Archive for December 31, 2013

2013: Top Ten Posts

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Critical Hit
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Excluding posts written in 2012 (as, rather surprisingly, several of these garnered even more pageviews than things I wrote this year), in order of least to most popular, here are my ten biggest posts from 2013:

10. Sexism in Gaming – A Response to Gabrielle Toledano, 19 January 2013.

9. The Truth of Wolves, Or: The Alpha Problem, 12 May 2013.

8. On Grittiness and Grimdark, 3 March 2013.

7. Rageblogging: The Rod Rees Edition, 26 June 2013.

6. Dear Joss Whedon: STFU, 8 November 2013.

5. Mainstream YA Article Bingo: A Response to Laura C. Mallonee, 19 November 2013.

4. Reconciliation: A Response to Theodore Beale, 14 June 2013.

3. I Am So Very Tired, 4 October 2013.

2. Old Men Yelling At Clouds: SFWA Sexism, 2 June 2013.

1. This, Right Here, Is The Problem, 14 October 2013.

I’ve been angry a lot this year, it seems – but then, there’s been a lot worth getting angry about. I can’t believe that these are all things that happened in 2013 – at least half of these posts I first assumed were from 2012, but evidently not. It’s been a long year, is my point, and as much as the internet generally seems to enjoy it when I blow a gasket, I’d much rather have my pageviews drop in 2014 and write about stuff I actually like than spend most of it being tense and pissed off about the offensive witterings of strangers. Actually, I’m going to break my rule and make that a proper new year’s resolution: to write and talk more about the things I love in 2014, and not just focus on the bad stuff.

Damn. That almost felt cathartic.

2013: A Year In Review

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Life/Stuff
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2013 has been… well. It’s been. And I still don’t know what to make of it.

I became a mother in February, which was extraordinary and wonderful in every spiritual and familial way, but on the physical and emotional side, it was also depressing, painful and the cause of two unpleasant hospital stays, to say nothing of the still-ongoing recovery time. Let me say this flat out: in my experience, pregnancy is awful, childbirth itself sucks only slightly less than the agonisingly protracted process of recovering from childbirth, which is still quite a lot, and anyone who tells you breastfeeding is an easy, uncomplicated, pain-free miracle of nature is either a fucking liar or trying to sell you something. Barring all the obvious caveats about boredom, sleep-deprivation and guilt, however, being a parent is actually sort of awesome, the practical upshot of which is that whether it happens when I’m twenty-nine or ninety-nine, the second any sort of uterine replicator technology actually gets approved for common usage, I will buy an enormous bottle of champagne, throw a fucking party and raise successive, glorious toasts Science!, because frankly, the final, cinching proof of the non-existence of god – or rather, of an intelligent, benign creator – isn’t the poor Babelfish: it’s the whole ludicrous panoply of mammalian reproduction. I mean, growing a creature in another creature? Talk about design flaws.

ANYWAY.

On the writing front, I actually finished my new novel, which, yay! (Polyamory! Matriarchy! Politics! Portals! Ladies!) Admittedly, I’d thought it was “nearly done” in January, but as it turned out, I didn’t end up completing the first draft until August, with some further new scenes added in December. Even so, it’s going in the win column. I also snagged a few new writing gigs, which was pretty great – reviewer at Strange Horizons and A Dribble of Ink, and columnist for Black Gate – and, as an unexpected treat, an essay I wrote last year was included in the Speculative Fiction 2012 anthology. I’ve also managed some 38 blog posts – 39, counting this one, but not including extra pieces I’ve put up on tumblr or published elsewhere, which is fairly respectable. My blog readership has expanded, too, which phenomenon never ceases to surprise me – hello, new readers! – but has also brought with it a slew of new trolls, such that headdesking, FDJHFDJLing, WTFery and general out of spoon errors with regard to comment monitoring have reached an all-time high. Nonetheless, I have persevered. As xkcd has taught us, people are often wrong on the internet, and in order to weather the storms of incoherent rage these rickety douchesaddles can inspire, it’s sometimes necessary to retreat instead to the calm and icy caves of No Fucks Given.

Also, I’ve read 101 books, which – huzzah! – is one book more than my stated goal for the year. Again, admittedly, some books were rather shorter than others, or were in fact comics, novellas and magazines rather than full-length novels, but given that I’ve also given birth, moved house, done battle with the UK visa authorities on behalf of mine infant progeny and attended my first major con since 2010, I’m not about to split hairs over wordcount. As for politics, while some amazing stuff has certainly happened, overwhelmingly, the rabid shitweasels of regressive dumbfuckery have been working overtime to saturate the rest of us with toxic, moronic blah, and if the vast majority of them were to suddenly contract gangrene of the larynx over NYE and thus lose the ability to speak forever – or at least until they came to their fucking senses – I’d count their silence as a net gain for humanity.

All in all, while 2013 has certainly been an important and memorable year, it hasn’t always been for the best reasons – but it’s when my son arrived, and for that, at least, I’m grateful. 2014 can take the floor with my blessing, and I look forward to seeing where it takes us. No resolutions, this year as last, beyond a general wish for self-improvement, happiness and a thriving family. Oh, and lots of reading and writing, but that should go without saying.

Let’s see how far it gets me.

Happy new year, everyone!