Ho ho ho!
I feel profoundly lucky for the year I've had.
I have the most supporting and loving girlfriend. A job I love. A year spent meeting the most wonderful people. A year of making weird music with my best friend. A novel draft done. So much lovely feedback from readers of my short stories. As always, readers enjoying my stories makes me unreasonably happy, so thank you all!
Some highlights of the year:
I took on more and more responsibilities at my work, running our job board.
My girlfriend and I had lots of fun adventures across Nova Scotia.
I met so many talented, driven, inspiring people through EA, and I became friends with so many of them! I eternally wish to be able to teleport to see them.
My dad visited us in Nova Scotia and we got to show him all around Halifax.
I became much less nervous on planes. At the beginning of the year I had to resist panic attacks, by now I just have some nerves on take-off.
Oppenheimer instantly became one of my favourite movies.
Hacker News blew up one of my stories and had some very interesting feedback. I note, somewhat bemused, that it is possible for narrators to misperceive themselves and the world!
Simultaneously, I’m still pretty anxious about things, especially loss. I see my girlfriend make her house beautiful and I fear the fire that would destroy it. I’m surrounded by friends at a conference and imagine some social calamity to make it all vanish. I see the beauty of Halifax and I can see the explosion that would reduce it to ashes. With this last one at least, working indirectly on existential risk via my work has been quite helpful.
I had two resolutions for 2023 and I achieved one of them.
I wrote the first draft of my novel1! I finished it in October and “hid it in a drawer”. As I said in the announcement post, it’s 121,000 words, it isn’t yet good, next year I will make it very good. I’m going to read it with fresh eyes in January, but until then I can't stop thinking about it.
I can't stop getting ideas for it! Images won't leave me alone! I drift off and see red-pink fungus spread across steppes, a sky city on fire leaking nuclear waste, clogs bouncing across boardwalks in an autumn flood.
But this is a pleasant thing to be plagued by. I’m incredibly excited to make it the best story it can be next year.
I wanted to gain 10 lean pounds and hit 135 pounds. I failed. I hit 133.
Part of the problem is that I stopped going to the gym in November. My schedule changed, the world got dark again, and I lost it. That’s my bad. I plan on getting back into it in the new year, because I’m enjoying the benefits of being stronger.
I’ll post my 2024 plans next week. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody! I hope you had a lovely 2023 with as many joys and as few sorrows as possible.
I settled on this early in the year as a fair clarification of “write my novel”.