January is half over… should I feel an obligation to do that blogger’s tradition, the year-end look-back? Am I even a blogger, for that matter, or just one who blogs?

What the heck.

Even though I’m afraid to check the archives to see that I wrote this every other January…. I’ll say that 2007 was a year of transition.

I started the year with my freelance experiment drawing to a close. I actually went back to Borders for about three weeks. Every day spent there was like walking through muddy fog. Not that the folks who worked their weren’t real nice people in almost every case… it’s that I was back at Borders, after more than a year. It felt like a step backward (it was) and it felt like defeat. Sad Selznick.

Then, two friends threw me a rope woven from plumeria and mediawiki markup, and I joined Mahalo.com in April. This is a company I drive 175 miles every day for, getting to and from Santa Monica. That should tell you something. It’s engaging, challenging, enriching, and the people are awesome. If you haven’t done so already, check them out, join Mahalo Social, and friend me up!

That covers the work front in 2007. The creative front… hm. I completed exactly one piece of fiction in 2007 — one more so than in 2006. That was the short story “Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf,” which was bought by Escape Pod, the science fiction podcast magazine, and read by soon-to-be bestselling author Scott Sigler. I’m a little frustrated and disappointed by my creative output last year, which is why I’m shooting for the unreasonable and grandiose in 2008… I want to write 200,000 words by January 1st, 2009. This should be mostly fiction, but can include essays, non-fiction works, and blog posts that are more than just “check out this cool link.” It’s really only 550 words a day, give or take… yeah… it’s a piece of pie! Wish me luck… and follow my progress by searching for the tag “200K IN 2008”, especially in Twitter.

I attended three conventions in 2007, and spoke on panels at each one — Balticon in Baltimore, Maryland, DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia, and the New Media Expo in Ontario, California. It was my third NME, my first time for the others. Doing that much traveling was dreadfully expensive in many ways, and while it was great to connect with friends and fans new and old, I don’t think I’ll be attending anything in 2008 farther than a couple of driving hours away. It costs too much, and with both my wife and I working, it’s harder to leave the house for days at a time.

I did a lot of podcasting for other folks — mostly dramatic readings and a promo or two — and launched two new podcasts myself. Five Minute Memoir didn’t stick, but it may live again with a different host. Writers Talking was a success, and will return in 2008.

2007 was a pits and valleys kind of year. I guess every year is like that. The repercussions of both the high and low moments continue to ripple into this year. If this was an anonymous blog, I’d go into more detail… but it’s not. I’m grateful for the patience, love, support, understanding, and inspiration of all those involved, though. You know who you are.

This is the part of the post where I’m supposed to neatly sum up the entire year with some tidy phrase. A tag line that encompasses three hundred sixty five days. Yeah, sure, okay.

2007 was as much about moving forward with new opportunity as it was about stagnation. It was as much about bright optimism and excitement as it was about disappointment and self-sabotage. It was brilliant and dark.

That’s about as specific and universal as a horoscope — it was my year, but I bet it was your year, too.

And this is the part where I’m supposed to look forward, leaning into the sunrise with my shoulders back. In fact, I am excited… not about a new calendar on the wall, though. The turn of the year is an agreed-upon marker, but the real landmarks in our lives are noted by the events that matter to us. Each calendar year holds a number of these, and they overlap. April was one. May was one. October was one. And, sure, January is one, thanks to 200K IN 2008.

There will be more to come!