December 31, 2015 — So I’m a little bit embarrassed. A year ago to the day, I was sitting in a cabin on the water in Maine, kicking dirt all over OTIS. And it made me write this post. Now, everything I wrote in it was true and still is. But let me tell you what has happened to me in the 12 months since then that makes me feel like a short-sighted jackass.
- I won a major literary award. Like Stephen King walked up to the podium mere minutes after me to accept his own.
- I got an agent. So far, our relationship has been me apologizing a lot for what she has to peddle, but she’s already opened up some interesting opportunities.
- Before I got the agent, I sold my fourth book project, this one about Salem, Massachusetts. Same publisher as my previous three books, sure, but a completely different staff after a shake-up at the publisher got the company pulled from Vermont back into its parent company’s digs in New York City.
- I lived in Salem for all 31 days of October (see above).
- I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, and it was full of clouds.
- That visit was on an ~1,800-mile road trip through Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah. It included my first time in Las Vegas and fulfilling a long-held dream of testing the Area 51 border.
- I visited Costa Rica, the farthest point south I’ve ever been in my life. The wild iguanas were my favorite.
- Even though it’s been 14 months since Poe-Land debuted, I’m still allowed in the Poe Club. I got to speak at the University of Virginia to the very society that Poe himself was a part of when he attended there.
- I was a featured author at the unveiling of a new square named after Poe in Baltimore.
- And, probably most important, 2015 was the year of a New Star Wars movie and a Halloween Whopper.
That’s…a pretty good year. But notice the one thing not in those highlights: OTIS itself.
The site is still what it is. Not growing in readership. Just growing in content. I did make the site black-on-white, though. I’m told it’s easier to read but I think I liked the dark OTIS better. Dark websites always seem to have more of a destination feel to them, like they’re in a physical space. Anyway, this is how much work went into OTIS this year, not counting anything on the socials:
- Number of OTIS articles: 84
- Number of photos posted: ~700
- Number of words mutilated: ~80,000
- Number of oddity news stories stolen from other sites for Facebook likes: ~450
- Number of new states visited: 3
- Number of new countries visited: 1
So the output stayed the same despite the past two months being a drought of original content (although I just about doubled the number of outside news stories I posted). That’s because I’m heads-down on the Salem book right now. Heads-down, meaning watching all ten hours of Making a Murderer, beating my Bejeweled record, and playing with the remote-controlled BB-8 that my brother got me for Christmas
So what do I know about 2016?
So that’s it from me. I’ve gotta get back to making witch puns over and over again. I hope you guys have a Happy New Year and that we’ll all hang out in 2016.