Since it's that time of the year where everyone and their Aunt Sally and Uncle Ernie comes out with a Best of 2009, I figure I might as well throw in my seventeen and a half cents (adjusted for inflation) in and offer my opinion on this past year as it applies to little ol' me.
In keeping with the oddball tone of this particular entity, of the two things that I deem most noteworthy to come out my land of the right coast (literally and politically, so there, nyah!) in my Best of 2009, one will be connected to the Cyber World and the other will be connected to both the Real World and the Cyber World.
Going into 2009, my writing was what you can say, not quite meeting that high standard of excellence I usually set for myself. Quite frankly, most of my stuff was basically bleech and not really worthy of showing to the general public in any particular way. But within the first couple of months of '09, that all changed for the better.
I have about a half dozen blogs that I follow that are populated by both great established writers and up and coming writers. Blogs such as Razored Zen, The Education of a Pulp Writer, One Word One Rung One Day, Rule of Three, Elaine Ash and Fumbling with Fiction gave me great tips and showed me what my writing was lacking at the time.
Reading these blogs gave me the confidence to start tinkering and expanding my skills to levels that a couple of years ago I wouldn't have thought possible. The yield of this exploration was bountiful indeed: a year long fascination with flash fiction, rediscovering the medium short story, a new story blog and my first commercially published short story.
It also gave me the confidence to once again start writing a novel (yay!) with the goal of finishing it in the spring of 2010, where I will (with much trepidation) explore the twin yellow brick road of querying agents & publishers (have no fear, I also have Nathan Bransford's fine blog bookmarked as a fave).
Where does that leave the other part of my writing journey? For the time being, self publishing will go to the back burner, as I realize that I don't quite have what it takes to self-publish at this juncture of my life. Maybe further on down the road it will be something worthwhile to explore, but for now, I think after an almost three year hiatus, it's time to start getting my ego bruised again.
note: the above paragraph will give my two personal chat room stalkers quite a bit of ammo for the coming year. I know this because both of them actually visit my blog for info to harass me about.
Coming into 2009, I was starting to hit my stride with my blogging. I managed to pound out 160+ posts in 2008, built up a small but loyal following and was having fun while doing it. For 2009, I added a few new things to the overall content, one of which was book reviews. As opinionated as I am, one of the things I never really offered my opinion on before this blog, were books. My reading tastes are to say at the very least, eclectic, at the very most, provocative. So I never felt very comfortable offering my two cents on stuff that I liked.
But, to use a baseball analogy, the grounder done hugged the chalk line for extra bases. I decided to do this review of a book that I first heard about on David Cranmer's blog (see link up above). Well, the responses I got to the review gave me enough of a push to make it another feature of my blog. If you click on the tag "Book Reviews", you'll find seven more reviews totaling about 10 books and a book series, all of which are about as informative as you will find elsewhere.
Besides doing book reviews, I also added in more posts about writing, music, work and whatever else that happened to cross my path. I also picked up more casual readers and friends along the way, who helped turn my blog into what you see today. For that I will always be eternally grateful.
To sum up my 2009: It was a very long and eventful Real Wolrd/Cyber World journey that brought me to new highs (getting a short story published, creating a new story blog), new lows (getting severely stalked and harassed in the chat room over my first book, losing a few fellow bloggers), and some growing pains (creating a new story blog, reluctantly tidying up my blog by nuking a few posts).
So, how 'bout your Cyber World and/or Real World of 2009? Was it all that you expected it to be?