I’ve been idly tinkering with the idea of taking more photographs lately–an impulse that hits me every few months. I had seen someone else post a photo of the final sunset of 2015 in their area, so I thought I’d do the same. The sun had already gone down, and so it ended up being the last light of the year for me.
Of course, then I got the clever idea to get the first light of 2016 as well. Which is why I hauled my warm, vulnerable carcass out of bed at 6:45–having consulted a calendar of such things–to catch the first pastel glow behind the frosted fields and hills.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly light yet at that hour. But I needed the extra time to don the approximately forty-two layers of clothing needed to go outside. It was 26 degrees F, and I am still Southern California born and bred. That is not a temperature I endure without assistance.
The Spirits of Christmas Past and Present haven’t treated me all that well. I’m looking forward to a few things this holiday season. Christmas just isn’t one of them. During the holidays, everything sucks, except for the really good bits that don’t.
Today I say farewell to the year that nearly killed me. Over the course of January, I will be posting (rather a lot) about just how it tried to do that. Much of this year has been an agony of sorrow and uncertainty. Never before have I been so eager to say goodbye and good riddance to a year.
And yet. This is also the year that gave me my first self-published, for-sale collection of stories. This is the year that gave me a mailing list full of people I am so glad to have at my side. This is the year that gave me a shop and a tumblr and a renewed sense of creative purpose and energy. How can I regret a year like that?
To all those who stood by me this year, in little ways and big: thank you.
Thank you for feeding me dinner when I hadn’t eaten all day. Thank you for leaving comments (or trying to) when I had technical difficulties on the site. Thank you for playing and working with me on forums as I learned how best to serve my craft. Thank you for writing me poems and answering my questions and reblogging my photos. Thank you for showing me, in my tiny, sometimes isolated life, there is affection and loyalty and hope.
I believe I can only go up from here.
I have big plans for 2014. Team Hotel ‘verse will get more stories written and published, including a book-length collection. One of those will be (I hope) available in a print edition along with the usual electronic formats. Writing will happen alongside moving and remodeling and learning my way around a new county (see January for the full story of that). So I will be busy and stressed, but it will be work and play I choose for myself, and I will do it with joy.
I hope to see you around in the new year. I hope you enjoy what I have planned as much as I do. I hope to hold onto you, the best that 2013 had to offer me, even as I move on from the worst it could dish out.
With hope and against all odds, I remain sincerely,
(Er, I’m actually a bit late–the anniversary was the second, but I, well, forgot. Thought I had a few more days into the month than that.)
So, Small Wonders is one year old. I’m not sure what to think. On the one hand, it seems like such a short time and I’m tempted to complain at how little I’ve accomplished during it. I’ve had nothing more published, excepting what I have at SS*BB, and I’ve spent an unattractively large amount of time planning, tinkering, and taking showers.
But on the other hand, I can remember the conversations I had with not entirely willing listeners about my plans for my new, shiny blog. I threatened to do a regular column of writing demos and, lo and behold, I did actually have that. (I probably should get back to the Working Reviews though, shouldn’t I?) I had vague notions of doing something about food. And several couples. Something about free fiction. I got House of Cats, which, well, I think that puts to rest my complaints about getting nothing done.
So, as it turns out, I’m pretty damn pleased with my first year of blogging and my first year as a pro (or something close). I want Small Wonders to remain useful, interesting, and shiny, long after it stops being new. I look forward to continuing it.
Here’s to a year of good stories and letting others hear them. And here’s to many more years to come. Thanks for reading.
And I am off to see it. One of this year’s themes is the year of the writer, so I have more panels on writing to look forward to than I can actually attend. My schedule is both intense and varied. I expect to come home with sci-fi reading recommendations, a mild Nathan Fillion overdose, and more books than a human being can comfortably carry.