Here I am in the last hours of my winter break, twelve days off the day job, and I’m wishing for one more day, one more week. Really, what I want is to give up the day job and settle into the life of a gentleman writer. I know exactly how my days will go, what activities I’ll use to fill my hours. It’s a bitter-sweet pipe-dream that I will harbor and hold dear to my heart until the day I can bring it to fruition. In the meantime, I look back at 2012 and consider what I did well, and those things I should’ve done better.
Of course that way lies madness. We can all find flaws in the plan, once things are long completed whether successfully or in failure. I know I wish I’d exercised more, and gotten off soda sooner. But in reality I’ve been soda free since June of 2012. That’s a huge deal in my book.
Speaking of books, my third published book came out from Tor in 2012. I can walk into a bookstore (virtually or in meat space) and find books on the shelves with my name on them. I’ve dreamed of that my whole life, and I saw it into reality. It took a lot of hard work, and no small bit of luck, but there you have it.
I step forward into 2013 with no books under contract. While I’m sixty percent or so done with the next book in the Sarah Beauhall series, I’m writing it for hope, faith and love. I won’t know if Tor will pick up the next contract for a few months yet. I’m hopeful, but we are in a tumultuous period in the publishing industry and the definitions of success continue to morph. I have faith in this series and faith in my editor, agent and publisher. I know deep down that this book will find its way into the world in one way or another. I do hear from some of you asking for the next book, wishing it was sooner. I’m writing as fast as I can and will just hope that the winds of fate and the publishing industry catch up with those desires.
I do have a short story collection coming out in 2013 — Bravado’s House of Blues — for anyone who would like to see some of my more diverse work. It will be coming out from Fairwood press in the second half of the year. We are still in the early stages of this conversation, but it’s been announce in Locus, so it has to be real.
I’m optimistic for 2013 in a way I wasn’t for 2012. I didn’t have any strongly negative expectations for 2012 when we rang in that year, but the economy was in free fall, we were facing another contentious election year and the world grumbled with the undertones of discontentment and anguish.
I think 2013 will be a year of great discoveries. We see more promise on the medical fronts with specific genetic targeting for both cancer and organ replacement as well as work on telomeres, brainwave interfaces and advanced prosthetics. We are making great strides in the areas of communication, electronics and alternative energy. We continue to explore the universe and make new discoveries every single day.
While the American people will continue to bicker and fight in their bi-polar dance between the old and the new, the fear and trepidation of change, and the joy and wonder of the future, we, along with the rest of humanity, will stumble forward to a new and better world.
As we dance our Texas two-step of making progress and falling back, in the end it will find ourselves further ahead than we dreamed and lament our slow pace of progress. It’s who we are, it’s in our nature.
For me, I’ll read more, take more time off work to pursue my dreams, spend time with my family and friends, and create more stories to share with the world.
Who knows, one of these novels could hit and the dream of being a full-time writer could come to be reality. Of course, we need to make further progress on a reasonable healthcare solution. That is paramount. We need to support the artists and the dreamers. They show us the way to the future.
But we are smart monkeys. I think in the long run, we will find our way forward to a civilization where the poorest of us will be able to make their way with dignity and a hope for improvement, while the wealthiest of us will offer a helping hand with compassion and grace. (Hey, I write fantasy, okay?) I believe this year will begin the long grinding climb out of the political insanity that has gripped our country and we will find our way once again on a steep path to a productive and fulfilling future.
How can we do otherwise? We are not always the brightest, or the strongest, or wisest, but we are a persistent bunch and that can go a long way toward success.
Taking this down to a more local and personal level, you are reading this on an amazing blog called Genreality. I was first introduced to this place of words and wonder by my good friend, Ken Scholes. I subbed here a few times, then in 2012, I was asked to help pick up an alternating Wednesday slot with the estimable Charlene Teglia. Well, for the first time you will get words from both of us on the same Wednesday, as this is our last hurrah.
Genreality is closing its doors to new content. While it will remain open in an archival state, you won’t be getting new words from any of us at this address.
But if you are interested to hear what I’m thinking, want to follow up on the news of my career or just ask questions, you can always find me over on my personal blog — , on Twitter at JAPITTSWRITER, or on Facebook at my author page or my personal page.
It’s been a great ride. I’ll miss this playground. Keep in touch, keep reading, keep pursuing your dreams.
I know I will.