Pröper Gander

2010-2019: My Decade in Review

Tempus fugit, and time's flight is relentless in its grinding pace. Many days seem to stretch into infinity, but then I look back and wonder what the hell I did with the last ten years. I know I did something with the last decade, but it doesn't feel like I've done enough.

  • I worked for four different companies, two of them for four years.
  • I wrote two novels from my Starbreaker saga and got both of them published through a small press in 2013 and 2016.
  • The rights to both of my novels, and the short stories I wrote to help market them, have reverted to me—and the small press with which I worked has disappeared with royalties left unpaid.
  • I paid off my car and bought a house.
  • I took my wife Catherine to Paris for her fortieth birthday.
  • I spent my fortieth birthday helping Catherine fight breast cancer.
  • Catherine and I attended the 2014, 2015, and 2018 World Fantasy Conventions.
  • I amassed a following 20,000 strong on Google+ during its heyday, but most of those "followers" were utterly worthless: they never even interacted with me.
  • I wasted entirely too much time on social media because I thought that was what small-time authors were supposed to do to get attention and book sales.
  • I jumped off the Apple ship after Steve Jobs died, went back to using GNU/Linux for while, and then finally got up the nerve to try OpenBSD—and I've been using that ever since.
  • I was finally diagnosed as having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • My two black cats: Dante and Virgil, the "Devil May Purr" twins, both died. But succeeding them are Smudge and Purrseus, two sweet brown and white tabbies.

While doing all of that I read a bunch of novels, listened to a bunch of new bands, played a bunch of games, and even saw some movies. Most of the media I consumed was crap, and I probably consumed it because I was too worn out from my day job and pretending to be normal to have much energy for creating.

I also watched my fellow Americans elect a demagogue to the White House, and did nothing more to oppose them than vote for somebody I loathed a little less.

Maybe I can do more with the next decade. I hope so. 2010 was supposed to be "year we make contact", but as far as we know we're still alone in the universe. The future I was solid as a kid seems no closer to reality, and the America I was taught to believe in seems ever more mythical.

I want to write a new "Starbreaker saga", an account of the "Great Defiance" where humanity finally throws off the tyranny of god and state alike. I want to publish this independently, without asking permission from some publishing cartel in New York and letting them pay me pennies on the dollar for my work. But first I want to make my old Starbreaker material available under a Creative Commons license. I don't think I can sell it, and I don't want it to languish, forgotten.