Pulled from the bowels of my LJ friends list – my year in pithy Q&A format:
1. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before?
I went to Brisbane. I attended Clarion South. I attended a SF convention (in fact, 5 of them). I made a professional short story sale to Book of Dark Wisdom. I saw two of my edited anthologies (Shadow Box and Robots & Time) published. I started HorrorScope. I began my Hellnotes column. I was nominated for two Tin Ducks and Highly Commended in the Aurealis Awards. I felt like a real, honest-to-God writer who knew, for the first time, what he was doing.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No and yes and yes – my novel, Harbinger, was barely touched this year, but my other writing accomplishments made up for that to some extent. As with anything I think and scheme, there’s always room for more.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but Tracey is pregnant and expecting early in the new year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Dannielle, Damien’s first girlfriend, died of a drug overdose, aged 35.
5. What countries did you visit?
I criss-crossed Australia a dozen times, does that count? Tasmania? 🙂
6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
Unparalled success (I like to aim that bar high!). Seriously. I once wrote in a bio about ‘spreading my shadow across Australian speculative fiction’. I want to upsize that order.
7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 12 – the end of Clarion South.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’d say Shadowed Realms, which had an enormous year, published 6 great issues with some of the biggest names in dark fiction, plus ascended to the heights of professional status, but it’s not mine to claim. So probably Shadow Box or the continued success of HorrorScope. However, my biggest sucesses of 2005 have been behind the scenes, and will play out in the next couple of years.
9. What was your biggest failure?
My inability to complete, to my satisfaction, Harbinger.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Of the mental or emotional kind, perhaps.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My laptop, Lappy.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Ange, for her dignity, support, and restraint. Hayley, for her incredible work ethic in the face of trying conditions.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Several people, at various stages, most often for their unprofessional and/or confrontational approach.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably travel and con-going. Credit card bills generally.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The possibility, however remote, of a three anthology deal.
16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
Overcome by Live, but for reasons other than the seemingly obvious.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? iii. richer or poorer?
A fair trade by my estimation.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Write (dammit!). Earn money.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinate and spend time lurking on the Net.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home, surrounded by family and mountains of cold meats and salad. This happy time was seriously precipitated by a week of continual work, planning, and preparation, like all our gatherings.
21. Who did you meet for the first time?
All the cool people at Clarion South, especially good mates like Kenrick and Suzanne and the convenors. A bunch of new, exciting, and sometimes odd people at Swancon, Conflux, Thylacon, Continuum, and Fandomedia this year (especially Richard & Aileen and Rob & Cat). The dedicated crew at the Australian Horror Writers Association (Marty, Mick, Kirstyn etc).
22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
I was already there.
23. What was your favourite TV program?
Firefly, if that counts (watching it on DVD). Aside from that, the compelling and creepy British show Afterlife (a far superior version of garden variety shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer). The Ronny Johns Half Hour also had moments of bizarrularity.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Yes, although hate is a very black and white word. While I’m trying to ease off from my own occasional bouts of egotism and the sometimes strained internet interactions, I do not easily forgive, and most certainly never forget those who have crossed my path with teeth bared. I have an autistically-honed memory of an elephant.
25. What was the best book you read?
I read so many damn fine books, but Terry Dowling’s Blackwater Days collection left a remarkable impact on my psyche.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Album would have to be Alive: The Best of Live (I’ve been a fan for a while, but hadn’t heard many of the songs on this album). Single, probably Jose Gonzales ‘Heartbeats’ (the coloured balls song). Close to these would be my Christmas presents – the best Horror Movie and Sci-Fi Movie Hits. I’ve been listening to The Omen theme, the Hellraiser Resurrection Waltz, and Duel of the Fates (Star Wars Ep 1) on repeat for a while now.
27. What was your favorite film of this year?
I’ve seen a bunch of great movies this year. Among my favourites are Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, Serenity, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, Batman Begins, and Constantine. However, my favourite movie (which was seen on DVD) was Bubba Ho-Tep.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Thirty One. I was at Conflux in Canberra at the time – nerdy, hey?
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finishing Harbinger and selling it to Lothian Books (I never submitted it). Or maybe a couple of story sales to F&SF instead of the two near misses (or perhaps sales to Cemetery Dance).
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Metrosexual. Or so I’ve been told. 😛
31. What kept you sane?
Ange. At other times, we both spiralled over the edge. It’s very dark in that abyss.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
None. I’m an insular person who lives in a world of make-believe. So politics, bah! I left that behind with the real world.
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.
a) Patience is a virtue, which I’m slowly learning. Life takes its own sweet time.
b) Don’t overcommit yourself.
c) Karma must be obeyed.
d) Eagles don’t catch flies (or don’t sweat the small stuff)
e) Snakes on a plane.
34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I’m cheating here by using a phrase (or to be exact, a movie title): snakes on a plane. 2005 has been very much snakes on a plane.
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