Looking Back, and Looking Forward

You know what? Writing short stories is hard. Damn hard. And those folks out there who are successful in this field of writing are hugely talented individuals. If I wore a hat, I’d take it off to them. If I wasn’t on a dry rig up here in the jungles, I’d raise a scotch to them.

I find short stories a lot harder to write than novels, and in 2013, I made the conscious decision to spend more effort on writing longer fiction. That’s not to say I won’t write any more short stories, because there will always be anthologies I’d like to be a part of. But I am determined, from 2014 onwards, to write two novels a year as a minimum.

In 2013, my debut novel, 809 Jacob Street, was published by Black Beacon Books. The novel has gone on to receive great reviews, which gives me a warm wonderful feeling inside, in the spot my scotch usually warms. It’s so cool to finally see that book in print. 809 Jacob Street was a 2013 Notable Book in Shelf Unbound’s writing competition, as well as a top 10 finalist in JournalStone’s unpublished writing competition. All so very cool.

On the troublesome short story front, I had one story published in a fantastic anthology (Fear the Reaper, edited by the fantastic Joe Mynhardt), and I’m proud of that story and that collection. I’m in with a bunch of amazing short story writers, that’s for sure. I have one more short story due to be published in 2014 in an anthology edited by someone I greatly admire (more on that soon), too.

Also in ’13, I completed the edits for novel #2, and completed novel #3, so I guess it’s been a busy year. My plan at the moment is to send novel #2 (called Finding Safe Ground) out to agents, and then complete the first run through edits of novel #3 so I can send it off to my editor friend in LA. Then there’s that comic I have to illustrate…

I also have a certain Black Friday Wager to complete (finish novel #4 by Friday the 13th of June, 2014), so that’s a good goal if I want to complete two novels a year from this point on. I intend to reach that goal, too.

So it’s full steam ahead on the writing front.

On the personal side, wifey and I have a few cool trips to look forward to in 2014 (including the World Horror Con in May!), plus I have a jet pack ride and a caving adventure lined up. Hopefully there’s a ghost adventure at an abandoned insane asylum in the near future, too.

My crap news is that I spent another Christmas and New Years on a rig site (and my birthday this year). That’s two years in a row, now. I’d much rather be back home celebrating in a new year with my wife and good friends, but that’s not to be. One thing’s for sure, they’ll have to tie me up and drag me out to a rig site next Christmas and New Year’s.

As I said on Christmas day, to all the nut bags and crazy folk out there, I wish you a very happy New Year. May it be filled with amazing adventures. See you in ’14.

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