Life Log

Looking Back at 2018

It was an intense year. There was death in the nearby family, alarming political events, and much much more that were a great weight on the year.

I am glad it’s over. And I know that I am not the only one to feel that way.

Professionally, though, I had an amazing year. That made for a strange dissonance within me.

I saw three short stories appear in professional venues for the first time ever:

A Different Kind of Place – Apex Magazine (Jun. 2018)

Sunset – Lightspeed Magazine (May, 2018)

A World to Die For – Clarkesworld Magazine (January, 2018)

Two of those were reprints from my Patreon, and A World to Die For was something completely new.

At my Patreon I wrote a number of new stories for backers that I would never have been able to write if not for their generosity.

My short story “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance” was reprinted in five Year’s Best collections, and translated into two different languages. It was nominated for some awards, and it came awfully close to being nominated for a Hugo, it turned out.

I finished writing a draft of my novel “In Empire’s Ashes.”

I spent two months searching for a new agent and signed with Hannah Bowman. It’s a big change, but it’s injected a new blast of energy into everything for me, and that’s just what I needed.

I lost a major freelance gig, then lost another, in the freelancing I do on the side to keep the income steady, leaving me with six months of coasting on savings there. That’s been challenging.

Got an offer to become a faculty member at the Stonecoast MFA program.

Got an offer to be the Esteemed Visiting Scholar and a Visiting Professor of English at the University of Alabama-Huntsville for this Spring semester.

Both of those positions start in a week or so, so that’s taken a lot of time and attention.

And I ran a Kickstarter for a book on writing that I am very late on delivering, but will get done this January.

There are other things going on, and great things I got to do in 2018. I volunteered in politics, made calls, donated every bit we could spare to bail funds, action groups, and the ACLU, all for the first time ever. I traveled to the Bahamas for the first time ever to be the guest of a literary conference, to the USVI, and around the US. All of it let me meet amazing people for the first time ever who loved my books.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, all in one year.