Feb. 6th, 2017

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2015 (limited-access appendix), 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

I felt an earthquake. More than one. Italy is very seismically active (and extremely volcanic) and has been forever, but this is not well known outside of Italy (despite Vesuvius!). The first one I felt was in September, and I was inside a steampunk club that looks like an airship, so the vibrating floor felt a lot like takeoff, or like a ferry leaving a dock.

On which note, I was invited to join a lot of secret societies and members-only clubs in both Italy and the US. It's odd that I haven't been a member of a secret club before now, because I am obviously a person you want in a secret club, but I haven't been. I couldn't tell you how many I'm part of now, both because I can't remember and because it's a secret.

I paid off my student loan. Still working on Ciro's.

I started captioning NHL hockey. Which is not a sport I know much about. But I can fake knowing some stuff about it, and can understand where the punctuation goes.

I roasted chestnuts.

I had contact dermatitis for months on my hands, mostly on my right index finger. I'm not sure what triggered it. Since it's an autoimmune response, it's self-perpetuating once your skin starts freaking out. I stopped wearing rings and applied lotion at a Lady MacBeth in Scotland, PA rate. It seems like it's gone now, but I'm still not back to wearing rings, and am still moisturizing, just in case, since some of my skin texture is not yet fully ordinary. (Caveat: I may have had contact dermatitis on my hands as a 9-year-old, but that was more probably a mild food allergy to blackberries. Which I continued to eat anyway.)

I rode in an ambulance. I'd become really dehydrated from my body trying to get rid of norovirus (there's been an epidemic here). We don't have a car here, and I didn't trust myself not to vomit all over a taxi. After a couple bags of IV fluid at the hospital, I was ok.

I voted for a woman for President. It's the first time this option has been available to me on a major ticket. I liked her a lot, but she lost even though she won the popular vote.

Hundreds of thousands of people read my writing, although not all of them read all of it. It's a strange thing to think about. The link to one piece (about flowers) was shared on facebook almost 30,000 times.

For The Billfold, I wrote:
"Bank of Italian-American No-Fee High-Wire Money Juggling"
"The Agony and the Ecstasy of Low-Level Tax Evasion"
"My Life in Collections: Mussel Shells, Age 3"
"My Life in Collections: Travel Dolls, Age 7"
"My Life in Collections: Stickers, Age 8"
"My Life in Collections: Girl Scout Badges, Age 10"
"An Emergency Handbook for an Impromptu Italian Beach Vacation"
"My Life in Collections: Jurassic Park Trading Cards, Age 12"
"A Tale of Two Tax Homes"
"Burn Rates and Disposable Income"
"Changing Dollars into Euros Two Ways"

For Atlas Obscura, I wrote:
"What Happened to the Bottom Third of a Famous Tintoretto Artwork?"
"The Scandalous Decision To Pickle Admiral Horatio Nelson In Brandy"
"The Explosive Truth Behind the Movie Theater Projection Room"
"Oxyrhynchus, Ancient Egypt's Most Literate Trash Heap"
" The Historical Reenactor Accuracy Wars"
"Confetti Candy, the Ancient Italian Predecessor of the Tic Tac"
"How Flower-Obsessed Victorians Encoded Messages in Bouquets"
"Endurance Starvation Was Once a Crowd-Pleasing Sport"
"When Tomatoes Were Blamed For Witchcraft and Werewolves"
(a couple of these made the Digg homepage)

For feminist humor legend The Toast, I wrote:
"Girly Vectors: A Watch List"
"Six Bands You Didn’t Know Were Broken Up By Yoko Ono"

"The Best Presidential Insult Nicknames" appeared in The Awl

My poem "Alien Ginsburg" ran in Dreams&Nightmares (not available online), and my poem "Grandiflora" ran in Polu Texni.

I also wrote a script called "Radiance" for director Faith Selby, a monster story with a subtext about racism. We hope to shoot it in the not too distant future.

I suspended the Postorbital project indefinitely because I needed that time for political action subsequent to the November election. I self-published the reasonably well-received "It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over: A Hail-Mary Strategy To Change the Electoral College Before December 19" and "How Electors Are Responding to the Letter-Writing Campaign," because when revolution is in the air, what I know how to do is leaflet, Thomas Paine style. The latter is, as far as I know, the only attempt to collect and centralize the opinions of all on-the-record electors. One of whom reached out to me afterward to say thanks.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I wanted to get better at Italian, pay off my student loans, and make around $400/mo from writing. Which I did, although I'm still not good enough at Italian. I will probably not push as hard on writing in 2017, because I don't think I'll have time.

I wanted to finish my Siege feature script but haven't started it yet. Got pushed out of the way by stuff that paid me.

Things I've committed to this year include finishing the edit of the second book in Sharon's Elspeth Romero trilogy, writing a song about my friend Ed in time for her birthday, making some kind of progress on a story I'm developing with REL, finishing a short as research/promotion for Power (an urban fantasy feature Ciro and I will hopefully shoot in 2018 or 2019), and getting to work on that Siege script. I'm also, as usually, peripherally involved in some Tony Ukpo projects.

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