December 30th, 2005

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Oh... everything.

Went to the movies this afternoon, "Memoirs of a Geisha". Very bittersweet. Haven't read the book so don't know how faithful or how accurate the rendition is - by all accounts the book WAS a scorcher! - but I enjoyed the lushness and the drama and the pathos and the courage and the sense of finding of beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty that pervades the movie - and Ziyi Zhang is easy on the eye, anyway. She was my Xaforn when I was writing "Jin Shei", if I knew how to send her a copy of the book I would. But, eh. I'll have to settle for watching her somewhat unearthly ethereal beauty on movie screens and calling her by my own secret name for her in my mind.

It's raining, and has been for a while - a soft, soaking, end-of-year kind of rain that washes old things away in preparation for the new things that are on their way. It's been cool and grey and silver all day, and even now the rain is whispering outside in the darkness. Welcome, Last Day that is about to come, last day before a new year dawns the morning after. I have a feeling I will dream tonight.

The year that was...? I guess it's time, at that.

2005 brought me three books out on the shelves in bookstores in America, the paperback "Jin shei" and the fantasy dulogy. It brought nominations for "Jin Shei" to things such as the Orange Prize for Fiction - although it didn't make the short list, it was thought good enough to nominate by my publishers, which was an honour by itself. It also brought me spots in the ranks of finalists in two other awards, the Endeavour Award for genre fiction and the Washington State BOok Award. It won neither, but I have a certificate from the latter which thanks me for work of lasting importance in the literary world of the state of Washington. I treasure that. The same book also made the finals, and then got a "Highly COmmended", in the RWA-sponsored Prism Awards - so it made an impression across the board, in two different genres (fantasy and romance) and in mainstream. I am so very proud of my baby.

2005 also brought me new projects, and I wrote, polished, edited, rewrote and saw published the follow-up to "Jin shei", 'Embers of Heaven", out and about in the Antipodes at present. And when that project was done, I wrote, polished, edited and rewrote the first book of my new YA trilogy, and am about to start work on number 2 next week. I am giving myself three months to do this, three and a half tops. After that... I have another dream to pursue. More later.

2005 brought me my 10th language for "Jin SHei", Portuguese, and the second language for the "Changer" books, which will be coming out in Germany soon.

2005 brought me another year of living my dream - and I am grateful, so grateful, to the gods and guardian angels who are watching over me in this. There's a temple in my mind and a candle burns there always in remembrance of that gratitude. Never think I forget the value of what I have been given - I cherish every moment of it and take nothing for granted.

It's now two and half years since the stroke that laid Deck low, and although he is not recovering as fast as he thinks he should he is doing wonderfully well. He pretty much does without a cane these days, and if sometimes that means he moves a little more slowly and carefully along unfamiliar or rough terrain that's fine. His extremities are still giving him trouble, particularly the wrist and the hand, but it's the fine motor control that he still doesn't have, it isn't the full-blown sense of helplessness of feeling as if, like he put it when he first came home from the hospital, of having his foot "nailed to the ground". Progress is being made. He even managed a full-blown overseas trip, including London and all of its double decker buses, taxis, and mind-the-gap Tube stations. We spent three weeks in Europe this year, including the week at WOrldcon in Glasgow, and it was a blast. In 2006 we are planning more travel - we will be finalizing arrangements for visiting Alaska sometime in late summer or very early autumn of next year.

I am a writer who lives in the circle of a loving family - husband and parents and two kooky cats - and my life continues to astonish me in its richness and its joy.

Roll on 2006.