The Year Half Gone and What Do I Have to Show for It?

Quite a lot, actually. 2012 so far for me: Not a bad year at all.

But the wonders of the second half of the year await, and most of those wonders involve working my ass off for the next several months on a whole bunch of projects. I still have some serious travel ahead of me for the rest of the year, but the insane season of my travel ends today once I drive home from Louisville (I do still have ComicCon, but I have a week at home before that happens. Luxury!). So my plan for July and August in particular is to keep my head down and work, work, work. Hopefully the end result of that is all y’all having more things to read.

Your 2012 so far? Do tell.


56 Comments on “The Year Half Gone and What Do I Have to Show for It?”

  1. 2012 has been a banner year for me so far. Married possibly the most understanding, beautiful woman it has been my honor to ever meet, finished some intense training for work, and still wake up every morning wondering why they pay me to do what I do.

    I am a lucky man.

  2. It was steadily getting better and better, then everything went to hell and has been getting worse since. About every week I feel like I’ve bottomed out, then next week I find out that it’s possible to sink lower. I’m not sure how things could get worse than they are right now but I’m sure life will find a way.

    I’m glad I’m more fundamentally put together than I was when I was younger, or it’d be a dangerous time. Instead I’m just miserable. I don’t even know why I’m posting this here.

  3. @Denton
    I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. Sometimes it helps to tell others of your woes, even the faceless nobody of the Internet. I can’t begin to understand how you must feel, but I do hope things get better for you.

  4. All most all of the first half of 2012 for me has been spent working on The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 3: Portraits of a Trickster. But since the book goes to the printer in about two weeks, just in time for FarmerCon VII in August, my labors are nearly complete.

  5. Professionally, 165 days until I finish my second bachelor’s degree and then on to what I hope will be a more fulfilling career than the one I had. Personally, I am married to my best friend, still have a job despite the economy, and my son is off to college. Life is good.

  6. Well… the year 2012 started off as a continuation of the suckfest that was my 2011. But then, at the beginning of February I finally met that someone special who I’d been searching for my entire life (but never quite finding) and, in the 5 wonderful months since then my life has done a pretty substantial 180 and things are looking really great now. Looking ahead to the second half of the year now with a positive attitude and a determination to make the most of these new opportunities that life has chosen to present to me.

  7. So far the first part of 2012 has been fascinating. My daughter has grown from 4 months old to 10, and has changed from a small bundle of needs into… well, a slightly larger bundle of needs, but a larger bundle of needs which is turning into a person. I look forward to more developments on that front.

  8. So far this year I’ve watched my youngest son graduate from high school and get ready for college, my daughter continue her success at college, and after being a struggling single mom for the majority of my children’s lives, I’m finally buying my first home.

  9. Things seem to be getting better. After maxing out unemployment and COBRA, got a full time job recently related to my career field, with full benefits. The sense of relief is palpable.

  10. We’re six months into 2012 and I’ve been working more than I have in the past three years, thanks to a temp gig that I got in January and assumed would last about a week. (Now they’re talking about bringing me on permanently. Cross fingers, knock wood.) 2012 is also the year I got to go to Italy and meet a dear friend in person for the first time after some twenty years of knowing her via the postal service and the Internet. Those two things alone make it a banner year for me, whatever else might happen in it.

  11. Better than the last 2 years, but not quite what I’m hoping for. Unemployment benefits ended in Jan. I got a 20 hour temp job, no benefits, as a receptionist 2 weeks later. But that’s done with, so I’m using our tax refund money to pay for food & hoping I find something soon. Our contractor still hasn’t shown up to rebuild our back porch, while the mortgage company who controls the insurance money wants to know if we’re finished building yet. The cat is now 17, which is good, but had one of her eyes removed recently, which is not so good. So six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  12. 2012 has been pretty good. This past month has been amazing as I started what I hope will be a long relationship with a large employer in my area (as a full-time employee, not contractor). Learning a ton about their business that I didn’t know as a contractor and enjoying it immensely.

  13. In the spring, my wife got a new job after several years of being a stay-at-home mother, and her commute and work schedule are considerably more intense and less flexible than mine; so I’ve been scrambling to pick up all the household and child-care tasks I was getting to assume would just get done. It’s left little time for any great personal accomplishments aside from work and being a dad. At the same time, my daughter suddenly acquired a whirlwind social schedule of nonstop birthday parties, often two a weekend.

    The week before last, in the gap between kindergarten and summer day camp (and still before my wife was allowed to accrue any vacation days), I took a week off and just did stuff with my kid. That was a lot of fun.

  14. You’re also down one MacBook Air unless a miracle occurred and someone turned it in, John.
    My year has been OK so far. My parents’ estate is finally being sorted out so my finances aren’t so precarious, and I had a friend over to visit from the US for the first half of June. We had fun.

  15. These six months have been busy for me, mostly because of our son, who will be eleven months old tomorrow. He’s also made these six of the best months ever for us. Whenever I can carve out some time for myself, I’m working on a science fiction novel and a short story. The rest of my year? Most likely more of the same.

  16. Started off the year really low. Finances were dire, my health wasn’t great, and I didn’t have anything on the horizon publishing-wise (my agent basically told me that she really liked what she’d read of my new SF novel but that no one was buying new SF writers, which is what I would be despite the former mystery/thriller career). There are also some personal heartbreaks I don’t need to discuss here.

    But things are definitely looking up. I’m eating better, losing weight, and generally feeling less crappy. Got one kid doing well in college after a rocky start and the other got into the school of her choice, in the Honors program.The Kindle publishing thing has suddenly taken off–I’ve already sold more books under both pen names (J.D. Rhoades and J.D. Nixx) and made WAY more money in 2012 than I did in any single year of traditional publishing, and if things keep going this way, I’ll have done more of both than I did in my whole trad publishing career. So let’s hope things continue the upward trend.

  17. This year has been a strange but exciting one. A publisher has shown interest in a travel guide concept I had, so I’m scrambling around to finish my proposal. I’m also working on a self-publishing quest for a novel I’m writing. The end of the year will be do or die time; I’m on track to finish my master’s by December. I’ve also started a new FIT plan, so we’ll see how that goes.

  18. 2012 is great! Glad yours is going well, too.

    Turned 40, which I love. (When I turned 39 I tried to skip the year ’cause I felt too cool to still be in my 30’s.) Writing more. Reading more (including this one really fantastic story about folks who wear red). Finally getting my ass back up on a stage again, emceeing big events and staging my own. Losing weight. Dating (after a lengthy hiatus). Making better money than I have in a long while. Feeling more centered, more competent and more hopeful all the time.

    And it’s all because of you, John Scalzi. (Well, ok, that may be overstated. But I do love what you do. Keep it up, sir. You’re an inspiration.)

  19. Lost a very dear friend last year, but I’ve been able to help continue his legacy.

    Met the love of my life last year and we’re engaged to get married next spring in Mexico.

    Working on finishing my graduate thesis. Hopefully I’ll have it ready for initial review by the end of August.

    Had an interesting adventure in surgery when my head started to feel like Gallagher was using it for his act, but the docs were able to figure out what was wrong and, one outpatient operation later, I can once again think straight and, as a nice bonus, hear better than I have in years.

    The year and half process of selling my stake in the company finalized last fall, so I can officially say that 2012 is my first year AD (After Databases). From here on out, I’m back on track for the career I’ve known was my calling since 6th grade!

    The new dojo is practically running itself (by which I mean the other black belts and admin staff are stepping up and generally being awesome about keeping up with all the new students at both schools).

    Haven’t had much time for writing and none for composing, so I’ve had to simply jot down my ideas for later. That’s kind of a big deal. I’ve grown accustomed to that outlet where I can go and create something in my own mental space just for myself. Not getting to play in that private multiverse is worse than not meditating. But once I submit the thesis I’ll have my me time back.

    We’re considering taking a swing dance class as part of our our time, but she’s pretty busy with work too, so it’ll likely have to wait until the fall.

    I’d say 2012 is a year of transitions for me, and I’m glad.

  20. This is the year that started off with gallbladder surgery, followed by a promotion that entailed about 20% more work for about a 6% pay increase, followed by spousal illness, personal illness, and a massive increase in responsibility in my volunteer work at church.

    It’s going to get better at some point. And there’s a copy of Fuzzy Nation sitting on the desk that I was going to read while my spouse was going to be recovering from the surgery that has so far turned out not to be necessary (assuming the aforementioned spouse can avoid doing anything stupid this summer.)

    So yeah. 2012. About that whole Mayan apocalypse thing – I’m intrigued and wish to subscribe to the newsletter. Insert blasphemously unprofessional language here.

  21. I was diagnosed with cancer in Feb., had surgery in March, radiation in April & May. June? well I spent June trying to get some stamina back. I have high hopes the rest of 2012 will be less intense and less expensive.

  22. My 2012 so far has been better than I have any right to expect. I have a new puppy, new medicine that really works, and today’s my birfday! I actually managed to get to be 50 years old — a feat I wouldn’t have taken odds on if you’d asked me at twenty. Thanks for all your great words, keep ’em coming, and thanks for askin’.

  23. Physical Therapy has allowed me to virtually stop taking the prescribed pain pills.The perp was convicted of criminal Assault & Battery, but that doesn’t calm my pain circuits. I’m a few day from the 2-year anniversary of doubling my fiction writing quota to 2,000 words/day.
    I read my 7 novel 20-word elevator pitches at a Caltech poetry workshop. To the gentleman who mashed them up, I found that very enjoyable. It fits the late Damon Knight once calling a novel manuscript of mine “Agreeably loony.”
    My cumulative fiction writing wordcount since 6 July 2010:
    End of June 2012 = 1,570,000
    End of May 2012 = 1,473,450
    June 2012 total = 96,550 words
    [most of them serialized on Facebook]

  24. 2012’s first half has included sending the late-teenage Daughter away for a wilderness experience; since that worked really well for her, she’s now in a transition program and getting ready to come home and get ready for college.
    Husband was denied the promotion he was promised. His immediate supervisor is working on ways to try to get him that promotion.
    I have had a number of depressive episodes, my cholesterol is too high, my sugar is borderline. It’s time to do the eating-well-and-exercising thing.
    If anybody has recs for a website or online group for people just starting to write, since this is the half-year that I do that, I’d be really grateful.

  25. 2012 has been interesting. But not interesting in a “holy cow I can’t put this book down!” way, more interesting in a “Wow that semi looks like it’s heading straight for us” kind of way. We flirted with bankruptcy for the first time in our marriage (and hopefully the last). We have been beset with an amazing number of problems and difficulties. But still, I remain optimistic that things will be OK. I have taken to posting five things I’m grateful for on Twitter every morning. Sometimes they are small things like having the coffee already made when I wake up, sometimes they are big things like having enough money in the bank to pay the mortgage. Finding five things in my life that are good and make me happy has actually improved my life. And I’m grateful for that too.

  26. Really good–producing my own webseries (WRNG IN STUDIO CITY, about a bunch of reporters suddenly forced by a lack of funds to make the news up), and we’ve already filmed 7 episodes; 5 more to go before we finish the season. The series is scheduled to premiere in October. Recovered from a writing burnout, and have been dating a lot more. Very few complaints about 2012 to date.

  27. My first book was published and came out in February and I made my June 25th deadline for book 2! My first daughter graduated high school in May. Things to look forward to in 2012? Hubby and I will reach our 24th anniversary in September, I’ll sign a contract for book #3 in my Alabama Girls series, and I’ll reach the grand age of 45. What might happen? Hubby might change jobs, we might move, and I might go crazy. It’s all good.

  28. It has been avery good half year for me. I retired from a high stress job after 39 years, work one weekend a month at a small bookstore volunteer at a local elementary school helping with reading, and take care of a 4 mo. old grandchild 4 days a week. Busier than I’vbe been in a long time and happy as a pig in a wallow.

  29. I’m at Clarion West right now. So yeah, not too shabby a halfway point for ol’ 2012.

  30. We found a new condo and will be moving in as soon as remodeling work is done.

  31. 2012 is a very strange year. Lots of professional opportunities and an almost equal number of disappointments. Family is in the infant-stress stage (two working parents, vulnerable infant, lots of illnesses and logistical issues). Thinking a lot about the broader purpose of life. Haven’t found much – that is probably more disappointing than the work issues. Hope to bond over the kids and the stress and the work issues for the future, about all I have left.

  32. My awesome employer switched me pretty rapidly between 3 different software engineering projects in the last 6 months, giving me a wider range of experience. (To contrast, I’d worked on 1 project for around 4 years, until the middle of last year.)
    Then they failed to find the funding to renew my contract so as of now I’m unemployed for the first time since over a year before graduating from university.
    So I’m currently figuring out what to do with my time, and what I’m supposed to do next. It’s… different.

  33. Seven months into 2012 finds me with a steady job, an apartment, my health, regular contact with my friends, and halfway through writing an honest to god book that I think I really can finish. Last year I was homeless, suicidal, unemployed, and had been suffering profound writers block so severe I’d forgotten why I ever wanted to be a writer in the first place. Now I have real career opportunities that might be opening up in the future, and my creativity is flowing stronger than I’ve ever felt it. So things have certianly turned around for me. My transition remains difficult, but the estrogen pills at least seem to have found an equilibrium, and I am slowly, oh-so-slowly learning to dress myself again. I suppose I’ll start on voice training soon.

  34. Made my first pro sale! Otherwise, kind of a crappy year so far, but I keep clinging to that bright spot.

  35. I am now closer to 50 than 40, but everyone is in good health and we are thankful for that blessing. My son is doing well in high school and we have several college visits planned this summer. Overall, that might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but I am glad my family is in that place and happy. Best wishes to everyone.

  36. You know, I was actually going to tell you how utterly depressing the last six months have been, but I changed my mind. Suffice to say the time frame in question began with losing my house and has most recently “given” me a car totaled by a driver making a left turn that shouldn’t have been made at that time.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for improvements in the latter half of 2012.

  37. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is “a broken marriage”. I suppose it’s better than “trapped in a marriage we both know isn’t working,” at any rate. I tell you, the details of splitting up a twenty-year relationship and cohabitation are like a hydra: every time you handle one, three more spring up. I don’t know how people do this when they’re mad as heck and can’t stand the sight of one another…

    In the positive column, now I’ve got a direction to go in, and just need to drum up the impetus to get moving. My older child has gotten his first job, and has gotten himself up every morning at o’dark-thirty to get to training. (This is great, considering he’d rather be going to bed at about that time and getting up around noon…) My younger child has a plan for what he’d like to do with his life, and it sounds like a workable one – now he just needs to drum up the impetus to get there. My soon-to-be ex and I are able to talk congenially and work as a team on parenting and financial details, so there’s that.

    Glad your year’s going well, Scalzi, and I hope it continues on that course.

  38. Well I’m hitting my 6th straight month overseas, so I miss my family quite a bit, but at least my fiancé is here. Last year it was the other way around. Also, I’ve spent months of my life on a set of projects that don’t seem to be paying very well. So there’s some frustration where you know you’re doing good work, and you know you’re learning a lot from it, but you either aren’t getting enough recognition for it, or maybe it’s Just not as good as you thought it was.

  39. @ SherryH

    I don’t know how people do this when they’re mad as heck and can’t stand the sight of one another…

    Lawyers? I always assumed contentious divorces were just like the movie The War of the Roses, but, as far as I know, I’ve only ever known amicable divorcees up close.

    @ MyName

    Also, I’ve spent months of my life on a set of projects that don’t seem to be paying very well.

    Money isn’t the intrinsic value of a thing, it’s merely what someone else will pay for it, which has at least as much to do with their circumstances as anything you do. I spent years selling things of little intrinsic value to me, and now I’m pursuing a career that will only pay a fraction of my erstwhile profession, but which is priceless to me.

  40. The biggest thing for me this year has been getting a bachelor degree in library- and information science despite being mentally ill. Thankfully I live in a country where the state pays for your education and I can get money too. I would’ve never made it without that and this time last year, it almost looked like I wouldn’t but thankfully, I got the right help in time. Still – I’m proud. I also got accepted on the 6 months course which will officially make me a librarian. I’ve also gotten some cheap tickets to England, so I’ll be able to visit some friends there.

  41. I hit 10K views on my blog (total), which I’m sure will make you chuckle (didn’t you get that many in a day, recently?), but I’m pretty darn pleased.

    I finished the fourth draft of book 2 of a trilogy I’m working on, which is finally feeling like a coherent whole. I need to trim some 30K words from this draft, but not until I’ve let it simmer on a back burner a while. Someone in my writing group suggested I work on something else, so I’m writing something completely different, something that may give me nightmares. Whee.

    Also, I challenged myself to read 125 books this year, and I’m on track to meet that goal. More than half of those are audio, because I listen to them in the car, and I spend about a quarter of my working time driving all over the NY capital region.

  42. So far, been adjusting to the new city, and growing into the new job, all started about this time last year. Saw a friend get married in the back room of a brewery. Coming to grips that I might not be a librarian for the rest of my career, but not sure what I’d like to move on in. Dealt with some medical issues, both physical and mental. Diagnosed with apnea and discovering the joys of CPAP assisted sleeping. Waiting for our old house to sell. Coping with the slow decline of one of our cats, just about a year after losing the last one. But in spite of all the challenges, I try to keep a positive outlook. Employed, happily married, fiscally stable.

  43. @gulliver:

    Yes, but, and I’m sure I’m not the only person in this situation, whether to put aside the attempt to make a living doing something you really enjoy in favor of making an actual living doing something boring but tolerable. The deciding factor until now has been that I can’t do more than temp work until my immigration status changes. First world problems anyways.

  44. @ MyName

    Money is absolutely essential. Anyone who thinks trying to earn a living isn’t basic hasn’t lived hand-to-mouth, though even I wouldn’t wish an object lesson on them. Just don’t think your work isn’t good simply because it won’t sell like hotcakes.

    I don’t know if I could make a living as an author. But I grew up under extreme financial insecurity and that led me to spend the first decade of my adult life focusing all my efforts on making certain my future and the future of any family I have are secure doing something that I literally couldn’t care less about, and I was prepared to spend another decade or even two if necessary. Even throughout that time, though, I made some time to write because, even though I was unwilling to commit the time to it required to make a professional go at it, I knew it was valuable to me. This means I haven’t seen a TV show in ten years save recent forays into Netflix, and I haven’t played a video game through since high school. But it also means I haven’t relapsed into serious depression in eight years. Writing is literally a matter of survival for me.

    Anyway, even if you can’t make a living doing what you love, I humbly recommend doing it as a hobby.

    It’s not much coming from a random interwebber, but I hope your immigration status changes for the better wherever you hang your hat.

  45. 2012 for me has been… eventful. Spent a lot of time at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Had my second surgery on my cervical spine in 2 years, in which they cut out a recurrent, aggressive tumor that was trying to paralyze me, and put a bunch of titanium rods and screws in its place. Spent 2 weeks in a hospital bed. Re-learned how to walk. Put on some weight thanks to 3 rounds of steroids within 6 months. Had stereotactic radiosurgery (it’s like that Cyber-Knife deal, but not pointed at the brain). Got better at walking and moving and am now doing a 30-minute mile on a treadmill.

    Also, successfully planted a container garden that is actually yielding fruit.

  46. As always, I’ve spent a bit of my 2012 enjoying what you write, right here in this ol’ spot.

    The rest of the time, I’ve been butt in the chair, hard at work on the first ever grown up biography (as opposed to the “aimed at young readers biography”) of Jim Henson. The first draft went to my editor last week, in all of its 700 page double-spaced glory. While he reads through it, I plan to spend the next few weeks suitably loafing off a bit. Then I’m back at it with revisions and clearances and all that fun stuff we Writers of Nonfiction have to deal with. But it’s been a good year so far, and just keeps getting better, thanks for asking!

    As for you, sir, keep on doing what you do here, and out there. You rock.

  47. Foo… well, as you asked. The year started with the death of my dearest friend. Utterly horrible. A week and a half into the year, and I was booking a flight to Australia to go speak at the funeral and help carry the coffin. As New Years’ go, that was about as fucking awful as you can get.

    Packed a backpack and left home in the UK to go find a visual effects job in LA. Managed that. Rented a house with other dear friends who I’d been roomies with off-and-on for a couple of years. Met you and didn’t *completely* babble my head off. Bought my first car from the guy who did Babylon 5’s VFX. Bought a new workstation to prove that I was shoving a stake into the ground here in LA. Ended a 15-year-long relationship. Had a circumstantially terrifying lump chopped out of my neck.

    Just started working on Season 2 of Grimm.

    It has been one serious rollercoaster of a year, mate, I don’t mind sayin’. Things, on balance, seem to be headed upwards rather than downwards.

  48. I’ve started the second draft of my (first) novel and I’ve taken up running. I’m in the final week of the Couch to 5K training program, and my first race is next week. It’s not a lot, but not a terrible year either.

  49. 2012 so far: I have managed to NOT punch (or kick, or even say mean things) to my smother-in-law, who moved in with us in January 2011 – with hubbie and Yorkie in tow. (My restraint thus far is largely due to being married to an amazing, hilarious human and not wanting him to feel smooshed in the middle of his wife and mother.) I discovered black mold under the tile in the master bath, so I had to take that all down to the studs and decided to just go ahead and remodel the whole room myself since I never liked it – which means we’re all now sharing one bathroom. (By the way, demolition – especially demo that requires some effort-induced grunting – is extremely therapeutic for stress issues.) I dropped two classes due to lack of motivation, so my roundabout path to my BA has been stalled yet again. I loved your last entry about not reading authors who just don’t ‘fit’ – one of the reasons I’m bucking my schoolwork is because I just don’t want to read The Scarlet Letter again. No offense to Hawthorne and I have no issues with his short stories, but TSL leaves me feeling like I’m lost in a topiary maze, with nothing as interesting as evil, shifting shrubbery to keep me moving through it. I’m mostly struggling to get back to working on what is shaping up to be the best writing I’ve ever done, because I find myself a little paralyzed by not wanting to let down the characters. Maybe the second half of this year will bring a little magic. Or a cattle prod.

  50. A few days ago, I watched my 21 year old twins perform in the David Ives adaptation of Cornielle’s “The Liar.” It was a community theater production. My son played Philiste and my daughter played Clarice. This same daughter then moved to Portland, OR the next day (we are in Southern CA) which is something she has been hoping to do for a long time. She is driving up with her boyfriend. Her brother is still living with us, and he finally found a job after having been out of work for months. He hopes to save enough money to make the move to Portland as well. We are crossing our fingers. Our youngest will be starting middle school at the end of August. She won’t be moving out anytime soon.

  51. Reasonably well I guess. I paid off all my debt and started saving some money (not much, but enough). I’ve handed in my resignation for the only full time job I’ve ever had (11 years!) and am about to go on a bit of a break that will include a trip the the US and to WorldCon. Then I’ll hopefully live a life of leisure for a few months as I live off my savings and termination payout whilst reading as many books as possible and reevaluating what makes me happy, ’cause I’ve found that working full time in a job I mostly disliked has had a massively detrimental effect on my health and mental health.

    At the same time I’ll be researching whether to go back to school next year (I’m 34 so it’s a daunting prospect) to either learn all about making movies/TV/video production or possibly even publishing/writing and getting a casual or part time job where I can have a happy work/life balance.

    So yeah, the first half of this year has all been a big build up to the second half and although it’s not gone 100% according to plan (could have probably saved an extra $5k to $10k if I’d really tried) and I’m freaking the hell out about the financial issues I may have and what kind of direction my life is taking, I’m looking forward to trying out new paths to live my life and try to be more happy.

  52. I finished the substantive edit of my sequel science fiction novel and am hard at work with the line edit. Also, planning the third novel.