Sunday, January 5, 2014

Carpe Blogiem: 2013 - A Year In Review




I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing a “review” of the previous year at the starting of each new year. So, to begin with. Here are the things that went on in 2013 for me:


The Good (What I did well or that went well)
  • I had four Pyramid articles published this year: The Old Ways (June 2013; 172 copies; 4.4/5 rating from 15 votes), The Magic Bullet (July 2013; 226 copies; 4.47/5 rating from 21 votes), Safe As Houses (August 2013; 172 copies; 4.47/5 rating from 17 votes), and It’s a Trap! (October 2013; 164 copies; 5/5 rating from 18 votes). It has, in short, been a good year for my work.
  • I submitted eight Pyramid articles to Steven, completely obliterating the remaining Pyramid Wish List. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve got about six articles I intend to write in the next few months, though they’ve no theme.
  • GURPSThaumatology: Ritual Path Magic finally came out (currently it has sold 506 copies and has a 4.65/5 rating from 23 votes). I put this here even though I did not write it, but I did have a hand it its making. Nearly half of the 100 spells I submitted made it in and almost all the example spells are my own. I also contributed the Alchemy rules. In total, my name was mentioned three times across the acknowledgements' page – I have been told that’s some sort of record.
  • I was paid by a private client to write a series of GURPS rules and do my best to get them published in Pyramid. So far, it looks like I’ll be able to deliver. If you’ve got something, you want me to write up and try to get into the RAW, shoot me an email. Keep in mind that I have no control over whether it’ll be taken or not, so it could be a crap shoot.
  • I have made a concentrated effort to work on both my grammar and personal writing style this year with much success. I have much more to learn, but I’m starting to get where I should be both professionally and personally. Nearly all of this is (okay, all of it) would not have been possible without Elizabeth “ArchangelBeth” McCoy taking me under her wing and teaching me what it means to be a writer. I’d be nowhere near where I am without this wonderful, inspiring, and amazing woman. I’m lucky to have met her.
  •  I created a new campaign to add to my other three this year. A supers setting. Something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I rebooted my cyberpunk campaign and reincarnated it as my current weird-horror campaign. So far, it’s working amazingly well and my players seem to love it.
  • I got acknowledged by PK as his “Deputy” on all things RPM-related and have been more or less accepted in my chosen community. This goes here because it made me feel pretty damn good!
  • I decided to write a novel in 30 days. I did. At 104,000 words this marks the first novel I’ve written with the full intent to try to market. I have submitted it to several “slush piles” as written, and I’ve the attention of at least one publisher who likes the content, but loathes the grammar errors. I intend to try to fix these and resubmit this to him no later than July 2014.
  • I entered NaNoWriMo 2013 and won, writing a prequel to the novel I wrote in July.
  • I changed over from Wordpress to Blogger. I find Blogger’s platform smoother, more intuitive, and less prone to crashes. Sorry, Wordpress, but you just can’t hold a candle!
  • I formed a sort of partnership with +Douglas Cole, acting as a sounding board and transcription mule (the latter of which he pays me for, thanks Doug!). Overall, I really like Doug’s Firing Squad, and we both hope that he can get out at least 6 more episodes this year. I’ll be putting my own feelers for the gaming community to try to land Doug a few more interviews, and if you are an author, game-writer, etc. feel free to email either me or him directly! He’s a great guy, and his blog gets a huge number of hits a day.
  • I participated in two of Doug’s Panel Interviews, and I thought it went rather swimmingly well.
  • I’ve continued managing my diabetes and have had an overall steady (if high) blood sugar level, though I still experience day highs and night lows.
  • I’ve been working on losing weight. I succeeded having lost nearly 50 pounds since last year. I intend to continue this trend into the next year. Diabetics + obesity = early death. I have too much to do to die right now.
  • I actually made a few new friends this year (a true rarity for me), and I hope to concentrate more on these new relationships this year.
  • Margaret Yang and Harry Campion (aka M.H. Mead) have five books in the top of Amazon’s cyberpunk genre (warning, Facebook link). Since I offered both reviews and beta-reads, I feel I helped (if only partly), I’m super excited for them. You go guys!
  • I started a new Google Group to help beginning authors work on their formatting and style skills. So far, it seems to be quite useful, and I’ve got at least one “pupil” who is going to make a huge splash with his articles. If you’re interested in getting published in Pyramid magazine or want to help others get in (experienced authors only for the latter!) send an email or check out this thread on the forums. If you’ve already written a couple of articles and want to get better, I’ve got a few spots open for “journeymen” writers too.
  • I found out that one of the people I “knew” on Twitter was actually my cousin. His grandmother is my grandfather’s cousin. Who freaking knew? Furthermore, Bob is a pretty cool guy, other than, you know, being my cousin. ;-)
  • My relationships with my close friends and what family I have left remain strong and I'd have fallen apart a long time ago without my amazing support network (especially my C, my best friend, my mother, and L.A.).My relationship remains a source of much strength for me and she continues to provide me with her amazing muse powers.

The Bad (What I could have done better or had no control over)
  • The pain in my right leg continues, and I wake up daily with cramps and muscle spasms. Thought I do not like to take pain medication; I do occasionally manage it with alcohol (carefully monitored!) or the rare morphine pill. My doctor thinks I’ll have to live with this pain the rest of my life. C'est La Vis.
  • My grandmother died. It has left a hole in my life that I did not expect. It took over six months for me to cry about it from the time of her death – but I did. It still hurts me to think about it. I'll grieve more when my household and family are in order and do not need me.
  • My “mother in law” (L.A.’s mother) died. I won’t pretend this didn’t affect me. It hurt me badly. I did my best to be the rock that L.A. needed, but she continues her “wolf-like” behavior – she finds a “den” and goes in and doesn’t come out until she’s dead or better. She’s better, but she still hurts. I can see it. I wish to God, I could do something for her. I’d trade damn near anything.
  • The financial struggles continue in my household, and I really hope they are settled soon before me and my family end up homeless. If you’ve got a project or two, you want help on, let me know. Writer will write for food. ;-)
  • My night terrors were worse this year then they have been in the last ten years. I averaged nearly one episode per three days. My insomnia was also bad, but thanks to a new medication seems to be getting under control. Hopefully, the terrors will calm down when I finally manage to “de-stress” fully.
  • One of my friends had two strokes in as many weeks and now has a house so infested with bed bugs that I cannot actually visit him or have him visit me. I’ve done my best to remain in contact with him, but it’s hard.
  • My mother virtually had a nervous breakdown, and I ended up helping with the management of the  the household for a while (I'm still helping as of this entry). We also had to clear out two of her storages, and that took almost a dozen people nearly two days to finish. I do not wish to repeat that again, it nearly physically broke me. I was unable to walk for two days afterward.

The Ugly (I don’t know how to categorize this or too early to tell)
  • I submitted four articles that got rejected and reserved for other Pyramid issues. One article that was rejected in 2012 was actually used in 2013 (It’s a Trap!). I don’t doubt these others will see similar use.
  • I submitted a short story to the Midian Unmade Anthology, but was ultimately rejected. I actually made it into the near-final list and named authors beat me out so I can’t complain but so much.
  • I was rejected for my first appeal to apply for Social Security Disability. I asked for a hearing (which took place on December 12th 2013), and I feel that this time, I’m finally going to get the help I truly need. Please wish me luck, O Internet. I’ll hopefully find out soon.
  • I was diagnosed with (maybe) mild Asperger’s Syndrome, synesthesia (musical notes > haptic/tactile feedback), and panic attacks. I’ve not found out much of the first two because the neurologist had a mad science-y gleam in his eye as he spoke of the “uniqueness” of my brain. No thanks, I’m good for now.
  • One of my GURPS projects is on indefinite hold pending the total clearing of the blocked pipeline. I hope that happens soon, I have so many wonderful GURPS bits to share with you.
  • My brother is in a balls-to-the-wall nasty custody dispute/spousal abuse with his wife for his child. Can’t can't say more than that, it’s not my tale.
  • I began a fresh project for a private client, which starts the beginning of something new for me: pay-for-hire custom GURPS campaigns. While I love the idea of being paid to create a unique campaign setting for a fellow GURPSer, I worry about quality and control. Still, he seems to love the blurb I’ve sent him, so that’s a bonus. We’ll see how this pans out.
  • I “came out of the closet” – announcing to the Internet, and the world that I’m bi-polar. So far, it has been liberating, but I wonder if I’ll get any trolls because of it. I hope not, ‘cause I’ll probably go bi-Polar Bear on their asses.
  • I ended up acquiring a protégé of my own, for some unknown reason, and I really like the kid. He could go far in life if he just stops doubting himself. I hope to instill in him such thoughts.

Overall, a very mixed year and I hope to whatever Powers That Be that I don’t have another bad personal year as I did this one. Professional-wise it was pretty good, and I feel I am really coming into my own as a freelance writer. I’ve even inspired a few others to take up the mantle. I'm off to bed, for tomorrow, I game. :-) Good night, Internet.

4 comments:

  1. *does the "awwww" kitten-bat thing*

    *crosses fingers for ya*

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  2. I didn't say anything that wasn't true. :-)

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  3. Good Luck! I can't wait to read more of your work.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've got a lot of pretty exciting articles in the pipeline and hopefully they'll be published, not bot mention the various "Sekrit" projects I'm working on or are a part of.. :-)

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