, really, because the date was pushed back for scheduling reasons and yet the book itself was pretty much ready months ago.

2. Write a first draft of Fury, before ROR in September.
We moved ROR to January 2012, but I finished the draft of Fury before Nanowrimo, so that was on schedule.

3. Send in proposal for Fury to my agent to sell before it’s finished.
I did this, but we (my agent & publisher) agreed it would be best to take it back and only formally submit when there was a full manuscript, because let’s face it, it wasn’t a happy year for book sales in Australia.

4. Volunteer regularly at Raeli’s school
Fell down completely on this one, at least as far as helping her class goes! I felt bad about it, but I had so little Jem-free time to work, and it didn’t happen at all. Still, I felt I had a much better relationship to her teacher this year after the calamity of the previous year, and I did sign up to join the School Association, so have been volunteering in that way. It feels like cheating because it’s half a dozen evening meetings a year rather than regularly turning up in Little Miss’s classroom to practice reading with them, but it’s a job that has to be done and being the nosy person that I am, I do rather like being in on some of the school’s admin decisions.

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