The end of the line, the beginning of everything.

So, here we are. The end of the line. The beginning of everything.

This has been a great year. It’s not the year I thought I would get on the tin, but it’s taught me a lot of lessons and kept me on my toes. I’m sure next year will be as… eventful. (I’m giving you the side-eye, next year. You’d better behave.)

We’re supposed to finish off our tenure as Debs by talking about the list of things we want out of our future. Just like any other writer, the list in my head is long and in many ways completely ridiculous. So here’s the ridiculous list.

1. I want Architects of Memory to do well. While writing promo essays for these properties I realized just how much of myself I put in them—funny and amazing, isn’t it, especially since five years ago I just set out to write a a cool sci-fi actioner for fun. I’m so proud of these books, and of the journey I took to make them.

2. I want a movie made of Architects of Memory. I want to walk into my local art-deco theater and buy some popcorn and see the rubble field chase on the big screen. (Don’t be surprised. Nearly every writer in the universe hopes Hollywood will call.)

3. I want to be a finalist for an award during a year when I can actually show up to enjoy the festivities. I don’t even have to win. As much as the Nebula conference was delightfully fun and educational, it was a bummer to shut down my computer after it was over and hear the haunting, familiar silence of my own damn house. (I am sick of my own damn house.)

4. I want to crack a few new short story markets. Short stories, to me, are fizzbang treats full of art and fun, pure joy on a page. I’m dying to get back to them. Any day now…

5. I want to build the business side of my work, so that I can stop working myself to the bone and start concentrating on the things about it that I love the most. This is probably the most important issue here—after five years of very little sleep, I’ve finally hit a bit of a wall. I want to expand my reach on Patreon so that I have monthly income, and sign another book deal.

But none of that happens if I don’t churn out the words. It doesn’t move forward if I don’t move forward. If I don’t throw down some crappy new zero drafts. If I don’t edit those drafts into something cutting and singing and brilliant. That’s how it works. To paraphrase Heinlein (ugh): You sit down and you write, and you write well, and you finish what you write, and you keep on writing until something gets published.

And then do it again.

So that’s my list for my future. Short and sweet.

I want to write.

Sounds easy enough.

Thank you for accompanying us on our wild and crazy pandemic debut year. Next week I’ll be introducing the amazing Lyn Liao Butler. I will miss the Debutante Ball a lot. I certainly hope that if you’ve been enjoying my blog entries this year, that we can keep in touch elsewhere. I spent entirely too much time on Twitter, want to spend more time on Instagram, and have a brand-new Patreon where you’ll be able to read all sorts of new flash fiction related to Architects of Memory and beyond. So, until we meet again, keep dreaming, keep writing, and wear a damn mask.

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Karen Osborne

KAREN OSBORNE is a writer, visual storyteller and violinist. Her short fiction appears in Escape Pod, Robot Dinosaurs, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny and Fireside. She is a member of the DC/MD-based Homespun Ceilidh Band, emcees the Charm City Spec reading series, and once won a major event filmmaking award for taping a Klingon wedding. Her debut novel, Architects of Memory, is forthcoming in 2020 from Tor Books.

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