For a bunch of reasons I don't want to say much about 2015, and also I have to make a feta-tapenade tarte soleil
, so this part of the post is short. (The whole thing will be short; I am not claiming in-depth analysis in the latter part.) Actually, baking something semi-complex that may not turn out is a good symbolic end to the year, and certainly good food has been a lifeline for me, one which I intend to continue hanging on to as 2016 begins. Gardening was perhaps not so satisfying, but I'm hoping to make progress in some new projects, and either the weather will be better (it could hardly have been worse) or I will continue to get used to the new abnormal.
A few things worth mentioning that I really enjoyed this year: I got to see Vienna Teng in concert, I helped my sister get our family's WWII letters up on the internet (if you're interested, it starts here
with an introduction my grandfather wrote well after the fact), and I took myself on a road trip through the Midwest and finally got to spend time with penwiper26
in person. And there's also been the federal grand jury service, which has at least been moderately interesting and has another year to run.
My creative energy, at least writing-wise, was really low this year, and I've made very little progress on The Seed Time
(book five), but I did manage to do some good-quality editing on Not Time's Fool
, and come hell or high water, which is not a trivial phrase these days, I will get it published by the end of January. I have, however, come round to feeling essentially non-fannish (though I am still enjoying watching and reading lots of things), and have no desire to write fic. For the moment I'm still getting those kudos emails every day, which is nice (new people turning up in the fandoms I wrote in), but I expect that to diminish this year unless something happens. Which it may. Who knows.
Which, ha. The one bit of fannish impulse I have at the moment seems, unexpectedly considering that two years ago I was going to drop it altogether, to be toward Doctor Who - at least, I am spending some of my downtime watching old episodes, and I enjoyed most of this season and the Christmas special. Come at me with your nitpicks and continuity slips, but I thought the latter was fun and charming and sweet, which is a pleasant change of pace, and I have done the fannish thing and looked at River's timeline charts and thought about doing a marathon in chronological order (if such a thing is possible and if I had the time - maybe as a prize after getting the book out). I guess people complain that her timeline is too complicated, but I like that kind of thing (and have written one that's as hard to figure out if not quite as romantically bittersweet). But since I did manage to watch the Library episodes again I started thinking about character arcs and what it means to finish them, or at least "finish" as opposed to leaving them hanging out there unexplained and/or uncompleted. I mean, what if we'd never gone back to River after "Silence in the Library"? Would it have been a worse story, if we'd never known who the hell she was? Yes and no? I suppose, considering that the Doctor's story went on, he had to run into her at some point, so perhaps it's not a fair example, and I know that the whole Steven Moffat Loves Puzzle Women thing is mixed up in this, but on the one hand I am satisfied to feel some closure to the circle and in another way I feel it's Just. Too. Much.
I remember when I wrote the Vorkosigan story "Single Combat," which was a prompt fill and meant to be a one-off, and got a lot of comments about when was I going on with the story - which I did end up doing, but for a while was determined not to, because I thought the open-ended ending was a perfectly good one. I think the urge to go on and finish things, to fill in the gaps, is a fannish urge and a genre-related one - and maybe it's that I have been reading a fair amount of "literary fiction" this year (Jane Smiley's trilogy about the Langdon family is really good, by the way), but I'm getting more dissatisfied with the need to Just Go On (reference not unintentional). Not that I'm going to leave the Waters of Time books hanging without tying a few things up neatly, whether Five or Six is the last one, but (and this goes back to the quote from Ancillary Mercy
in my last post) I feel the need to acknowledge that things are not neat and tidy either in real life or fiction, and someday I'd like to write a book that just ends, dammit, and doesn't care where.
Happy New Year, all!