2013: A Year In Review

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Life/Stuff
Tags: , ,

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.


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!

  1. brennalayne says:

    Happy new year to you, too! I’m massively impressed that you managed to finish a novel with a newborn. You are mighty.

  2. Happy new year, Foz. I’m hoping it will be both a peaceful and an exciting one for you and your family. Also hoping that your head and the desk start to feel slightly estranged and awkward about each other, because they just aren’t bumping into one another so often as they did in 2013… (Though my faith in stupidity deciding to take the year off from interneting isn’t very high.)

  3. mistfrost says:

    Happy New Year! I’m one of those “new reader” types, and I just want to lovingly state that I 100% share your views on pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, and I loathe the plethora of lies I was given about breastfeeding. I’ve made a vow to fully warn any expecting friend I have that it’s a shit process – although the end result of the pain and misery is pretty awesome. I’d love to go to that party if such a glorious contraption of a uterine replicator is ever made – makes me look at The Matrix and other such SF movies that envision artificial human replication with longing…

  4. Happy New Year, Foz! I’m one of those new readers who came to you this year, and I always look forward to your posts. Here’s to better and brighter!

  5. fozmeadows says:

    Thanks everyone, and happy new year to all! 🙂

  6. Jean Lamb says:

    Sa-LUTE! Giving birth–oh, yeah, I’m so for uterine replicators. Even though my last go-round on that particular ride was over 30 years ago, I still remember it (as I do the charming months of insomnia etc. after it). And…if your child should ever be ‘gifted’ with colic, which babies can get even while being breastfed, switch to formula, microwave it warm, and add a tablespoon of Karo syrup per 8 ox. of formula (sorry about the archaic measurements there). Oh, and my mother-in-law also advised me to have a half-pint of beer a couple of times a day to help the milk come on (God love the woman!).

    But getting anything done on top on that, you rock, woman.

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