December 31st, 2012


2012--And that's a wrap!

Well, we've got a few hours yet, but we'll grandfather any significant events into the new year, should they happen to occur.

2012 was a great year for me. Obviously the Hugo sort of blew it out the water, so it'll probably go down among the best years of my life for that alone. But even if we shuffle that off to one side, it was a very good year. We sold a lot of Dragonbreath books, Dial bought the Hamster Princess trilogy, Bread Wizard plowed onward. I started a couple of projects that, when I cock my head, look as if they may go somewhere solid. I wrote a short story or two, mostly posted here, that didn't suck.

I traveled a lot, including to France. My birding life-list finally cracked 300 (and kept going, thanks to High Island, Texas and Europe--now sits at a whopping 345, which is pretty darn good for somebody who does their primary birding out the back window.

We finally did the floors downstairs. I built a lot of garden beds, slung a lot of mulch, drank a lot of coffee, fed a lot of birds.

Nobody died.

Actually, that's a big one. We did lose one cat, but that was all. Maybe it's a function of middle-age or something, but increasingly, at the end of a year, I sometimes feel like we're all doing a high-wire act, and if I get to the end and nobody's fallen off, I think "Whew! Pulled it off again!" I love so many people these days, and none of us are getting any younger. (God, that's morbid. Clearly I'm getting old. I cry at movies and sad books and news stories all the damn time now, too. NPR can generally reduce me to weeping about once a week these days. Then again, Maurice Sendak, who the world lost this year, said something in an interview that made total sense--"I'm happy! I'm very happy! I just cry a lot because so many things are sad." Or words to that effect. I can't re-listen to the interview because that's another one that'll break your heart.)

On to happier topics! This year in the garden saw too much money spent (of course) tons of labor (naturally) but yielded a great many tomatoes, two baby hummingbirds, two baby Carolina chickadees, a couple of tufted titmice, one pipevine swallowtail butterfly and god knows how many frogs. I blogged a lot over at Beautiful Wildlife Garden and Native Plants & Wildlife Gardening. I learned exciting things about obscure plants. A thrush adopted the deck. (He's still there. Kevin dutifully gives him mealworms every morning. I think he lives here now.)

I met many very cool people. I will eventually recover from the fact that Connie Willis knows I exist. I may or may not have gotten in a fist fight with Neil Gaiman over access to the nacho bar.

I tweeted. We podcasted. I played a lot of D&D, a fair bit of Diablo III, a whole lot of Assassin's Creed II. I ate some fabulous meals and some terrible ones. I read some pretty cool books. I laughed a lot more than I cried. I did not hit any deer with the car. (THIS IS IMPORTANT.) Kevin and I continue to poke one another at random intervals and giggle a lot and make crude jokes and accuse one another of having dealt it, which is high romance for people like us. (He fills my week-at-a-time pill case, too!*)

It was a very good year for me. I don't expect 2013 to top it, frankly (the Hugo kinda puts that off the table) but if it runs along the same lines, it will be as much as I can hope and probably a fair bit better than I deserve.

I hope you all have a truly lovely 2013, and if you can't look back at 2012 and say "That was awesome!" at least you can look back and say "Thank god that's over with!" (I've been on both sides of that equation, lord knows...)

Onward! Upward! And we pulled it off again!


*I will never forget being at a room party at a con and Kevin coming out of the bathroom and going "That's an AWESOME pill case! Where did you get it!?" and immediately getting into a lengthy discussion of the relative merits of various pill cases with one of my publishers. See above about Not Getting Any Younger.

New Old Calendar!

I got the Old Farmer's Almanac calendar this year, to replace 365 days of Songbirds, and having put it up today (a day early, fine) I have already learned several exciting things. And the writing is positively lyrical. There is a note informing me that

At New Year's tide
The days lengthen a cock's stride.

and on the 26th, the cryptic phrase:
Full Wolf Moon

The full moon eats clouds.

Then it segues into how Ben Franklin introduced kohlrabi to America. I have never actually read the Old Farmer's Almanac, but I am starting to think that I have been missing out all these years, if this is the sort of thing you get!

(I am also irresistibly reminded of the Flathead Calendar from the Zork Zero packaging, which included such delights as "Pac Moon." The number of people who get that reference are vanishingly small, but a surprising percentage, I would wager, read this blog.)