The obligatory New Years’ goal post. These entertain me, because LISTSOMGLISTSILOVETHEMLISTSLISTS. And I know I swore that I’d stop discussing forthcoming projects because too often I wind up failing to complete because once I’ve announced “hey I am doing a thing,” my brain is all “lookie you have accomplished talking about it which is the same as doing it right? Right.” But Dec. 31 is a exception, I feel. So, I give you: A LIST.
1. Complete exams. I am in okay shape. Could be better, but could be a heck of a lot worse, too. At the moment I am on track to take them on time, and I plan to work my everloving butt off to make sure I pass. Everything else is subordinate to this goal.
2. Finish stories and send them out. I am in shape to have seven stories out within the next month. Four are currently out accruing rejections, and three more are close to done. This is kind of bad, because it means I’m not actually pubbing anything, but I’ll give it a year to accrue large quantities of rejections before I hunker down to rethink my strategy. I’m vaguely alarmed because all the things I’ve been sending out are on the whole stronger than things I’ve gotten published, but I’m also sending to much scarier markets (that my Clarion classmates have already broken, sigh…man do I feel like a loser). It’s going to be a long slog there.
3. Get back to nonfiction. This was the year of spec fic for me, and I have loved every second of it: finally getting into Clarion (on my fourth try), and my first pro-sale to DSF. But I also got my first nonfic pub, too, and I’ve been neglecting that side of my writing life. After exams, I’ll be raring to go on a pile of essay ideas that have been languishing while I rode the Clarion-enthusiasm wave. Now that that’s ebbing a bit, it’s time to nonfic.
4. Exercise. This was not a terrible year for me, health-wise. I lost about 15 lbs. from May-July, and I’ve kept off ten of them, mostly with regular walking and gym-going when I can find time. I learned how to run–not well, not fast, but for a bit there I could do two 12 min. miles in a row, and that pleased me to no end. I’d love to work my way up to a 10 min. mile, and an hour of runtime. And I miss lifting weights. One tangible goal: after exams, save up $100 and get a personal trainer for a month, someone to teach me how to work the weight machines. I’d use them if they weren’t alien spaceships with bizarro controls.
5. Be able to discuss my work without sounding like an asshole or an idiot. This is SO HARD and it shouldn’t be. Keeping my process & aesthetic mini-journal has definitely helped. I need to do more of that, and be smarter about it.
6. Visit the parents in Buenos Aires, read All the Borges, and Write All the Things. I am absurdly excited about this. It’s contingent on #1, but if everything works out, I’ll get to see my absent fam (I miss you so!) and visit Latin America for the first time. I plan to run around the city stalking Borges like a tourist. It’s gonna be grrrrreat.
7. Let’s not torpedo our relationships, Batman. (Warning: this is about to turn both overshare-y and painfully vague.) So 2011 was…not the best year for me Being a Good Person. I totally screwed over someone I really care about, and there was a fair amount of collateral damage besides. I want to work on being a good and stable partner. That said, I have no regrets about the decision, just the process. I’ve remained friends with my ex (because he is a stellar human being) and I’m still very much in love with my new guy. This year we’re going to create things together, or at least side by side, which is what I’ve always wanted. Tonight will be his first New Years’ kiss. I am not going to mess this up.
8. Eat healthy. This has gone better than ever this year. I found a few foods that were messing with me (oh, white bread, how I lovehate you!) and reduced or eliminated them from my diet. I cook and eat in 6/7 nights a week, with rare exceptions. I feel like 2011 was the year I got my health (and weight) under control. Now it’s about maintaining, and getting ever better.
9. Spend less money. Clarion was an enormous expense, but the Foundation scholarship (and going into some debt) made it possible for me. Besides that, though, it was a pretty good year for finances. I’m hoping to get a second job after I pass exams, which will also help with the financial situation. But more than anything, it’s been drinking less and eating in more that have changed my financial landscape, which is all to the good.
10. Still with the no teevee. I quit teevee in August and never looked back. I don’t miss it and I never want to go back. I’m actually considering killing the Internet in 2012, just to see what that might do for my productivity. ‘Cept I really like blogging…
11. Go to a con. ComiCon was overwhelmingly awesome, and Furrfest equally so, and World SF is in Chicago this year. Just got my ChiCon tix, so I will totally be dorking it up this year. It will be a confectionary delight. And I’d love to pull off Readercon, if not this year, then the next.
12. Workshops and contests. I have a massive list of contests and summer retreats I want to throw down for come February, when all the deadlines for workshops and contests come calling. It may be a fruitless investment of time and money right when I can least afford to lose either, but eh. I’ve never really thrown myself into contest season before, outside of the yearly Clarion submission, and now that I’m no longer doing that (such a weird feeling) it’s time. I’m three stories away from a contest-length story collection. No excuses, self.
In sum: Unlike many of my compadres, 2011 was a pretty rockin’ year for me, minus the apartment being a b!@#$. The third hole in the ceiling was closed when I returned from NY on Dec. 28. I really, really hope I’m done with my apartment being a construction zone. But besides that, I love my life. I love what I get to study and the people I work with. I finally did Clarion, and even sold some stories. You were super good to me, 2011–we should do this again sometime, perhaps after the invention of time travel. And here’s hoping 2012 is even better.