Well, 2015 draws to a close, and I think I speak for most of us when I say “Wait, how is it not still October?” I think I lost the last quarter of the year somewhere.
It was a year. Yep. Twelve months, apparently.
Let’s see. Professionally, it was quite a year. In 2015, I published four books and re-released another–Castle Hangnail, Hamster Princess 1, and Dragonbreath 10, as Ursula Vernon and Bryony & Roses and Seventh Bride as T. Kingfisher. Three short stories–“Pocosin,” “Wooden Feathers,” and “Telling the Bees.” Sold 3 more hamster books and a standalone middle-grade novel, wrote and sold two short stories and a novelette that will be out next year. And got my first movie option, to Disney, for Castle Hangnail.
In prep for next year, I finished off art for Hamster 2, did all the art for Hamster 3, and the art for Dragonbreath 11. (That’s around 350 drawings, all told.) I also wrote Dragonbreath 11, Hamster 3, and am about halfway through both Hamster 4 & another standalone, Illuminations. Finished The Raven & The Reindeer as T. Kingfisher. (Books often span multiple years for me, so I’m never sure how to record them. Here–“Worked on other future books.” There, that should cover it.)
Also, I won a Nebula and a WSFA Small Press award and got an Alfie and got nominated for a World Fantasy Award, which basically went down and ticked off a bunch of boxes on the ‘ol life goal front.
I am still a little boggled by all that. It would be hard to top 2015 in terms of professional goals accomplished. I’m on track for almost the same number of publications next year, lord willing and the creek don’t rise, but I’m really quite okay if things take a bit of a breather in 2016.
Creatively, I did fairly few paintings last year that weren’t for a book, but I did at least four I’m quite proud of. And I started doing these weird little journal pages, which is probably the greatest accomplishment of the year, and they clicked somehow, because I didn’t get bored with them after doing three, which is my usual M.O. Recorded a bunch of podcasts–like 150 Hidden Almanacs, if my math isn’t wrong, and a couple dozen KUECs.
In the garden, I laid a couple thousand pounds of stone, finished off one of the paths, got the front Under Control (at least for a few years.) Grew a lot of beans, one perfect squash, a bunch of cherry tomatoes and ground cherries, and All The Peppers, including the terrifying Carolina Reaper. I also cracked 500 species recorded in the garden! (Mostly moths.)
When I look over all these things, it seems like the story of whales eaten one bite at a time–huge projects completed just by plugging away, day in and day out. Which is basically what I’m good at.
In travel, went to Botswana. Which was amazing. The big thing. This will be the year I remember as “the year I went to Botswana.” It was huge and wild and mind-boggling. Did a few local trips in the US as well, did some birding, did a book tour, met a lot of people.
Personally is where the year got hard. We lost both Brandon the dog and Angus the cat at the beginning of the year. Brandon was expected, somewhat, as much as you ever expect these things, but Angus was out of the blue. Our eventual quest to get another dog was much more fraught and stressful than expected, but near the end of the year, we wound up with Lacey, aka New Hound, aka Houndoom, who is a lovely, loving, cheerful dog. (She thinks her name is “Sweetie-bear” but as she does not come when called, this is not a problem.) We also got two new kittens, Tiny Orange & Tiny Tortie, who have real names which no one uses, except occasionally Kevin.
And this was the year I finally went down for the anxiety count, and had to go back to meds. Which was a damn good thing, ultimately. Too many whales to eat, I think, and too much stress on top of it. I hope that next year will run a little more smoothly as a result.
But, y’know, Kevin and I continue to enjoy each other’s company and have each other’s backs. I have hobbies I like (and when the garden gets away from me, as it always does sometime in the summer, I have video games.) I have projects that I still like poking at, and people keep paying me to make weird podcasts and write weird books.
So–mixed bag of a year, all around. Great stuff, terrible stuff, a lot of stuff in between. Which is life, after all.
Happy upcoming 2016 to all!