Recap of 2012

So, 2012 is officially over and 2013 is crawling through the door with a throbbing head. Well, some of 2013. I won’t judge the revelers, even though I abstained and spent the night working on my big rock – killing the procrastination beast. A low key night churning out words, accomplishing things and crossing them off the interminable list was a win in my book, though perhaps not something most people would understand.

Every year, I set goals for myself, but I stay far away from resolutions. I set reading challenge goals through Goodreads, determining a list of things I want to read that I think will help improve me in some way (usually in the writerly-type way) and with the help of audiobooks, I’m very pleased to say that I far surpassed the goal, even though I didn’t hit up everything on the list. Here’s the list I selected at the beginning of the year with what I’ve read:

  •     The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  •     The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
  •     Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  •     To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  •     Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  •     Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  •     I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
  •     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1-3
  •     Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  •     The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (the remainder)
  •     999 – edited by Al Sarrantonio (the remainder)
  •     Dreams of Terror and Death – HP Lovecraft
  •     The Watchers out of Time – HP Lovecraft
  •     Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos – HP Lovecraft (and others)
  •     The Road to Madness – HP Lovecraft
  •     The Horror in the Museum – HP Lovecraft (and others)
  •     Book of the Supernatural – edited by Stephen Jones
  •     The World Without Us – Alan Weisman
  •     Book of the Supernatural – edited by HP Lovecraft (duplicate)
  •     Lovecraft Unbound – edited by Ellen Datlow
  •     The Dream World of HP Lovecraft – Donald Tyson
  •     Danse Macabre – Stephen King
  •     Supernatural Noir – edited by Ellen Datlow
  •     Song of Kali – Dan Simmons
  •     Necronomicon – Donald Tyson
  •     Alhazred – Donald Tyson
  •     11/22/63 – Stephen King
  •     Inheritance – Christopher Paolini
  •     The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making – Catherynne M. Valente
  •     Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

In addition to this, I also read a truckload of other books for a grand total of 57. Burning through all of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie books helped buff that count considerably. They were serious brain candy that I devoured during my commute by way of audiobook. I was also able to keep up with some more contemporary releases to see what’s selling and being eaten up by a (sometimes) less than discerning public. I’m looking forward to finding new things to get in to this year, of following through with ongoing series and of seeing if I can at least meet that number.

As with last year, I’m keeping my goal modest and setting it at 30 books. It’s not that I think I can’t attain it, but I have school to contend with, and I know of a few things that will take considerable time, from travel to more writing and editing and such. I’m trying to be realistic, which is something I’m not always successful at being (but then again, I don’t always want to be, either). But, regardless, here’s the 2013 list:

  1.     The Legend of Eli Monpress (omnibus) – Rachel Aaron
  2.     House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
  3.     Lovecraft Unbound – edited by Ellen Datlow
  4.     Darkness – edited by Ellen Datlow
  5.     The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  6.     The Kingdom of the Gods – N. K. Jemisin (the remainder)
  7.     Book of the Supernatural – edited by Stephen Jones
  8.     Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  9.     Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  10.     Dreams of Terror and Death – HP Lovecraft
  11.     V Wars – Jonathan Mayberry
  12.     The Summoner – Gail Z. Martin
  13.     Mad Kestrel – Misty Massey
  14.     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1
  15.     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 2
  16.     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 3
  17.     Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  18.     Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  19.     Thanks, But This Isn’t for Us – Jessica Page Morrell (the remainder)
  20.     The Trouble with Eating Clouds – Edmund Schubert
  21.     To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  22.     The Dream World of HP Lovecraft – Donald Tyson
  23.     Necronomicon – Donald Tyson
  24.     Alhazred – Donald Tyson
  25.     The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There – Catherynne M. Valente
  26.     Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  27.     The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (the remainder)
  28.     Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked – John Hartness
  29.     Luka and the Fire of Life – Salman Rushdie
  30.     Boneshaker – Cherie Priest

And the writing side? I’ve been toying with this and trying to figure out what is realistic, what would be challenging and what would just about kill me. I don’t necessarily want to settle on “realistic” and I’d rather stay away from what would kill me to do, but I am not quite sure where those boundaries lie, especially with taking on 3 classes during my spring semester this year. There are a lot of variables to calculate, so what I’ve done so far is this:

  • Sucked up my irritation and paid for a year’s subscription to Duotrope (but that is another post/rant altogether) using the gift card I received from my company Christmas party
  • Used said gift card to pick up a copy of the Grammar bible that I’ve had my eye on for some time along with a self-editing book for writers which came recommended by a couple of other writers I’ve seen and respect.
  • Spent some quality time with a calculator to determine that 250,000 words is a reasonable output for me for the year. The bigger challenge? Tracking. Ugh. Tedious, but necessary. I have ideas on how to do this and stick with it, so I’m going to do the best I can with that.

It’s not a monumental list, but it’s a beginning, and that’s what matters. These aren’t resolutions, because those are meant to be broken. They are simply steps in a long evolution. So enough babbling for now, time to get on with the important part…writing the story.

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