Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013: The Year That Was

Normally the end of the year would see an inevitable review of the preceding twelve months, full of lists and photos eagerly depicted fun or beautiful moments. 2013 has been a funny year for me, full of ups and downs, although understandably I don't exactly want to detail the downs here. Don't worry, it's nothing major, more just...total annoyances.

Academically, I completed the second chapter of my PhD and presented my first conference paper. The former was both a labour of love and a millstone around my neck, while the latter was equal parts of exciting and terrifying. Luckily my teaching experience made it easy to stand up in front of fellow academics to discuss The Frighteners and The Tattooist.

In terms of writing, The Guns of Retribution was re-published by Beat to a Pulp in May, while my short story, Protection, was published in Bloody Parchment's The Root Cellar and Other Stories. I finished writing The Necromancer's Apprentice, with help from my beta readers Tony Noland and Rob Diaz, while the ever-awesome Nerine Dorman edited it.

As well as knitting up a storm and learning to crochet, which was both harder and easier than I thought it might be, I took up jewellery making, and even opened my own shop on etsy. IcyHandmade has even had a few sales! I've been focussing on jewellery that is affordable but quirky, and I've tried a variety of techniques so far. I really need to start treating it like a proper business but at the moment I've just been collecting materials and charms to make items like this leaf and watchface charm bracelet. On top of that, I got involved with the #craftblogclub Twitter chat, run by Emma Berry. I've met some lovely crafters and bloggers through it, and it's been a real inspiration for doing and learning more crafts.

I visited Germany on holiday, visiting Cologne and Bonn among other places, and I took up archery and target shooting - I passed a beginner's course in archery, meaning I'm now a member of my local club, and I'm not exactly Oliver Queen yet but I'm working on that. I also worked on my photography skills through my Image A Day experiment on Instagram (see the results on Pinterest or Flickr) and I learned how to develop film myself at a pinhole camera workshop (which ended up being more about 35mm photography). The latter part has been a particular eye opener, and it's reignited my love for black and white photography.

But now we're on the cusp of 2014 and I feel it's best to look forwards, not back. So what do I plan for the coming year?

Academia
I'll be continuing to work on my PhD, with a minimum of one chapter and my introduction planned, and I'll be presenting another paper at a conference in June. I've also got other bits and pieces to work on, but I've thankfully been able to recover my focus for my thesis, so I've got my academic mojo back. With any luck, 2014 will see a definite boost to my word count.

Fiction
The Necromancer's Apprentice will be coming out in 2014 through Dark Continents Publishing's Tales of Darkness and Dismay line, but I've got the sequel to The Guns of Retribution to finish, as well as edits to complete on my long awaited Fowlis Westerby novel before I decide what to do with it. Expect more short stories and more flash fiction.

IcyHandmade
I'll be working on more jewellery creations for my etsy shop but I also want to focus on creating handmade knits to sell in my shop. I'm not taking commissions just yet but if you're desperate for something, drop me an email at icy (at) icysedgwick (dot) com and we can discuss it! However, I have also vowed not to buy any more yarn to knit things for myself until I've finished all my outstanding projects so I'll have to keep buying for projects for sale!

How about you? What plans have you got for 2014?

2 comments:

Helen said...

Sounds like you had a fairly productive year Icy and that 2014 will also be productive. Happy New Year!

Tony Noland said...

Good work in 2013, Icy! I can't wait to see N.A. when it comes out! My list for 2014 is right here.

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