Reflections on 2018

In 2018, I basically forgot about this blog. Uhm. Oops?

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I remembered it was here and I did things like update the pages and wrote one or two book reviews here but I never actually published anything consistent here. (That’s going to change in 2019.)

So. What happened in 2018? Well, a lot from a certain point of view and not that much from another. (Isn’t it crazy how that works?) This was a year in which I struggled a bit especially on a personal level. 2018 taught me a lot about the friendships I had with some people and showed me which were genuine and positive forces in my life and which were (to put it bluntly) not. I won’t go into it much further but I am incredibly grateful to the friends who’ve loved me and supported me through the ups and downs I’ve had this year. (Special shout out to the friends who surprised me with my very own ID-10 droid who I love more than life itself.)

But on to the stuff you care about. Let’s get the big one out of the way: I started writing for which is something that still lowkey amazes me. I was asked to interview Kieron Gillen and Si Spurrier about their work on the Doctor Aphra comic and it was one of the funnest hours I’ve ever had. Both Kieron and Si are excellent human beings who weren’t off-put by what a crazy fangirl I am of Aphra. I’ve also gotten to write a biweekly column about Star Wars comics, the latest of which was about Age of Republic: Qui-Gon Jinn and it’s been a genuine joy to do. Writing reviews of every issue had left me feeling a bit burnt out and this has been the perfect balance. I’m grateful that my editor Dan Brooks has let me engage with the stories I love so much like this and hope I get to continue to do so in the future.

I went to ten conventions and worked all of them in one way or another. That includes organizing and running a mini, very unofficial Star Wars track at Awesome Con and covering most of NYCC for and being on panels and/or working booths/tables at the rest. This also helped me realize that I don’t know what to do at a con now if I’m not working which is probably something I should work on next year. Many of those cons were worked as a member of the 501st. Related, I trooped 32 times in 2018. I also finally submitted to the Rebel Legion in August and am now a member as Leia Organa with her dress from the comics and trooped 5 times as her this fall. Combined, my best guess is that I spent about 145 hours this year giving back to the community via trooping and about 40 of those were at hospital troops which have honestly become one of my favorite days of each month. Bringing smiles to the faces of the kids there means the world to me even when it sometimes means that their smiles mean I’m blinking back tears.

I also started a new podcast with two of the best people out there. The Vongcast is my favorite book club ever as Megan, Rocky, and I reread the New Jedi Order one book a month. We’re halfway through the series now and I genuinely treasure the two-ish hours each month that I get to virtually hang out with these two ladies.

I was also lucky enough to be interviewed for 365 Days of Star Wars Women by the lovely Amy Richau. I felt honored to be included in the incredible project which concluded today. Please go check it out if you haven’t already.

In 2018, I also did something very new for me: I finished the first drafts of two novels. One took me about a year and the other was written in about 28 days during NaNo although admittedly, the second was about half the length of the first. Both books taught me a lot about both writing original stories and what works for me when it comes to writing original. (Spoilers: outlining is apparently key!) I’m currently learning about the joys of editing and will be rewriting the first one in the new year.

Oh. And this isn’t really something I accomplished but I got to meet Dichen Lachman and I died a little.

Aside from that? I kept writing for Tosche Station and shifted a little more firmly into the editor role there. I also relaunched White Hot Room and shifted us to a weekly schedule so I can actually post regularly without feeling overwhelmed. I hosted an impromptu appreciation day for the Star Wars comics. The Star Wars Show featured my tweet about what Star Wars Rebels has meant to me. The Kanjikast is still going strong. I read way too much because I’m a freak of nature but also reviewed a fair number of books. I adjusted to a year in which I got no new stories about Iden Versio but also tried to reflect whenever possible on how lucky I was to have a character like her in my life and about the experiences and opportunities she’d given me. I also got to hang out with a lot of friends thanks to both conventions and people traveling to my city for one reason or another and I especially treasure those moments when I get to see people outside of the insanity of conventions.

What’s next in 2019? Hopefully a lot of things! Thus far, my plan is to keep doing what I’ve been doing but to do it even better because I’ve never been satisfied with complacency. I want to finally finish some of the costumes that are in the plans/sitting in pieces on my sewing table and/or floor. In particular, I hope that I can keep doing the work that I do with the 501st and Rebel Legion because bringing smiles to those kids means the world to me. I want to rewrite and polish one if not both of those novels I drafted last year and hopefully take one of them to the next level. I’ve also got something that I’m both incredibly proud of and think is pretty darn cool coming out within the first few weeks of January that I think I can technically talk about but would like to leave a surprise for now.

I don’t know what challenges 2019 is going to bring for me but I think I’m ready to face them. Bring it on.

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