Okay, so I'm taking some of the questions from the fic meme that's going around and using them to help summarize and make sense of what I've done this year.
According to AO3 statistics, I posted 236,411 words this year, compared to 195,698 in 2014. I posted lucky number thirteen stories, including the five drabbles I posted as one story for the spn_bigpretzel Holiday Drabble Challenge. Apparently I posted thirteen stories in 2014 too, so I must be writing more longer fics now. Huh.
I participated in ten community challenges in 2015 (compared with none in 2014):
2015spnkinkbigbang: The Time Traveler's Brother
spn_meanttobe: Stars in the Southern Sky
spn_j2_bigbang: If Dreams Could Make Wishes Come True
spn_summergen: Over the Rainbow
wincestbigbang: When the Rain Comes
spnopera: Another Time, Another Place
smpc: Back to the Garden, 14 Going on 40, If I Leave Here, When the Lights Go Down
spn_j2_xmas: Roses in the Rain
spn_bigpretzel: Christmas Drabbles five 100-word drabbles for the Holiday Drabble Challenge
ohsam Triple-Play Challenge: In My Hour of Darkness
Most of my fics in 2015 were Wincest, either explicit or implied, except one J2 story (Stars in the Southern Sky), three Sam & Dean Gen (Over the Rainbow, In My Hour of Darkness, and Christmas Drabbles) and one Sam/Dean unrelated AU (Another Time, Another Place).
The story I found most challenging was definitely Over the Rainbow. I wasn't sure I could write Gen, and I wasn't even sure what it meant. No non-canon sexual relationship I understood, but I wasn't sure if it was okay to let the characters use their big-boy words, so I kept the language to show-level as well, which was hard! I'm proud of the result, although it feels like I cheated a little on the relationship side of things by giving Sam a sexual relationship and making Dean obviously jealous (but of course he would be, wouldn't he?)
Also challenging was my spnopera story, Another Time, Another Place, although for a completely different reason. I made myself cry so hard I almost didn't post the damn thing. Operas are sad, man! I may choose a comedy next time.
I'm proud of myself for keeping up with the once-every-other-month posting schedule of smpc, although I totally missed one of my dates! I signed up for this to force myself to turn out a completed piece every two months, and so far that's happening, so it's all good.
I totally failed at the spn_cinema challenge and had to drop out. 'Nuff said, not gonna let it stop me.
The one I most enjoyed writing was Stars in the Southern Sky. Research on West Texas gave me the most awesome setting, near where Giant was filmed, and I've always loved James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor together, so the chemistry of those two and the rural Texas setting became the backdrop (in my mind) for this story, along with my favorite novel of all time, of course! I probably could have done it more justice, but I like the way it turned out.
And anyway, who doesn't go back and tweak their old stories sometimes? Maybe nothing major, but if I find errors or problems when I re-read, there's no way I won't fix them. Am I alone in this? I doubt it...
I am most grateful during the past year for the wonderful new fandom friends and collaborators I have found. I'm grateful to elwarre for helping me learn how to post and navigate LiveJournal, which was a hopeless mystery to me in 2014. I'm grateful to the amazing artists I worked with, including stargazingchola, celtic_forest, and bluefire986. And I'm grateful to smalltrolven, my beta savior (her words!) I am also grateful to laughablelament and souslelys, who recced my stories, and to all the readers who left so many thoughtful, inspiring comments on my stories. I go back and read them regularly for encouragement. You people are AMAZING and make me feel part of this SPNFamily thing everybody talks about.
Looking forward, I'm working on stories for spn_reversebang, sammybigbang, and my next smpc deadline (January 31). When I first discovered this fandom I felt overwhelmed with ideas, inspired by so many aspects of the show that I just needed to write about. Obviously, I'm not the only one by a long shot. This past year has given me opportunities I didn't even know about in 2014, and I'm sure I'll make new discoveries and find new ways to challenge myself creatively in 2016. I'm counting on it.
Goals: I probably need to think about writing other characters, not just Sam and Dean. I could try new narrative structures. I want to continue to learn about the craft, maybe re-read a style manual and memorize some grammar rules so I can be a better beta, if not writer. Experiment a little. Drabbles, poetry, epistolary styles are good.
Maybe I should try writing original characters.
Nah. Who am I kidding? I love Sam and Dean too much! For now, they're pretty much all I need. Gonna curl up with some favorite writers (runedgirl, queenklu, dollylux, oh yeah!) and a cup of tea and my cat.
Life is good!