It’s My Birthday Already! (Somewhere)…And: All I Want for My Birthday Is…

Let’s get this out of the way first…my birthday is July 7…and honestly I don’t want nuthin’ from nobody…except one little thing. If you want to get something for me—buy The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities fiction and art anthology for yourself…and for some friends. It’s available for a sick steep discount on Amazon at the moment. You can skim downriver on this blog to see more info on the antho, or look at this amazing contributor list: Holly Black, Greg Broadmore, Ted Chiang, John Coulthart, Rikki Ducornet, Amal El-Mohtar, Minister Faust, Jeffrey Ford, Lev Grossman, N.K. Jemisin, Caitlin R. Kiernan, China Mieville, Mike Mignola, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Helen Oyeyemi, J.K. Potter, Cherie Priest, Ekaterina Sedia, Jan Svankmajer, Rachel Swirsky, Carrie Vaughn, Jake von Slatt, Tad Williams, Charles Yu, and more!

…now that I’ve dispensed with that essential information—yes, it’s true, I’ve hit the ripe old age of 43. I’m one year dumber, creakier, crankier, less productive, and all of the other things that happen when your body begins to decide it’s a slide downhill…except it doesn’t really feel like that.

I can’t say the period from my birthday on through to the end of 2010 was too great. I gained 15 pounds, had oodles of stress over impossible deadlines, and in general often felt out of balance. But the first half of 2011 has been rejuvenating. I got back into the exercise and weightlifting and dropped some weight, got back into working on fiction, novels and stories, and the schedule lightened up a bit. Deadlines, yes, but nothing involving hundreds of gatekeepers, rights acquisitions, etc. No, this year has thus far been one to bask in the spoils of hard work–nonfiction collection, Steampunk Bible, Lambshead Cabinet antho, a line of cool Cheeky Frawg e-books, a The Weird from Atlantic in October, and our awesome ODD? anthology.

Not to mention great trips to Amsterdam, Finland, and Poland, among others. Not to mention being two-thirds of the way done with my novel Borne, doing the Mormeck serial fiction project, working on the illustrated writing book for Abrams, planning the Most Incredible space opera/deep space trilogy with the most excellent Karin Lowachee, and getting ready to write new Ambergris stories to Richard A. Kirk’s art…full schedule, but whenever it’s fiction mostly, I feel centered, balanced, and in control, so it’s all good.

How did I survive to the age of 43 with a writing career intact and going strong? Good question. Here are a few possibilities.

—In general, I take care of myself and have good friends and a great wife.

—I am sometimes snarly and bearish on the internet, which means fewer people give me sh*t out of wanting to avoid my inner curmudgeon.

—The deafness in my left ear just means I hear less b.s.

—I’m as passionate and committed to writing now as I was as a pup in my teens.

—I sleep in a special suit in a giant vat of formaldehyde every night.

—I eat only endangered animals, fresh from the grill.

—Hard work and incredible luck.

Anyway, Ann’s taking me out for dinner tomorrow for my favorite food, and everything’s looking up. So…that means I’ll be hit by a bus soon, right? Right.

Full-time writer’s life. Dance dance dance. Get hit by bus. Pick yourself up. Dance (a little wary)…dance dance! Get hit by– …you get the idea.

Thanks everybody I know for being so wonderful and creative and energizing. Love you all. (Better not get use to the warm fuzzies.)


  1. says

    Happy happy, Jeff. Congrats on the b-day, and being 43, and still having the writing career. Obviously something is working right.

    I’ll bet it’s the formaldehyde.

  2. says


    a first-rate cheese plate with roasted garlic, top-notch sliders, tuna sushi, and an excellent bottle of wine. well, not my favorite, but what i feel like tomorrow night. cheers.

  3. says

    Happy birthday Jeff! I just realised that you share your birthday with Mervyn Peake who would have celebrated his centenary year today.

  4. Anne says

    Well happy birthingday anyhoodles. I hope you have a very festive one. Here’s to your continued success with at least grilling lol and thanks for opening up my mind to other amazing reading avenues. I’m working on your bday wish. One of which is going to the local library. Here’s to an even better year of life.

  5. says

    Happy Birthday to you, Jeff!!

    I celebrated by pre-ordering The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities from Amazon here in the UK. I also added a kindle copy of Finch with is, quite conveniently, part of Amazon’s summer sale on kindle titles. ;)

    Cheers! Enjoy your day.


  6. Kris says

    Happy late birthday Jeff! I hope that you had a wonderful one and have a great year ahead.
    All the best!