My year of things

So the other day I did that Facebook Year in Review thing. If you’re on Facebook, you can do it, too. Log in, go to your profile, and you’ll see this “See Your 2013 Year in Review” banner on the left-hand side. Click it.

Go on. I’ll wait.

…okay, that was A BIG SACK O’SMEGMA, am I right?

I don’t know what algorithm Facebook is using—probably some combination of likes, exclamation points used, and potential for personal embarrassment—but here’s what Big Brother Zuckerberg thinks were my top 20 moments. ACTUAL big moments are in bold.

  1. I discover my name on Amazon’s page for Dragonwriter. Like, I just see my name on the website. Months before the book actually comes out. I make a huge deal out of this for no discernible reason; it’s not like I didn’t already know I was being included.
  2. I enter a poetry contest. I do not win.
  3. I see the final cover for Dragonwriter, contributor Michael Whelan’s “Dragon Aboard.” Admittedly, it is pretty impressive.

     Admittedly, it is pretty fucking impressive.

    Draaaaagons iiiiiiin spaaaaaaaaace!

  4. My brother does a whirlwind tour of U.S. barbecue before moving to fucking Australia. He stops in Raleigh because our barbecue makes your barbecue’s butthole bleed. Also he stops in Raleigh because my sister and I live here. We eat approximately 146 pigs. Then he moves to fucking Australia.



  5. I suggest we all love each other and be nice to each other. Revolutionary.
  6. I am included in a company-wide picture with my coworkers, even though I am still just freelancing.
  7. I acquire a House Targaryen t-shirt. I take a selfie in it.
  8. My sister gets engaged to a guy who rules so hard you don’t even notice his disability, which is that he does math for a living.

     Do not trust this man. He thinks numbers are letters.

    Do not trust this man. He thinks letters are numbers.

  9. My parents celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary. This is terrific and warms my heart but, aside from correlating to the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, it’s not really red-letter per se.
  10. “Holy shit, I survived to 30.”
  11. I put on an ENORMOUS airbrushed t-shirt I bought in ~1996. Brian takes a picture.



  12. As a birthday present, Brian asks my multi-talented friend Em to crochet me a fucking adorable little dragon guy. I name him Clarence, after a dragon doodle I invented in 10th grade math class. I take a selfie with him.



  13. Dragonwriter hits the stands. I am a published writer. Panties and marriage proposals begin to amass on my doorstep.
  14. A cashier at Yankee Candle likes my tattoos. TOP. TWENTY. MOMENT.
  15. My friend and Fantasy Literature staff minion Hisham takes pictures of me at Dragon Con. Mostly just kind of sitting at tables and stuff.
  16. I watch my sister’s dog jump. My dad takes a picture.

     Olympic poingage.

    One for the history books.

  17. I get asked to do my dream job full-time. I have health insurance for the first time in two years.
  18. I go to a Halloween party as Daenerys Targaryen. A coworker goes as Walter White. He is in his underwear. Someone takes our picture.
  19. Video evidence that my new neighbors are noisy assholes.
  20. On the show’s 50th anniversary, Wil Wheaton is reminded I don’t watch Doctor Who. He refuses to speak to me for 24 hours.

     His heart is smaller on the inside.

    His heart is smaller on the inside.

Now, some of those, like my sister’s dog jumping and the Yankee Candle employee and the enormous t-shirt-wearing, are actually very important. In fact, this was a banner year for Charlotte’s nerdy t-shirt collection, which grew substantially. Like, I have this one of Felicia Day’s character from Supernatural, Charlie Bradbury, because I mean basically Felicia and/or Charlie are me (Wil, please tell Felicia, she keeps not coming to my sleepover parties and this hair isn’t going to braid itself), and also I got ANOTHER Supernatural shirt of Castiel as Totoro and like Sam and Dean are holding on to him and Dean is crying and—

…anyway, it was a good year for t-shirts and underwear-donning coworkers but other important things happened, too. Here is the correct order, given chronologically:

  1. I become the director for the new Fantasy Literature track at Dragon Con. I realize there are approximately 10,000 cromulent fantasy books I haven’t read, most of them by Robert Jordan. I am completely screwed.
  2. I attend an inaugural ball hosted by the Democratic Party of Virginia. I meet some Ukranian-American kids my own age and befriend them over a mutual love of tattoos and Gogol Bordello.
  3. My brother visits my sister and me. We lay waste to droves of pork. Then he moves to fucking Australia.
  4. I drop my cell phone on the floor by a public toilet and forget to clean it off before using it. 24 hours later, still uninsured, I am hospitalized. It is the first time in my adult life I actually shit myself.

    Applesauce in a juice box. Truly, we live in The Future.

  5. I get the advance check for Dragonwriter. I look at it for a few days because I’m sentimental, but then I deposit that shit because, I mean, seriously, I need the money, I have almost $2,000 in hospital bills to pay. I resolve that from now on, I’m shitting myself for free.
  6. I send my Canadian artist friend Micah on an important mission to Calgary Expo, where he is to instruct Misha Collins to return my brain to Dragon Con where he found it in 2011. Misha mostly just smirks at him. I become pregnant.


  7. I attend my first Moral Monday. The 1,000+ people in attendence are some of the happiest pissed-off people I’ve ever seen.
  8. My sister gets engaged. My biggest takeaway is that I am the only bridesmaid and I don’t even have to DO anything because she and I agree that bachelorette parties and bridal showers are kind of fucking awkward and we’d just sort of rather not, thank you.
  9. My friends Kelly and Matt marry each other at the Outer Banks; like ten of us crash in an amazeballs beach house for five days and do everything fun and good in the world.
  10. Neil Gaiman is very kind to me and signs my arm. I get it inked. Life makes sense.

  11. I complete 30 orbits of the Sun. In celebration, I steam an entire bushel of live blue crabs for my friends and family. At least five of them—the crabs, not my friends and family—spit on me. One of the little shitheads tries to take a fingertip into the double boiler.
  12. I don a pink corset to spend several hours glowering at Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly as they attempt to combine my vagina with a motorcycle in a very unpleasant way.
  13. Dragonwriter is released into the wild—and with it, my essay “The Twithead with the Dragon Tattoo.” I am officially a published writer.


  14. I join Team Hedone for the third annual GISHWHES. We are amazing. We play the Nerdist theme song on wine glasses, party in a dumpster, feed the homeless, die by chocolate, put a wolf in a shirt, wear helium pants, and hug a small country’s worth of people, among other things. A video of me in a leotard eating whipped cream from a bike blender comes into existence.

     What is it? It's GISHWHIP!

    Confusion? NO.

  15. I direct the first Fantasy Literature track at Dragon Con and nobody under my purview dies or is arrested or caught balls-deep in a slinky or something. Rebecca Watson and I run a standing-room-only panel about the women of Westeros. I meet Peter S. Beagle and Larry Niven and ask them questions in front of audiences. Lev Grossman thinks I’m a pretty unbad moderator. The weekend is only somewhat marred by my car getting broken into.

    Notice how my entire staff clusters at a safe distance from me.
    They know what’s what.

  16. Brian helps me make a heartfelt PSA for the Walk for Hope, whose cause is near and dear to me. With help from my friends, Team Epic Dragon raises over $2,100. My heart grows three sizes.

    The dragon is small, but that just makes its epicness more compact.

    The dragon is small, but that just makes its epicness more compact.

  17. Anne Wheaton, in an unprecedented and possibly illegal show of generosity, asks my friend Jessica and me to join her table during the Alexandria, Virginia tour stop of Wil Wheaton vs. Paul & Storm. The show is exceptional and I laugh for a solid four hours. Anne vandaleyes-es my “Make Good Art” tattoo. One of my tablemates is this guy and he’s MAYBE only 2% dickwad in real life. We all hang out in the Birchmere green room later. I see the horse mask in person. Wil’s ability to eat an entire drum of ice cream makes me nervous and a little aroused. Anne and I make a Vine to taunt our friends Jeff and Alyssa. I come down with a fever and become convinced that I have infected and killed the Wheatons.
  18. My friend Katie gets married to the love of her life in a super-sweet castle-type-place in the middle of a field in North Carolina, which seems like kind of an unlikely place for a castle, but no one really questions it. At the reception, I convince a bunch of drunk people to do the Gangnam Style horse dance across the top of a grand staircase. For close to three minutes, we are a sensation.
  19. Emerging from the clear blue sky astride a mighty winged stallion, Wil Wheaton follows me on Twitter. My colon throws its badge and gun on the desk and storms out.



  20. I get to do my dream job full-time, ending two years of dogged, insuranceless freelancing. My official, self-chosen title is “Mage.” I literally tackle my boss when he gives me the offer letter, which he immediately rescinds.

And it’s not over yet, people. There’s still time for this whole thing to be a complete wash.



  1. False, the mighty winged stallion is actually just Wil, wearing his creepy horse face mask.

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