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It’s the last day of 2011, so I thought I’d do a quick round-up of the year, using the blog as a memory aid.  Of Course, I only started the blog in July, so the first half of the year is kind of hazy, but I did have a book out!

So, the year in partial review… 😉

JANUARY was spent agent hunting and dealing with the sudden loss of a good friend.  Both of these were recurring themes this year.

I spent most of FEBRUARY editing, and writing a speech on SF in the West Country for Microcon, Exeter Uni’s annual SF convention, which was stressful but went down well.

MARCH saw the release of The Feline Queen, a collection of short stories, in paperback and E-book, with a brilliant cover by Andy Bigwood.  And my birthday.  And the completion of the almost-definitive final edit of “The Art of Forgetting” which has taken thirteen months to get to this stage.

In March I also lost one of my editors, Joan McNulty Pulver, to cancer.  Joan had championed Hierath at Epress Online and had enough faith in a novice author to give her a three-book deal.  I won’t forget her kindness.  And Bristol (and fantasy) said goodbye to the wonderful Diana Wynne Jones.

In APRIL the SF world was shocked by the death of Lis Sladen, Doctor Who’s lovely Sarah-Jane Smith.  I read from “Pirates of the Cumberland Basin” at an open mic night, and had “The Snake on his Shoulder” accepted for the Transtories anthology.  April also saw the publication of “The Sixty” by Andy Bigwood, a collection of SF art and short stories which included a short piece of mine inspired by the BristolCon artwork.

MAY was a quiet month, I wrote a short story which was kind of a space opera (should really do something with that, at the moment it’s languishing in a drawer…)

In JUNE I started work, somewhat tentatively, on Spark and Carousel.  Which is ongoing…

My granddad passed away in JULY, so that was a quiet month, and a sad time 😦  But at the end of the month, partly in response to continuing DDOS attacks on Livejournal, I started this blog.

In AUGUST, suddenly and unexpectedly, my good friend Colin Harvey passed away, as did Margaret Carr, founder of Epress Online, which promptly folded and left me without a publisher for the New Kingdom books.  Unsurprisingly, writing, which was already on the back burner, took a complete nosedive.

SEPTEMBER was better, with the Internet hosting “Speak Out With YOUR Geek” and “Gay YA is OK”, and writing (and agent hunting) resumed.

OCTOBER was BristolCon, and the Bristol Literary Festival, which were fun despite the gaping hole where Colin should have been 😦 Did a few panels, got chased through the art room by a lady desperate for my scribble in The Feline Queen, met Philip Reeve (the most stylish man in SF), reclaimed my house from The Boxes, picked up the pieces and carried on.  And Transtories was released.

By NOVEMBER I had 100 pages of Spark and Carousel in the bag, and was mucking about on Twitter when the sad news came in that SF great Anne McCaffrey had passed away.

And finally, in DECEMBER, I had my first article published on Fantasy Faction, a profile of David Gemmell.  Still plugging away at the book.

So the year began editing Art of Forgetting, ending with writing Spark and Carousel, and was punctuated with a series of sad losses.  It’s been a difficult one.  Hopefully next year will be more upbeat, for everyone.

Tomorrow – being the first day of the New Year, I’ll be outlining my ambitions for the next twelve months…

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