2012: The Retrospective

It’s winding down and I can take a breath. Unlike the past few years, I feel like I’ve charted out some kind of evolution through what I’ve collected. I feel as though there has been more progress than paralysis. I’ve gotten better and bolder. I’ve grown more confident in my words, to the point of where I could allow myself to submit them to magazines for the first time. I learned about the process of waiting and the subsequent sting of rejection, but I didn’t let that deter me. I kept at it until I found good homes. I’ve published short fiction, reviews, essays, and poetry – both online and in print. Some bookstores in Austin have a poem of mine on the bookshelves. And I still have more writing forthcoming in other places after the new year rolls around.

I addressed my issues with crippling anxiety and sadness, which is hard if you’ve become so used to a cycle. The help I received loosened the tightness in my chest and gave me the space I needed for myself.  There was less static and it allowed me to ease into my own skin, slowly. I didn’t know things could move forward. I reached out and made new friends. I talked to more writers and people who were interested in what I was doing. I found myself stepping outside and not being as afraid to see what might happen.

Usually my New Year’s resolution is to simply not have any resolutions (in fact, you can read about last year’s retrospective here, in which I bring this exact thing up) because they are usually silly or unrealistic, but I’m going to break that tradition for this upcoming year. Instead, I’m going to try to think of it as just another one of those short-term lists in order to keep my head together. It is not so hard and not so unreasonable.


  • Read more books than I read in 2012
  • Publish more writing than I published in 2012
  • Try out internet book trading via something like Paperbackswap, which seems fun
  • Start a new online literary magazine, inspired by places like >kill author and PANK
  • Become a Goodreads author and/or librarian
  • Maybe get a very small tattoo, if I can finally decide on something
  • Move more, before my muscles completely atrophy
  • Update this blog with a snazzy new theme
  • Find a better near-future amidst the economic uncertainty of the far-future

And now, this year’s collection.

Metropolis Night by Jacklyn Laflamme


I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
Demian by Hermann Hesse
Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
Zazen by Vanessa Veselka
The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton
The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich
If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman


Barton Fink
Leon: the Professional
Masculin, Feminin
Une Femme est une Femme
Mary and Max
8 1/2
Public Speaking
All About Eve
Citizen Kane
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Norwegian Wood
Grey Gardens
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
The Secret World of Arrietty
The Borrowers
The Hunger Games
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Paradise Now
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Moonrise Kingdom


“Oblivion” and “Genesis” by Grimes
“Every Single Night” by Fiona Apple
“Teen Idle” and “Oh No” by Marina and the Diamonds
“Soft as Chalk” by Joanna Newsom
“Catgroove” and “Booty Swing” by Parov Stelar
“Je Veux” by Zaz
“24” by Jem
“Air War” by Crystal Castles
“Strict Machine” by Goldfrapp
“Obedear” by Purity Ring
“Old Friend” by Sea Wolf
“Gallows” by CocoRosie
“These Days” by Nico
“Turn the Wolves” and “Halo” by Lotte Kestner
“Rid of Me” by PJ Harvey
“Human Behaviour” by Bjork
“Into Black” by Blouse
“Sunshine” by Little Dragon


Duotrope and Submittable
My 8tracks, always
Going back to paper and letters and writing in little brown notebooks
90s reminiscing: point-and-click adventure games, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Sakura Gelly Roll pens
Pumpkin pancakes
Anxiety workbooks
Nathaniel Branden’s “scandalous” relationship with Ayn Rand
Watching Divorce Court after school with my sister
Writing Spaces
Bright Wall, Dark Room
Underground NY Public Library
Kickstarter indie projects
Feminism, gaming culture, and Anita Sarkeesian
The Prisoner


  1. Your music listening gets a giant thumbs up from this lady, right here!

    Anyway, that said: whether I am a part of it or not, I am going to be so excited to see your online literary magazine. You'd make a great editor, you really would. I am rooting for you all the way, Joseph. Not only because I am biased and love you to pieces, but because it is true. The truth matters more than what little old me has to say, I guess.

    2012 has proven to be a productive year for you and I am anxiously awaiting all that you accomplish in 2013.


    1. Aw, you're the very best, Angela. I'm looking forward to the new year and all our new mix tapes we'll make and seeing how both our literary adventures will unfold!

  2. Eve Street is gonna be DA BOMB… as soon as I reunite with high-speed wireless internet.

    missin' you

    1. It will be. I'm excited. See you in the new year, Melissa!

  3. I'm telling you, my admiration for you grows by the day.

    1. I think you're pretty great too! I hope you don't forget that. I'm looking forward to see what we're capable of in 2013!

  4. Young man, I recently stumbled upon your blog and must count myself as rather impressed with you, due to your unique perspective on things, as well as your growth as a person. I think you'd make a great literary editor, so I wish you the best of luck on that endeavor. I may even seek to publish something there myself. Even my old bones might be able to conjure something worthwhile, should it meet your no doubt exacting standards.

    A word of advice though from one who has lived a number of years: do not be too harsh on yourself for goals not met. Life sometimes gets in the way, and what is life but about learning and adaptation. If you should lack for anything, remember to get back on that saddle and keep riding! The world wasn't changed by people who gave up after all!

    I'm not exactly in your typical demographic, and will slink into the background, but I shall be here reading your works, cheering you all the way, celebrating your successes, and sympathizing with your failures, and we all have them. But, as a further bit of advice, do not look upon them as failures, but as renewed opportunities. I will, however, perhaps submit something in the future, but that may be the only time you shall hear from me again.

    As a final word of advice, aim for the moon, for even if you fail, you shall land among the stars! Go forth, young man, and make this septuagenarian proud!

    1. What to say, but thank you, sir! I really appreciate this and hope to hear from you again.

  5. Your goals for 2013 sound great, particularly the lit mag. Hope you get to do all or most of them, and get a healthy dose of pleasant surprises too!

    1. Thank you, Andrew! I am excited, particularly for the lit mag. I am definitely looking forward to checking off as many as I can.

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