There’s been a Pinterest image going around on Facebook lately, which shows a Mason jar filled with folded scraps of paper — and I think it came from this website originally. At any rate, the picture, and concept, has gone viral. It goes by various names: ‘jar of memories’, ‘jar of good thoughts’, ‘jar of funny moments’ and it’s a little bit hokey, a little sentimental, but all in all, pretty sweet. No matter what it’s called, the idea is that you write down anecdotes of happy, special, memorable, amusing moments from your year, and at the end of December you read them over to remind yourself of these good times.
This year, there have been so many incredible, life-changing events in my life that I’d be hard-pressed to forget any of them.* But in the spirit of the ‘jar of magical moments’, I’ll spill my recollections of 2012 here, look them all over, laugh, sigh, raise a glass to the awesome times that were, and remember how lucky I’ve been. (Because I’m more than a bit superstitious: there’s hard work involved, of course, but a hell of a lot of luck too, for which I am totally grateful.)
First, I received an Arts SA Project Grant to work on the first draft of The Familiar. I got close to 90,000 words written, most of which will be culled in the second draft, but enough for me to figure out what’s happening in the novel, what’s good about it, what sucks, and what can be developed into something much better in the next draft.
At the same time, Angela and I wrote most of Midnight and Moonshine, wrapped it up in a nice shiny bow mid-year, saw it get a starred review in Publishers Weekly before it was even published, then sent it off into the world in fine style, with not one but two awesome launches.
Bluegrass Symphony made me feel like the luckiest writer ever, winning two Aurealis Awards (for Best Collection and Best Horror Short Story for ‘The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds’, an award I was delighted to share with Paul Haines for his incredible story ‘The Past is a Bridge Left Burnt’), getting nominated for the Norma K. Hemming Award, and also getting shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. Stories were reprinted in Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing and The Year’s Best Australian Horror and Fantasy 2011 and Aurealis and Tales to Terrify, and they earned six nods from Ellen Datlow. (I’m still overwhelmed by it all!)
With the grant money all used up, I went back to teach for Semester Two, and also had the pleasure of teaching at the SA Writers’ Centre — which went so well, we’re going to do it all again in 2013.
Meanwhile, I sold stories to some excellent venues over the course of 2012, most of which will be coming out in the next year:
- ‘Sweet Subtleties’, Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 75, December 2012
- ‘By Blood and Incantation’, co-written with Angela Slatter, One Small Step: An Anthology of Discoveries, ed. Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Press), Forthcoming
- ‘Morning Passages’, Shadows Edge, ed. Simon Strantzas (Grey Friar Press), Forthcoming
- ‘Endpapers’, Postscripts, ed. Peter Crowther and Nick Gevers(PS Publishing, UK) Forthcoming
- ‘Smoke Billows, Soot Falls’ (Chapbook), ed. Simon Marshall-Jones (Spectral Press) Forthcoming
- ‘Snowglobes’, Chilling Tales 2: In Words, Alas, Drown I, ed. Michael Kelly (EDGE Publishing) Forthcoming
There were so many opportunities to catch up with great friends at writing events this year, including Adelaide Writers Week in March, Continuum 8 in July (even though I got food poisoning and missed most of the con!) and, of course, my first ever World Fantasy Convention in Toronto this November. I had such a fantastic time at the WFC, I cannot wait for next year in Brighton!
Finally, to make an awesome year even more awesome — so awesome, in fact, that I seriously hope I haven’t peaked — in December I earned a lecturing position in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Flinders University! I’ll get to continue my writing and researching, while also sharing my love of all things nerdy with students forevermore. What a way to end the year!
Thanks, 2012, you’ve been utterly fab. Here’s hoping 2013 is as cool to hang out with as you were.
And Happy New Year, everyone!
*I still might have forgotten something here. It’s been a pretty full-on 12 months…