This year was filled with chickadees. They come and go but right now there are about a dozen who frequent the bird feeder. They follow us around when we go outside and sometimes land on the windows to peer into the house.
We had blue jays this year, too, a family of them that arrived when all the littlest ones were still small and fluffy.
And there was a bunny in the yard last week, the first we’ve seen here, hanging out around near the bird feeder and sitting quietly in the snow beneath the bushes.
2022 was quiet, filled with soft things and fluttering. Many things happened and long-awaited projects were released into the world but most if it felt as though it was happening around me, wings beating somewhere nearby. I was ill for a chunk of the fall (chronic things being more chronic than usual) so most of the latter half of the year turned in self-care directions. Warm beverages and blankets and softness and slowing down.
2022 was all these beautiful things that were created in part by me but so many other artists brought such life to stories new and old and I am so very grateful to have all of these objects out in the world.
The Phantomwise Tarot, available wherever tarot decks are sold from Clarkson Potter.
New UK paperback editions from Vintage of The Night Circus & The Starless Sea. The Waterstones editions have new exclusive content.
The astonishingly beautiful Books Illustrated editions of The Night Circus with illustrations by Anne Yvonne Gilbert.
I threw away more words than I wrote this year, but what remains in the aftermath is better and has both more personality and more mysteries. I shall be spending 2023 trying to learn them, if not solve them. It has secrets I have not discerned yet, rooms I haven’t figured out how to open.
It might have a title? I’m not sure yet, it is sitting here, misshapen and unfinished, trying a title on like a hat, to see if it suits. I will know better once it is more book-shaped.
2023 will probably be a quieter year for me. This year had several things and surprises, most of which are in the stack above. For next year I am hoping to spend more time alone getting to know this creature in its little hat better so that you all can meet it, someday.
I had an odd reading year. The last few years I’ve had difficulty reading for a number of reasons and I’ve been feeling like my reading gets overwhelmed by new things so I tried to read older things and more nonfiction. I am a slow reader at the best of times and I have somehow become even slower.
I have piles of books I wanted to read this year and never got to (related: I have barely gotten to anything in the blurb request pile in a timely manner lately, the last book I managed to blurb I had almost a full year before publication) but I’ll be tackling more of the to-read pile over the next while, particularly Chuck Wendig’s Wayward which I’ve had for ages & I am really looking forward to curling up with it for a good long time. (Vesper keeps sitting on it, so it seems a good book for curling up with).
Favorite Things I Read in 2022
Such Small Hands – Andrés Barba, translated by Lisa Dillman
A Haunted History of Invisible Women: True Stories of America’s Ghosts – Leanna Renee Hieber & Andrea Janes
House of Mist – Maria Luisa Bombal
Wading in Waist-High Water: The Lyrics of Fleet Foxes – Robin Pecknold
The Broken Tower – Kelly Braffet (sequel to The Unwilling, I love these books to bits)
The Golden Age, Book I & Book II – Roxanne Moreil and Cyril Pedrosa
I played a lot of Elden Ring this year. A lot. I am two alternate endings away from platinuming and I will probably manage it eventually. I have mentioned at various times in the past that I really like consuming stories in non-book formats, particularly while I’m writing, and the story in Elden Ring is so gloriously mysterious, discerned through environments and item descriptions and odd encounters. You sink into this world and its poison swamps and piece together its myths as you go, and all the while everything is trying to kill you and usually succeeding. It is beautiful and harsh and teeming with secrets. I cannot describe how much I love it. It is quite possibly my new favorite game of all time.
Favorite Video Games I played in 2022
Elden Ring, obviously.
Tunic, which I co-played with Adam. We passed the controller back & forth & took extensive handwritten notes to figure out that one particular door & the whole thing was a delight. I am impatiently waiting for the plush fox to be in stock at fangamer.
NieR:Automata. I’d played Replicant when version 1.22474487139 came out and liked it a lot but I loved Automata, the aesthetic and the music and more than anything the way the narrative is layered across multiple play throughs.
Honorable mentions to Mundaun, A Little to the Left & Cozy Grove, all of which are potentially excellent games for non-gamers, by the way, for very different moods. (Creepy, Organized & Cozy-with-Ghost-Bears, respectively.)
This year sounded like the NieR:Automata soundtrack on piano and Dance Fever and Midnights.
This year we started collecting video game soundtracks on vinyl, to listen to in the library with cocktails or mocktails and a flopsy kitten. The Hades soundtrack is always in heavy rotation, and Slime Rancher, too, but more than anything 2022 sounded like Zelda & Chill. Going to try to extend the chill into 2023.
Every New Year’s Eve I do a year ahead tarot spread, one card for each month clockwise in a wheel and a single card to sum up the general tone of the year. Traditionally I then forget to look at it for the rest of the year and only remember to check when New Year’s rolls around again. My summation card for 2022 was Justice. We’ll see what 2023 has to say for itself later.
May 2023 bring more soft, wondrous things, fluttering in the snow and peering in the windows.