So for my second post of the year (it's all downhill from here, folks; bail out while you can), I'm taking a look back at 2013. It crept in, swept me away, carried me along, and then took me on a detour through an obstacle course for the last month or so - but overall, it's been a satisfying ride.
The early part of the year started with a growing awareness of being somehow discontent, and it finally coalesced with my decision to investigate culinary school ... followed rather swiftly with my enrollment, though I didn't begin courses until the fall. To those observing me, it might seem that I made the decision suddenly or even out of the blue, but it was the product of an extended confluence of thoughts and circumstances. I've always been a private, internal person, and my decision-making often occurs below the surface.
I spent the summer getting everything in place and wondering nervously how I was going to juggle it all. When classes started, it was the first time in my life I had been in a classroom full-time. (As some of you may or may not remember, I was homeschooled from kindergarten on, then did my coursework with Indiana University via distance education. Scheduled, location-specific learning time is pretty much foreign to my existence.) And ... it was exciting, it was nerve-racking, it was fun, it was frustrating ... and I should have predicted it, but somehow my efficiency expanded to incorporate everything I needed to do, and when classes ended, I was a bit at a loss for what to do with all this free time.
December, though - December. I don't want to get into kvetching or too many personal details, but if I went down the list of everything that happened to or around me in December, most sane readers would think I was making things up for kicks. I've needed some time to recover from it all, but ultimately, I hope it's set me up for a better direction in 2014 ... I just have to do my best and trust it will work out. And I feel that being open to possibilities, just allowing things to come your way, is an important part of the process.
Though sometimes they need a little nudge.
On the writing front - or at least, the selling of writing front - progress has been slow. I was particularly pleased with The Hurricane Cavalry's publication in Penumbra; it's one of those intensely structured pieces Dan mentions in his post yesterday. And while I still don't have an agent, Journal of the Dead got two requests for the full manuscript. It's been a process of long-term inches for me, which is maddening ... but I have to believe I'll break through eventually.
My next big project is to get Who Wants To Be A Hero? (finally) edited, but I need to run the first few segments by beta readers for a couple of specific issues, and right now, I'm not up to fielding critiques ... but soon.
So many things started in 2013. I'm hoping for fruition in the year to come.