So, 2012

I think there are a lot of people who will be happy to see the tail end of 2012. For me, I’ll say it was a year with dynamic range. On the business side, it’s not overstating it to say it was a career year: A New York Times bestseller in Redshirts plus a profile in that same paper, the announcement of Morning Star and The Human Division, Special Guest at ComicCon, Toastmaster and Hugo emcee at Worldcon. They’re still working on making the movie for Old Man’s War, and I sold tens of thousands of copies of that book via the Humble Bundle. Whatever’s viewership grew roughly 50% in a single year.

On the other hand, my wife lost her father, my daughter a grandfather, and I lost a father-in-law. Other personal things are well, and there have been at least a couple of really wonderful moments which I won’t go into because, hey, they’re personal. But losing Mike was a big hit for all of us.

So: Highs and lows.

I’m glad for the good things, and I’m glad for what remains, and hope 2013 is a good year for us all.

Tell me about your 2012 in the comments and let me know what your plans are for 2013.

88 thoughts on “So, 2012

  1. Sorry for your loss, John, but congrats on all the business stuff. That’s wonderful. Roy and I lost our last cat a couple months ago, so we’re pondering a catless house for the first time in 25 years, but we’re both published authors for the first time, so a range of moods this year, as well. More writing coming out in 2013 is the main plan. Happy New Year!

  2. Married (something I thought I might do, someday)
    Bought a house (something I -NEVER- thought I would do.)
    Celebrated 9 years at my current job (in this market).
    Twenty-Twelve is a banner year in my book.

  3. Left my previous job (good).
    Started a new job (better).
    Still with my wonderful boyfriend (best).
    Hoping 2013 turns out as well as it looks like it will.

  4. Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in February. Been in treatment this last year. Dealing with my Mom’s MS… For a while I was hoping the Mayan prophecy was right. Glad to see 2012 in the rear view mirror.

  5. I had some interesting range this year as well. At age 46 I was accepted into the Honours Program for my BFA this year and in a week I get to start it. With mixed feelings I am watching my kids turn into teenagers. Financially we had some really rough spots this year, but we are still afloat. I launched my Webcomic last week and I’m really excited about that.

    I managed to get pink-eye twice in the last six months as well as having no less than five colds (I’m thinking my immune system probably needs a tune up).

    the new year is going to be full of challenges but good ones I’m hoping.

  6. I self-pubbed a book and wrote my fifth novel. We had a cancer scare in the extended family, but it looks like we caught it in time. My autistic sons are still struggling, but they don’t seem to be aware of it as they happily plod along. I bought my daughter a telescope, and together we both saw Jupiter’s moons for the first time. My health has been poor for much of the year, but here on the last day, I’m feeling pretty good.

    2013 promises to bring more on the writing front, a possible dance or gymnastics class for my daughter, and my 22nd anniversary with my wife.

  7. As your look back shows, life over the course of a year will have it’s ups and downs. For me 2012 will be remembered as the year that started off with my meeting someone truly special and, that continued on with our becoming engaged a few months ago. It’s not quite how I would have imagined ending up but, we’re happy together and that’s what matters there. =)

    On the opposite page of the ledger however, 2012 will be remembered as a year where I said a final farewell to several good friends and a favorite uncle. Too many funerals for one year… =(

    So, in the end, it was both a good year, and a not so good year at times as well. That makes it a year I guess. 2011 was a rough one for me though so, ’12 was definitely a big step up from that. Looking ahead to 2013 now and hoping that trend continues.

  8. Professionally: Found a job as a lawyer. Six good months, but it’s over today because of the fiscal cliff. Next year, will try to find another lawyer gig. And pursue two other “dream” jobs before I get any older.

    Personally: Attended Capclave, met Scalzi, got some ideas for a novel, tried to write said novel, got 12,000 words into it before real life got complicated. Next year, will keep writing novel, because why not?

  9. My career kind of stabilized after a couple of rocky years, so that was good. One kid started college (Dean’s List first semester, woot!) and the other just scored in the “Hi, this Harvard, can we interest you in our college” neighborhood on the SAT, so her senior year should be quite interesting. So along with helping her decide where to matriculate, my wife and I probably need to start coming to terms with the idea that our kids are no longer kids, they are adults. Which also means we need to figure out what to do with all this time we’ll have without two kids in to transport around!

  10. The Good: Got my first book deal (YAY!).
    The Bad: Finding myself in critical care on February 2, 2012 with a disease (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) that I had never heard of before. Spent the rest of the year recovering from it. May never be the same as I was pre-GBS, but at least I’m back on my feet.
    2013: Recovery and more Writing, preparing for release of the first novel, and getting next one into the pipeline.

  11. Frankly, 2012 was bad enough that had the Mayans been right, I wouldn’t have cared much. I’ve never been so happy to see the end of a year, and can only hope that 2013 is an improvement. My plans for ’13? Survival. I just want to make it to this time next year with some semblance of sanity. (Sounds melodramatic, but I am completely serious.) Here’s to 2013: may it suck less.

    On a lighter note, someone last night suggested mead instead of champagne at midnight tonight. Perhaps I’ll crack open that bottle I got at Valley Vineyards…

  12. My life sucks too much to go into any great detail here. All I know is that 2012 can go into the hellbins of history.

  13. 2012 was a roller-coaster for me. A lot of scrambling to make ends meet and medical troubles took up most of my time. I did, however, make my first professional story sale (and another to a foreign magazine): http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/the-scorn-of-the-peregrinator/ . I am writing more and helping to raise an amazing child. 2012 was quite a ride.

    The year ahead looks more promising in many ways. Possible location and career changes may come in the first few months. Spending more time with my child is a high priority. I have two books (one fiction, one non-fiction) in the works and plenty of projects to work on. My column at SF Signal will continue but go to bi-weekly as I write other stuff. And I have pledged to do the One Million Words in a Year Challenge: http://millionwordchallenge.wordpress.com/ . This coming year promises to be filled to bursting with new challenges; I’m looking forward to it!

  14. I think I worked harder in 2012 than I had in any other previous year. But it was worth it. I bought my first home. I got my 2 kids into college. My family increased by several new members. And a loss that hit me 30 years ago, came back in a surprising and pleasant way.

  15. Financial troubles in 2011 meant we moved into the top half of a house with my wife’s mother and boyfriend, who we saw deteriorate all year due to Alzheimer’s. balancing that out, we had a kid at the end of 2011 as well, and he’s a joy. Raising him and his sister has been a challenge as my wife is gone almost all day/every day because of her career as a veterinarian, but it’s been rewarding watching him learn and grow and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I’ve continued my quest to watch every extant episode of Doctor Who and have just finished the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, and will start Peter Davidson’s run in the nest couple of days. I developed a couple of new friendships and made a few personal mistakes, played many board games with the grown ups and Castle Crashers with the daughter and generally got closer to my family. So, good and bad, but more good.

  16. 2012 is the year my superego crumbled in the face of my id. Yes, I am that bad of a person. 2013 is the year where we see if we can deal with the fallout.

  17. Pretty good year – still got jobs, bought a new house, which is nice. Lost too many aging relatives on my wifes’ side, unfortunately. Good visit with my parents to Barbados and Oregon. Many good parties with friends, too.

    At a more macro level, the sekrit mooslim communist space lizard got re-elected, so we didn’t have to emigrate to Australia, which is also nice.

    2013 – hopefully will be as good, less the election (though I’m sure the inevitable impeachment will add more fun & games – throwing feces apparently comes easier to the GOP than actually, you kno, governing)

  18. I lost my Mother, my last parent. My husband’s mentor and friend just died a week ago, sad but he was 96 and led a magnificent life. If I only hoped to live half the life he did it would be amazing..That was the bad. The good: my husband’s tenure is proceeding nicely, we added two new cats to the family and hope to travel to Italy this spring. Our old Corgi has made it to 16, and our Lab mix, who has cancer is still with us. Also, my husband is finishing his third book, and he is quite excited about that.
    The future is unknown as are all things, but at my age i tend to not think about that too much. Our children are in their 30′s, i will retire in about 10 years so our focus has shifted to that. However we continue to worry about our children, as this world does not have the opportunities we enjoyed, and for that i am somewhat pensive about the future.

  19. I made my first sale to F&SF! That was cool. No idea when the story will be published, but that’ll make for a bright point in 2013.

    As for the rest of 2013, I am going to sell my novel. I will revise, I will pitch, I will sell this mother. Yes.

  20. this year….
    found out, and then divorced my cheating husband.
    became much closer to two friends that got married,
    especially due to my heartache
    adjusting to living on my own, post-marriage

    I hope this next year is MUCH better. so glad for the closer friendship, at least.

  21. My 2012: It was a year of death and illness with the requisite mix of joy, frustration, transitions, and sameness. My wife’s mother died suddenly in February shocking the family. My adult adopted son continued his second year of struggling with undiagnosed debilitating pain, depression and physical inability to work. In spite of his continuing fighting of obstacles imposed by interlocking governmental and medical bureaucracies, poverty, and other personal issues he continues to struggle forward and even married his high-school sweetheart after being apart for 13 years.

    I was abruptly laid off in February but found a better position in May. I have my first actual office (with door!) instead of a cubicle. A longer commute necessitated buying a spiffy new fuel efficent car.

    In April, we dodged having a home fire by hours when the electrical wiring in both my home’s HVACs decided to fail on the same day. An equity loan later and we have new efficient heating/cooling systems, better insulation, and a new fence. My electric bills dropped by a third; a significant savings during the Texas summer. The new fence means I no longer have to worry about windstorms blowing it down and hurting my dogs or my neighbors children.

    In August I attended my first Worldcon in Chicago. By sheer accident, John’s mother-in-law, wife, and daughter sat down next to me during his “talk-show” at Opening Ceremonies. A lovely family. You have reason to be proud. As a bonus, I was invited as a “plus one” to the Hugo Loser’s party where I saw Athena have a personal chat with Neil Gaiman. My already high opinion of Gaiman went up several levels.

    In September I chaired my first SF convention. It went well with the expected number of unexpected events, including a Toastmaster knee injury (quickly recovered) and a hotel evacuation due to an elevator motor burning out and setting off the fire alarm. We raised over $2k for a local adult literacy program and our members donated over 80 units of whole blood during our blood drive. My staff and guests rocked.

    In October, I found out the growing pain I’ve had in my neck, shoulders, and wrists for the last few years is due to buldging disks and bone spurs my neck vertebae. Shots and physical therapy are helping me keep surgery at bay and providing added incentive for exercising regularly.

    In November, I spent far too much time watching a presidential election that I had almost no influence over. My favorite result of the election was that it is now obvious to all but the most stubborn that FACTS MATTER and that self delusion is common, especially among the elite.

    In early December I celebrated my 49th birthday exactly the way I wanted, with a meal cooked for me by my loving and lovely wife. Two days ago, my oldest aunt died. She was 98 years old and the oldest of seven children. I am sad to say that I had not talked to her in over 25 years.

    Yesterday I found out the Toastmaster of our convention this year, Peter David, had a stroke. If anyone reading is religious, please pray for him and his family. I had the priviledge to spend time with him, his wife, and daughter. A fine family. Please keep them in your thoughts.

    Today, I’m stealing a bit of time from work to tell you about my year. I’m glad you asked. It gave me a chance to reflect that over all, it was a hard but good year. I even wrote a short story I’d been wanting to pen for a long time.

    I have high hopes for 2013, both personally and for all. Next year I chair my convention again. It is our 10th and I’ve lined up a dream guest list, though it would have been better if John had said yes (no complaints, John. Family first!). I turn 50 and the youngest of my three grand children turns 3. I am blessed with good family and good friends and will ring in the new year with many of them tonight. I wish everyone the best and hope that 2013 brings joy, safety, health, and opportunity for you all.

    Happy New Year everyone

  22. Like a few people who’ve posted here, I bought my first home this year. I decided exactly one year ago today, on Dec 31, 2011, that I was determined to buy a home in 2012. Today, Dec 31, 2012, I’m munching on leftovers from the housewarming party that I had yesterday here in my new house. :)

    That project really ate up the year, since finding a good house in my price range, and getting a mortgage THESE days as a single, self-supporting freelancer was an epic quest, followed by one closing date after another after another after another falling through after my offer on this house was accepted in July (falling through mostly because the seller kept not doing what needed to be done). So, by autumn I unexpectedly became a perpetual houseguest in various places, since my landlords re-rented my apartment while I was waiting for the house purchase to go through, so I had no place to live. I hadn’t packed or planned sufficiently for what happened next, since my “homeless” period was initially supposed to last only 5-6 days. Then only 2 weeks at most. It eventually lasted 6 weeks.

    Then, when I finally close and moved in… there was a week-long sewer gas leak inside the house. AGH!

    But that’s all behind me now, and the migraine is starting to fade. :) The house is lovely and comfortable, I’m very happy here, and I’m happy with the way it’s all worked out–after a fashion.

    Because of what a mess the whole thing turned my home life–and therefore my working life (since I work at home) into–I only finished one book this year (and finished it late–barely made my last-ditch production deadline for POLTERHEIST). But now I’m unpacked in the nicest home office I’ve ever had, with ALL NEW BOOKCASES, a new desk, plenty of space, etc. So my goals for 2013 are simple (and I indeed hope for a simple year): finish 2 books this year, get under contract again, enjoy my home, paint the bathrooms.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  23. Yeah, we had ups and downs as well. A great trip to MI and highly successful surprise 70th birthday party for my mom, and nice June trip to MI as well.

    Rosie started talking lots, learned to count to ten, and started learning her letters, mastered jumping and balancing on one foot, started preschool, and is now potty trained.

    On the other hand, Brian lost his dad. Rosie will never really know her Grandpa on that side. He was ill and declining all year, which was hard for Brian’s mom and hard for us to hear about, especially because they live in Seattle and we were unable to help except for one short trip Brian took up there.

    And other personal stresses as well, which I also won’t go into. Hopefully 2013 will be better on that count.

  24. Well for one, I discovered Whatever, which has brought me more pleasure (not to mention information) than I ever thought a blog could. Thank you so much for that. I still have yet to read anything else of yours, but that’s on the docket for 2013!

    Other highlights include attending my first Gallifrey One convention (where something exciting and still rather hush hush will be happening next year), strengthening an amazing long-distance relationship, deciding to move from Wisconsin to Canada to make that relationship not-so-long-distance, and launching a new all-female Doctor Who podcast. All in all a pretty fantastic 12 months.

    2013 will see lots of paperwork and red tape (immigration, man), oodles of podcasting, several Doctor Who and general sci-fi conventions, and moving (I hope!).

    I’m pleased for your highs and sorry for your lows. I hope your 2013 is filled with the former and devoid of the latter.

  25. The Good: both kids are doing well in college, with my daughter completing her first semester by making the Dean’s List, and my son maintaining his Honors scholarship and discovering his real passion: psychology. We may have a Doctor in the house in a few years. The self publishing thing took off and, while the sales figures have gone down a bit in this last quarter, I’ve made more money at Kindle self-pubbing than I ever did in any year of traditional publishing. This hasn’t allowed me to quit the day job yet, but it’s eased the debt crisis considerably and allowed me to take the first family vacation in four years. I went into this year seriously desperate and came out of it still battling with periodic depression but reasonably hopeful. And I lost twenty pounds. I probably gained a lot of it back during the holidays, but that’s fixable. Got a piece of good news towards the end that I can’t reveal till March, dang it.

    The Bad: I had a lot to say, but since pretty much everything bad that happened involves other people, I’ll just keep it to myself.

    2013: Write at least a thousand words a day, cut potatoes, most fried foods, and rum out of the diet, and ramp up the daily walks into daily runs. Oh, and actually pick the guitar up out of the rack by the computer and play it more. Likewise with the dulcimer and pennywhistle (despite the obvious disapproval of the dog concerning the latter).

  26. On balance, 2012 and I are parting on good terms. There were parts of it that were not awesome, but overall, more ups than downs for me. So I’m grateful for that.

    Here’s wishing everyone a positive 2013.

  27. I just finished saying almost exactly this same thing over in my own space. Highs and lows. Professionally, it was a banner year for me and mine — my photos started selling at something approaching fine art prices, and my “kid” (not really, but I claim him anyway *g*) was nominated for a Grammy — but it was overshadowed by the loss of my father in June.

    I saw someone over on that Ginormous Social Networking Site referring to 2013 as Lucky 13. I’m on board for that. Let’s do it.

  28. Of all the immortals who turned mortal in 2012, few were as historically significant as Neil Armstrong, but none were as close to my heart as friend and 4-time co-author Ray Bradbury.

    I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I make New Year’s Default Expectations. Because I don’t count on a miracle, suddenly getting lucky, or suddenly becoming a better person.

    Here are some likely payoffs in 2013 for work I’ve already completed by the end of 2012:

    * Sell fiction PROFITABLY. I have over 70 works of fiction over 2 million words, circulating between editors. That includes 14 novels, and scores of short stories, novelettes, and novellas, often grouped
    into series with recurring characters or common setting. The majority of all this has been serialized on Facebook, and I am grateful for the feedback I’ve gotten.

    * Win 2 years back pay, benefits, seniority, medical, pain and suffering from the massive, corrupt, incompetent Los Angeles Unified School District. My documentary proof is all in the hands of a
    brilliant law firm with a winning record against that specific employer.

    * Have a new faculty position, probably in Mathematics, but possibly in other fields where I have advanced degrees and/or have been professor before.

    * Continue and extend academic, scholarly, and scientific publications. I already have over 4,200 publications, presentations, and broadcasts to my credit. I have many published works whose
    follow-up research results are currently being written in collaboration with proven co-researchers and co-authors. Some of these have been beta-tested on Facebook.

  29. Last Dec 31, my business was failing, we were living in my niece’s spare room, and my youngest kid was in jail for DUI. Today I have a good job, a really nice place to live, and my kid is sober and looking for work. I liked this year a lot more than I thought I would.

  30. 2012 was one of the hardest years of my life. A lot of great things happened and a lot of awful things happened. Surprisingly I’m here and now alive and well. I am grateful for that. Here’s to 2013 being all about growth, prosperity love and joy!

  31. All in all, 2012 sucked because we have been fighting a losing battle with my son’s cancer. But honestly, when we brought Alan home in September we didn’t think we’d be able to celebrate his 5th birthday in November, never mind Christmas and ringing in 2013. So we have that much to be grateful for at least. It’s raining here, so no fireworks tonight. But friends have bought a whole pile of fireworks so we will give him a private show when it dries – hopefully tomorrow.

  32. 2012 was a good year for me. I went on a trip by myself for the first time, which gave me a lot of confidence. My teenage boys are doing well in high school, and we all are doing fine with our health. We’re looking forward to going to Peru in 2013, probably our last big trip as a family before my boys are into summer jobs and then college.

  33. So long, and good riddance, 2012. Lost my wife’s father in February to pancreatic cancer, less than a year after she and her parents were finally reconciled. Her cold-hearted, narcissistic, manipulative sister doesn’t miss the opportunity to scream at her at his bedside, though. Wife had scan in May for hernia; found lumps on spleen instead, which “could only be cancer” per doctor. Back & forth with military medical to follow up, finally re-diagnosed as enlarged spleen with ‘cysts.’ Pain continues, still no solution. Blindsided by school complaint that younger son suddenly having behavioural issues at school. Sick kids, including pneumonia in the baby. So far in the hole on leave I can never quit this company; cancelling my own medical appointments to try to get ahead. Stress causing short tempers, shouting, anger all around …

    On the plus side, older son’s first full gymnastics season started out with 2 first place and four second place events, plus first place all-around. Daughter slowly growing into interactive human being with VERY definite opinions; already loves shoes and “pretty” clothes. My wife and are both still employed. We managed to refinance our house and get paid to do it. And if congress can pull their heads out, 2013 has a chance to be better.

  34. Best thing that happened to me this year was the adoption of my dog Buster. He’s the light of my life. Lost two teeth, but I don’t miss ‘em, much. Got a decent job, which is going well as long as my car holds up. A reasonably good year. The next one looks OK, as well.
    Wishing everyone a safe and prosperous New Year.

  35. Happy 2013, one of the numbers in which the number of distinct base 10 digits is 4
    https://oeis.org/A031969

    A031969 n-th number in which the number of distinct base 10 digits is 4.

    1023, 1024, 1025, 1026, 1027, 1028, 1029, 1032, 1034, 1035, 1036, 1037, 1038, 1039, 1042, 1043, 1045, 1046, 1047, 1048, 1049, 1052, 1053, 1054, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1059, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1065, 1067, 1068, 1069, 1072, 1073, 1074, 1075, 1076, 1078, 1079, 1082 (list; graph; refs; listen; history; edit; text; internal format)

    OFFSET
    1,1

    COMMENTS
    Last week’s challenge on National Public Radio from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn, N.Y.: In a few weeks something will happen that hasn’t happened since 1987. What is it? Answer: A year with no repeat digits (1987, 2013). [Jonathan Vos Post, Dec 02 2012]
    The subset of primes begins: 1039, 1049, 1063, 1069, 1087, 1093, 1097.

    LINKS
    Table of n, a(n) for n=1..43.

    MATHEMATICA
    Select[Range[1000, 1100], Length[Union[IntegerDigits[#]]] == 4 &] (* T. D. Noe, Dec 04 2012 *)

    KEYWORD
    nonn,base

    AUTHOR
    Clark Kimberling

    STATUS
    approved

  36. Congratulations on ten years of Old Man’s War, Mr. Scalzi. I recently began revision of my second novel, which is based on a longer and rather crappy first novel, and will soon be handing it to a small press with whom I have a publication contract.

  37. “…it was a year with dynamic range.”

    With this, I can wholeheartedly agree. Some extraordinarily bad things happened to us, as well as some extraordinarily good things happening for us; a mixed bag to say the least. It’s been a bumpy ride and 2013 promises to be more of the same.

    For you sir, I thank you for writing Redshirts. Both my husband and I thought it was a blast to read, and our tastes in books rarely agree. There, sir, you have achieved a literary détente.

  38. We moved to a bigger place, we had a new baby born in October, I earned a promotion at work, one of my sisters was married — but we also were hit by Hurricane Sandy. Still, overall, 2012 wasn’t that bad at all. Hoping for the best in 2013!

  39. My wife finally found a full time job in her field, after part timing it for 4 years. I however remain unemployed, and am facing the reality that I’m probably never going to work in my field again and thus, a career change is needed. (This is a good thing. Apparently you’re only allowed to have one librarian per family unit and I’d rather it be my wife, who enjoys the work. My experience as a librarian was… not so rewarding. Let’s leave it at that). Maybe IT will be a better fit, at least until I finish my novel and find a publisher!

    We found out my wife is pregnant back in July and my son is due in February of the new year. After resigning ourselves to just being the coolest aunt and uncle ever, we’re going to be parents. This is a thing that is happening.

    I wrote and published a novella that is selling modestly well (not well enough for me to claim writing as a full time job yet, but not bad for a self-published book with no publicity to speak of). The novel-in-progress is coming along and I should have it finished sometime in the new year.

    All in all, 2012 was just OK, but 2013 will be big in several life changing ways.

  40. Good: A year in a new, great job that has me writing again in a new field: marketing. Also have begun writing fiction again with greater enthusiasm. And discovering great SF from the likes of Scalzi, MacLeod, Bacigalupi, Mieville. So, a good year.

  41. In 2012: My father’s two sisters had heart attacks, and the cousin who is just over a month older than I am had an emergency surgery of a personal nature (bad, all around). But they’re all recovering nicely (good). My grandmother moved in with my mother and father (bad, but not my place to say anything about), and then moved out again (good, ditto). I got a significant raise (good) and promptly spent it all because I had to have radiation treatment (no chemo, not cancer, so bad and good and good) because the pituitary tumor I had out in 2010 wasn’t fully removed and had started pumping out growth hormone again (bad). My sister nearly lost her cat (bad) but $6K later still has her (good and bad). I adopted two guinea pigs (good) and they’re spoiled rotten after six months and still not hand tame (is what it is, and moderately not good).

    As far as 2013′s plans…keeping my job so I can keep my health coverage first and foremost, but also finishing a novel with my co-author (and shopping it around, if we get it DONE in 2013), and also writing and sending out more poetry and short fiction on my own (which I have just sent out a <1K word piece to a flash fiction market; fingers crossed). Possibly putting together a book of extant poetry and self-publishing it for kicks and grins. Seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, hopefully with the aforementioned co-author (and best friend of almost 35 years). Possibly becoming a dog fosterer, though I need to talk to my landlord about that first. Completing a half-Cannonball. And I think that’s about it.

    @Keith, congratulations to you and your wife, and good luck (just because yours is the last post before mine; congratulations, condolences, and good luck as appropriate to all other posters as well.)

  42. No one close to me died in 2012, so that was good. My short film Pretty All the Time was shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival and I raised $10K on Kickstarter for my second short, which is now in rough cut: also good. Some professional frustrations and disappointments. But the really big thing for me was that I had surgery which cleared up a chronic illness in 2012–and I hadn’t expected it to work like that.

  43. Follow the bouncing ball of life. Lost a cat greived and then spent two months seducing a semi feral Tom. Now we are close friends. He drives me crazy and makes me happy.
    Read some interesting nonfiction and some entertaining fiction. On the nonfiction side Antonio Damasio and Sam Harris convinced me that I don’t have free will but the contrarian in me still thinks that’s BS. JS you’ve got a degree in philosophy, any thoughts on free will? The mayan thing made me giggle and groan. Giggle at how gullible people are and groan at the media for not stomping it out from the begining. Ancient Aliens, Finding Bigfoot, Ghost Hunters? Are you kidding me? WWE on SyPhy channel? Syphy? Now there are some signs of the apocalypse.
    On the fiction side I learned that it takes more than briliant writing to keep my attention. Scalzi’s books are more entertaining then some more literate fiction. American Gods was ok but in the end I didn’t care if the charaters lived or died. I didn’t even finish Winters Tale (A Scalzi Fav) yet I reread all of the Old Mans war books at least once. I’m ok with people thinking I have common taste. It’s still tasty to me.
    On the work front I got to make parts for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and other cool projects and also decided it wasn’t enough to make me want to keep working for the clown running the company. So 2013 will be a year of finding a new gig and learning more new stuff.
    Smelling the roses still beats feeding them.

  44. 2012 was, all things considered, pretty good. Still liking my job, which sends me to cool places – just before Worldcon in Chicago I was in Vienna, Austria. I got to help out at the Hugo Awards ceremony, which means I got to hold the actual Hugo Awards and hand them off to some random guy…John…err…John Scal-something. Nice guy, really. My eldest turned 21. I was Filk GoH at a local convention, discovered some amazing new music, turned 50, got in shape to run a half marathon, got to see the shuttle fly overhead, took a trip to England to see a friend get married (and then saw her the following month on this side of The Pond where she was part of the GoH duo to another filk convention).

    Oh, and the Republicans were defeated in the US election.

    Yeah, 2012 has been pretty good all around.

  45. 2012

    The Good:

    1. Full-time job
    2. Many debts paid down
    3. Taking some classes at college again
    4. Finally, after years of trying, having a ton of success at losing weight.

    The Bad

    1. Still single, although I haven’t really been giving that my full attention. I probably should try Match or something. The neighborhood is a bit too religious here.

    2. Moved back in with Mom and brother. They’re fun, but it makes you feel like a kid again on some level.

    3. Grandmother died, but it wasn’t unexpected – she’d been getting more and more frail for years, and was in a nursing home.

    4. Still not sure what I really want to pursue.

  46. Started a new business publishing magazines with Life’s Journey: Professional and Personal Wholeness as my first, with hopes for several more in 2013.

    Saw the probable end of my speech and debate coaching career with the failure of the local school levy.

    Seeing my kids growing up, my husband happy, and new opportunities in 2012 and 2013 – I have hopes for a great year in 2013.

  47. Brett, as the saying goes, “Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege.”

    I promise you that 30 isn’t fatal. Neither is 40. Or 50. But don’t ask me about 60 yet!

  48. Brett @ 3:23 “I’m closer to 30 now than 20. ”

    Should we let him in on the secret that your 30s are usually better and brighter than 20s, once you get over the hump of “omg, i’m 30″?

  49. Overall, 2012 has been one of the best years of my adult life. For the first time in pretty much ever, I think I’m actually in a career, not just a job. I’m getting ready to rent a house, not an apartment (not QUITE ready to take the ownership plunge), my car’s close to paid off, and I made several new friends who are already on my “people I can call to help hide a body” list. Really, looking back, there’s only one thing that I’d consider a strong negative, and it’s personal enough that I don’t especially feel like discussing it here.

    The best part: 2013 is shaping up to be just as good, maybe even better.

  50. They’re still working on making the movie for Old Man’s War

    So, it’s not a “go” yet? On the plus side at least Paul Verhoeven isn’t involved. That man should be banned from making films for the horrible mess he made of “Starship Troopers”.

  51. Started with being promoted with a good salary bump, not to mention stars on my personnel review with came with a nice extra few percentages on the pay check. Then saw my entrance into the Radiologic Tech program bumped up a year. Didn’t get the schedule I needed but somehow made it work out. Didn’t kill anybody in clinicals and had a retake ratio lower than other students.

    But then the increased time drain for classes and clinicals sucked up all my free writing time and I haven’t been able to get back into writing in 15 minute increments and most of the rest of the free time was spent recovering form the week and preparing for the next. So everything on the writing end ground to a halt (after I racked up some excellent rejections for the novel). Next semester will be worse for time. And by the time summer rolls around, hopefully I’ll have figured out how to juggle all the requirements and get back to pumping out words on a regular basis.

  52. 2012 can be best described as upheaval. We moved twice in the first 6 months and didn’t settle into a new place on a more permanent basis until June, hubs changed jobs twice and now works 3 part times, hubs and son graduated this year (one from culinary, the other from high school). The good is that we’re in a place with a healthier environment (we call the first house we moved out of toxic house, if that gives you any clue) and have the opportunity to stabilize things financially (all things considering, this may take us awhile, but at least now we have the opportunity) and, on personal note, I lose 3 more pounds than I had for my goal. The bad: the ex lost his job and now everyone except my son (who has SSI/Medicaid) no longer have insurance and since GA opted out of Obamacare, we’re unlikely to get it any time soon and our son’s service dog finally succumbed to old age and probably problems caused by toxic house. And those are just the major points. It was a crazy crazy year that I’m glad is done.

    Hoping for a quieter 2013 except with my writing. Really hoping one or both books out on the market-go-round find homes. Hubs will probably remain int he three jobs since each help in a different area of his after school before he can become a sous chef training. The big focus at home is working on getting things more settled after 3 years of un and under employment and a house that was way to expensive for us to be living in. Unfortunately, that will probably be a focus for several years. I’m also still working on the weight loss—got about 100 more to go and plan to lose 30 this year and keep getting healthier.

    Hope everyone has a good, healthy 2013!

  53. I began this year struggling at a new profession, writing from archaeology/anthropology.

    Today, the Chicago Bears fired their Head Coach Lovie Smith. After decades of the blue and orange, I am adrift.

  54. All my kids went to college, one in the UK, so I feared the empty nest, but it has been wonderful to be completely alone for the first time ever. I retired and thus acquired health insurance for the first time in years, so I saw a dentist & a doctor, and I received no horrible news. I’ve been writing a lot, mostly book reviews, and I’ve finally made progress on decades of stuff that people left behind here in my ancestral home when they died or moved. I don’t have friends, but all the city workers like me because I thanked them in a letter to the editor. It’s nice to have 10 guys wave at you and smile every time you walk the dog. I got my trail guide published for a local trail. I took the photographs, designed it, & wrote the text (my daughter identified the plants) and the Chamber of Commerce covered the initial printing, so that was exciting. Even my volunteer jobs were fun. I more or less think this first truly great year may be the last time I have a truly great year because I never had one before, so why expect to ever have one again?

  55. 2012 is probably going to go down in history as the year I crawled in a hole and pulled it in after me. (And occasionally – too often – filled the remaining space with whisky.)

    Digging out, and planning for a better 2013. Writing, definitely.

    (And @Stephen – good on yer, mate. Going on better than two years since one of my kidneys went on permanent loan to my sister, and both of us are doing well. She’s named it “Georgette”.)

  56. I had two stories published this year, which were officially the first and second stories anyone has paid me money for. Both at pro rates, too.

    On the other side, I also lost my grandfather to a MRSA infection he caught at the nursing home. He’d been struggling with dementia for a while, and he’d reached the point where he couldn’t remember our names any more. But you know, he couldn’t remember the grandkids’ names, but he remembered we had all done things worth being proud of. I can hang on to that, anyway.

    So yeah, a year of ups and downs.

  57. I had what a professional sports team might euphemistically refer to as ‘a rebuilding year’.

    When last year ended, I had just fired a particularly drunken and useless girlfriend, put down a wonderful but elderly and sickly old friend (Sebastian, my white German Shepherd), Christmas was cancelled, and New Years was fairly low-key.

    Rather than date another trainwreck, I figured I’d spend some time alone, to figure out how to BE alone, so when I chose to date somebody again, it’d be because I wanted to, and not because I felt that I needed to. So, I worked on career things, house-fixing things, played a lot of Warcraft with the family guild, and spent some quality time with my remaining dog.

    And then, around the end of July, an old friend complaining about HER exes in between listening to me complain about mine asked me “Why have we never dated? That one night at the Leonard Cohen concert, when we were waltzing to ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’, why didn’t you kiss me?”

    And I thought “Y’know, she’s got a point”. So I kissed her.

    On the whole, this year wasn’t great. …but I’ve weathered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and now I’m steering this battleship toward brighter skies. …where there will probably be more kissing.

  58. 2012 has been the year that started with gallbladder surgery and included my 39th birthday; other points of interest include my husband not having back surgery, some instability at work, a minor promotion, and a major midlife crisis, religion flavored, that has me working on a graduate school application with the intention of a career change in an entirely unexpected direction.

    Interesting times.

  59. Good luck on graduate school and the career change, C! As a 40ish graduate student who just finished up a thesis, I can tell you that going back to school to explore a new direction is a lot of fun.

    Finding a job afterwards, that’s not quite as fun. There are still plenty of opportunities in my old line of work (along with enough contract work to keep me solvent), but I haven’t convinced anyone to hire the new me. When 2012 ends, I’ll be glad to put some of that uncertainty behind me.

  60. An excellent year: gave birth to twin boys in April at age 45. Some medical issues in the pregnancy but nothing that couldn’t be handled. My mother and their daddy’s mother have been great in providing support and keeping us from going nuts in the first few months. Watching their personalities emerge and abilities grow is a lot of fun. Now if we could just get them to sleep through the night regularly…

    I do miss reading. I’m averaging about 1-2 books a month as opposed to 1-2 books a week, pre-birth.

  61. Honestly, I find that years in general are trending upward in quality. 2012 was a little frustrating in some ways (I’m not especially fond of my job situation right now), but on the other hand I am happy and healthy overall, and working to keep my life interesting with interesting and uncommon hobbies.

    There’s stuff going on that will make 2013 even better than 2012 was, and I’m looking forward to all of it.

  62. The good: I finished the first draft of a novel, did two rounds of revisions, had a group of intelligent beta readers go through it, and am currently doing one more round of revisions based on their feedback. I have high hopes.

    The bad: Well…there are still too many Republicans in power around the country.

    Best to you!

  63. 2012 was a decent year. Nobody died in my family this year, we were all steadily employed, and nobody had any major physical issues. No complaints about this one.

  64. Until November, it was a year of the normal ups and downs, with the downs being of the ‘trying to get by on a fixed income with increasing medical bills’ sort. Then, November 12th, my best friend was diagnosed with untreatable, palliative-care-only liver cancer. (Liver cancer is one of the stealthy ones, like pancreatic or ovarian – often no symptoms at all until it’s too late to do anything.) (Oh, and she never drank, or smoked, or did drugs, so those people I know who kept trying to say “it’s because she [fill in the blank]” have become people I will no longer speak to.) Mad scrambling to get her will and medical power of attorney and general power of attorney in place, from the wrong side of the ferry ride. She died Nov. 30th; didn’t even have time to make her the “Fuck Cancer” sampler I promised her. The next mad scramble was arranging cremation, memorial service (I’m executor of her will); now it’s having my tiny apartment filled with stuff of hers that needs sorting and dealing with. I was really almost hoping the world would end, even though I know that whole ‘The Mayans predicted that the universe is going to end! Oh woe!’ thing was nonsense.

    Fuck cancer. Fuck 2012. I’m picking up the pieces, but it’s a slow, hard process.

  65. @Huey – Your wonderfully mixed metaphor made me smile. And may there be more kissing for all of us who want that kind of thing in 2013.
    @Glinda – I’m so sorry. I lost a new friend to a similarly fast-moving cancer at the beginning of the year. It was a shocking and discombobulating experience.
    As for my year. It’s been a bit of a struggle but I’ve achieved good things. We bought a house in a great neighbourhood. My daughter finished kindergarten and will be moving on to school, which is causing me some separation angst in advance. No more baby. I worked hard on my health and my marriage, to good effect. And I’m throwing myself into the whole mid-life crisis thing with gusto – more writing courses, more self-examination…
    I hope to see the benefits of my hard work in 2013.

  66. I had a lovely year being employed for the first time in … a while. Great workplace, great work, I grew and stretched a lot. And then, because of the terrible inefficiency of my employer’s ancient and bizarre bureaucracy, they fluffed about on renewing my contract … to the point where I was interviewed to (re)apply for my position, and didn’t get the position, the week before Christmas.

    So I have been rather lacking in holiday cheer this season, and have no idea what to do with myself in 2013. The smart money is on studying workplace admin or something useful like that, but my enthusiasm for returning to study has never been lower.

  67. 2012….

    The Good: Improved by leaps and bounds or whatever as a writer. Discovered David Foster Wallace and Glen Cook. Discovered The Smashing Pumpkins.

    The Bad: Grandfather died. I remained directionless, depressed and lonely. Obama got reelected.

  68. In 2012, I dropped 30 lbs. I celebrated my second full year of being debt-free (after many, many years of crushing debt) and have finally managed to have some savings. My boyfriend and I celebrated our 15th year together. (Still can’t think of a reason to get married. Everything is working as is, there won’t be any kids, neither of us is religious, and other than “it’s what people tend to do” — there just doesn’t seem to be a good reason.) A good friend had a double mastectomy and has just undergone the third round of chemo. My friends are losing parents left and right, and I know that’s something I’m likely to have to face soon. I’m about to turn 50 and I know that the job I’ve been doing for the past 23 years isn’t likely to evolve any further. I’m lucky to have a job, but I keep thinking that maybe it’s too easy, too comfortable doing the same thing over and over and I should be looking for a new challenge. I also think that at my age, maybe I shouldn’t undervalue familiarity or comfort, especially when there’s so much change I *have* to embrace if I don’t want to drown.

  69. 2012? Let’s see… One gig ended, another began – after toughing out a hiring freeze that lasted over four months. Nonetheless, I’m still here and kicking, as is my Mom (85), so add it up and it gets my upvote, albeit a feeble one.

    As that inimitable legal eagle Brandon Smith might have put it:
            “Look…  that calendar year, 2012? It’s not sucking as much as people say it is.”

    Happy Next Chapter to everyone!

  70. Happy New Year to the Scalzi clan! (perhaps you meant “large” dynamic range as everything has some range if it’s not a constant :) ).

  71. In a lot of ways it’s been a terrible year – my father had a severe stroke from which there will be no recovery, my mother was diagnosed with emphysema, I came within 5 hours of accepting an ‘invitation’ to quit my job, and a number of other things that it wouldn’t be right for me to blab about in public. On the other hand I did manage to transfer internally before the axe fell, my wifes and my health have been trending up all year, and we’re sitting by the phone waiting for the announcement of the next grandchild.

    My plans for the year? Play with that grandbaby, find a job I like rather than merely don’t detest, get our house ready to sell, and do more writing. We’ll see.

  72. This year was OK. Worked on my master’s in nursing, moved up in the nursing world and am now acting nurse-manager for two units in a hospital. This year marked 7 years with my boyfriend, and we are still going strong, and now own a house. Took a Korean class so I can finally talk with my boyfriend’s mom a bit.

    Next year I would like to walk a little bit each day, eat more fruits/veg and less sugar, and get pregnant. All seem to be reasonable goals.

  73. Around the end of 2011 I sent an old children’s story of mine to a publisher, on a whim, really. She liked it so much that she mailed me back within three days, telling me the story was not long enough in order for her company to publish it – and if I could write a few more like the first one and send them to her.
    So, during the next two months I wrote four more stories, worried at them for another month and then sent them to the editor – and then I waited, and waited, and waited, and after four months I got a mail, telling me that the editor really liked the stories but that the rest of the team didn’t like them enough for the small company to take a risk on (and hey: short stories, when paper publishers have enough problems already, making money…?) She did advise me to keep sending them to other publishers (or agents) ’cause she still thought they deserved to get published.

    So, that sucked.

    On the plus side, it was the first time I’d sent any of my stories to a publisher and a professional liked the first story so much she wanted to see more so, that was nice. Also, I wrote four stories I’d otherwise never would have written and I like them a lot, so, that’s good.

    It still sucked.

    I don’t know if I will send the stories to another publisher: I really didn’t enjoy that whole waiting game and I don’t need to become a pro. I have a job I like and I enjoy writing stuff, whether I get paid for it or not.

    Anyway, that was the biggest story of my year. No happy ending, perhaps but certainly not all bad. On the whole, I love the birth of those four new stories more than I hate the disappointment of not becoming a professional story teller.

  74. 2012 had its ups and downs, but on the whole it was better than the decade before. Two weeks after my unemployment benefits ran out, I got a part-time temp job that paid for food and my cell phone for almost for months. My boss loved me, but I was subbing for someone on leave & it wasn’t possible to keep me on. We lived entirely on my husband’s salary for most of the summer, which was challenging–things like hot dogs & chicken thighs have made regular appearances on our dinner plates-but we still have the house, we;re still together, and our 17 year old cat is still alive.

    This fall saw some improvement. I closed out a small mutual fund account, which lets me pay for food again, plus some small bills. Two weeks ago, I got a used car, thanks to our mechanic, for about half of what I was hoping to pay. Now I actually have a way to get to the jobs I’m applying for. Yay! Also, after nearly two years of arguing with insurance companies, the mortgage company, and the contractors, we finally have a completed addition to the house, which replaces our weather damaged back porch. None of this is huge, in the overall scheme of things, but I dare say it feels like it to me.

  75. A recap of highlights from my 2012: http://marktiedemann.com/wordpress/?p=1719
    I left most of the topical politics out of this. My intention for this coming year is to finally get back into print. In that vein, I do have a short story collection coming out next fall (small press) and my agent is diligently shopping a trilogy around. Other than that, I hope to have a year very different from the one just ended.

  76. Got a new job, lost the new job. Broke my ankle but my daughter got married to the man of her dreams. So as with everything and everyone I had my ups and downs. Life is like that but you know it’s better than the alternative right? Seriously, I think life is a terrific journey and if we didn’t have the bad, we couldn’t appreciate the good. John, I’m sorry to hear about your father-in-law. May his memory always be a blessing to your family. My best wishes to you all that 2013 turns out to be a stellar year.

  77. REDSHIRTS’ reception would be enough to put a smile on any year, Scalzi – and a well-deserved reception, too!

  78. 2012 was pretty good overall. Funding ran out on my previous job position that was supposed to be relatively permanent, but another position opened up at the same place that I was able to move to. Professionally, people are starting to take me seriously, which I’m not used to at all. I went to two 20-year high school reunions (I attended two high schools) and got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I moved to a much better apartment in September. I restarted my fishtank on Christmas Day, after over 12 years of not having one. I played lots and lots of Battle Pirates on Facebook.

    So overall: I’m healthy, employed, have a paid-off car that’s mostly still working, have a ton of great friends both online and offline, and enjoying life.

  79. 2012: A very eventful, and mostly year overall.
    The good: Produced and wrapped 11 episodes (minus 2 scenes), an entire season, of WRNG IN STUDIO CITY, a comedy webseries I created and co-wrote with my friend, about a bunch of reporters suddenly forced to make up news stories and pass them off as true.
    Finished and landed a manager for “Yo, Let’s Save Jesus,” a screenplay I co-wrote with two friends of mine (after a public reading of YLSJ).
    Landed a paying gig writing another webseries-for-hire; have since finished 2 drafts of said project, and 2nd was just turned in.
    Saw two very good friends get married six weeks apart; was best man at one and MC at the other.
    Made it across the country for my dad’s retirement party.
    Started therapy and was diagnosed with ADD-Inattentive, and have been working on treating that since the diagnosis (in November).
    Produced my friend Joe Luis Cedillo’s play “7 eight 9,” which ran for six weeks in Hollywood.

    The bad: My friend Joshua Casteel died of cancer (probably acquired in Iraq) at the age of 32.
    Nothing else to say about that except RIP Josh. You were one of the good ones.

  80. 2012 a mixed bag.

    Bad: Hit by an 18-wheel truck days after my birthday (literally). Not how I pictured my birthday week going but it could have been worse.

    On the good side: I started a new business. Began writing fiction. Found out what a wonderful online community I belong to. Met a bunch of cool people. Learned to laugh at things that used to upset me. Am a lot more relaxed about life. Mostly recovered from the accident!

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