It’s that time of year when various awards open their nomination period, triggering the annual calls for creators to share a list of their eligible works, creators fretting about whether this is crass and the inevitable declarations from someone who says it is and then an exhausting week of arguing about it.
Thankfully I was bundled in blankets, hacking up my lungs at the time, so I mostly missed that. Hence my late arrival at the offering table, ready to present my platter with shaking hands and the hope that this is more useful than crass.
Here are my eligible works for any 2016 awards:
After Atlas (Sci-fi crime novel, published November 2016 by Roc.)
The Unkindest Cut (Historical fantasy novelette (14,000 words approx. Published March 2016 by Abaddon Books)
A Little Knowledge (Urban fantasy novel, the 4th book in the Split Worlds series, Published August 2016 by Diversion Books)
Tea and Jeopardy (Podcast, many episodes released over 2016!)
Special note: This year there is an additional Hugo Award category for Best Series. The Split Worlds series is eligible for this award, as it meets the following criteria: “A multi-volume science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, appearing in at least three (3) volumes consisting in total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year, at least one volume of which was published in the previous calendar year.” (From http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2017-hugo-awards/) If you haven’t read the series, now is a great time to dive in as the Kindle edition of Between Two Thorns (Book 1) is only £2.49!
A tiny bit of reflection
I’m not one for looking back these days. I’m too busy looking forwards. However, I do want to take a moment to catch my breath and talk about 2016 because it was, quite frankly, utterly bizarre. I have never lived through such a frightening, awful and despair-generating year of political news. However, in contrast, on a personal level, it was the most successful year for me in terms of writing and audio book narration.
Over 2016 I did the following:
Narrated 9 audio books
Wrote 2 novels
Edited a third novel
Wrote two novellas (together they are the length of a novel)
Co-wrote and participated in the Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP
Wrote the first 10K words on [redacted]
Made lots of Tea and Jeopardy episodes and the 2016 advent calendar
Had a couple of really good successes that I can’t talk about yet!
Launched two novels
Did a few conventions
Played some AWESOME D&D
Rediscovered LARP and joined my first fest LARP and got to grips with camping!
Started to get involved with local politics (I realised that getting enraged by the news and social media was just going to make me ill. Getting out there and learning how I can actually do something about it takes just as much energy but might actually make things better!)
It’s not a coincidence that this was a year in which I did not have major surgery, complications from major surgery, bereavement nor serious illness in the family, all of which marred the previous three years.
But… by the end of the year, I was utterly exhausted. The deadlines for some of those projects were really tight and really stressful, and there was a lot of juggling and quite simply, I worked too hard. Even as I write this, I wonder if I really believe it is possible for me to work too hard, but even I reached my limit last year. For the last 4 months of the year I was pretty much constantly pushing through exhaustion, doing very little else than work and depending on chocolate and other sweets to give me the energy to carry on.
So this year (which is shaping up to be pretty damn busy and exciting too!) I am making a conscious effort to pay more attention to self care. I knew I would fall ill some time around Christmas, it was inevitable, and I lost two weeks of January to it. I am trying not to be stressed and upset about that, and taking steps to make sure I don’t get that exhausted again. I find this hard, but I am trying to see my body as something more than a meat-sack to which my mind is inconveniently tethered. If I don’t care for it, then the mind won’t have something to be tethered to, and all these books in my head won’t get written, right? I’m being flippant, but you get the idea!
So, onwards and upwards. I hope that 2017 is kind to you.