brothercyst: 2009 BRIEFLY CONSIDERED

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


So I'm about to leave New York, and the United States, in less than 24 hours.  When I come back, it'll be a new decade.  What happened during the last one?  At the end of 1999, I was in high school, with braces, and skeletally scrawny.  Almost exactly ten years ago, my high school teacher was driving me, my best friend, and my girlfriend to New York (from Maryland) so we could go see Paul Thomas Anderson's brand new movie Magnolia, which was only playing in New York & L.A.  I had just gotten into college, I was sixteen, and I wanted to be a movie director.  What happened with all that?  I'm still friends with my high school teacher--I dedicated my first book to him.  I haven't spoken to the girlfriend or the best friend since 2000, because they started dating each other after I went to college.  In the years between 2000 and 2009--fuck it, this is too unsettling, I can't do it.  Let me just look at 2009.  The writing-related stuff.  What happened?  A lot, actually.
  • The year started out fucking brilliantly.  The whole country was in a recession and out of nowhere I got a grant I wasn't expecting.  
  • Midnight Picnic came out, thanks to Word Riot stepping in after Impetus folded.  
  • Hollywood didn't buy the TV pilot that my writing partner and I wrote, although we did fly out there a couple times to meet with some talented people who wanted to make it... but ultimately couldn't get funding.  Still, that was a cool experience.
  • In late January it became clear that a lot of people at my day job, me included, were living on borrowed time.  
  • I wrote a novel during the first half of the year.  It's pretty much finished, and I love it.  Uncharacteristically enough, it's a YA novel.  Writing it was one of the more fun/creatively fulfilling periods of sustained writing in my life.  But I haven't sold it yet... which is the most annoying/dispiriting part of 2009.
  • I went to Morocco.
  • We wrote another TV pilot, a comedy, just to see if we could.  We could.
  • After six months of waiting, I finally got laid off from my day job.  I was glad to go, although obviously the disappearance of a safety net causes anxiety.  But because of the grant from earlier in the year, which I'd just put in the bank, I didn't have to worry about finding another job right that instant.
  • It rained for the entirety of June, which depressed and disoriented me.
  • I went to Readercon
  • I went to the Dominican Republic.  ASB came to visit for the last five days.  Those two weeks in the DR, as a whole, were probably the most blissed-out/enjoyable two weeks of my life.  
  • I shaved my head.
  • We worked intensively on a feature film script.  In the current draft, I think it's both excellent and outlandishly unhinged--so much so that I think we need to do another draft to make it less insane.
  • During summer and fall, I worked on another novel.  This one isn't finished.  A first draft is, but I need to do a lot more work on it. 
There's probably some important stuff I forgot.  I guess I should be thinking about what I want to do in 2010, though.  I don't want to let another three or four years pass before I publish another novel.  I've been up all night.  I'm going to sleep.

1 comment:

David Erlewine said...

damn, now that is a year (and a write-up of a year)

where in md did you go to hs?

i lived in silver spring for years and then bmore and now around annapolis

cheers, after reading fires this year i'm a fan for life

midnight picnic will be in my house in the next few weeks