2010: Hell Yes To Reflection, Fuck No To Regret

The Evil Order Of Wizarding Has Its Keynote Speaker

The turning of the year, arbitrary as it may be, is a good time to reflect. Reflection is awesome. You look back. You learn your lessons good and bad. You move on. Regret, though, well. Regret is for asswipes. Regret forces you to hang over your mistakes like a miasma, like a cloud of biting flies. With head full of regret, you’re like a gassy dog relishing in its own canine stink. No real value in that.

Look back, but move forward.

That’s my motto.

(Actually, my motto is, “Una mas cerveza.” Or maybe it’s “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” Fuck, I dunno. Actually, that’s probably my motto. “Fuck, I dunno.”)

Moving on.

The year 2010 was, all told, a pretty good year. Professionally I had some concerns — being a freelance writer is always a little bit hair-raising, and given the fact that the economy basically suffered something akin to explosive financial diarrhea, I was a bit worried. Plus, one of my biggest clients didn’t exactly much drop off the face of the map, but what was once a steady flow of work became a thin rivulet trickling forth as if from a diseased bladder.

But, hey, it turned out okay.

Financially, I did better this year than last. My overall average “pay per word” increased, which was nice.

Let’s see. What happened, specifically?

Well, obviously, getting accepted into the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab was a giant boon. It certainly ripped the scales off of my eyes when it came to narrative, to process, to the construction of story. Plus, we’ve come full circle, what with our short film and mind-boggling transmedia-palooza (both called Pandemic) ending up there this year, connected to the short film program and to the New Frontiers program.

The feature film is kicking along nicely. The script is just about to move toward its 9th draft after this last table read, and then — well, then I think we’re in the end zone?

The TV pilot was with TNT, then they said no, but now… well, let’s just say we’re alive again somewhere. Can’t talk much more about it, but the project once more has energy and momentum.

Worked on Collapsus, which was the first time I ever had a script I worked on translated into both animation and live action. Was a blast, and learned a lot about how to turn around good story in a short time frame. Plus, it’s just awesome to see your work made into something.

I’ve got one novel for sure on the books — Double Dead, due to the publisher in April, is going to rock your faces with its apeshit Vampire-in-Zombieland vibe.

My other novel, Blackbirds, continues to earn the nicest rejections a man could ever hope for. I’m not kidding you. Some of these rejections? Gushing. Heaped with the laurels of praise. And, ironically, they still remain rejections. Whyfor, you ask? I guess because it’s not a commercial book? Which surprises me, because I set out to write one. Because it’s dark? It is, but it’s not Requiem for a Dream II: Grimtastic Boogaloo. (Hell, the book has kind of a happy ending. And it’s funny! I mean, I think it’s funny. Shit.) Why aren’t editors asking for changes? Well, the story goes (true or not true) that they like it the way it is. And yet, the way it is won’t sell books. It’s a snake that eats its own tail. I’ve even had editors recommend the book to other editors! I dunno. Hopefully that remains a good sign and 2011 will be the year this book leaps into someone’s hands and bashes them about the head and neck until they decide to publish it.

I didn’t write as much personal stuff as I wanted to this year — what I did write didn’t quite click for me. But I’ve got some additional drafting, and I’ve got two more outlines for two more novels. One of which has been deemed by the agent as a good next step, so that’s where I’ll fall right after Double Dead.

I wrote and got paid for a bunch of game writing, but… well, I don’t know where those projects even live. I got paid for them, which was lovely, but so far — I see little on the horizon. Not sure when Danse Macabre hits. Or the work I did for Alpha Omega (Book of Cults, tentatively titled).

Did some work for The Escapist. Made people angry by saying PC games crash a lot and white people dominate game characters. Might have  a couple more articles in the pipeline for them.

I spoke and ran games at Simcon. Spoke at DIY Days NYC.

Did some traveling: Park City, San Francisco, Kauai, NYC.

This here bloggery-doodle has done pretty well. Started off the year with about 15,000 unique looky-loos a month. Then ramped up to 20k, then 50k, then 60k, then last month got twice that with 120k. Had a number of posts get thrown far and wide by the many magnanimous hands of the Internet — Beware of Writer, the Writer’s Prayer, the Freelance Face-Punch, NaNoWriMo Do’s And Don’t’s, and How To Be A Writer. Hell, Beware of Writer is now well over 100k hits. Which is kind of nuts. Big thanks to any of you lovely people who flung the terribleminds gospel far and wide.

Of course, some of the biggest news is personal.

Bought a house. A house that isn’t a row home. That isn’t next to a bunch of sketchy lunatics and meth dealers, that isn’t next to a neighbor we affectionately called “Witch Tits.”

And, oh, yeah, as it turns out, the universe apparently hasn’t banned be from replicating my genetic code because — hey, hot dang, my wife is expecting.

It’s really been a pretty great year.

Now, onto 2011.

Maybe this year will finally be the one with the goddamn flying cars.

How was your 2010, people?