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Tansy Rayner Roberts

The Shape of 2011 (how it was)

December 31st, 2011 at 11:34

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.

5. Launch Shattered City in April and do my best to contribute to & support the publicity for the book.
Done! We had a lovely launch, and I did what I could about the publicity side of it, though it didn’t help that we had a royal wedding the week of my launch, plus a natural disaster or two that month, so getting radio time proved… impossible. Still, there was always:

6. Swancon in April!
This was such a fantastic convention, one of my favourite in many years. The programme was strong, and varied. The hotel felt decadent and professional. I didn’t get to spend much time with the ever-harried Alisa, but Alex and I managed lots of bonding time thanks to sharing a room, and I got to hang out with some wonderful people. I was pleased to get to be in-person with Chris, Kathryn, Nick & Amanda and to cement several other long distance friendships. The crown of the whole event was the surreal and wonderful Ditmar ceremony, at which a whole bunch of projects I am associated with were honoured, and I was delighted to accept Best Novel for Power and Majesty. The only down side of the event was being away from my toddler for the first time, which was hard on me, and I did rather fall apart when Virgin cancelled my flight ensured our separation would last an extra day. I will be ever grateful to the friends who scooped me up and kept me company in that horrible hour while I was coming to terms with it. Still, I got the chance to stay for the closing ceremony, which I would have missed if my flight had happened, and to see Alisa thanked and praised for pulling off such a fabulous event. (let us not mention the fact that I almost missed my replacement flight, or the hideous all-night experience of actually getting home)

7. My quartet of stories from Twelfth Planet Press – publishing date is to be announced but I am hoping for this year, and will do my best to contribute to & support the publicity for the book.

Love and Romanpunk! Hard to imagine that it was barely even announced this time last year. I am so, so proud of this book, and the response I have had to the stories, especially “The Patrician,” has been beyond gratifying. It definitely justifies the idea to me that you should write what you love. I wouldn’t have this book, or have even got around to writing most of the stories, if not for Alisa and Twelfth Planet Press. I’m so proud to be part of the 12P series.

8. ROR in September!
Postponed to January

9. Launch Reign of Beasts in October (subject to publishing dates staying the same) and do my best to contribute to & support the publicity for the book.
Postponed to February! The very beginning of Feb, though, and I am delighted to have begged & borrowed goodwill to make this event collide with ROR. It means a lot to me to have Rowena launching my book, after all the advice and support she has offered me over the years.

10. Double the number of Galactic Suburbia podcasts we have out there.

Yes! We had 22 and now we have 49. Plus we started Galactic Chat (which we have neglected a bit lately, but will come back when the world has need of it!).

11. Make regular time for craft projects and quilting, because it makes me happy.
Not enough of this in 2011 though I have made mini quilts for the girls walls, and been working on a larger project. I’d like to sew more in 2012.

12. Read for enjoyment and perspective on the field rather than playing a numbers game this year. But having said that…

Ha well yes, I did that, and then the Tiptree jury came along which was one of my blindingly surprising joys of the year. So lots of perspective on the field this year. I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere near 100 books this year but then the graphic novel obsession came along – which I am glad for, as it has put the fun back into my reading. And I’m not going to pretend it’s not satisfying to have so many titles on my Reading Log!

13. I want to get started on the Read Agatha Christie In Order project! Kathryn, are you still up for joining me? I had a sack of the things delivered from a friend’s collection…

Yay, we did this! We have let it lapse a bit lately though, and I need to get back into reading them regularly. I have enjoyed it so far, as there is a lot more to Christie’s early works than I had imagined.

14. Write something that surprises me.

I certainly did this – I comfortably hit my Nanowrimo target with a combination of my Shakespeare Necromancy book which continues to surprise me, and also with the unexpected bonus of a co-written project with my friend Kate, which is a fun foray into the world of YA. With teen ghosts. Probably the writing which most surprised me, though, was the short story “Taking Leaves” which I wrote for a competition I would not normally think to enter (it sounding awfully literary) and not only hit the deadline under tough parenting-related-conditions but won one of the cash prizes. Huzzah for writing outside the box! I’d like to do a bit more of this, working outside my comfort zone.

There were other unexpected things in 2011. Raeli and her soccer team. Jemima going from barely saying a word or two to a full on rattle of words, words, words, words, sentences, imperatives. Mostly imperatives. Also, she’s not Jem at all, as it turns out, but Mima. Jem still feels natural to type when I write about her, but she is Mima all the way. Comics. Not only did I & my friend Iz descend back into the crazy of DC Comics, we enabled each other in learning all about Marvel too, and our eldest children followed suit.

I was unexpectedly whisked to the Aurealis Awards by my publisher to help out with the awards presentations, which means an overnight stay in Sydney (so jetsetting) and then I went and won one of the things, which was a surprise and delight. I finally got to meet Nicola, the editor who helped make The Creature Court what it is. I also got to spend the morning after hanging out with Millie on the ferries, which was lovely. So much meeting of long distance friends, last year!

I’m mostly talking about the positives, which is what I tend to do on the blogs. There were sadnesses last year too. There have been dark moments for some of our family members. My Dad lost his best friend, which was rough on him and the people around him. Geoffrey Dean was not just a loss to his loved ones, but to the Hobart writing community.

Babies were born, too – one of my dearest friends acquired a nephew and another a niece, in the last month of the year. Another close friend is sending her youngest to school next year, so that’s another milestone.

It’s been a happy year for our girls, and I hope for another like it.

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2 Responses to “The Shape of 2011 (how it was)”

  1. trent Jamieson Says:

    That’s a cracking year, Tansy! May 2012 be at least as awesome.

  2. tansyrr Says:

    I hope so too!

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