This Is the Year That Was

regret nothing

Since S has done a year-in-review post, I figured I should do one, too. The only problem is that, when it comes to movies and TV, we watch everything together. And generally speaking, we have the same opinions about what we see. We’ve got that whole “unicorn” thing going on, remember? So I’m not going to be talking about TV and movies. If you want to know what I watched this year, scroll down and read what S has to say, and then just assume that I’m saying it, too.

Writing (time to brag):

I started with April Camp NaNo, where I wrote The Last Bright Angel. That was fun because it was a bit longer (at roughly 150,000 words when revised) than the shorter NaNo-length, 50,000 word novels I’ve been writing recently. That was part of the whole point of doing TLBA, in fact—to practice writing longer, more complicated works. There are eight POV characters, so I had a lot of work keeping everything straight.

For S’s birthday at the end of May, I wrote her Red Sand Girl, which is the origin story of one of our wizard characters. That was a more traditional 50,000 word novel with two POV characters. I did another 50,000 word novel, The Path of the Son, for July Camp NaNo, which shows another of our wizard characters (a fairly unpleasant person) when she was much younger, but not much nicer.

I started my Religions of Myrcia project in July, as well, and that took me about six weeks, through the rest of my vacation and into the beginning of Fall semester. The finished file ended up being more than 50,000 words, and I’ve already used it as reference material for writing projects since, so I feel that was time well spent.

And then, of course, there were my two novels for NaNoWriMo in November: In a Womanly Fashion and A Meager Education, both of which were around 70,000 words. The second one included excerpts from smutty novels that one character reads, and lyrics to a song called “Friendship is Special” from a truly awful children’s musical that she is obliged to go see. Those were lots of fun to write.

Reading (in which I am much more modest):

I didn’t have much time to read this year, though I also read and enjoyed The House of Mirth for S’s book club. Like her, I highly recommend it. I spent way, way too much time poring over religious reference works and Wiki pages on various churches while writing my Religions of Myrcia reference file. You really haven’t lived until you’ve spent two or three days reading up on monasticism.

I did some reading to prepare for my NaNo novels, as well. In a Womanly Fashion is a heist novel and at least partly a nautical adventure, so I read Treasure Island to get me inspired. It’s as good as I remember it being, and I discovered it fits almost perfectly into the traditional three act structure that books on novel writing and screenwriting teach.

A Meager Education is a school story, so I read through this volume of Lawrenceville Stories by Owen Johnson. They’re excellent examples of the school story genre from the late 19th, early 20th centuries.

Right now I’m about to start The Shepherd’s Crown, which is the last (sniff) Discworld book by Terry Pratchett. I’ve heard good things about it, and I’ve managed to remain mostly unspoiled about the plot, so I’m looking forward to that.

So this is what I’ve been up to this year. Other than, you know, doing my job and stuff. But that’s boring, and nobody wants to hear about it.

Now I just need to figure out what to get S for Christmas.

J

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