The year that was, and the year that will be…

Well, after a lovely and relaxing Christmas and New Year’s, where I didn’t even think about blogging, it is time to get back in the saddle. To start with I thought I better do the obligatory round up of the year past, and see what the new year holds.

Looking back, 2012 was a pretty good year as I tried to consolidate myself as a writer and blogger. I didn’t manage to achieve all the goals I set myself, but there were enough highlights to make me feel that progress was made. Hopefully, I will be able to push on and make 2013 a very big year.


Between Jan 1st, 2012 and Dec 31st, 2012, Ebon Shores had almost 5000 unique visitors. In the scheme of things that may not seem a huge number (that’s about ten minutes worth of traffic for John Scalzi), but I really was under the impression that I had an audience of about three people. It both flattering and terrifying knowing that people actually read my blog. I feel a little bad that some of the most popular posts weren’t actually by me.

The Wednesday Writers series was a huge success, and featured some wonderful articles. I felt very privileged to host such a taleneted group of people, and very grateful for their contributions. For those interested in a breakdown, there were 43 posts, 35 of which were Australians. 24 posts were by women, 19 by men.

The Aussie Snapshot was another source of traffic, and undoubtedly brought many people to my blog who otherwise would have no idea I existed. I loved being part of the snapshot, and I think that, given it was my first time, I did a reasonably good job of asking good questions – but, of course, the main credit for these posts goes to the people who answered those questions!

The New Who Conversations series continues to be a great deal of fun, and I love working with Tansy and Tehani, who I consider two of the nicest, hardest working and most talented people in Aussie Spec Fic. I was deeply honoured to nominated for an award alongside them. And, it included my first podcast, as well!

I was very disappointed with myself to have not completed the Australian Women Writers challenge (unless you count my review of the Creature Court Trilogy as three books – which I don’t). I think this a very worthwhile endeavour and let myself down here.

Of my own posts, the biggest two were my posts on the Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, and my post on being a Straight White Male. The latter attracted a surprisingly large amount of notice and comment. I won’t lie, I was terrified while writing it and unsure of what reception it might receive. It’s not something I feel particularly well informed on, and not something I want to write on, but something I felt an obligation to write on.

I also had a few articles featured on other sites, most notably my piece on Worzel Gummidge for Cult Britannia and my conversational review of the Newsflesh Trilogy with Alisa, Tehani and Kathryn over at Aussie Spec Fic in Focus. The Newsflesh review was born of a chat at Natcon where Alisa blew my mind with a seemingly wild theory that later proved to be uncomfortably accurate!

All in all, I was reasonably happy with how the blogging went last year. I made an effort to post at least one article of my own a week, as not to be simply posting the Wednesday Writers articles, and was generally successful. But, I was disappointed that I didn’t get more written – this post should have been done two weeks ago, for example, and I still haven’t written a Chicago post! Which leads me to…


I had a simply amazing time at Chicago, getting to mix with many of my writing idols, and being involved on a lot of panels. I won’t say too much now as I still need to write a post, even only for myself, but it was the experience of a lifetime. It’s left me with a real travel bug and a taste for Worldcons which I am sure will prove very expensive indeed.

The cost of going to Chicago meant I couldn’t justify too many other trips. Fortunately, Natcon was in Melbourne so I was able to attend. The organisers did an amazing job and, even though it might not be on the same scale as a WorldCon, I don’t think it suffers in comparison when it comes to quality. The programming was incredible, and the social aspect even better. I met up with some old friends and made a lot of new ones. You can read my roundup here.


To be completely honest I was a little disappointed with my writing achievements in 2012. I had set myself some lofty goals but I wasn’t able to take the next step and crack the pro markets. I also targeted quite a few semi pro markets and fell short. I did have some encouraging rejections, though, which kept me motivated to continue submitting.

On the positive side, I received a lot of wonderful contributor copies this year, including the Lone Ranger anthology and my first Australian sale which was incredibly exciting. I also saw two of my stories translated into French, which was another first for me. I continued to feature in Black Coat Press’ excellent anthologies.

In terms of non fiction, I managed to pick up some resource writing work which has turned into an ongoing relationship. I also wrote a number of magazine articles (some of which were reprinted), and had a feature spread about my writing, which was both flattering and embarrassing when my workmates found out!

I was also asked for my first autograph, and it was from someone I didn’t know! I was accepted into the IAMTW, and released an iOS app to help other writers. And, I was very excited to be accepted in the AHWA Mentor Program and to have been assigned to the awesome Jason Fischer! Already he has been of great assistance and I am really looking forward to working with him this year.


So what does 2013 hold?

  • More New Who Conversations and podcasts as we ramp up for the 50th anniversary
  • I’ve been commissioned to write screenplays for a series of short films for the education sector
  • Some very exciting guests for Wednesday Writers
  • a new podcast featuring a very well known Aussie Spec Fic personality
  • more pieces for Cult Britannia
  • Conflux, Continuum, WFC and hopefully WorldCon

In terms of my goals, I am going to set the bar pretty high again. I’d rather aim high and fall short

  • Before my next overseas Con I want to be at least an affiliate member of the SFWA
  • which means at least one Pro sale
  • More timely blog posts
  • To be caught up with New Who by the anniversary special
  • To complete the AWW 2013 Challenge

What about you? How was 2012 for you? What goals do you have for 2013?

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