I blog every other Tuesday on my WordPress blog – mostly things which are writing-related. My next Tuesday post should fall on 26th December which all Brits will recognise as Boxing Day – still very much in the middle of the holiday. We’ll have family staying for a few days, so I will be out of the office, hence this is an early post. Daughter, G, her husband and two kids arrive (by car) on Saturday 23rd, and son, J, and his intended arrive by train the same day. Both lots are here until 27th.
We’re looking forward to family time with kids, grandkids and my mum (who lives next door). I’ll be cooking Christmas dinner for nine – turkey, ham and a veggie option, with all the trimmings.
So today, I’m both looking forward and looking back
It’s ten years since I started personal blogging – first on Live Journal and latterly continued on Dreamwidth (mirrored on Live Journal). My author blog at WordPress is much newer, dating back only to August 2013, shortly after I was offered my first book deal by DAW, but before the first book actually came out.
This seems to be a good time to do a review of the last ten years and also of 2017.
To begin at the end: 2017
2017 has been another good year for me. I’ve had two books published, gained another grandchild (now 10 months old) courtesy of my daughter and son in law, my son has achieved his doctorate and announced his intention to marry in January 2018. I managed a trip abroad in the summer to Worldcon in Helsinki with a side-trip to Tallinn for some writing research. Trips at home included a week in North Wales for the annual Milford SF writers’ conference and three conventions: Eastercon, Fantasycon and Bristolcon (which also gave me the excuse to spend a couple of days in Bath for more research). Altogether not a bad year! Between those momentous events I’ve been sitting behind a desk, tapping keys and hopefully making some sense. As the year ends I’m halfway through writing book number six which is due out in November 2018 and I have another writing project on the go which is not yet ‘sold’ officially, but I have high hopes.
In the music business (my day job) I’ve done tours for Eileen McGann (Canada), Cloudstreet (Australia) and Dan McKinnon (Canada) as well as gigs for Keith Donnelly, Zulu Tradition (South Africa), Robb Johnson, Union Jill, Lee Collinson, and Tania Opland & Mike Freeman (USA).
I was devastated to lose Vin Garbutt in the middle of the year. Vin had been struggling with heart problems, but had successfully undergone surgery and looked to be recovering nicely when a different heart problem snatched him away from us. Vin was not only one of my busiest agency artists, but he was also a good friend. A talented, charismatic performer, a dedicated family man and one of the nicest people on the planet. To say he is missed is a vast understatement
But life goes on, and I’m already working on gigs into 2018 and 2019. I’m looking forward to having Ritchie Parrish Ritchie back in the UK for a tour in May 2018, and Dan McKinnon in the autumn. Also I’ve been doing a lot of immigration paperwork for musicians coming to the UK from outside the EU. At the moment EU musicians can travel freely and perform anywhere within the EU, but who knows what will happen after Brexit.
And now delving back into the last decade.
When I started my Live Journal blog (blogging as ‘Birdsedge’) it was mainly to keep up with friends who hung out on there. December 15th 2007 was my official welcome to the world of blogging, but I didn’t really get underway until January 2008. My first real post was 7th January 2008 when I wrote about managing time. Looking back I see not much has changed. I still have too many things on my to-do list and not enough time. That’s a recurring theme.
I didn’t start blogging books until 2009, and that’s largely because in December 2008 I added up the books I’d read in the year and it was a very slim list – only about 30 in total. In 2009 my book log for the year recorded 61 titles. In 2010 it was 56, in 2011 only 43, but in 2012 it was back up to 53. In 2013 it started shrinking again – down to 36, but in 2014 I had my worst year ever for reading, only 19 books, but I suspect that was because I got my first book deal in 2013, so I was writing like mad. I’ve always said that I can’t read when I’m writing (or at least when I’m first drafting) but I’m getting better at that. In 2015 it was creeping back up to 34, but in 2016 it was up to a massive (for me) 97. This year so far it’s been 74, which is pretty respectable. Over 500 book blogs (and early blogs) can be found on Dreamwidth at https://jacey.dreamwidth.org/ I also blog around 25 to 30 movies a year in my Movie Of The Week posts. Ten years of blogs. If you’re reading this on Dreamwidth (since this is one of the few posts I’m triplicating to WordPress, Dreamwidth and Live Journal) you can catch up with my writing blog at https://jaceybedford.wordpress.com/