I find I'm getting 2013 and 2014 confused: "I became a citizen this year!" I think. But, no, that was last year... Some might say that this is an age thing—that in one's 50s one's brain turns into a leaky collander—but in my case I suspect that huge chunks of the end of last year and beginning of this are blurred because of pain and heavy opiate use. But, chortle, that's all behind me now and I look forward to nothing but clarity and glee ahead. Except, y'know, for the age thing. But perhaps I'm not really ageing at all...
Another thing I could blame for occasional muddlement is travel. I've travelled a lot. A lot. (For me, that is. I'm sure some of you will scoff and think, Amateur!) Travel can make the world rather surreal, especially on 27-hour days that begin in the dark, driving on one side of the road, and end driving on the other, clutching an award in one hand and a bottle of Champagne in the other.
Places we've been this year, in chronological order: the UK; San Jose (for the Nebula Awards); Washington DC (to help celebrate Kelley's father's 80th birthday); the UK again (The North and London); Atlanta; Washington DC again (with adventures in the ER, sigh); Boston; St. Louis; and then the regional stuff: Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Port Townsend, and Leavenworth.
A lot of this year was about Hild, of course: the movie deal that collapsed, the award nominations, the reviews, the fabulous events, the UK publication, the US paperback release, the bestseller lists. (Notice how casually I said that. THE BESTSELLER LISTS. PLURAL.) It's been amazing. It was lovely to meet you all—a lot of truly fine people, some of whom I've been talking to through the ether for a decade or more—but I'm delighted to be in Seattle, to wake up in the middle of the night and know where to stretch my hand for the light, and which where to turn in the dark when getting up to fill a glass of water. It's not an exaggeration to say: I am very, very happy to be home.
The end of this year is going to be all about clearing the decks (that is, the drifts of papers—and journals and books and maps—in my office and living room; not to mention tackling the almost-at-the-day-of-delete-and-mass-apology length of my inbox). Then rest. Then picking up where I left off with Hild II (working title: Menewood but, eh, that will change, it always does).
In terms of next year: all Menewood, all the time. Apart from perhaps another trip to the UK and my Guest of Honour stint at Readercon 26, which I'm looking forward to enormously, I don't plan to go anywhere.
The blog might be repurposed a bit. I have a bunch o' Ask Nicola questions that I'll get to but then I'm thinking of updating and re-posting essays about writing: its joys, its impact on readers and culture, my goals. And of course there's that almost-mythical redesign of my website which really will happen, one day. And when it does, the blog will migrate back where it belongs.
Meanwhile, there's a tree to decorate—and then, of course, blow up...