2018 sure was a year…
I did a lot of really awesome things, but I’ve also had a really rough year with no sign of it getting better. As I write this, I’m still unemployed and I have no idea when or even if I’ll be able to get health insurance, pay for my wordpress subscription/domain name, or even buy holiday gifts for my family.
But it hasn’t been all bad.
In 2018, I hit a bunch of personal, professional, and academic milestones.
- My mom and I got our first apartment (rather than living with other people) for the first time in several years.
- I graduated with my MA in English/Literature in April.
- My first (not reprinted) short story was published in an anthology. (“Strays Like Us” in Not So Stories)
- I finished my second novella for publication. (My first was last year’s “The Carnival That Comes After” in Dirty Bird Press’s Undercities.)
- I sort of hit my personal goals for NaNoWriMo and now have 8 chapters in a queer urban science fantasy novella set in a cursed city in South Florida.
- I got to meet my one brother’s new wife and their then- 9 month old son while visiting our dad in the Virgin Islands.
- My thesis “Queering The Clown Prince of Crime: A Look At Queer Stereotypes as Signifiers in DC Comics’ The Joker” is not terrible (despite the actual grammar/formatting errors in the finished piece that my committee + I missed that I’ll try to fix in the coming months). If you want to read it, you can. I’m also working on a more accessible version of parts of my thesis for my website.
- I think I have more Patrons on Patreon than I did last year and together, they support me enough that I can pay my half of the internet bill and sometimes buy a little bit of groceries. Still not enough to live on, but it’s way better than the alternative… no money at all.
- I had a paper topic (on misogynoir in fandom that updates my PCA 2017 paper/presentation) accepted for PCA 2019 and I’ll also be on a roundtable about Racefail 2019. Thanks to a benefactor that will remain mysterious, I’ll be able to attend the Washington DC conference in April 2019, just days after my father’s 80th
- I got to speak on two panels at the local(ish) bookish convention BookNetFest 2018 and it was a delightful experience. I want to go again next year even if I’m not on any panels.
- I’ve been doing trade reviews for a massive and notable publication. They don’t pay a lot, but it’s honestly been amazing getting to leave my mark on publishing and figure out how to write critical reviews that aren’t my usual “this is shit and the author should stop that” kind of fare when I really don’t like something. I can’t tell you what I’ve written about and I don’t want to spill the beans about the publication because my writing style is actually notable enough for regular readers to figure me out, but it’s been great, y’all.
Now, let’s move on to some of my 2019 goals:
- Getting a full time job where I have to leave the house. (I’m strongly considering returning to education because I love working with kids and it pays well enough on top of that.)
- Writing a regular column somewhere.
- Write reviews for more publications. Maybe a local newspaper or literary zine.
- Getting an official ADHD diagnosis in my adulthood so that I can get help managing my focus issues.
- Go back to therapy.
- Getting health insurance that isn’t garbage.
- Start paying off my student loans.
- Finish at least separate novella first drafts (my Nano2018 story and another urban fantasy story).
- Figure out how to use chopsticks
- Submit something to Fiyah literary magazine.
- Write more fan fiction.
- Streamline my writing and drafting process without letting imposter syndrome bog me down.
- Get to 100 Patrons
- Get to my goal of making $400 a month on Patreon
- To start and finish a conference paper that’s of a reasonable length and a handout in time for PCA 2019
I know it sounds like a lot, but they’re all… mostly doable?
Next, let’s talk about some of my favorite things in 2019:
My favorite movie: Black Panther, duh. I saw it like six times in theaters.
My favorite book: a tie between Matt Wallace’s A Taste of Wrath and Ben Aaronovitch’s Lies Sleeping (But keep an eye out for my end of year book wrap up lists/posts.)
My favorite TV series: a three-way tie between Killjoys (Syfy), Titans (DC Universe), and Black Lightning (The CW Network)
My favorite album: Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer (but I’m also obsessively replaying the Hamilton soundtrack)
My favorite musical artist or artist: Blackpink
My favorite food: Poutine! (I had some at Downtown Disney while at Book Net Fest and promptly had to figure out how to make it for myself at home.)
My favorite ship: Dick/Kory (Titans), Eddie Brock/Venom (Venom), me/Thomas Nightingale (… Rivers of London)
2018 was a year of changes.
I left grad school and left Miami for good (more or less). I moved back in with my mom in our first apartment in a whole bunch of years. I sort of came out as non-binary on Twitter. I left tumblr for good (mostly) thanks to well… intense and direct bullying from some assholes in the Star Wars fandom.
I had some friendships end (in and out of fandom, like the one weirdo that yelled at me about someone else’s post on facebook) and I rekindled other friendships (like with Angie A from undergrad and Noelle). I spent a week with my dad, the longest amount of time we lived together since 2014. It was great.
I got really into Castlevania which is basically on brand for me. My anxiety and focusing issues once again got the best of me career-wise and I ghosted like three separate people about things I was supposed to write for them/their publications –they’re never going to ask me to write for them again and I deserve that.
But some things didn’t change.
As always, I drank a lot of beer and I read a ton of books. I spent lots of necessary time with my nieces and I slept worryingly large amounts. I baked all the things. My response to Venom was basically delightful and disgusting.
2018 was hard (it still is), but I really couldn’t have done any of what I’ve managed to do without the support of my friends offline, my friends online, my family (including my mom who tries to understand who I’m trying to do), the editors that reach out to me, and the authors that have made it possible for me to just tap out of my life when I read their books.
We’re barely halfway through the month and who knows what cool and/or terrible things will happen to before January first, but I’m happy enough now and hopeful that 2019 won’t be too terrible (for my personal life at least, politics and the environment are on a fast track to hell).
Thank you for everything, you nerds.
And as always, if there’s ever anything you want to see me write or talk about, you have only to ask. This site may be self indulgent as hell sometimes, but I could not survive without y’all and that means y’all will always get to suggest things!
I hope 2018 has been good for you and if not, let’s work together to make 2019 a better year for us all!