Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in Review

I always love New Years Eve.  I love the chance to reflect on the year behind; to look at my old goals, and see which I achieved, which I didn't, and which have changed.  Even more fun to set new goals for the year ahead - I love the sense of possibility and the renewal of motivation.

Yesterday I shared my favorite books read in 2012.  Today, I'm looking back at last year's final Night Bazaar post, where I talked about my goals for 2012. How'd I do?  Let's see...

2012 Goal 1: Finish The Tainted City in time for the October publication date.

Yes.  Yes I did. The book made it to shelves on time...and I can't possibly express in words how deeply satisfying it is for me to check off that goal.  The first half of this year was pretty much All Tainted City All The Time for me.  I burned through all my vacation days from work, had to beg friends to help with childcare, sacrificed my pleasure reading time and sleep and my social life and made my husband very, very, VERY grumpy.  And even then, the book ended up getting crashed through publication to meet the distributor's deadline.  What does that mean?  Well, ordinarily the editing/revising/copyediting/proofing process takes months.  For Tainted City, all of that happened in about 10 days.  My stress levels during those 10 days? INSANE.

Especially because the tight timeline meant I didn't have the chance to seek outside feedback on the final version, as I usually do.   Nobody but me and one editor read my final draft.  The editor said the draft was fine, no changes needed, it's going straight to copyedits...but I worried.  A lot.  Had I truly translated the story in my head properly onto the page?

When reviews started coming in, and they were good - oh, you guys.  I can't even tell you what a relief that was.  Seriously, I think I broke down and cried (and I don't cry often).  And now, to get reader emails saying they loved the book, and to see The Tainted City appearing on year's best lists, like these:

I am so, so happy.  (The more so because Whitefire's gotten a little love on 2012 year end lists too: #11 in Fantasy/SF on Bookflurries Twelve Months of Best Books, and an honorable mention on Angels of Retribution's Best of the Best.  Hooray!)

I'm also determined: I want to finish The Labyrinth of Flame in 2013.  But I want to achieve that goal without nearly killing myself to do it.  That means I need to figure out how to write more efficiently.  I intend to try some of author Rachel Aaron's suggestions on increasing writing productivity, which certainly appeal to the engineer in me.  

How about my 2012 non-writing goals?  Well...

2012 Goal 2: Climb one new peak over 14,000 ft.

Damn it, didn't make this one (see above for why).  I did have some excellent days on not-so-new peaks once Tainted City was done, including an ascent of Torreys Peak via Kelso Ridge and Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route.  

2012 Goal 3: Take my son on his first trip to Utah's canyon country.

Success!  My husband, son, and I had spent a wonderful Thanskgiving hiking and biking in Moab.  My son loved it, and asks all the time when we'll go back.  (In other parental firsts, we also took him to Disneyworld for the first time - another big hit.)  

2012 Goal 4: Ski the fall line of the Spiral Staircase mogul run at Telluride without stopping.  

Sigh. We didn't make it to Telluride last ski season.  I barely skied at all (think I made only 4 days.  Lame!). This will change.  My son's old enough for ski school now - I've already got him taking lessons on a little indoor ski slope in Boulder - and we WILL go to Telluride this ski season.  If they ever get any snow.  

I also mean to get serious about reclaiming my fitness.  I let that slide along with everything else last year.  Oh, I didn't turn to total flab, thanks to skating once a week (and I'm genetically lucky: my body hangs on to muscle).  But I'm nowhere near as fit as I once was, and I don't like it.  Fortunately, that's not so hard to change.  I just started a 60-day fitness program that's worked really well for several of my friends.  Based on the workouts so far, I think it should kick my ass back into shape in no time.  

2012 Goal 5: Return to competition in figure skating.

Yeah...this is where I've had to make a hard choice.  I love skating.  But if I want to keep writing (and I do!), I simply can't spare the time to skate 3-5 times per week, as would be needed to train properly for competition.  I'm just going to have to plug along in "maintenance mode," skating only once a week, until my son is old enough to go to school full time.  That said, my coach has choreographed a new freestyle program for me, and I'm practicing it as I can, along with my double jumps, so hopefully I'll be ready when the time comes.

So, there you have it.  2012 has been one heck of a year - lots of stress, but lots of joy, too.  Here's hoping 2013 will be better yet.  


  1. Forward to 2013!

    Here's hoping you can finish Labyrinth without killing yourself.

    1. Thanks, Paul! The good news is, I still love the story as much as I always have, so I've got tons of motivation to get it all down. :)

  2. Not a bad year! And congratulations on it all (as well as recognizing that even someone who reads a book an hour has limitations). :-)

    Had to look up that Spiral Staircase, and yet I'm guessing even a picture like this can't get across how steep that must be.


    P.S. Does that Insanity workout have a version for sitting down? :p

    1. Heh! I always hate how pics of ski runs always make them look so flat. :) Yeah, Spiral Staircase is one of the steepest mogul runs in the US. Standing at the top, you can see the top row of moguls, and then the town of Telluride a thousand feet below - and nothing in between, the slope is too steep. If you link Spiral Staircase with two other mogul runs, you can in fact ski moguls from the very top of the mountain all the way down to the town - something guaranteed to make your quads scream for mercy. Spiral Staircase itself is so steep it's less of a muscle burn factor than a fear factor that's kept me from skiing the fall line for the entire run in the past - if your weight gets the least bit off, it's soooo tempting to bail in a swooping turn to the side, rather than attempt to use muscle strength and reflexes to recover & keep charging straight down.

      Insanity workout: well, you do lots (LOTS!) of squats, does that count as sitting down? :)