2004 IN REVIEW
I got this list of questions from Jonathan Strahan’s blog, and he got it from Tim Pratt, who may have nicked it from somewhere. So, just because it’s important to carry these Internet memes forward…
1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
I went to WorldCon, sold a book (four books, actually!!) to major US publishers, and went biking on off-road nature trails on a mountain bike. (Leading, incidentally to a new first: the pinkie and ring fingers of my left hand are now permanently semi-numb after one thirty-mile bike-hike.) I also did squats for the first time, resulting in more muscle soreness than I have ever before experienced in my life.
2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes. I took more weight off and added more muscle mass. I also finished my novel. For next year, my New Year’s resolution is to get rid of the last bit of paunch and to finish my new novel, Zamilon File.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but define close. A few people at my office and Ann’s office had babies.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
More free time to just read and clean the house.
7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day in July when I finished my novel looms large. The day when I sold it, as well. I had been working on it for so long I never thought I’d finish it, and then I wasn’t sure I’d sell it.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my novel and then, with my agent’s help, finding publishers for it.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Cleaning the house and organizing my office.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I fucked up my back at one point from weightlifting and learned a valuable lesson about proper form.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably the mountain bike. But getting barbells for the house is a close second.As is finding a cool brown designer jacket in England at a second-hand shop for an incredibly low price.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My wife Ann’s efforts in canvassing, calling people, and helping out during election day made me very proud.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The 40-plus idiots who emailed me to quote scripture at me when I wrote a letter to the editor (local newspaper) decrying Bush’s extremist religious social and political positions.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Books, CDs, exercise equipment, the post office, vacations, and Gil’s Tavern (Tallahassee)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finishing my novel. Ending every night with the salve of the Daily Show.
16. What song will always remind you of 2004?”Hiding All Away” by Nick Cave, Abattoir Blues, for the ending chorus of “There is a War Coming.”
17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
Happier, in better shape, better off financially, but more depressed about politics.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise. Spend time with family.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Drinking chai. Eating bagels. Hanging out on messageboards.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
As quietly as possible—watching football, goofing around with Ann, and reorganizing my office and computer files.
22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
Every year--sometimes once or twice a day--Ann does something that makes me fall in love with her all over again.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Daily Show. It kept us sane.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
John McCain and Colin Powell.
26. What was the best book you read?
One Day the Ice Will Reveal All of Its Dead by Clare Dudman. Every other book I’ve read this year has been in some way flawed.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Pleasure Forever (thanks to my stepdaughter, Erin)
28. What did you want and get?
29. What did you want and not get?
A free and fair election with Kerry winning.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Eternal Sunlight of the Spotless Mind. I also really enjoyed The Incredibles.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Ann took me up to Jacksonville for a pilgrimmage to Chamblin’s Book Mine, the best used bookstore east of the Mississippi. We spent the evening before watching the river flow by while drinking Jack-and-diet-Cokes in a cool little lounge and shooting the breeze. And then a whole day of rummaging around Chamblin’s. It was great. I turned 36.
32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If all of Ann’s efforts regarding the elections had paid off, and if the stress at her day job had been less.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Heavily influenced by the show What Not to Wear, and very much revolving around the idea of vertical stripes and comfortable fabrics.
34. What kept you sane?
Ann’s hugs and offbeat sense of humor, and the Daily Show.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The US presidential election
37. Who did you miss?
All the people who didn’t come to WorldCon but did go to World Fantasy, which I skipped this year, including Stepan and Kia Chapman, Robert Wexler, Eric and Paulette Schaller, Howard Morhaim, and too many others to name.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Artist Terry Rentzepis and his wife Sheri are right up there. Most of the people I met were old friends. I did enjoy getting to know people better--like WorldCon attendees Jonathan Strahan, Chris Roberson, Lou Anders, John Picacio, Juliet Ulman, Justina Robson, Cheryl Morgan, Matt Cheney, and others.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
If you hold the line long enough and stubbornly enough, if your cause is just, you will prevail.