It’s almost the end of the year, and I find myself getting a little somber and reflective. It’s been a good year–a year of changes, some of them difficult, and some of them extremely rewarding. Angel and I have started referring to it as “the year of the learning curve”.
So for today’s Point of View column, I thought I would list some of the people and things from 2015 that I am thankful for. Please keep in mind that this is an incomplete list. I have many more blessings than I have time to recount in print.
1) A New Start: In April Mark and I relocated from our huge home in El Dorado Hills to a much smaller one in East Sacramento. It was hard to give up the old house – after all, we chose everything in it, from floors to cabinets. And we lived there for almost 13 years, the longest time I have lived in one place in my entire life. But it was time. And the new neighborhood has brought us many rewards and opportunities.
2) Our Dear Friends: especially in our Italian group, who have provided moral support when we needed it, and who have become like a second family to us.
3) Angel Martinez: My right-hand man, so to speak, and my cohort in crime. Angel has become a close friend, beta reading all my stuff, no matter how long or short, and becoming someone who I can lean on (and vice versa) when writing and life’s other shit gets me down.
4) BA Brock and Jamie Fessenden: I only lump these two together because about a year ago, BA, for some reason only known to him, decided to start a little FB chat with the three of us, and it has been a source of inspiration, consolation (and sometimes consternation) for all of us. It has been an honor for me to watch BA become himself, and to hang out with a cool writer like Jamie. Plus BA writes really good reviews for QSF. *grin* My besties…
5) Mischief Corner Books: I’m not sure how many people know this, but our first QSF book, Discovery, almost didn’t happen. Dreamspinner had kindly offered to take the flash fiction contest submissions and fashion a book out of them, but Angel and I quickly realized that we had no way to sell the book once it was finished. MCB stepped in and took over the project midstream, complete with some of my bad decisions – did I mention we called 2015 the “year of the learning curve”? And Discovery was born.
6) Dawn Chapman: Who suggested we move the critique group over to Scribophile, and then helped every step of the way. Dawn, you are awesome.
7) The folks at WROTE: SA Collins, Vance Bastian, and Jayne Lockwood launched the 3MMuskateers podcast this year (at least I think it was this year) and then rebranded it to “Written on the Edge” (WROTE) to be more inclusive of LGBTQI fiction and authors. Vance has also been amazing for his voice work this year. I hope to announce a project soon that involves this fine cast of folks.
8) Dreamspinner and Less Than 3: I reached a milestone in my own writing this year – my first two stand-alone novellas came out in July, just in time for Rainbow Con (see #9). While neither was long enough for print, it was the first time I didn’t share the cover with someone else, and My Rolling Blog Tour of Death and Destruction ™ which featured more than forty stops along the way. I know, right?
9) Rainbow Con: QSF’s first ever con. I got to meet tons of QSFers there, including Angel, Andrew Gordon, Carole Cummings, Rory NiCoilean (and learned how to say her last name), Anastasia Vitsky (of the wooden spoons), Heather Rose Jones, Lexi Ander, Sarah Madison, Jon Keys, Arshad Ahsanuddin (who hopefully has forgiven me for misspelling his last name), Stephen del Mar, Jamie Lynn Miller, WT Prater, Matt Watson, and many more. If I left your name off, please forgive me. You are all loved.
10) Ana’s Spoons: Speaking of Ana, she took me to task earlier this year for neglecting the FF part of the LGBTQI writing market on QSF. We had a great in depth conversation (mostly conducted on my iPhone at the Weatherstone Cafe in midtown Sacramento after a bike ride) which led to Anas’s Spoons, our monthly FF takeover of QSF. Angel and I are committed to promoting diversity in the group and on the site, so I should also give a tip of the hat to Heather Rose Jones, who has also been extremely helpful in reminding me that it’s not all about the boys. 🙂
11) QSF’s Membership: I hear, on a regular basis, that QSF is someone’s favorite place to hang out on Facebook. While we work hard to make the group open, welcoming, diverse and friendly, the real credit for this goes to our members, who put in their time, effort, and two cents to keep the discussions going. Hats off to you all.
12) My Husband Mark: None of this would have been possible without Mark’s love and support. When I lamented that I wasn’t writing a couple years back, he told me that I was the only one standing in my way. This last year, he has supported my writing emotionally, mentally and financially. He came with me to not one, but two cons, even though one had that icky animated stuff he hates. He has read nearly everything I’ve written, and at the end of the day, he’s there to hug me and offer me a cup of hot cocoa (which I hardly ever drink because, you know, waistlines). Love you, mio Marco!
For next week’s Point of View, I’ll share some of my plans for 2016. I’m so glad y’all are along for the ride!