Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: Wrappin' It Up

2010 was a hell of a lot better than 2009, that's for damned sure. Even with a major family issue that's been handled. One old disaster carried over from 2009 is slowly getting more disastrous. I hope to wrangle that one in the coming year. As far as writing goes, I failed big time at my major goal and also had my best year ever. Let's review.

My big goal, as you may or may not remember, was to write 52 stories in 2010. Sadly, I did what I always do and screwed around too much. I wound up with twelve new stories. Somewhat less than fifty-two. I did create a bunch of unfinished stories that may pop up in the future. I'd like to think that the goal spurred me on to write more than I otherwise would have. Inspired by my cohort in crime, Grant Stone, I wrote a comic script, which was fun. I wrote some stories of which I was really proud.

Let's look at my lesser goals. I wanted to make two-hundred story submissions in 2010. I made seventy-one. Admittedly, if I had written fifty-two stories, two-hundred submissions would have been much easier to do.

I did not keep the house as clean as I wanted to. At first I wrote, "I did not keep the house cleaner," then decided to rewrite that, because some of you who are reading this quickly might interpret that to mean I fired one of the servants. I did not watch the whole of Wagner's Ring Cycle, although I did watch the first part, a 2006 production from Copenhagen done in a 1920s style which was quite cool.

Now for the wins. One of my goals was an off-the-cuff, "lose a few pounds." I visited the emergency room in September, after feeling funky after-hours and found out all those middle-aged fat guy diseases I had been avoiding had finally caught me. I had high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and probably a few other high things. Although I don't mind dying, I don't want to live sick. I started taking care of myself the moment I got out of the hospital. I cut out a lot of fat and sodium, added more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and started exercising every day. I lost thirty-five pounds in three months and the doctor told me a couple of weeks ago that everything was looking good. No more meds for me. Yay!

2010 was off to a great start from day one, as the audio version of my story, Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range kicked off Paul W. Campbell's Cossmass Infinities podcast. June saw my biggest career win so far with a sale of one of my favorite stories to, Beauty Belongs to the Flowers. It marked my second pro sale and you should be able to read it in early 2011. In October I made my third pro sale with Steve Sepp, Tasty! Tasty! to the British science journal Nature (You'll be able to read that some time in the future as well). Big doings! I also sold stories to Electric Spec, Everyday Weirdness and got to participate in the launching of Grant's new fanzine, b0t.

On to the future. I don't think I'm announcing my 2011 goals here. I want to see if I'll handle them differently if they're not in the public eye. Also, they may be changing depending on an opportunity on the horizon which would change the time available to me. Rest assured there are insane writing goals involved and I look forward to 2011 being a great year for me.

I wish all of you a great year to come as well! Keep in touch.


Elke said...

You rock so hard I can hear it from here. It's a banner year, all right. Any one of those stories you listed would have justified the year.

Congrats on the improved health. No small feat right there, with another thing or two on your plate. That's a figurative plate, not a plate of chili cheese fries. I never eat that stuff, by the way.

JLeuze said...

Sounds like you achieved a lot in 2010 Matthew, hold your head high, most of us are still unhealthy and unpublished!

Was the comic script an exercise or are you planning to find an artist to finish it? When I heard Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range I really wanted to read that as a comic.

Elke said...

May I suggest one of my other favorite podcasts, lower on the list, certainly, than yours: Radiolab. They have an episode still online about the Ring cycle. Not a link about pharmaceuticals, I promise:

You may have found that already, like you found that Carver story already.

Thank you for sharing 2010 with us, and I look forward to 2011 being a great year too.

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

I'm sorry, you guys, for not responding sooner. I've been all befuddled.

Thanks, Josh. The comic script was a five page story which I sent to 2000 A.D. in hopes of a sale. You may or may not remember that Tony read my rejection from them on an episode of the Sofa. As for my bears, who knows what the future might hold for them?

And thank you, Elke. I did find Radiolab a couple of years ago, on my radio, strangely enough, though I take it in podcast form now. It was their episode on the Ring Cycle that got me interested in the operas. Great minds think alike. And so do ours. ; )

JLeuze said...

Ah, I do remember that letter but I had forgotten where it was from. I hope you you have more success with comics, it would be a good fit for your writing!