Two thousand fourteen, I think I can safely say, was not my favorite year on record. This is less because it was a terrible year — though it often was that, at least in the news, in the nation, in the greater scheme of things. It’s just that I finished up the year feeling kind of rudderless, set adrift, not exactly happy with the choices that I’d made (or not been making) over the past few (or maybe even ten) years.
On paper, it wasn’t such a bad year. And while of course man does not live on paper alone, there are a few things I’m glad to have seen and done in 2014.
I got to travel a little: for work, to Texas; for writing, to Canada. Both trips were over much more quickly than I had expected, both leaving me a little melancholy upon my return. (I think you could say I still haven’t quite shaken that yet.)
I sold a couple of short stories, one to Andromeda Inflight Spaceways Inflight Magazine and the other to Mythic Delirium. Both are still forthcoming, though I’m hopeful they’ll both appear sometime in the new year. I saw more rejections than acceptances, but that’s the nature of the things. I know I need to write more, even as I know there will be more rejections ahead.
Meanwhile, I keep plugging away at Kaleidotrope, that little quarterly zine I publish. This year, a poem from 2013 was nominated for a Rhysling Award, and I published twenty-two new stories and ten new poems, all free to read. I’ve received some good feedback on the zine, and while I’m not entirely sure where it’s going, it’s something I still enjoy.
I read considerably fewer books than I have in years past, but there were some good ones in the mix. There’s a full list here, if you’re for some reason interested, but I think James S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels were my favorite.
Having read them all this past year kind of gives 2014 a shape it otherwise sort of lacked.
I saw some decent movies. I even saw some bad ones I didn’t mind quite so much. These, below, were probably the best ones, though it’s all really subjective anyway.
And I put together a mix of my favorite songs from the year. (A few actually from this past year. It starts with Bob Seger and ends with Taylor Swift, so you try figuring out this year’s theme from it, ’cause I’m sure not. Also, if you’re one of the “lucky” few who I sent an actual physical copy of the mix with a Christmas card, know that this online version contains one additional, concluding track I hadn’t heard in time to add to the CDs. So, yeah: bonus!
Ultimately, though, I’m less interested in revisiting, or even reminiscing over, 2014 and more interested in looking ahead to 2015. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get where I want to go, and it’s work I don’t feel entirely ready for — but which I’ll need to do nevertheless. It’s going to take a lot of luck and perseverance.
I don’t know if I’ll have enough of either in 2015, but I have to try.