In some cases I do the year end wrap-ups and year-ahead look-forwards as separate posts, and often I do an even SEPARATER (not a word) post about the pop culture things I took pleasure in–.
Because honestly, 2020 was a hot fucking fuckmess of a year, and time ran together like so much damp paint– it may still be a Monday in March? Why not Frankenstein an entire lot of blog site posts together?
What The Fuck Did I Do This Year?
Certainly a large part of it too was–.
Not to state this is some were all in this together hoorah clarion call– I am an intensely privileged person, not even if of the natural opportunities afforded to me however due to the fact that I make a present living based upon staying at home. I do not go to a task. I hide here in my WRITING SHED, peering out the windows like a paranoid maniac while furtively typing a couple of sentences occasionally. Im a fortunate person and Im doing alright, much better than a lot of folks– definitely not my goal to play misery olympics. At the same time, I think its alright for all of us, me included, to acknowledge that the year was a shouting fuckshow either method, and that extremely few people were operating at 100%.
There was good news, of course: Wanderers was chosen for both the Stoker and the Locus, which was really nice. Theres real factor to celebrate however right now Im mainly simply tired? Christmas was nice, however mainly I just desire to get through to 2021.
To address that, I had to look back over e-mails just to see like, the things I did. For an excellent portion of the year I didnt truly write anything brand-new– I did 2 new drafts of The Book of Accidents, one big draft at the start of the year, and some tiny-but-plentiful tweaks midway through. And a copy-edit for that. Plus a set of edits on Dust & & Grim, and I assisted curate the monster motivational Magic Skeleton book– though primarily there it was the publisher choosing what ones enter the book and after that having the fantastic Natalie Metzger use her great art weirdness to all of it. However all that time I didnt truly compose anything brand-new up until this fall– and as such Im 50k deep into the Wanderers follow up, Wayward. Part of that is due to the fact that we didnt have a guaranteed schedule for my next several books, right? Like, we understood TBOA was getting vacated October 2020 to not get crushed by election coverage (whew), and after that it was a concern of whether the Wanderers sequel was next, or if it d be another scary book of mine, currently titled The Orchard. There were concerns as to what I was even supposed to write next?
I wish to be clear it is not a joke when I inform you that reviewing this year and attempting to gauge its scope and its contents resembles wrestling an oily pig in a carnival hall-of-mirrors. I cant get a grip on it and I do not understand where I am. I honestly do not know what happened this year and what I even achieved? Eennnhhh?
This year was a lot. A lot a lot. A lot a lot a lot. Pandemic and election and social media monstrousness and shenanigans around every corner. It was merely hard to get imaginative traction this year. And thats unusual for me. Im normally somebody who can compose his way through any bullshit, however this year I found greater solace in editing, in fine-toothing story to get it right, and any new product I wrote went into those, for the most part. Which is great, of course. Progress is development. Work is work. It was obstructed, hobbled, hamstrung. I think it was for you, too. Thats all right. It was a hard, bad year. A hard, bad, odd year. We were all being asked to stroll around on a broken leg, and I think its all right if that implies you cant run. If people want you to, even. Even if you expect yourself to. You do what you can do. Forward is forward, development is progress, nevertheless little it might be.
Things That Were Good That I Enjoyed Maybe?
Some of these might be hallucinations, I do not even understand.
Palm Springs was the first piece of media that I think accidentally comprehended the vibe of the intruding pandemic. It felt real in such a way other stories did not simply by its proximity to whatever going on. It is the movie of 2020– not always the best film (though it is pretty great), however simply a motion picture that lived in the very same hell-realm we were all living in.
I read this just prior to the pandemic and hahaaahahaha it landed differently as soon as the pandemic hit. Its really good, and if you liked Wanderers, I think youll like this, too.
There were a lot of great adult-friendly kids-TV, too. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts may be one of the best animations of all time, right up there with Avatar: the Last Airbender– it is, in its method, the Ted Lasso of animations, including a hugely positive character who chooses to befriend all their enemies, always picking empathy over the other thing.
Ill note here an intriguing contrast– I see films for escape, but checked out books that dont necessarily go for escape. I dont understand why that is. Maybe since books contextualize experience differently, and offer catharsis in a more impactful, nuanced method. Ill note that I believe horror is the genre to see over the next two to four years. And I dont just state that as an individual with a horror novel out in 2021. But, uhh, likewise due to the fact that of that.
BEWARE: SPOILERS AND STAR WARS FAN WANK TO ENSUE.
However here are the important things I enjoyed this year in their different category.
I needed amusing this year, and this brought the amusing. Samantha Irby is one of the funniest goddamn individuals on Planet Earth and if there is any reason to save this planet it is since she is on it.
I like books that dont fuck around and this is a book that doesnt fuck around. I d even argue the noblest pursuit of a novelist is to compose a book that declines to fuck around, so read this to get that.
Class Action Park isnt my youth exactly, however its next door.
A few of this too is difficult because I attempt to bear in mind, say, what motion pictures I saw this year, and after that when I recall at what movies came out in 2020, its like, actually? Birds of Prey was out this year? Was it? Really? That happened this fucking year? Jesus.
As soon as again Im left questioning … what even happened this year? What came out? The 2 media kinds that dominated my story-consumption practices were tv and computer game– both, I believe, simple to get in and get out of quickly. Movies take time in spite of being much shorter than tv, because theyre finest viewed in a single two-hour-chunk. And with a kid house 24/7 rather of being in school, we didnt always have the time or psychological perseverance to plop down for that temporal piece. Books were hard, too, due to the fact that, initially, I found my concentration levels in the pandemic were lowered to the level of “concussed squirrel” and second, once again, my kid was home. Its actually tough to sit quietly with a book. TELEVISION and video games were simpler to grapple in the time permitted. Their usage: straightforward.
Cobra Kai doesnt constantly understand what it is, whether its a saccharine nostalgia-bomb or a cynical subversion of all that– often its glib and silly and sometimes its like BOOM HAVE SOME REAL CONSEQUENCES. In some cases its making fun of itself, and then itll change gears and be genuine as fuck.
JFC, was Schitts Creek this year? Enjoyed that one, too. The Good Place too and wait WTF that ended this year too?
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is a brief, impactful, elk-fueled book of fear and unhappiness. The guy writes in a method that is just easy-breezy– literary, if you care to call it that, however conversational. Its high-minded storytelling told in a low voice, and please believe me when I assure you this is not derogatory– its the very best method a story can be.
It works. It reimagines superheroes as deeply fascist, fucked-up narcissistic hell-beasts masquerading as people and it feels very apropos to 2020.
What We Do In The Shadows is among the funniest, weirdest shows. The Jackie Daytona episode may be one of the best episodes of tv of all time.
Listen, Im sure Im being overwrought by stating its one of the biggest seasons of television ever, however it sure felt that way when I viewed it. Amusing, simply a little fucked-up, properly profane, and ultimately deeply sweet and optimistic. I think about it frequently.
Scare Me is an odd piece of not-quite-horror-movie excellence. A story about stories, however also a story about storytellers. Weird and amusing and dark. Minimalist and spare. Shudder, by the method, is a terrific streaming service if you like creepy frightening spoopy things.
Not an extensive list.
I believe Perry Mason babbled a bit, and its quite fucking dark, however it worked for me.
Enola Holmes– what a pleasure. I type of idea it would be worse fare than it was? Honestly, Netflix can do truly well with TV, however their movie offerings have not always been aces-and-eights. This felt real, and enjoyable, and simply fired on all cylinders for us here in the Wendighaus.
Were there other motion pictures out this year? Did I see some of them? Anyway, onward we go.
Hummingbird Salamander, Jeff VanderMeer. Its not out yet, but mark it– its a Fincherian puzzle to be fixed, this book, and its as much about you as it has to do with the protagonists. All books change you a little but some books change you more than that, and this is one of those.
For honorable factors, admittedly, however in a method that feels like hes just giving in to it instead of owning his role. They simply combated through hell only to have Mando provide away the kid to a dark-clad complete stranger who simply killed a lot of Terminators. Theres no closure, theres just the end of the show, and then theres a Boba Fett show however a delayed Mandolorian season and– ennh, I dunno.
Wolfwalkers is among the most terrific animated movies of all time. I have not seen Soul yet, and will soon, however this is it for me. Its deeply, unabashedly great, and unashamedly itself.
Survivor Song, Paul Tremblay. Supercharged rabies pandemic, thanks to Paul Tremblay? With requisite Tremblay heart-punching and kidney-stabbing. He will constantly injure you. And you will constantly like it. Paul Tremblay is a monster.
There were some programs that missed for me, too– primary amongst them is Mandalorian.
So, who knows if Im even keeping in mind all this properly.
Expense & & Ted Face The Music– what a delighted motion picture. And a happy-making motion picture. It wasnt just nostalgia sustaining it, though that never hurts– it was crafted with love and care and fun, and you can feel it in every frame.
Bonus offer: Cobb Vanth!
This is getting long, so Ill simply say these are the video games that geeked me out this year: Hades, Ghost of Tsushima, Miles Morales, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Spiritfarer. I really desired to love Valhalla however its a buggy harsh mess where youre mostly simply a dickhead Viking who appears and does some pillaging– so far the “bad guys” are hardly that. It invests me in the story, and the storytelling is great, however it seems like more of a chore than the rich (if too long) Odyssey. I also wanted to like Squadrons, however couldnt really get into it. It felt great! Only that. I think it was the too-short single-player that left me feeling dissatisfied? But hey, Rae Sloane and the Starhawk!
Likewise a weird shout-out to No Mans Sky, a video game that continues to deepen itself and enhance extremely– two times as so now on the PS5, where it looks fucking incredible and its abysmal load-times are now a mere fraction of what they were.
What The Hell Happens Now?
I hope Trump is done, his goose prepared, his brownies baked, his fate signed and sealed and provided. His legal choices are long tired, so all he has left is mayhem– but he might make more mayhem yet, due to the fact that I believe what waits at the end of it is jail.
I truthfully do not understand what happened this year and what I even achieved? It was simply difficult to get innovative traction this year. At the exact same time, I believe its fine for all of us, me included, to acknowledge that the year was a shrieking fuckshow either way, and that extremely couple of people were operating at 100%.
As soon as once again Im left questioning … what even occurred this year? Ill keep in mind that I believe horror is the category to watch over the next 2 to four years.
Hope you can discover some peace and creative convenience in the new year.
For now, Ill see you on the other side.
I hope the pandemic will fade this year– we have vaccines, however we also have new mutations of COVID rising, and hope but not confirmation that the vaccines will work against them.
Ill be back then to speak about that a bit more– what we can do going forward, as writers, as the calendar burns the previous tire-fire of a year and we get out of the smoke and haze into a (hopefully) restored 2021.
Ill keep writing Wayward in the meantime.
Be well, frandos. Offer to a local foodbank, if you can.
Hope you enjoy em all. And if you dont, thats okay, too.
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I have no concept.