As I write this, we are less than two days away from the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. I’m not going to pretend that 2022 has been an especially good or easy year for… well, anyone, really. Or that 2023 looks inclined to change that trajectory overmuch. But some big things happened for me this year, most of them in the last couple of months.
Earlier in the year, the third set of books for the Iron Kingdoms: Requiem 5e RPG setting hit Kickstarter. As was the case in the previous two installments, I wrote a huge amount for these books, including some very fun stuff that I’m really looking forward to people getting to see. And, as I write this, I’m working on some future stuff in the IK setting, as well.
As usual, I wrote a lot of movie reviews (mostly for older movies getting released onto Blu-ray) and attended Panic Fest back in April, covering it for The Pitch. I also became the movies editor for Exploits, an Unwinnable publication, and acquired some fun essays on movies like The Monster Club, Night of the Devils, Anna and the Apocalypse, The Ghosts of Hanley House, and more. In fact, I kicked off my tenure by immediately making them regret putting me on staff, acquiring an essay from Perry Ruhland on Mermaid in a Manhole. And I “helped” (by not actually contributing much, ultimately) with the movie programming for the NecronomiCon in Providence, even though I then wasn’t actually able to attend due to various circumstances beyond my control.
I also continued to write three regular columns (two monthlies and one quarterly) and added another monthly, while I was at it. So, currently, I write about board games at Unwinnable, folk horror and old anthology TV shows at Signal Horizon, and whatever tickles my fancy, pretty much, at Weird Horror. (You can read my latest, on Man-Thing and Swamp Thing and the weird history of muck monsters, here.)
I continued to co-host the Horror Pod Class with Tyler Unsell of Signal Horizon and, more to the point, we switched over from just doing a standard talking heads podcast to actually hosting the movies we discuss and then recording live at the Stray Cat Film Center. We kicked that off back in March with 976-Evil, and since then we’ve shown Someone’s Watching Me!, Doctor Mordrid, The Mask (not the Jim Carrey one), Night of the Creeps, Uzumaki, Ghostwatch, Yellowbrickroad, and we sadly had to cancel Bloody New Year due to inclement weather. We’ll be kicking off the first part of our 2023 season with The Undying Monster on January 26, so if you’re local, come join us at the Stray Cat for one of my favorite werewolf (?) movies from the ’40s!
Over the course of 2022, I read 42 books, the lion’s share of which were graphic novels. That’s… far from ideal, but here we are. Of those, some notable titles include Jonathan Raab’s The Haunting of Camp Winter Falcon, Victoria Dalpe’s collection Les Femmes Grotesques, Abby Howard’s 2020 graphic novel The Crossroads at Midnight, all of the Orochi volumes that Viz has put out so far, and John Dickson Carr’s 1932 novel The Corpse in the Waxworks.
I also watched an impressive 345 movies so far in the year, though that number may increase by, like, one or two before the year is out. That’s also perilously close to an average of a movie a day, a feat only accomplished by a few days in which I watched several movies in 24 hours, such as during Panic Fest and my annual attendance of Nerdoween. At a glance, that appears to be the most I’ve watched in a single year since I started keeping a journal, which I guess is an accomplishment.
Of those, more than 265 were first-time watches for me, easily demolishing my goal of keeping to at least half “new-to-me” movies each year. Of those, some of my favorites that didn’t come out this year were The Medusa Touch (1978), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Glass Key (1942), The Psychic (1977), Jigsaw (1962), War of the Gargantuas (1966), The Flying Phantom Ship (1969), and Mute Witness (1995). You can see the rest of the list over here. By far the best new-to-me movie that I saw in 2022, however, was The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (1964), one of my favorite new discoveries in a long, long time.
As for movies that came out in 2022, I saw a surprising number of those, as well. Around 35, in fact. We’ll be discussing our favorites on the Horror Pod Class in January, so I won’t do a top 5 or anything, but despite a lot of perfectly good movies this year, very few of the year’s new releases (that I saw) were anything that I fell in love with. There was no Malignant this year, is what I’m saying.
So, that’s all the (substantial, as it turns out) bookkeeping stuff taken care of. With all that going on, it is perhaps unsurprising that I didn’t publish a lot of new fiction in 2022, and of the five or so stories I did put out, two are original to my newest collection. And maybe that’s the biggest news, at least from a professional standpoint: How to See Ghosts & Other Figments, my third collection from Word Horde and my fourth overall, came out in October, though at the time I was a little distracted.
You see, in October we also bought a new house! And I’ve been a little distracted ever since then because, to be frank, a lot has gone wrong since we moved in. We still love the house, though! It just seems that the people who sold it to us don’t particularly love us. (And we’re not terribly fond of them, at this point.)
Those have been the two biggest changes in a year filled with personal milestones – my twentieth wedding anniversary was also earlier this year, for example. As I said, 2023 promises to be filled with new challenges along with a bunch of the same old challenges and honestly, the world is probably just going to be on fire for the foreseeable future. But I’m hopeful that I can achieve some more milestones, too. My goals for 2023 include more reading, publishing more stories, and hopefully some exciting surprises for my readers. Plus, of course, more of the same, too.