A 2012 Retrospective – On the Year That Didn’t End (The World)

I’ve just returned to civilisation after spending the last days of 2012 going off the grid and retreating to my family’s shack on the East
Coast of Tasmania. It’s located in a small seaside town that spends most of the
year as a lifeless flaccid balloon but then inflates to the point of bursting every
summer. So while it’s not exactly an inaccessible by road, hand built, oil-lamp-lit hut in the woods it’s still quiet and most importantly has no internet and no mobile
phone coverage, at least for my carrier, and that makes it ideal for reading
and writing.

During this escape and the enforced digital Sabbath that
came with it I finished rewriting my first novel in preparation for my agent
sending it back to some publishers that showed interest earlier in the year. It
was a rather symbolic thing to finish that book on December 31st as
it topped off what was a big year in 2012.

2012 was the year of misinterpreted Mayan Calendars, London
Olympics, American elections and American super-storms, we put an SUV sized
rover on Mars, found the Higgs-Boson, we lost Maurice Sendak and
Ray Bradbury and a crazy Austrian jumped from the edge of space. For me personally it was a big year both in and out of my writing endeavours.

After spending 2011 finishing my first novel ‘A Town Called
Dust’ I polished it off in the early part of 2012 and in May that book landed
me my agent. Also in 2011 my graphic novel ‘King and Country’ found it’s home
at Gestalt Publishing and in 2012 the illustrations started rolling in and they
look awesome, really bringing to life the world that is such a big part of that
story, I think people are going to dig it. This year also saw me win a Highly
Commended in the 2012 QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards in the Written Word
category and I completed my second novel, ‘The Other Side’, which is currently
being shopped around.

Maybe it was the looming threat of armageddon but I worked super hard in 2012 to achieve a lot of my goals. However, I did still find time
to enjoy some content consumption and let’s be honest what self-respecting end
of year retrospective blog post would be complete without some best-of lists.
So, in no particular order here’s some of my 2012 top 5’s.

Top 5 Books

Here are the top 5 books I read this year, note that I
rarely set out to read books in the year they come out, mostly because the pile
beside my bed is leaning tower of Pisa high, so these are my favourites from
the books I read in 2012 not necessarily published in 2012:

  • Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman
  • House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
  • Lunar Park – Bret Easton Ellis
  • The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  • Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

Top 5 Films

It’s been a big year for movies but here’s my painfully
selected top five from a range of genres and all for different reasons:

  • Argo
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Avengers
  • Skyfall
  • The Cabin in the Woods

Top 5 Comics/Graphic Novels

This year has seen a bit of a slide in the amount of
comics/graphic novels I’ve been reading, mostly due to reading the magnum opus
that is the BPRD hardcovers but here are my favourites this year:

  • Blue – Pat Grant
  • Batman – Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo
  • Locke and Key – Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Saga – Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples
  • The Manhattan Projects – Jonathan Hickman/Nick

Top 5 TV shows

Given that I decided to re-watch all seven seasons of The
West Wing I’m now woefully behind on some shows I have no doubt would feature
on this list like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, but
regardless here’s my favourites from what I got through:

  • Community
  • Breaking Bad
  • Homeland
  • Sherlock
  • Game of Thrones

And so with 2012 now squarely in the rear-vision mirror and
fading away down the long straight road of time we turn our attention to 2013. In
2013 I have one over-riding goal, secure a publishing deal for at least one of
the novels I’ve written (both would be nice of course!) I’m also aiming to at
least plot out my third novel, venture back into graphic novels by completing
another script and spend a little more time knocking out a couple of short

I mentioned 2012 had been an exciting year for me both in
and out of writing. I feel it would be remiss for me to end this post without
mentioning the biggest thing that happened to me in 2012, I got engaged to my
beautiful girlfriend and we’ll be marrying in 2013! So here’s to 2012 - the
year didn’t end the world and looking forward to 2013 – another year of possibility.