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A Decade
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A decade ago -- December 1999 -- I was working in a well-paying advertising job in the mountains of North Carolina, dating a sweet girl and living with my college housemates, writing a lot and publishing poetry and a tiny bit of fiction in the very small press.

Since then I:

Moved to California (Santa Cruz for a year, Oakland ever since)

Met and fell in love with and moved in with and married Heather Shaw

Had a son, River

Had some great vacations: Hawai'i (twice), wine country, camping, Portland, etc. (international travel will have to wait for the next decade I guess)

Started working for A Certain Magazine, where I'm now a senior editor

Moved to an apartment with a view of a lake in a neighborhood I love with a passion that surpasseth all understanding

Read somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 books

Wrote over two million words

Sold about 85 short stories and around 45 poems

Had stories reprinted in anthologies I'd read and loved for years, like The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Year's Best Fantasy, and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror; and in an anthology I never imagined I'd get into, The Best American Short Stories

Reviewed scores of books and a few hundred porn movies

Wrote a weekly online column about sex-related weird stuff online for two and a half years (late 2006 to mid 2009)

Edited a big fat awesome reprint anthology of stories about the Devil

Published collaborations with some of my favorite writers (Mike Jasper, Greg van Eekhout, Nick Mamatas, Heather Shaw)

Attended awesome professional writing workshops

Done approximately a bazillion readings

Co-founded, co-edited, and closed a respected (if tiny) literary 'zine, Flytrap

Started going to conventions (notably Wiscon, but also the odd Worldcon, World Fantasy, and regional conventions)

Published 5 novels with a major publisher and self-published a sixth as an online serial experiment

Published two fiction collections and a book of poems

Won a Hugo Award for short fiction and a Rhysling Award for poetry and a Joshua Norton Award for best Bay Area novel and an Asimov's Reader Poll

Got nominated for a Campbell Award for Best New Writer; a World Fantasy Award; a Nebula Award; a Mythopoeic Award; a couple of Gaylactic Spectrum Awards; a Seiun Award; and a Stoker Award

Learned to cook something other than lasagna

Learned to appreciate wine that doesn't come out of a box

Documented just about the whole decade -- except for a few months in early 2000 -- in this very online journal/blog

Gained about 40 pounds

Stopped taking so many hallucinogens

Apart from the last two, I'm pretty much living my dream life (except for the current financial crap, which will, with luck, be temporary). I'm only 33 and I've done the thing I most wanted to do, since I was eight years old: I became a writer. I also got something I was too dumb to realize was even more important when I was 8 years old: a wonderful family.

Now to figure out how to spend the next forty or fifty years. I think I'll concentrate on having a really awesomely good time. And maybe losing a few pounds.



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