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Street was a 2013 Notable Book in Shelf Unbound’s writing competition, as well as a top 10 finalist in JournalStone’s unpublished writing competition.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.