I usually wait until the end of the year to do this and spend the thirty-first panicking my way through remembering everything I did/read/saw/ate this year, but I’m going to pretend that I’ve turned a new leaf over here and well… put this up this from now.
- I’m ending 2017 the way I started it: single as hell. I briefly attempted to express interest in another human being but since I am BAD AT THIS, it didn’t go well. I’ll live and they’re a cool person who handled my attempt very well, so it’s fine.
- I have a new nephew! He’s basically fresh out the oven and tiny as heck. We’ll call him Junior (because he is my brother’s Jr.) and trust me, y’all… He’s actually the cutest baby that isn’t one of my immediate niecelings. He’s a welcome addition to my family and I’m super proud of my brother and his wife for having a baby so cute that our DAD got all goopy over him.
- 2017 proves that I’m simply “decent” at friendships. I only lost one friend over the year (I mean, blowout and then block, not… “silently drift apart because of drama but maybe we’ll get back together in a few years”) and it was over Cloud Atlas of all the movies. Which is such a terrible movie to end a friendship over like… why couldn’t it have been over something that I liked?
- The nieces are doing well. Tiny T is working hard in an advanced sixth grade program, MM is rocking ninth grade, and Jay is doing her best to get back on track like in general. They’re all brilliant and beautiful. I couldn’t ask for more awesome nieces!
- As y’all know by now (probably), my dad made it through Hurricanes Irma-and-Maria without a scratch. He’s still in St. Thomas and he’s doing okay despite leg pain and tiredness. I’m hoping to go and visit him early next year and help around the house for a bit since I don’t have any in-person classes so we’ll see how that goes.
- I’ve submitted 2/4 forms I need to graduate with my MA in Literature. (One of the three forms is my actual completed thesis so it’s fine, it’s fine).
- I flew to San-freaking-Diego to go to an academic conference that I was speaking at (well… presenting at, but that sounded fancier).
- I sat on the panel for “Decolonizing Fanspaces” which had a bunch of great panelists including Rukmini Pande and Lori Morimoto (who are 99% of the reason I applied tbh).
- And I presented on the misogynoir directed at Iris West, Zendaya (who at the time was rumored to be playing Mary Jane Watson), and Black female fans with “My Comic Book Girlfriend Has To Be A Redhead: Misogynoiristic Reactions to Iris West and Mary Jane Watson“.
- While I got a bunch of accepted pitches for calls for papers, I had to step back and well… not do them (unfortunately ghosting a couple of good people along the way) because of the aftermath of Irma and Maria basically destroyed much of my drive and ability to write and I was an even bigger anxious mess than usual.
- I ended the Spring 2017 semester with straight As and, barring a sudden change of heart from my professors or like… me writing a bad paper related to the class, I should be on track for another Straight A Semester.
- I decided NOT to go for a PhD after I graduate. While I’d like the prestige of the PhD, I don’t see getting one as a way to guarantee my success and it’s just going to mean I have more financial debt to pay back. So… after this degree, I’m into the workforce for good.
- I got to write for ComicsAlliance before the site was closed. I’m really grateful for the opportunity (my writer buddy Katie Schenkel was instrumental in this and she’s amazing). I didn’t get to write that much for CA, but of what I wrote I’m super proud of my review of the graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred and From Black Panther To Moon Girl: A Brief History Of Young Black Brilliance In Superhero Comics
- I wrote for CBR for literally like a day. (I’m not a beat reporter and I have NO IDEA why I thought I could apply to do anything other than write essays about the things I love or loathe. This was a learning experience for me however and I am grateful to have had it.)
- I’m still writing reviews for Strange Horizons (but slowly… So Slowly).
- My Luke Cage review is still the best review I’ve written (in my opinion), but I’m also super proud of this review I did for Cassandra Khaw’s Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth
- I have a F/F short story (short novella??) in Dirty Birds Press’s urban fantasy anthology Undercities. While I submitted the story like… last year, it was published this year/this was when I received my author copies, so… it counts.
- David Thomas Moore (of Rebellion) is basically another person who has been super important to my writing life. I mean, he’s approached me to write two things so far (“Strays Like Us” which will be in 2018’s Not So Stories – where my name is on the cover?? — and a so far untitled novella that I’m not going to talk about until I get the dang outline to him.) I honestly don’t know where I’d be without this dude because I mean… it’s hard to self sabotage or punt yourself out of the running for submitting something when you’ve got a guy like David in your corner. He’s just… so awesome.
- I’ve written almost ninety blog posts so far for my website! (I’ve got a few scheduled posts and who knows what the next week or so will bring…)
- Highlights from this year’s posts include: ““Who’s Super Selfish Here?”: Oliver and Felicity, WestAllen Wedding Crashers”, “Valkyrie isn’t ‘Male-Coded’ And You’re Kinda Racist”, “Luke Cage – Looks Like A Cinnamon Roll…”, and “Urban Fantasy 101 – Weird Ass Werewolf Tropes”
- Thanks to Troy L. Wiggins reaching out to me (such a cool dude, wow), I have an essay up in Truancy Issue #4: “Finding My Own Writing Path Amongst Tricksters”
- I just pitched an essay to the Book Smugglers. Who knows if that’ll go through, but I’m always too anxious to pitch ANYWHERE so this is a huge step forward.
- 2017 has been a genuinely amazing writing year for me and I hope to move some of that magic on through to next year and hopefully I’ll get even more opportunities to get my writing out there!
- Make more audio/video posts WITH transcripts.
- Pitch to more outlets.
- Write and submit at least ONE thing per month (stories or articles).
- Read and review at least 50 books (100 words or more per review)
- Use Patreon (or whatever) as an effective vehicle to build my brand and hone my writing. Especially as I’m using Patreon to pay my health insurance…I need to make it worth the while for my audience.
- Keep up with deadlines for grad school/graduation.
- Go to BEA or PCA/ACA next year.
- Get a good grown up job.
- Get to a point in my confidence where I feel comfortable writing up an eligibility post for the year (like the Nebula/Hugo Awards) for “Best” Fan Writer. I’m a good writer and I’m OBVIOUSLY a fan, so why haven’t I thrown my hat into the eligibility ring yet? Maybe 2018 will change that.
- Be more active with activism.
2017 was one hell of a year.
While the first half of the year was firmly alright bordering on “we’re in our mid twenties folks, who has time for this”, the second half is what nearly destroyed me. I spent most of the first part of the semester terrified for my friends and family in the Virgin Islands and sick with rage over the fact that I mean… there’s no way to ignore how little our government in the US cares for anyone that isn’t a wealthy white male.
I couldn’t have made it to the end of 2017 without y’all. Folks, you kept our lights on, my nieces fed, and I can’t get over how kind y’all have been to me at some of the most stressful parts of the year. I have been through so much this year and I mean, I’m not even sure I told y’all half of the down right weird shit that’s been happening to me.
But you’ve been here for me through so much.
When I was stuck in the hurricane shelter with my mom, worried about whether or not we’d survive Irma or if my dad had survived the storm, I had y’all. When I was (unfairly!!) let go from my job, you guys had my back. My friends and followers online, you have made my life such a kinder, richer existence.
You are all so lovely and so sweet.
I’m hoping 2018 is better across the board. That I do more, see more, am more.
This time next year I’ll probably have my MA in Literature and a few months of work under my belt. I’m hoping that it’ll be in a field that I can tolerate, one that I can effect change in. I want to be more than someone that complains on the internet. I want to complain offline too – and get shit done either way.
I want to be someone that can help support the people they adore and admire!