I thought I had 2012 all figured out. After all, The Mayans warned us, and Roland Emmerich was kind enough to provide a road map on how to survive with his excellent documentary, 2012. I’ve spend the last three years since the film’s release building an ark, hording beans, and waiting for the neutrino-enabled polar shifts to send those mega-tsunamis across New Jersey.
Alas, looks like Roland and the Mayans were a little off and my planning was for naught. It also looks like 2013 is going to be a bit stinky in the KnippKnopp household (We’ve got a crapload of beans to eat!) I guess since I’m not fending off hordes of squid-faced Cthullu barbarians, I should have some time to reflect on the things that did happen in 2012, at least before I head to BJs for that crate of air freshener.
I guess of first note is I restarted this blog. After a nearly two year absence, Social Media guru Don Lafferty challenged me to create an editorial schedule and commit towards weekly updates. I haven’t been entirely faithful, especially of late; but it’s been a blast writing this stuff, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as well.
From the writing perspective, It’s been a coin of two sides (you know, as opposed to those 11-sided coins they use in some countries). While still numbering among the great unwashed (and unpaid), I have posted 25 blog entries. In six months, I have nearly equaled two decades worth of output. I’ve rewritten several old pieces, including the novel start for “The Triumvirate” that won second prize for Young Adult entries at the PWC this year. I created two new short pieces: “No Fun Joe” – which has appeared in our writers group anthology, “Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey” (now available at Amazon) and “Decisions”, pulled together as part of a writing exercise.
On the other side, I continue to receive rejections for my poor, lonely bridesmaids. Both “Change” and “House Sitting” have received multiple responses of “I really like this, but…” I still believe in these stories, and the feedback has been universally positive, I just can’t find them a home. I also decided to rewrite my novella “Jonesing” and turn it into a full-length novel. I had some good movement early, adding nearly 9,000 words, but that has stalled of late and I think I might need to start over my starting over.
I had the opportunity to travel a little more than usual this year. Kabletown sent me to New Hampshire, to the Walter Kaitz Fundraising dinner in New York, and to visit wonderful and weird Portland, Oregon. The geek-buddies and I drove out to Indianapolis for my second GenCon and we basked in nerdtopia for an excellent (if exhausting) three days.
The KnippKnopp family returned to our favorite shore town in Sea Isle City. I made another sad attempt at a vacation beard, and reflected on the many years we’ve been returning to the best place “downashore”. My memories have taken on special significance as Hurricane Sandy came barreling through in the fall and changed thousands of lives forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with those folks as they rebuild.
I survived zombie training with the awesome guys and ladies at ZSC, and discovered that – should the zombie apocalypse occur — my nickname will most likely be ‘Lunch’. It turns out it’s really hard to fire a crossbow or shoot a gun when you can’t wink, so I better start stocking up on shooter’s patches now. I also survived another Philadelphia Writers Conference, and got to hang with the lovely and talent (and soon to be published) Kathryn Craft, not to mention authors Jonathon Maberry, Maria Lamba, and Caridad Pineiro. I also became a member of the PWC executive board and have taken on new responsibilities as registrar for the 2013 conference.
This has been a year of milestones for the significant others in my life. My oldest baby turned 18 and graduated High School, my middle turned sweet 16, and my youngest is now officially a teenager. I spent a lot of 2012 weepily looking through baby pictures and remembering them as toddlers. My youngest brother-in-law got married, and that too makes me pause in amazement. Damn kid was six years old when I met his sister, now I’m attending his bachelor party. Said bachelor party, by the way, became the inspiration for “No Fun Joe.”
Other milestones: my Mom and both In-laws became official senior citizens this year. At 83, my Stepmom continues to represent my octogenarian fan base; and my father turned the much-less-fun-than-it-sounds age of 69 and discovered a new career as a computer repair guy
Politics and current events were major influences this year, and I ended up getting caught in the fray of the presidential election. I tried to keep it light, but some folks make it really hard. Hopefully these guys can start working together because the country – really the whole world – needs them. Early returns, however, sure ain’t positive.
As for 2013 goals, well I’ve got a PWC registration site to build and a novel to restart. I’ll continue to submit The Bridesmaids until I finally marry off these gals. I’d like to start a few new stories that have been percolating around the old brainpan for months, including a nifty little tale about a lonely boy and his zombie. And finally, I need to renew my commitment to you. I want to get back on the weekly schedule, which means 52 new posts to contemplate. If anyone has suggestions for any of them, I’m all ears!
Here’s to a safe and wonderful new year.
3 Replies to “The Obligatory end-of-year Retrospective”
James, you are absolutely funny and I always enjoy reading your posts. Don’t worry about the bridesmaids, someone will realize your talent and snatch them up. I’m so excited that you took the zombie course and passed. That would be a great thing for the writer’s group to do as a joint weekend escape
AWESOME intro…but you didn’t mention Marie OR me when you spoke of your PWC experience, so that was a blatant mistake, LOL. keep writing my friend, success will come (and by success, of course, I mean money, b/c that’s what we really want, yes?)
Thanks for the shout-out, Jim! Here’s to a great year, for the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and for our own writing!