What I Look Forward to in 2006

Just a list of some things  – none earthshaking or ambitious:

"Match Point" – a good new Woody Allen movie, some say.

Finishing two novels. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between drafts of each. This year should see completion of both.

Reading Peter Ackroyd’s Shakespeare biography which comes highly recommended by the staff of my local independent bookseller, Bailey/Coy Books on Broadway in Seattle, located two hundred paces from my doorstep.

Doing Pimsleur’s French language program, for absolutely no useful reason.

"Lady Vengeance" final chapter of Park Chan Wook’s Vengeance-themed trilogy.

Season 4 of "The Wire" – the most powerful, the most moving, television show ever. Rent Season 1 and stick with it a couple episodes. Season 2 is a slight drop off, but Season 3 makes up for that and more.

Continued organization. I’ve been doing GTD and actually getting some things done. I’ve learned to break projects down into small steps and, more importantly, learned to be more satisfied with and trusting of process. My 43 folders are the cheapest stress-reducers I’ve so far discovered.

My contributor’s copies of "Corpse Blossoms." I’ve seen a pdf of the book and it is truly beautiful. The stories are each illustrated with a line drawing of a small, ordinary object. The one chosen for my story "Wednesday" is perfect. I could not have gotten luckier. The stories are outstanding.

New issues of "Weird Tales." This magazine is good, and I don’t think it receives the recognition it deserves. I’ve heard third or fourth hand that the editors buy stories that are good regardless of who wrote them, and it shows. That’s how it is supposed to work, I thought. This is one fiction print magazine where I finish reading most of the stories each issue. And by providing a venue for Thomas Ligotti’s "Corporate Horror" stories they deserve a special Stoker, a special Hugo, a special Pulitzer, and a special Nobel.

"Realms of Fantasy." I’m biased here because "Realms" has published me. But it’s infuriating that "Realms" is rarely referenced to as a "major" (as in "the three majors"). It has the highest circulation of any f/sf/horror magazine. It’s pay is not great but not at all bad. Each issue has at least one, if not more, stories that challenge the borders of what genre readers will allegedly accept as fantasy.

Hearing back on my "Borderlands 6" story submission. If not this year, then 2007 for sure. Maybe. Okay this one is probably too ambitious to count on.

New episodes of TV’s best fantasy series, "Gilmore Girls." Offered the chance to visit one magical place of wonder and merriment I choose not Middle Earth, nor do I choose Narnia. I choose Star’s Hollow.

Watching less and much better TV. It finally dawned on me that television has gotten so good that I won’t spend the time required to watch all the best shows, I need only make time for those I really enjoy. This includes those that I enjoy hating, however. Last year I saw some old Hitchcock’s Presents episodes. Even ten years ago I considered these shows from the 50’s to be pretty good, but by the standards of what’s happening with the medium today they don’t fair well. This is television’s finest era (despite all the crap reality). 

And I am looking forward to a year of plateaus. I want to shore up what I’ve learned and continue to practice what I practice — regardless of outcome.

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