The End of 2013

If you're looking for an inspirational New Year's post, as Lemony Snicket says, you'd be better off reading something else.

It feels like I was just here writing about the end of 2013, and Diem, and Mabel.

2013 has been strange, and it seems to have passed very quickly. When I woke up this morning, I felt as if I hadn't accomplished anything this year. I set many goals, and I accomplished very few of them. I hoped to finish editing Mabel. I had hoped to find an agent and begin the publishing process, and instead I found myself pushing my deadlines back repeatedly until I found myself staring hopelessly at the end of December. I didn't make much progress on Void Inc. Stymied by different creative routes, worrying about collaboration, and a lack of interested stifled my writing time on the project. None of my screenplay-oriented applications panned out. Yet another year has passed where I haven't even touched Serango. 

In that state of mind, it's hard to be optimistic about myself in the New Year.

But in the final minutes of 2013, I'm sitting here trying to map my year and see what happened and how I can move forward. What did I accomplish? What went well?

During the end of Winter and then Spring, I procrastinated editing Mabel. But in those final weeks of January, I managed to fine tune the ending. Or at least hack it into shape.

I worked on screenwriting, which made me happy. Started a feature screenplay, a science fiction adventure about two brothers and their rivalry, their relationship with their father. I also wrote a spec script for Boardwalk Empire.

In May, I graduated from USC with a B.A. in East Asian Languages, and a few weeks later, I left for Japan and stayed in Himeji on language study for the summer. While in Japan, I stopped working on Mabel for a time and wrote The Madness of Crown Prince Sazaki. I had an idea that I would turn the short story into a novel. I wrote the entire first act, planning to continue when I arrived home, but the end of the summer was a difficult time for me, and I had trouble disassociating Sazaki emotionally with what was happening. Now it's collecting dust in a drawer. I don't know if I'll touch it again.

During the summer I also came up with the idea to introduce multiple storylines into Mabel, and I wrote the scene introducing Lawrence. That step would define my editing process. I'm glad I took that risk but I'm not done with it!

By the end of August, I was a graduate student in Japanese studies, specializing in history. I planned to write half my thesis during the semester. I ended up managing to write a third of it.

On the bright side, I outlined the rest of the Mabel's City series. I also determined that because of the length I would have to split the book in two. I completed more outlining. At the end of the year, I have finished editing Chapter Four, and I am in the weeds of Chapter Five. I hate editing.

It seems the only project that has thrived in 2013 has been The Princess and the Fox Demon, which saw a revival in November. It's a real shame that I can't imagine effectively pitching it or someone actually wanting to publish it — there's a realness in fantasy that it embodies. It intoxicates me. I have to see Asuka and Chirikai through to the end of their tale. It's one book. The realest thing I've ever written.

I can't help but feel like I need to finish more things. Then I wonder why I'm splitting my time and bothering with all this writing in the first place. The rest of my life has nothing to do with it. My chances of ever making a living by writing are slim, it consumes so much of my time, and most of the time I have little confidence in what I've written.

Oh well. And yet, here I am.

I guess that's how I feel at the end of 2013.

No inspirational speeches, just the march. If this was a story, this is where I would put the emotional turn in the narrative. But since this is just about the end of a year, I'll say that I'm nervous and confused about the future and what I'm supposed to do.

That's the end of 2013.