Lotsa good news/bad news this year. The good: the spec market came back with a vengeance, thereby creating vitality in the industry and making people want to read and discover new writing voices again. The bad: we lost both screenwriting magazines--Script and Creative Screenwriting--not to mention the CS Weekly, The Screenwriting Expo, the AAA and Expo contests and the Cyberspace Open. All of which kind of blows.
As we head into 2012, I'm scratching my head because my Magic 8-Ball is coming up hazy. The brave new world we're entering (or "New World Order," to quote George H.W. Bush) has no room for print magazines and newspapers; and while more people can make movies now than ever thanks to cheap filmmaking tech, meaningful distribution is harder to land than ever. On the other hand, the internet means people around the world can view your short film instantly and if enough people see it, it can create a buzz which gets you meetings and could eventually result in you getting hired. In fact, there's more opportunity out there for writers and filmmakers than ever before.
So it should be an interesting year. Hopefully the ride will be a little less bumpy, assuming we don't start any more wars. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Awesome Eid, Quirky Kwanzaa, and of course, a festive Festivus to all.
PS: Best example yet of why you need to use direct address commas: BIG difference between these two sentences: "Don't blow this, dude" and "Don't blow this dude." What a difference punctuation makes! Direct address commas--USE 'EM.