2009/2010: Looking Back, Looking Forward

All in all 2009 was a strange year - quiet in many respects but eventful, too. In the past twelve months I've had only a handful of short stories published (my quietest year yet) but I also had my first book published (The Hotel Galileo) at the start of the summer which was a wonderful experience. In September I visited Nottingham once again for my second FantasyCon and, despite feeling like "warmed-up death", I enjoyed it much more this year. It was a particular highlight to see Allyson Bird winning the award for Best Collection.

>Didn't get to the cinema very much in 2009. I just about managed to catch Star Trek back at the start of the summer and A Christmas Carol in November, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Over the Christmas break I've managed to squeeze in Avatar (awesome) and Sherlock Holmes (enjoyable romp).

> I joined LoveFilm this year so I've had a steady stream of DVDs to watch, but nothing that's really blown me away. In fact the films I've probably enjoyed seeing most were low-key affairs: The Whole Wide World about Conan creator, Robert E Howard, and Moon starring Sam Rockwell which was pleasantly different from the usual fare. Oh, yeah, and I suppose the Watchmen film was all right.

> Another bad year for reading, sadly. The thing is, the Open University studies take up all my reading time so to be able to squeeze in a book for my own enjoyment means giving up study time and that's never good. (The only book I completed this year was Gary McMahon's Different Skins which was great, although I started reading about half a dozen others). I'm now in the middle of my final year with the OU and come May I will complete my Literature degree and finally be a BA. Hurray! Then I can start on the towering pile of books to read which is growing bigger by the week and has expanded even more over Christmas with new additions such as Stephen King's Under the Dome, Hungry Hearts by Gary McMahon and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, amongst others.

The Future

In 2010 I have only a few simple resolutions:

> Finish my degree.
> Finish The Vanished Race (the follow-up to Hotel Galileo).
> Finish my novel The Silver Sea.
> After they are all done I can then look at the slate of new short stories and novelettes which I have had to leave on the shelf for a very long time.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one.


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