Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And the Award Goes To...

Y'know, one of the nice things about getting older is that you get a lot more leeway with your holidays.  Sushi on Thanksgiving?  It's all good.  Christmas in October?  Smoke if you got 'em.  Sleeping right through V-Day?  It's YOU-Day, baby.

So since I'm a big grown-up lady who can do what I feel like, I'm ditching all that 'goals' and 'resolutions' New Year's stuff and throwing a big 2014 awards party right here on my couch.  (Spoiler alert: all the winners are me.)

That's not creepy in the slightest - don't you agree, Madame Le Flour?

So without further ado, here are the 2014 Texies.  And the nominees are...

Best Thing, Personal: My sister's wedding, hands-down. Well, more like hands up, turn down for what?  I can still remember when she moved out in high school, and I was so sure that that was it - nuclear family over, happy days done. But she stuck around, and her adventures have brought so many fabulous people into our lives that we would never have known otherwise (including one especially dapper dan!), and every time I think the family can't get any bigger, cooler, or funner, it mutates again.  This year, it blew right the hell up - and I blame her for that.

Best Thing, Professional: The big book launch, of course!  Not just cuz it happened (book published, in stores, real deal, yay) but because it was nothing less than a giant literary barn-raising, with more terrific people than I ever imagined.  It's a weird feeling, signing a book for somebody you are almost positive won't actually like the story, but that just makes the moment its own kind of wonderful.  It's kinda reassuring, knowing that this person can be thrilled and proud of you for doing the thing, no matter what they think of the thing itself.  An author can have a million fans of their actual work, but there is a hard cap on the number of people who can love you like that - and I'm pretty sure I'm already pushing the limit.

Worst Thing: Well, my father in law died unexpectedly earlier this year.  It was kind of a first-time experience for me and the Dude, though obviously way harder on him than me. He is terribly missed. 

Hardest Thing, Professional: There's a feeling that's hard to nail down, which I talked some about last week. And I think what it boils down to is this: putting your first book out is kind of like getting out into the world after high school or college. As long as you're in development, you get all those soaring speeches about your limitless potential, bright future, etc. etc. etc. - but the fact is, as soon as you get out there and choose something, do something (however awesome it is!) you are no longer the great exciting wild card.  You are officially a Known Quantity.  And I don't think there's any way to avoid being a little bit sad about that.

Though cake usually helps.

Hardest Thing, Personal: Being married. And before anybody's monocle drops in the champagne, no, we're good. Nobody is sleeping in the car or shacking up at the Val-U Lodge. But this year really whacked us upside the head with the realization that you seriously do have to keep working at this marriage thing all the time, because the two of you are changing all the time. Sometimes it's just really fuckin' hard. And if that seems like a weird thing to admit on a public blog in front of God and everybody, you might check out a great article about this very phenomenon - it's called Facebook's Last Taboo.  (I kinda think we might do better if we DID talk about this stuff more, to be honest. Moving our collective business online is great and all, but it makes it deathly easy to start believing that you are sailing your lonely failboat through a sea of unbroken perfection, and that's true whether we're talking about mommy-crafts on Pinterest, author news on Twitter, or relationship issues anywhere.)

Luckiest Thing: Being married. Yep. There's a million decent guys in the world, but to date, only one who's saved me from total enchilada meltdown, makes me laugh 'til I cry, and chivalrously cleans the cat's eye-boogers on the regular.  It's a hell of a job, and I'm so lucky he keeps turning up to do it!

Dumbest Thing: Staying up all night trying to beat a deadline... twice.  Truly, mine is the dumbest of asses.

Most Epic Thing: Going to WorldCon.  Seriously, y'all: I was not prepared for that level of fun.  I had a three-day endorphin hangover after the fact.  Maybe it just felt way more intense because it was the capstone for a whole summer of wild extremes, but it was such a feeling, to start some relationships and Pokevolve others, and to spend a long weekend in a seething mass of people who were all there to enjoy something.  It was every con I've ever been to, dialed up to 19, and I can't WAIT to do it again.

And that's our show! I'd like to congratulate all the winners, and tell myself how much I earned all of these wonderful accolades.  Thank you, me: you are truly the light of our times.

Oh, but in seriousness: I do want to finish by taking a moment to remember some of the people who aren't making the trip into 2015.  This has been a big year for hashtag tragedies - you know, for the people who should still be here right now, and whose stories I hope you've already heard and acted on. But I also want to remember the people who didn't make the news - ones we tried our hardest to keep with us, and couldn't hang on to. Join me, if you would, in pouring a digital libation for Jay Lake, Eugie Foster, CJ Henderson, and Spider Robinson's daughter, Terri Da Silva.  Better yet, read their books and their blogs, so that we can keep their words and ideas with us.

And actually, if you have somebody you'd like to add to that list, please feel free to include them in the comments here. The way I see it, we've got an exciting new year right around the corner, and more than enough headspace to bring our dearly remembered along for the ride.

And now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine older kegs
From the brim to the dregs - it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year


  1. I am so happy and proud to have been a small part of your excellent year! Your visit was totally my year's highlight (...that and pokemon) and I cannot wait for you to come up again!

    Hm. If I had to add to the list, I'd add Hiro Onoda. Putting aside how I feel as a Korean about the Japanese during WWII, you just have to admire that kind of dedication.

    On a less somber note, I'd also add Marvel's Wolverine, who the company has promised will stay dead for at least two years. They're so brave to handle that sort of adversity.

    *bows* Frankencold

    1. Oh, wow. WOW. So glad you mentioned Hiro Onoda - I had no idea. What a story. What a life!

      And seriously, Frankles - what a time. We will totally, totally do it over again - bigger, badder, and with more bean-fish than ever before. We will get chocolate on your EVERYTHING. And we won't wait 'til Wolverine comes back to life to make it happen, either!

    2. Magic bean-fish, tiny hamburger o'clock on the hour, metered entrance ramps, and yes, chocolate-enrobed apartment! I can't promise the unreal weather you had the last time, but anything's a break from Texas, yes?

      I put your book in my Christmas letter for a little free publicity but I'm not sure my extended fam is quite ready for appaloosa-patterned cowboys or culinary-named fishpeople.

      But woo! TX meets MN! Go us!


  2. You've had a hell of a year, miss ma'am. You deserve every award you got and then some. I'd like to bestow upon you the award of "most likely to run away to Vegas to marry Annie," which is my personal favorite. Congrats on all you accomplished (and survived). Here's hoping 2015 brings you good things.

    1. Oh my God, Annie - I am *literally* going to Vegas in March. Meet me there! We'll have a drive-thru Elvis wedding and KFC after!

      (And man, all that and more right back at you - it is an incredibly gutsy thing to sail your ship beyond sight of the shore, and there are amazing things on the horizon!)

  3. Great recap, Tex - I wish you, and yours, an abundance of health, happiness and prosperity as you make your way through 2015.

    Cheers, Jenny :)

    1. Aw, you too, Jenny - if 2015 is as good to you as you have been to me, I will be delighted indeed!

    2. That is so kind… I'm smiling - and sending it along to you.

      Cheers, Jenny :)

  4. Love your idea to give yourself awards - and all sound well deserved :) Happy New Year! x

    1. Suzanne, I am almost exactly a week late in saying so, but Happy New Year to you too - it's not so new anymore, but hopefully all that much happier!