Reflecting on 2014

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When I think back on this year, obviously, the biggest news on the literary front was Bald New World. At the same time, while writing for me is one of my most important passions, it’s also an interpretation of life, an expression of the things I ponder, love, hate, obsess, and meditate on. Even though I had the fewest publications I’ve ever had in recent years (I think this is the first year in a while that I didn’t write a single short story), the ones I did were dear and precious to me. Being able to publish in the Kyoto Journal was a big one because it’s a journal I’ve admired for so long and their editor, Suzanne, is amazing and a fantastic writer. Sign of Gao Lan for me was an evolution as I strayed from my usual writing style to try to achieve something different stylistically.

Equally huge was interviewing Alan Weiss about Secret of Evermore for Kotaku, a piece that I felt inspired me with its fascinating backstory on what is probably one of the most underrated RPGs ever developed (the game is awesome). I also really enjoyed writing a variety of lists and found myself time and again learning so much from Tina who is just an amazing editor.

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All the BNW reviews, nominations, and list inclusions were incredible, and as I’ve mentioned before, humbling (my apologies if there was an overabundance of sharing. thank you all again!). I am so grateful to Perfect Edge Books for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity. It also gave me the confidence to be able to wade my way through a new book and edit up another massive tome that I’ve been working on for over a decade.

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Starting Entropy with Janice was one of the most amazing endeavors I’ve had the privilege to be part of, helping me on so many fronts, from understanding what goes on behind the scenes of a journal, to meeting some super talented writers and collaborating with them on a variety of projects (one of my favorites was writing the collaborative Excession review with Joe and Kyle). I also loved soliciting people, asking some of the most talented writers I know to contribute. It felt kind of like assembling a Mission Impossible team (and seriously, every one of the editors and contributors was amazing).

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One of the hardest parts for me this year was leaving behind some of my closest friends and start up life in a new city. I’ve never met so many awesome and talented people as I did in my perambulations through visual effects, and even though I keep in touch with many of them, I still miss seeing them everyday, going to lunch, eating my favorite Indian food (Samosa House) and Mexican (Abajeno), and just talking about life.

This year was the year of conferences. My first AWP, in which I got to meet in the flesh some of the awesome people I’d only talked to digitally. Comic Con was so amazing, even if super crowded, and I met some very talented artists and writers whose works I’d read.

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2014 was an amazing year on many fronts, but also a painful one in many ways. I don’t want to delve into too many details, but there were lots of stressors on many fronts, some, surreal, but at the same time, it helped me to grow as a person, challenge me in ways I hadn’t thought possible. One of the most important things for me are the quiet moments of self-revelation where you come to understand just a little bit more about yourself before your return into star dust. I loved being able to revisit Europe with Angela this year, loved spending a weekend in La Jolla before talking about science fiction with Jenn’s amazing students. I’ll never forget Shoshana’s awesome wig at the BNW release party, and my awesome co-hosts, Kiyomi and Marlina, who are my favorite people to organize parties with. It goes without saying that my biggest gratitude is for Angela who stuck by me through every doubt and fear, a bulwark against uncertainties who also reminded me time and again to enjoy the moments. The last book I read this year was Einstein’s biography, and one of the biggest points it makes is how much joy Einstein took in theorizing. Work, whether through artistry, writing, or programming, should be joyous and fun. If it ever gets painful, if it’s ever at a point where it seems more like a debilitating weight than something uplifting, take a break, spend time with your loved ones, enjoy a great meal, rekindle your passion, iterate, reiterate again, helps others where you can, and when that joy comes back, your passion will too.

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One thought on “Reflecting on 2014

  1. Peter, I love your blog posts, and your words are always precious to me. Meeting you in Seattle at AWP was a highlight of 2014. You are an inspiration, a fantastic, and risk-taking writer and a true friend. Bald New World is at the top of my list for 2015. I am so thrilled to read it. I hope 2015 is as stellar a year for you as 2014 has been. Rock on!

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