Question mark on train wheel

Older than I’ve ever been

One of my very dearest friends is in Chicago for a quarter, doing wonderful and enviable things at our alma mater. We met up yesterday and instantly started rambling about all the writing projects we have in the air. Being able to talk about story and craft and influences and all the tricksy bits of writing is one of the many reasons I’m so deeply happy she’s here. I began telling her about the series (!!) I want to start (“You want to write not-urban urban fantasy!”), and she told me all about her plans to submit short fiction to paying markets.

“Where does one find out about that?” I asked. “Because all these people I know find out about all these neat anthologies, and I can’t ever seem to keep on top of it!”

“Duotrope,” she said, and I said, “Ooooooh.”

I bookmarked Duotrope once upon a time, but it was buried in a browser I hardly use anymore, and being concerned with other stages of my writing career, I forgot about it. Now, of course, I’m getting that feeling: this is the year. This is when I’m going to buck up and start submitting. This is when I’m going to see my name in print, so to speak. I’ve got all sorts of plans and ideas, and I feel terrifically energized, especially now that Innogen and the Hungry Half is approaching the “one-third of the story” mark, which I honestly kind of never thought would happen. (New chapter this Tuesday, by the way! My computer seems to not be dying yet, thank goodness, and if it does, I’ve wised up and have my external hard drive to save me.)

At the beginnings and ends of calendar years, we often wind up taking stock and making plans. I’m generally less good at the latter, but I found my most recent bout of the former yielded some pretty good results. As it happens, today is the one-year anniversary of my first post to Magpie & Whale. It’s basically a filler entry–it even retains the “Hello world!” subject line–but it’s amazing how far this site has come since then.

We’re also nearing my half-birthday (five more days!), and being 27 and a half gives me a good deal of thoughts. This past birthday, I started to feel like it was time to get my life together in a more directed way. About a year ago, I made up a list of things I wanted to do before I was 50 (see July 10, 2034); I’m actually able to cross some of those off today, to my great delight. I know what I want to do for graduate study, and I know where I want my career to take me, which is farther along than I’ve ever been before. (I’ve also got some big trips and excursions planned: stay tuned for the fun times as well!)

I’m so proud of the work of the past year, and particularly of the past several months. Thank you, all of you, who have read and commented on and shared this project. Thank you to my wonderful friends, who have made this conversation so quality and so interesting. Thank you to my family, who stays interested and cheers me on. I think 2012 is going to be a good one. Much love, and let’s make it come true.

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