2012 in Review

The end of the year is upon us.  The world did not end so we have 2013 and beyond to look forward to. But before we do let’s take a look back at 2012. (For reference, here’s my 2012 outlook and 2011 review)

Life

By far the biggest change of 2012 was the birth of my son. I can’t believe he’s 10 months old already. At one point we weren’t sure if we wanted to have kids. They are a lot of work and cost a lot of money. That turns out to be true. But I can’t imagine my life without him.

He’s crawling now, quite rapidly, and cruising along the furniture. It won’t be long before he decides to let go for more than a few seconds at a time and start walking. Though, since he’s already mobile that won’t make the job of keeping him out of trouble to much harder.

Being a parent is still not something my mind believes. My wife and I refer to each other as Mommy and Daddy to try and help the kid learn those names. It doesn’t feel as weird as it did as first. But I still don’t think of myself as a father, which is weird. My life is completely different now than it was just a year ago. It revolves about taking care of a small helpless life.

Writing

This time last year, my first book, Aristeia: Revolutionary Right, had just been released. That was a pretty exciting time. And now I have a second novel out, plus two short stories and a third turned into the publisher.

How well has it gone? Not nearly as well as I’d hoped. Between e-books, paperbacks, hardbacks I’ve sold exactly 500 stories; 254 copies of Revolutionary Right, 142 copies of A Little Rebellion and 104 short stories. 665+ copies were also been given out for free during the time in the Kindle Select program. Of those, 72 total copies of the novels have sold at four different conventions, which is the vast majority of total physical books sold.

There are two ways of looking at those numbers. On the one hand, they’re pretty dismal. I’m very much in the red as far as money I’ve paid out for various promotional things. Compared to any of the authors you’ve heard of, they probably sell 10x more books in a day as I’ve sold in total.

Now, on the other hand, I’ve sold more than zero.  Which for an unknown author with a small publishing company isn’t nothing. It can take quite awhile for word to spread about a book. Aristeia may never make it big. Or it could start selling well only in a decade after some other future book I write hits it big.

Writing success really is about the long term goals. And its not really about the numbers either. I don’t have many fans but I have received some very nice emails from people who have read and enjoyed my books.  Outside of me enjoying the act of writing, having someone get enjoyment out of what I’ve created is that it’s all about. Even if that’s only a small number of people.

Politics

Last year at this time Occupy Wall Street was just starting to wind down and the election season was just starting to wind up. Just recently we’ve learned that the wind down of Occupy wasn’t just the movement fading due to the cold weather, but was actually a coordinated crack down by the FBI. Had that not happened, how different would 2012 have been?

As disturbing as this news is, 2012 didn’t turn out to bad, politically.  Obama won re-election, rather than Romney. Republicans and the Tea-party saw their national power dwindle in the House and Senate. While things didn’t change much, it’s at least a step in the right direction. The public’s opinion has started to shift on the issues of taxes, gay-rights and many other things.  Overall, things at least aren’t getting worse, and in many ways, are getting better.

Games

In a much more insignificant sphere of my life, 2012 was an interesting one for gaming. Coming into it, Star Wars: The Old Republic was the highlight. The game had just released and I was fully invested in it. I got my Smuggler to level 50 mid way through January. Then the kid was born and I essentially stopped playing.

Early on, it was just really hard to find time. SWTOR is not a game designed for short hops in and out. But even as I gained more time, I never felt the desire to go back. That’s not to say I think SWTOR is a bad game. Some day I plan to go finish the story quests for each of the professions. They were very well done.

But overall, SWTOR just ended up not being the type of game for me, at least now. I’m still playing STO and will probably for awhile. But it’s a very different style than SWTOR, which is your more traditional MMO. We’ll take a look at my gaming prospects for 2013 later but really, there aren’t many MMO’s on that list.

In other gaming, we saw the appearance of Fantasy Flights new Star Wars RPG, Edge of the Empire. I enjoyed playing in a brief beta game and will probably be playing in more in 2013. Saga gaming has continued via a Skype game and some Play-by-Post gaming. So my RPGing went well in 2012.

As for single player games, the only one that really stands out was the expansion to Civilization 5, Gods and Kings. I’m still playing a game of that here and there and have had some fun in multiplayer. Nothing else really comes to mind in terms of single player games I’ve picked up an really enjoyed this year.

Geekery

A look at 2012 wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the big geek news, the sale of Lucas Arts to Disney. I’m still cautiously optimistic about this. The other big geek event of 2012, was the great success of the Avengers, which is owned by Disney.

 

That’s it for my look back at 2012. Overall, a pretty good year. We’ll take a look at the future tomorrow.

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