WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR, 2011

On November 24, 2009 I wrote a post here entitled “What I’m Thankful For, 2009.” I looked back on that post this morning equally happy and sad. I smiled at my “sense of near-completion” on The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, which was indeed finished and published on schedule in July 2010. A bit sad to see that two years ago I was “plenty thankful for just being employed,” though that only lasted another seven months or so. Still, in that one paragraph you can sense that things were starting to go south at Wizards of the Coast.

I’m thankful for the amazing response to this book.

The rest of it is fairly silly, though I shouldn’t take health and happiness for granted. We continue to be healthy and happy, so we have that going for us, which is nice. This is me being thankful for that again this year. Apparently I wasn’t thankful for anything in 2010, anyway I skipped that blog post last year in favor of other business.

But this year I thought I’d regroup and see where I am as 2011—not an easy year, believe me—draws to a close. And I’m happy to report that I have a lot of be thankful for.

Secret Projects

Anyone who’s been following me on Twitter has heard me speak of the various secret projects I’m working on at any given time. Here’s an update on those.

As I’m typing this I’m waiting for a call from a publisher regarding a very exciting secret project that I still can’t talk about yet. Contracts are still be written up, plans still being laid, but this is going to be a good one—I’m very excited for the opportunity, and can’t wait to spill the beans.

I’m also writing a new book for that same publisher, with an insane deadline that so far I’m on track to hit. I bet if I asked they’d give me the okay to tell you all about it. I’ll ask this morning and maybe I’ll be able to blog about it next week.

Another secret project is coming along nicely. It’s an anthology of fantasy stories, part of a shared world collective that I’ve cooked up with a small group of author friends. I’m still reluctant to describe it in detail, since I haven’t discussed with the rest of the group any sort of plans to announce anything. Still, we’re on track to have that anthology up for sale as early as December 5th—maybe we’ll just announce it then.

Both of those are the most near-term.

Another secret project is a book, too, currently sitting in outline form, waiting for a final decision from the publisher. It’s a very exciting opportunity, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.

What’s great about all these secret projects is that not only will they help keep a roof over my head, they’re extremely exciting projects, the sort of work I live for. All four will require hard work and long hours, but I couldn’t be happier to expend all necessary energy to make them happen.

I’m thankful for Arron of the Black Forest, and friends and allies Mel Odom and Keith Birdsong.

Friends and Allies

I’m always thankful for the people who continue to stand by me as I build my new business and maintain my old one, but beyond merely professional relationships, I’ve got a great network of people out there who are part of my “team,” and allow me to be a part of theirs. I always feel like I need to call people more often, get out of the house more, and I’ll talk about that more in a month or so when we get to the annual resolutions post. But until then, friends and allies, you know who you are, and thank you for sticking with me.

Unforeseen Opportunities

You never know exactly what the world is going to throw at you, and one of the things I’m trying very hard to do is turn off, or at least turn down, that old cynical part of my brain that expects the worst from people and situations, and keep my mind open to whatever the world throws at me—not in a defensive mode, but in a way that allows me to recognize opportunities big and small.

I’m thankful that Christian Dunn allowed me to be a part of this great new Warhammer anthology.

You need a plan to succeed, I firmly believe, but you also need to maintain the mental agility necessary to change course in response to unforeseen circumstances both positive and negative. I set myself up moving in a very specific direction as I continue to assemble my new business and move into an independent future. That track is moving forward with some exciting opportunities, which still fall in that “secret project” category and that I expect will bear fruit right after the first of the year, but a whole bunch of other stuff has come my way that I never expected. That new stuff is not only helping to keep the lights on, but as I said before, are extremely exciting projects that I can’t wait to work on.

You never know what the world is going to throw at you, so you better be prepared to catch everything.

Thanks, Everybody

And I’d like to end on a personal note. Thank you. Whoever you are, whether we’ve met in person or not, if you’ve read any of my books or not, however you came to this post—thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll stick with me. I hope you’ll be one of those friends and allies, and we’ll have a great 2012 together. I can feel it.

—Philip Athans

About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the recently-released How to Start Your Own Religion and Devils of the Endless Deep. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, (https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/) is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
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2 Responses to WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR, 2011

  1. Chris G. says:

    Easy year or no, it’s always good to be able to look back and find things to smile upon…and hopefully these “secret projects” will soon have us all smiling as well. Cheers!

  2. Pingback: WHAT I’M THANKFUL FOR, 2012 | Fantasy Author's Handbook

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