The turn of the year

Or thereabouts.

My 2009 started off very badly but got steadily better. I have no complaints, aside from whingeing about the depressed state of my little corner of the publishing industry. I’m still making a living as a freelance writer, though, and 2010 is shaping up.

Nonfiction: By dint of desperate effort I finished all my pending books before the end of 2009 and am officially Caught Up. For 2010 I now have 6 books under contract, including cool new science titles for kids and a YA critical bio of Philip Pullman. I’m also nursing a couple of ideas that I’ll soon develop into proposals for new work.

Fiction: In 2009 I started a novel that I hope to finish soon. At the end of the year, to my surprise, I wrote a short story.

Many good things happened in 2009:

Zachary and I went to Carlsbad Caverns and Joshua Tree and Iceland. Ah, Iceland. I love you. I could live in you, if your food were more to my liking (and less expensive).

We had fine times with our friends Mark and Peter in Tucson, Skip and Judy in Arlington, and Jorg and Gabi in Newport. I also got to see my publisher and good friend Michelle, and her partner Mark, when they were in Seattle.

Here in Portland I enjoyed visits with Bonnie and Kelly and met Alyx . And I saw Cat and met Wayne. All very good.

I made a couple of new friends and reconnected, courtesy of the Interweb, with a couple of long-ago ones.

Zachary built a beautiful stone terrace behind our house. Xerxes and I will spend a lot of time there next summer, Xx prowling about on his long leash or dozing on the sun-warmed stone, me lolling in the lovely patio lounge given to us by our friends Fred and Ron.

This past year I enjoyed my little 9’6″ kayak so much that I’m going to buy another like it for friends and potential paddling partners. I can’t quite bring myself to sell the 15′ fiberglass touring kayaks, even though I didn’t use them this year. I still have fantasies of teaming with Zachary or a friend for a multiday paddling trip in them one of these years.

During 2009 I read a lot of books, many of them good, a happy few of them great. Movies, ditto.

Looking ahead to 2010, I’m planning to go to www.norwescon.org/ in April, and I’m thinking about where else I might like to travel in the coming year. My work load, at least at this point, is lighter than in most years, so I may have more time than usual to do what I want. I hope to use some of it for adventuring and fiction writing, not just for rerererereading Wodehouse and rerererewatching all my old MST3Ks.

But time will tell. It always does.

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