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So, it's another year

pumpkin
I had a better 2009 than many it seems.

Granted, father first dealt with prostate cancer and then had a bad fall and broke his hip and gave the family the scare of its life, but that seems like a nightmare half-forgotten. Now, he is fine and cannot believe half of the things he muttered while on morphine (there are stories there if I could find the right way to tell them).

My day job proved to be ample enough to survive off of and stress-free. Hundreds of thousands do not have this luxury. I am lucky.

So, I had no dates in 2009. That's just one less than 2008 and really just par for the course. The meds help me forget about being lonely and/or alone while I am on them. Unless I see films like A Single Man or want to watch a television show Like How I Met Your Mother and I have no one to talk to. At night is the worst, when the phone is silent. See, only now when I dwell on it does it ache me. A dull ache. But, at my age, I feel resigned to my fate. It's not like I have the skills to change it. Never did. When I hear people using the Internet to find love and sex (my sex life was what, 3 instances, I think, which is 3 times more than the prior), I'm always perplexed.... it's like how I see gambling these days. Yes, once I was a gambling addict, but now it always seems like so much effort and in the end you always lose.

Daulton is well. And he makes me laugh and smile and such. I adore every whisker, every hair, every murmur from my kitty.

The press had its best year ever - ebooks... oh, why did I wait so long? And print sales were high despite some gay bookstores folding. I know some small presses have low discounts because they rely almost entirely on Amazon. I fear one day that may happen to us, but not yet, not yet. And InsightOut Bookclub took several books from Lethe.

As far as my own writing, well that was less successful. I'm not as broken as I was following Clarion, but I'm not the same writer, either. I finished 2.5 stories. Can I count editing 2 anthologies and 3 magazine issues? Maybe, but only completing 2.5 stories (the .5 is a short short that was done in a day, is a bit of whimsy). Yes, both sold. But is it where I wanted to be in a "writing career"? No.

Lots of bad starts and failed stories. So many. While visiting Wayne and Brent thus New Year's I read two unfinished stories aloud and the writer inside of me was cringing. Moments of just plain confusing, complicated mess, and bad prose. A step back or two. I wanted to just burn the stories, like Mr. Ludwigsen is wont to do.

And I remain without a sophomore novel. It's becoming a bit embarrassing now when people invite me to talk about the YA field based on a book that's now 3 yrs old. And my friends are looking at me and wondering why I can't do this again...

I don't believe that base 10 is anything so special that I should look back at 2000 and talk about an arbitrary number of years.

I do hope 2010 is a bit better for me and for my friends and loved ones.

Comments

( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
eljaydaly
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. I so grok the lonely!

Here's to success, success, success, and more success in 2010, and also meeting new people to share it with!
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
I hope you get grok'd by a great many handsome men in 2010!
eljaydaly
Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I hope not! But womyn, that would be OK. ;)
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Oopsy. Color me red.
eljaydaly
Jan. 3rd, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Perfectly understandable.

Your kitty's adorable!
sacchig
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
The New Year is always a rather melancholy time, but here's to making it through another year.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
Indeed it is. I think it's the pattern of recollection and reflection.
gina_stormgrant
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
My second novel took four years to complete... and hasn't sold yet. There are no deadlines. You'll get there when you're ready.

You've got one absolutely stellar novel under your belt, so you know you can do it.

Best of everything in 2010.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Deadlines, no. But now and then a sense of the world passing you by. And thank you for the kind words.
erastes
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear your dad is over the worst, dear and that dear Daulton is fluffy and well. Wishing you a good and successful year.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks. And weren't you supposed to send me some chapters?
erastes
Jan. 3rd, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yes - I am - I didn't like to bother you over the holiday period, I saw so many agents and editors were having a down time, so I was planning on sending them tomorrow....

*hopeless*

:)
jthijsen
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
One damn good book is exactly one more than I ever managed. As a matter of fact, it's one more than just about everyone you run into in your daily life has managed (writer's conventions excluded, of course). That's no reason to rest on your laurels, but it's certainly no reason for moping around, either. That second book may happen sometime or it may not. But either way, you're already way ahead of most of us with that first one.

I'm glad your father is feeling better. That alone should make the coming year a better one than the last.

As for the loneliness, I'm afraid I'm incapable of grokking that because I've got Asperger syndrome, which means that I NEED some alone time on a daily basis. Having someone at home after having just spent an entire day with my fellow office workers would drive me bonkers. There's something to be said for being alone to think your thoughts and for being free to watch or do or eat whatever you fancy. Try to enjoy some of your alone time every now and then. You might find that time to be very much a pleasure.

In those cases where you feel the need to share your feelings about something on TV, why not blog about it? Quite a few on my flist do. We know the guilty pleasure of watching crap shows like "what not to wear" or "Jon and Kate plus loud brats". And some of us are actually brave enough to also want to watch shows that make us feel sad. Not me, I'm too chicken to watch that stuff, but several others are surely willing to share. And who knows, maybe that sharing might someday lead to phone numbers you can actually call when you're feeling lonely.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
I must admit some of my passion for blogging has deflated, so I don't usually bother people with my views or thoughts.

Fortunately Dault prevents true loneliness. He's a very demanding puss.
jthijsen
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
My Joepie is good at that, too. Well, that and preventing sleep every now and then. He likes to sleep curled up against me under the eiderdown, but since I've got a heavy one for winter, he needs to wake me if he wants to manage to get under it.
beth_bernobich
Jan. 2nd, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
You are one of my heroes, my friend. I am in awe of your ability in all kinds of things, and not just writing and publishing. May this year give you generous gifts of joy and friendship and whatever you wish.

*lots of hugs*
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
You just admire my humility!
beth_bernobich
Jan. 3rd, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
Absolutely!

And don't think I've forgotten about the steak dinner.
chipmunk_planet
Jan. 2nd, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
I hope 2010 is better for you.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
Back at ya!
chipmunk_planet
Jan. 4th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks :D
sartorias
Jan. 2nd, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Lethe is awesome, and so are you.

That second novel will come when it's ready. You know that written-to-order tends to read that way.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
True, true. I think one of the things about judging the Cybils is that it made me realize how much YA for the Other is needed. If only I could do that again.
nick_kaufmann
Jan. 2nd, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful 2010.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
And to you! And could you please take over writing for some television shows. Or do some good tie-ins. The fanboy in me has been disappointed.
faerie_writer
Jan. 2nd, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
I am so ready for this plodding (Chinese) year of the Ox to be over. Bring on the sleek, powerful year of the Tiger! Raww-rrrr!
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
The Year Daulton has said is his for the taking!
faerie_writer
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
LOL! Aw, he does look just like a little tiger. ;)
jean_roberta
Jan. 2nd, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
What they said. Look at it this way: you're on a roll.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Maybe a kaiser roll. And I do owe you email and books and such. Am bad Lethe.
markprobst
Jan. 2nd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Hey Steve, glad to hear that your Dad is better and that Lethe is flourishing. I can relate to the lonliness issue. I went ten years between relationships with only a handful of dates that didn't work out scattered in the middle. Sometimes I felt like I was going to die alone, but then love happened. It will happen for you too as long as you know you have to make the effort - fate, or love just falling into your lap is a fallacy.

As for the writing block, I'm probably even more blocked than you are - I have several great ideas, but not the skills or ability to pull them off. So as far a novel-writing goes, I've called it quits, and will just focus on publishing other writers from now on.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm pleased that you're on your way to being a publishing mogul. It's very hard to do everything. And if I can ever help out your press, please please don't hesitate to ask me. Sven at Queer Mojo is a great friend. Our patrons do not just read one book a year so know that I'm here for you.
trektone
Jan. 2nd, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
Whew about your father and Yay for Lethe!

I had no dates in 2009, either. Ah, well. Maybe 2011 (as I don't expect to have energy to date this year).

I'm considering adjustments to my job situation to make it less stressful, but only a major change would make it stress-free. Glad your job allows you to do other stuff with your life.

May 2010 be a good year for you (and for me, too)!
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, by 2011 the Stars May Be Right for both of us.

I hope to visit SF in 2010. This time I buy dinner.
tamara_allen
Jan. 3rd, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)
Weird that you would say that, because just from what I've seen online, it seems like you have tons of friends. Maybe you let the work of a fulltime press keep you from spending more time with them?
And everyone wants to burn their stories. I know I do. What you have to remember is how lovely Vintage is, and I believe if you can do it once, you can do it again. You have to somehow make the time for it and quit being so impossibly hard on yourself.
I hope you have a great year coming up.:hug:
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
I am flattered.


Now where is my next book from you?!?
neo_prodigy
Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Surely 2009 had a few bright moments. It did for me.

*raises eyebrow*

And if not, there's always 2010.

*grins devilishly*
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
I had a near-miss encounter with an ICBM. If it had hit, I fear I would never walk again. Still, I would like to push the button again in 2010. Like, say, the gay sf con in ATL this year?
neo_prodigy
Jan. 7th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
when is the gay sf con in ATL?
mroctober
Jan. 7th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
April 30 - May 2, 2010
neo_prodigy
Jan. 7th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
hmmmm. let me look into that.
dmoonfire
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
Awesome ot see how things are going for you. I had a somewhat crappy 2009, which was better than 2008, I'll say. I'm planning on 2010 being the best year ever... and filled with more stress that I can comprehend.

I hope your creative block will ease up and you'll be belting out lovely stories once again.
mroctober
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
I need to invent stool softener for writer's block!
dmoonfire
Jan. 3rd, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
I believe they call that "adventures". :) I know that I steal a lot of those strange little things in my life for my stories. I just can't write them while I'm having the adventure, but in that moment of silence between the epics.
bodlon
Jan. 4th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
Your romantic life sounds painfully familiar. Not in all the details, but yeah. Solidarity.

Unsolicited advice from random guy on the Internet:

With my writing, I know I write less (and less well) when I'm worried about my "writing career" as it were. Keep working, keep trying, don't be afraid to play. And definitely keep it up with the press. I like living in a world where Lethe and presses like it exist.
gavinatlas
Jan. 4th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
I wrote on a long paragraph here, but I deleted it in case you took it the wrong way. I was trying to be funny/silly, and I'll let you know what I said if you want, but my point was going to be that a lot of guys I used to know all met their dream men once they hit their mid-40's or early 50's or so. I think it's a combination of the completion of a delayed adolescence and the settling of the need to sow wild oats. Then maybe guys are ready for a commitment. I think, maybe. What do I know?

Second, I love your writing, so if there's more of it, then yay! If not, then you should remember that Harper Lee, Margaret Mitchell, and Emily Bronte all had one novel, and everyone thinks they're fabulous authors. So I already count you among the fabulous. In fact, extra fabulous because of your collection of short stories. Don't forget there are those of us who get 10,000 words into a novel and consistently run aground. I just have to keep trying. :)

::BIG hug:: I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for you. :)
feed_your_muse
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
A new year always makes me look back at the old - usually with dismay at how little I achieved beyond the day-job and sleeping - so here's to a fantastic 2010 for us all! ::twitchy-grin::

{{Sends telepathic brain-worm to the powers-that-be to give us a good year}}

Merry =^..^=
( 47 comments — Leave a comment )

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