The Day I Turn 40

Today, I turn 40. It’s probably already happened by the time I get up (I’m going to try to sleep in) in the morning, but it’s still one of those days you need to take a moment for reflection.

I’ve tried to do a reflection post for the past couple of years. It at least lets me see that I’m moving forward.

So what have I done this year?

First of all I was presented with the unique opportunity to become a personal assistant for Jennifer Brozek and handle public relations for Apocalypse Ink Productions. I’ve proffed manuscripts for AIP authors, written press releases, contacted book reviewers, and written blogs. I’m learning skills that I’ll need in my own author toolkit for the future and meeting some great writers in the process. I’m hoping next year I’ll be able to catch up with Jennifer at a convention sometime. 🙂

2014 was the year I really started to push my stories out there. Being challenged was the key and between March and July I managed to get 10 stories out the door.  Some of these were edited stories that I had sitting in folders but I did manage 12 new stories and re-purposed 4 that had been trunked. While I only had 1 sale (announcement pending), I did have 3 stories published this year. “The Coin Whisperer” was published in Abyss and Apex, “Ordinary Hero” was in Lakeside Circus, and “The Fadeaway” was in Grievous Angel.

I’m continuing to broaden my freelance work. Writing SEO articles have kept the bills paid on time and put a little extra money in our pockets when we need them. I worked on a developmental midgrade novel and am in the process of edits on a collection. I’m enjoying the opportunities to not only help other writers but to work on other aspects of writing.

What I didn’t do was write a novel this year.  My focus this year was short stories. I know about the whole huge debate over how short stories might or might not help me in my writing career. The fact is, I enjoy writing short stories, so I write them. This year, I have everything from flashes and a novella under my belt. I’m also finding I can experiment more with a short story than I can with a novel. I’m trying out some things that sometimes work. What doesn’t gets picked apart and tried again.

I do intend on digging in next year and starting on the Shattered Soul Series. While I didn’t write on the novels or even do more than poke at it in edits, I did one thing that’s really expanded the story line. I have a huge spreadsheet of characters and actions and what the over all plot of the series will be and sub plots that can take a novel or two to resolve and even smaller arcs between other things. It’s HUGE. One of these days I’ll have to draw it all out so that I can visualize it a bit better.

I’ve also taken on a couple of new projects. A good writing friend, Lady Kuro, and I have been working on a blog series featuring Space Marine Gerbils.  Yes you heard that right. It’s been great fun and we’ll continue the series for a while. Go read it if you haven’t.

Another new project is an audio drama I’m doing with another friend. The first episode is written, but we’ve not had a lot of time to get to the second.  I’m sure that we’ll finish the first story sometime soon. It will be exciting to announce it live!

I’ve not spent as much time as I would have liked on my other hobbies although I’ve progressed in my beading skills.  More importantly we cleaned out the garage so that I can start setting up my studio. There’s still a lot to do including ventilation, running a designated electric line and putting flashing up on the walls, but at least we’ve made a step in the right direction. Next year I will be torching again.

I don’t think that’s too bad for someone who also holds down a dayjob, has a family, herds cats and juggles several projects at one time.  I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished this year.

So what do I want for next year?

Well for one, I think I’m ready to tackle edits on Dragon Masque. Now that I’ve gotten the characters down and the overarching plot, I’ve got a much better idea of how to go about this. First a more detailed outline–bet you didn’t think I’d EVER say that–then a complete rewrite.

In between doing that, I’ll have plenty of short stories to send out. I’ve got a lot of notes and ideas that I’m working on. Maybe I’ll get to all of them someday.

I don’t think I’ll be bored or worried about getting old anytime soon.  I’ll be too busy!


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