|I love this picture far too much not to use it again.|
364 of them to go.
Some people are dismissive about New Year's Resolutions. I'm not: this is the perfect time to look back on what you've achieved, and look ahead to where you want to be.
I wrote a novel this year, and a play, and several short stories. I saw another novel into print, plus a mini-collection and (with Penny Jones) a chapbook. I saw a novelette published by Tor.com; I saw my fiction published in major anthologies, reprinted in The Best of the Best Horror of the Year.
Cate and I celebrated our second year of marriage, and our sixth year together.
I got to see Laura Mauro win a totally unexpected (on her part) and hugely well-deserved award for Looking For Laika.
I helped start up something new: Shock Against Racism, raising money to combat racism and the far-right.
I discovered a new sense of purpose in my writing, one I thought I'd lost.
So, for 2019, what do I want to strive for? Where do I want to be?
I still want the dusk. I still want to be able to earn my living doing what I love. Time is short, for all of us. God alone knows what the next year will bring, for the world at large and for the UK in particular. I want that time to count, to be spent doing the stuff I care about and that I was put here to do.
I'm still hoping against hope that we'll find a way to halt the national insanity that is Brexit before this deranged suicide cult screws us for decades to come. (Even if we do, there'll still be divisions, but you know what? Maybe, just maybe, it's exposed the hatred and ugly-mindedness that's festered so long in our country. We can't be in denial about those things any more. And yes, I know that not every Leave voter did so out of bigotry, but don't tell me that there isn't a sewer of racism, small-minded, mean-spirited spite and cruelty running through our public life and our national culture. Maybe, now it's publicly on display, we can hope to recognise it and drain it. Crazily optimistic? Yes, but you've got have some hope.)
I want to see a change of government too. So I'm going to try and be more politically active in both those causes in the coming year.
This year, I'm going to write the final book in the Black Road series. I'm going to rewrite the one I drafted in 2018, and try to complete, or at least begin, another book after that. I want to start learning how to draw. I want to lose more weight and become fitter and healthier. I want to find more ways to turning what I love to account, so I can spend all my time doing it.
One step I've taken in that direction is to launch a Patreon account. Among other things, I'll be serialising a novel, The Mancunian Candidate, there for my supporters to read. There's a free sample available to read, to whet your appetite.
Let's hope we can get through 2019, that the things we fear don't happen and that the things we hope for do. Let's hope we're all still here at the end of 2019, and that things are better for us than they were at the start.
Good luck, everybody.
See you soon.