Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year-End Survey for 2015

Here's my year-end survey for this beautiful, terrible year.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
  • Won book awards and nominations. Four of them, to be exact.
  • Attended the Lambda Awards.
  • Went to Minnesota.
  • Got asked for my autograph in person.
  • Held a paperback copy of one of my books.
  • Saw a Broadway musical on actual Broadway.
  • Received my first royalty check for my book.
  • Met one of my literary agents and got taken out to brunch.
  • Made a music video.
  • Went to the emergency room.
  • Wrote solicited work for a magazine.
  • Saw a Welcome to Night Vale live show.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I'm afraid my answer, for once, is no.

Last year I resolved to finish writing two novels this year. I finished writing one novel: Bad Fairy 2. The YA contemporary novel, Ace of Arts, did get its start, but I decided against stampeding to finish it just so I could say I met my own goal.

Last year I resolved to sell at least two short stories this year. I sold one short story: "On the Inside," which sold in April and was published in November in James Gunn's Ad Astra. I wrote a few new short stories this year, and have been submitting them, but none except this one found a home this year. I did, however, place/sell a few short nonfiction pieces. That is pretty easy for me to do with my platform, though, and I don't count it.

Last year I resolved to prioritize writing instead of putting it on the back burner behind everything else. I can say pretty honestly that I did not do this, though I did write hundreds of thousands of words in 2015. I was derailed intensely by our friend Steven Universe. Because I chose to be.

The logical thing most people would probably do here--and what I would usually do here--would be to crack down and insist that 2016 will be a fresh start, with new goals and new fire under my butt.

I think I won't.

I think I'll try to see what happens if I go with the flow instead. I'm not making specific New Year's Resolutions. At all.

However, the regular things I do intend to continue in 2016 include reading about a book a week; making a new video for both of my channels once a month; updating my fantasy webcomic every Friday and my joke comic monthly; and keeping up my current blogging schedule. I'd also LIKE to return to better communication, but I worry that if I promise it, I'll treat it like a chore. I don't want to do that.

Let's see what happens in 2016, year of the funky flow.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My first Pitch Wars mentee, Whitney Fletcher, became a parent in 2015! Though Whitney was not the actual birthgiver.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

As usual, a three-book deal from a major publisher. ;)

Less guilt over productivity--because let's face it, even when I'm whining about being a slacker I'm doing more than most people--and less time spent on people who don't deserve it.

More quality time with Meghan and my mom. 

Time to breathe.

And a better diet.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • January 16: Embarked upon a birthday trip with my dear friend Meghan.
  • March 24: Watched my first episode of Steven Universe and fell in love with a damn cartoon.
  • April 17: Sold my short story "On the Inside."
  • May 20: My webcomic Negative One made it to ten years of weekly updates.
  • May 26: Left for New York City with my dad.
  • June 1: The Lambda Awards.
  • June 19: Traveled to Canada for the International Asexuality Conference in Toronto.
  • June 26: Marriage equality. It's huge.
  • July 12: I finished my first draft of Bad Fairy 2.
  • July 14: My sister Lindsay moved to North Carolina.
  • September 1: Chose my mentee in my third Pitch Wars.
  • October 13: My book The Invisible Orientation was released in paperback.
  • October 31: Had a big Halloween party again.
  • November 1: Began to write my new book Ace of Arts.
    8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

    Objectively, it was probably all the book awards I won: 

    9. What was your biggest failure?

    Not getting a book deal like I wanted. Probably also not WRITING more than one book this year.

    10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

    I have no idea what my problem was this year, but it landed me in the emergency room and remains undiagnosed. I'm much better this year than last, though. Also, I busted my knee and twisted my ankle eating pavement in New York.

    11. What was the best thing you bought?

    Gotta be my Steven Universe merchandise, sorry.

    12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

    • My sister Patricia and brother-in-law Yusuke for soldiering on through the parenthood thing and raising such a delightful, curious, polite (for a two-year-old) son who's such a joy for an auntie to be around.
    • Meghan, for everything she is and everything she does, including getting her Bachelor's this year and being one of the best people who ever happened to me.
    • Victor, for finding and keeping his job this year.
    • Joy, for going through some dark times but still managing to participate in some interactions that I valued deeply.
    • Ronni, Jessie, and Heather, my creative gal pals who have Done Their Thing this year in spite of some pretty big setbacks.
    • My ace and trans friends who came out this year, began using self-affirming labels this year, and got gender-affirming surgeries this year.
    • Lynn, my mentee, for bravely revising her novel during Pitch Wars and surviving disappointment.
    • And I don't know if this really works for "celebration," but my mom continuing to deal with chronic pain and my dad continuing to deal with my grandmother's Alzheimer's/health issues and sad things in his partner's family is worth a shout-out for their strength.
    13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

    I won't name specific people, but . . .

    • Frigging upstairs neighbors who can't be considerate of who lives below them.
    • Disgusting, horrible racists whose attitudes have led directly to loss of life and perpetuate a system that blames victims without punishing aggressors.
    • People who limited the rights of LGBT people and caused violence against them.
    • All the people who reacted to my asexuality activism with threats of violence and condescending lectures about my obligation to try to change my orientation.
    • Selfish people whose fixation on their own worlds limited their ability to see the big picture.
    • People who claim to support freedom of speech if a speaker echoes their beliefs, but support censorship if the speaker says something they disagree with.
    • Rapists and rape apologists who think they're being reasonable and logical when they harass, bully, attack, and shame victims of assault.
    14. Where did most of your money go?

    Most of my money went where it always goes: rent. Besides that and my other bills, my big expenses were traveling to New York and Toronto, buying presents for others, and buying merchandise. Er, and I lent out a significant chunk of money to others this year.

    15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

    My first royalty check. The Lambda Awards. Cuddling my nephew. Selling a short story. Birthday trip with Meg. Incredible compassion in queer activism. Whitney's baby. Steven frigging Universe.

    16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

    I mean I really can't not say it's this song, right?

    17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

    i. happier or sadder?

    I'm not sure if "sadder" works, but I'm probably sorta more melancholy? And trying to make some peace with a slower pace?

    ii. thinner or fatter?

    Fatty fatty bo-batty.

    iii. richer or poorer?


    18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

    Responding to communication.

    19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

    Laughing at Tumblr. But God, it was really fun.

    20. How did you spend Christmas?

    I went to my mom's and hung out during the day. Played with my nephew and ate Chinese food with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law. We enjoyed the tree, togetherness time, and The Point on DVD.

    21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

    If all goes well I shall be hosting my family at my place for a breakfast-for-dinner celebration.

    22. Did you fall in love in 2015?

    What, are you jealous of my girlfriend?

    I mean obviously you should be.

    23. How many one-night stands?

    I should answer with an irrational number just to be a wise-ass.

    24. What was your favorite TV program?


    25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

    Hate isn't the word I'd use. I'm afraid there are a few people I had to stop engaging to preserve my mental health, though, and their behavior was very disappointing.

    26. What was the best book you read this year?

    This is not a question a caring person should ever ask a book nerd, seriously.

    The best books I've read this year were Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, The Martian by Andy Weir, and Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. If I have to pick one, I'll say Fun Home.

    27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

    Aivi & Surasshu.

    28. What did you want and get?

    Support from my friends, longer hair, book awards.

    29. What did you want and not get?

    Yer face.

    30. What was your favorite film of this year?

    How to Train Your Dragon, probably. I'd never seen it before but Meggie recommended it and we watched it together.

    31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

    I turned 37 while chilling with Meghan in a rented house we got for just the two of us to be dorks. We did a lot of baking!

    32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

    Selling my trilogy. And not living in a world where people keep being murdered because of what color they are.

    33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

    Any excuse to wear a tee shirt with a cartoon reference on it, honestly.

    34. What kept you sane?

    Reaction videos, Twitter DMs, my characters, and blogging.

    35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

    I'm pretty taken with Rebecca Sugar. Kill me now.

    36. What political issue stirred you the most?

    I definitely became the most emotional over #blacklivesmatter, but was also very invested in trans rights, asexual visibility, and the various terrible displays of bullcrap put forth by promiscuity shamers, rape apologists, and sexists.

    37. Who did you miss?

    A few of my pals whom I really haven't seen this year because I was busy and so were they. If I had to name names I think I'd be here all night.

    38. Who was the best new person you met?

    It's gotta be between my mentee Lynn and a couple folks I connected with at the ace conference.

    39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

    Nobody's disappointed in me, so I should really stop being the only one who is.

    40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

    "All that counts is here and now. My universe will never be the same. I'm glad you came."


    1. Wooooyear of funky flow! I also had specific resolutions for 2015. Now 2016 is gonna be a giant question mark. My resolutions are pretty much reading and blogging related and nothing else. I made a promise on 2014 that I'd polish a manuscript all the way to the querying stage and realizing I was nowhere near ready at the end of 2015 was a massive disappointment. Now, instead of giving myself another deadline, I'll let myself see if 2016 is the year of querying or not. No pressure.

      All in all, looks like you had a pretty solid year! :D Book awards: too cool.

      Happy New Year!!

      1. Join me in flowing funkily! :)

        Can I help you polish your query if you decide you need another eyeball? I know I'll be hitting you up to look at the Bad Fairy thing so I can definitely look at a query.

      2. Yeah, that'd be super nice of you 8D Wooo, writing trade~

    2. <3 <3 <3

      Still plugging away my friend!!!