It's most of the way through January and I'm only now getting around to a summary of 2009. Which pretty much sums it up. I had some pretty big writing plans for 2009 and achieved exactly none.
So what happened?
The day job went from being a day job to being day, night, weekends... It happens, sometimes. And I am proud of what I achieved. I built something pretty damn impressive, in a far shorter timeframe than I would have expected. Full credit to Microsoft for that. The .NET stack in general and Silverlight in particular have been a huge force multiplier for me. Any other technology wouldn't have got me as far so quickly.
But those long hours still killed me. Rushing to meet deadline after deadline was not cool. By the end of the year I was a tired and grumpy, insomniac. I still am. Hoping I'll get back to some decent energy levels soon.
OK, enough complaining. There was a lot of good stuff to celebrate this year.
Starting in March I took part in the Australian Horror Writers Association mentor program. The AHWA are kind enough to consider Kiwis honorary Aussies, so I was able to work with multi-award winning author Lee Battersby. He took some of my stories, pulled them apart, and when we put them back together they were so much better than when I started. If you're in NZ or Australia, you should check out the AHWA. They're a great bunch of people.
Queen's Birthday weekend I attended my first con, Conscription, where I met fellow writer (and the driving force behind Spec Fic NZ), Ripley Patton. Ripley really did make the con for me - I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much without her. The weekend passed in a blur and by the time it was done I'd ended up winning the Julius Vogel. I'd be lying if I didn't say that was hella cool.
NZ Speculative Fiction Blogging Week. How good was that, ay? Want to bet it'll be even bigger next year?
Other nice things. Had my first reprints:Dick Whittington's Blues in the Semaphore anthology and The Salt Line at Wily Writers. The Salt Line was also the first of my stories to be podcast, with an excellent narration from Tim Jones.
That was last year. So what's next?
That work overload killed my writing. So this year, all I'm planning on doing is getting my mojo back. I'm just going to stick to the basics - words on paper. This is the equivalent of me jogging round the streets of Philadelphia, pounding on carcases in the freezer, climbing up the art museum steps. I've got some big plans for later, but I won't get anywhere unless I can get that muscle mass back. Blunt Force Trauma. Various other boxing cliches.
I don't know if I'll be blogging here very much - I want to put as much energy into fiction as I can. If this affects my chances of winning some sort of journalism prize then I'm OK with that.