2022 Writing Wrap-Up

What did I do in 2022?

In many ways, the past year has been a blur. Kelly and I had a couple of family tragedies and other lesser setbacks, and these often felt huge and all consuming. Interspersed with these challenges was a much more thrilling distraction–a return to the delights of travelling! There was quite a lot of it, as Kelly’s High Times in the Low Parliament was out, so we cautiously attended some cons and writing festivals. Worldcon, Windycon, CanCon, and the Celsius festival in Spain were among the events that welcomed us, and I was so grateful to be able to go, to see my various writing friends again, and to once again reach out to the wider world.

There were virtual cons, too! You can see my panel for Augurcon, “Stories for the Futures we Need,” which also featured Premee Mohamed and Charlie Jane Anders, by clicking on the Youtube link at the bottom of this post. There’s a whole day of programming there to enjoy!

When we weren’t on the road and sometimes even when we were, I was writing. Mostly I worked on novel-length fiction, but I did write a novelette called “Horsewoman,” which will be out in Uncanny soon; I’m very excited about that! My “The Hazmat Sisters, which was a finalist for the 36th Asimovs’ Annual Readers Award will also be featured on Escape Pod, in text and audio forms.

Finally and in a very Gamechanger-y plot twist, my House of Zolo poem, “Starring You in the Role of the Fourth Rider,” is going to be adapted into a presentation–still to be determined–in VR by Black Bag media.

Working on books can make it feel like you have nothing to show for the hours and hours and hours and look, more hours! that one puts in. This is emphatically not me complaining about writing a lot. I loooovvvveee writing. But the publication dates come few and far between, and depending on your process you can work on something for months or even years without putting it in front of someone. It can be odd, and it forces me at least to rely on inner resources when I think about how a project’s going. The time scale for sharing long form fiction can be innately discouraging. I suspect that’s why many new writers struggle to see their work through to completion. It’s a marathon not a sprint: a long way to the finish line!

All of which is to say I’ve probably written half a million words this year, and it may be a fair while yet before you get to read many of them. I do have high hopes of committing more short fiction in 2023–so encourage me, if you dare!

New York, London, Dublin

The school year is about to start again, but before summer wafts out the door, I wanted to look back at my vacation-packed summer and give it a long kiss goodbye. 

In July I went to New York for a few days of whirlwind-I saw my agent Caitlin Blasdell and my editor at Tor, Christopher Morgan, as well as friends galore and art galleries even more galore. Galore-er? I also went to shows: the whole trip was initially instigated by kick-ass multi-genre superauthor Jeffe Kennedy, and her decision to see Hamilton while she was in town for RWA. I added Beetlejuice to the mix a day later. I went alone, but by the grace of Twitter I realized Matthew Kressel was seated fifteen feet away from my seat.

View from the roof garden on the Whitney Museum.

This has been the year of some wonderfully fancy shows, because just a few weeks after that, Kelly and I went to London, where we went to see Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe! London was our prelude to the Dublin Worldcon-a few days of walking, seeing art, drinking in the history. We saw the desk where Charles Dickens wrote multiple books and the prison in Reading where Oscar Wilde was banged up for homosexuality. And then we went to the MERL, home of many a fascinating farm implement (no, really, I’m not joking!) and one of the best voices on museum Twitter. 

In Dublin the pace changed to convention time: we saw writer friends, talked shop, appeared on many panels, attended the Hugo Awards ceremony, where Kelly’s Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach was a nominee and committed a bit more tourism. I was especially excited to see Dublin Castle, where many of my favorite Tana French mysteries are set. Dublin is a beautiful city and I’m glad to have seen it.

This year has also taken me to LA twice, Ottawa a bunch of times, and there will be a dash to Vancouver in the near future. It’s been a lot of hours on the road, and with a lot of wonders seen. I feel extremely fortunate and blessed, and more than a little boggled at how jet-setty it has all been!

Oh, the places I’ve been in 2016!

2016 has already been a spectacular year for me on so many fronts, the most obvious of which has been travel. Our recent Thanksgiving jaunt to Alberta was the latest in a run of delightful and exciting trips. In truth, Kelly and I have never gone as far or left home as often as we did this year.

Counting up chronologically and by city, here’s the list:

February: Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco. (I was on the A Daughter of No Nation book tour. Kelly, meanwhile, went to Boston for Boskone.)

March: Our London adventure!

(whee, it’s my Big Ben shaped friend!)

May: Chicago (Nebula Awards Banquet.)

August: Kansas City (World Science Fiction Convention.)

September: Ottawa (CanCon) and Los Angeles.

Cuddle break! Going nuts over art for hours on end is hard work! @kellyoyo

(Snuggle selfie at the Getty Museum)
And now, finally, October: Calgary, Hinton, Jasper (Family Thanksgiving.)

There were also countless short jaunts to conventions like Ad Astra, and readings in Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo. There’ll be one or two more of those, but as the year winds down we’re going to settle into grooving on Toronto and saving up energy and resources for another big delightful thing, scheduled about six months hence. I’ll tell you all about that some other day.