The backbreaking labours of 2014
Now, we have end-of-year summations and reviews.
The last three months of 2014 have been literally painful, but I’m trying to avoid letting that overshadow the rest. I hit a nice stride in the first half of the year – mind the boys during the day, write solidly for four hours or more at night. The Eyes of the Stone Thief grew into something of an epic, but the end result was, I hope, worth it. Between that and Darkening of Mirkwood, I’m very proud of my game writing this year.
House renovations meant the summer was disjointed, but I still wrote north of 90,000 words of fiction (meaningless, I know, until I actually finish something), while staying on top of other work – including the other magnum opus of the year, my half of the Dracula Dossier.
Gencon was immense fun. More of that sort of thing. So was the Dracula Dosser kickstarter, in a very different way. What began as a throwaway idea was refined by Ken’s brilliant outline into a very playable campaign, and the kickstarter blew it up into a little product line of its own. Getting the Dossier out on time is going to be the big priority for the first third of next year.
I’ve joked in the past about the curse of kickstarter – it seems like a successful kickstarter brings karmic retribution in the form of illness, upheaval or other disruption, so that previously reliable writers suddenly fall months or years behind. This time, I got hit by the curse in advance. I thought I pulled a muscle in my back in October, and had a very painful time at Gaelcon. (The con itself was fun, and it was wonderful to be able to bring the boys with us – but the drive up and down was tortuous). As the pain got worse, though, writing became harder and harder, as my all-important ass-in-chair time tended towards zero. I went for an MRI, and discovered that I’d managed to rupture a disc in my spine.
I shall spare you the gory details, but I’ve had two nerve blocks to reduce the pain to a manageable level, and I still can’t sit down or stand for very long without considerable discomfort. Driving is hard; socialising is very tricky for more than a few minutes. I’m on effective bedrest for the next month or so at the least.
Fortunately, I can type from bed, so I’m going to hit the ground runn… wait, that metaphor really doesn’t worth.
I’m going to write a lot at the start of next year. Much better. Dracula Dossier for Pelgrane, getting the Laundry line rolling properly again for C7, more contracting for the Mandate computer game (which will, I hope, let me work with another writer I greatly respect, just like the Dossier let me live inside Ken’s head for months), and a bunch of smaller side projects, like finishing up the Pirates of Drinax and some fiction pieces. I didn’t hit all my goals for 2014, but I hit enough of them that I’m not discouraged – and maybe I’d have hit more of them if I hadn’t been stabbed in the back by my spine, so to speak.
Gaming really suffered this year – between the disruption of the kitchen odyssey, one of my regular players swanning off to Australia (if one can swan in a wheelchair, and if anyone can swan in a wheelchair, it’s Baron K von K), and back pain, I haven’t been able to maintain a regular game in months, which is maddening. I may resort to a short online game while I’m bed bound.
2014 was a good year, overall, despite the exploding disc of doom. I’m lying down, but I’m looking up.