Saturday, December 30, 2023

goodbye 2023


You were actually a pretty good year compared to your predecessors, starting out quietly and tiptoey in the wake of loss and tragedy and then blooming a bit through spring and well into summer. It was a productive year on a number of fronts, including creative projects, which yesterday, I rounded up into a short reel of some highlights (though they barely scratch the surface.)

While I did not keep to a poem-a-day rate all year, I did practice daily writing in enough spurts to garner around 100 or so poems I can be happy with when all is said and done. Lots of other fragments and bits that may still prove useful.  Less than other years, but still a solid showing, especially when you consider how much other kinds of writing I was wrapped up in. I also landed some poems in journals when I would light a fire under my ass to send out work, including peeks of new projects in Sweet Tree Review, Aura, and Grimoire, plus some older work in a couple anthologies and some pieces set to debut in 2024.

I made around 160 collages or paintings, nearly 300 reels and video poems, released one zine project, and two full-lengths (technically AUTOMAGIC was the last week of 2022, but all my promo and sales happened in 2024.)  There are several zines that are in the wings (some of them waiting for poems accepted by journals to come out.) I also put a wrap on GRANATA, the Persephone poems, for release this year and finished RUINPORN which will also likely be coming this year if all goes well There are also two half-completed manuscripts I would love to finish by the end of 2024. For the press, I edited, laid out, and designed around 30 titles, with more in the works, and made and assembled too many to count. I was successful in adding quite a few bits of paper loveliness to the shop, including several different postcard sets and some blank book journals. I am still wading through submissions from summer, but so far have read around 300 manuscripts in the queue.

I feel like I really came into the year going full speed on freelance writing. I am writing more now, but not necessarily for the same clients. The new year brought an end to some short-term things. Others, like the antiques dictionary, were mostly on hiatus for site redesigns. In their wake, I took on more hours with House Digest, writing about DIY projects, kitchen designs, paint colors, and all manner of things. There were also assorted lessons and study guides, restaurant round-ups, gift guides, and food articles.  I haven't done my taxes yet, but at least at the later end of the year, I was happy with my income levels after an initial year of wax and wane. There are still days that I chide myself for not taking the leap sooner..for spending about 3 years at the library I could have been elsewhere..would have preferred to be elsewhere most of the time...but it is what it is. 

On other fronts, it was a busy year, particularly the latter half, when a job change for J (and my forever more energetic stance working at home) meant we suddenly had all this time to go out, something we'd lacked during the previous 8 years. So there were countless movies, plus musicals and ballets. Zoo outings, creepy museum Halloween parties, and multiple trips to the planetarium. Karaoke nights and time spent with friends old and new. Weekend trips out to the drive-in, which is officially one of my favorite places and activities. Also, my (first) 5 tattoos and perfecting my beef and noodles recipe. 

There are impending plans of living together fully, which pretty much just means he will be here all nights of the week instead of just most of them. We'll be spending the next month divvying up household tasks, finding a rhythm for things like shopping and meals, and organizing spaces. Luckily he doesn't have any furniture he's bringing or much stuff, so it's a less arduous task than it could be. We christened his desk area with a vintage Pink Floyd poster, are outfitting the kitchen for an actual chef, and getting bigger shared bookshelves to replace my failing ones and a new bed. But most of my closet space remains untouched (the boon of loving someone who is fairly minimalistic in his wardrobe.)

Tonight, we'll be downtown at the bar he DJs for and I will no doubt, like last year, be silently grumbling about traffic or crowds, lines at the bar, or amateur drunks.  But I will have a sparkly dress and get to watch the fireworks over the river, so it's a good end to a good year. 

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