New Year, Same Me

2018 is over. I won’t say good riddance, because it had some pretty good points for me. I published books, experienced some setbacks, but over all, I think I came out ahead. It’s a nice change from the usual.

I haven’t set resolutions for 2019. Of course, I’ll try to be a good person. Try not to lose my shit as often as I did last year. Maybe I’ll even master the art of positivity. I am getting better at taking the glass half full approach. This year, I’ll try to think of that first, and I won’t use it as a way of talking myself down from the worst-case scenario mindset.

Those aren’t resolutions, though. They’re things I try to do daily, new year or not. I won’t set any writing or publishing resolutions, but I do have a few goals and decisions that have to be made.

One is a major decision I can’t discuss until I get my shit sorted out. It’s not a pleasant decision. I’ve been putting it off because I don’t want to do what I think I have to do. Cryptic, right? I’ll share more on that later, when I sort out the feelings and such. Basically, I’ve allowed a situation that is supposed to be mutually beneficial for everyone involved become one-sided, and now there are a small few giving all the effort and not getting anything in return from the larger group. Stepping out of said situation will have consequences I’m not sure I’m up to facing just yet. When I get pissed off enough, those won’t matter.

On to happier shit. I have three novels finished and ready for publication. One could be considered a novella, as it’s a little shy of the 40,000-word mark. The first is THE ONE YOU FEED, which is a generational saga that explores the question, “Is evil born or made?” It’s psychological horror, I think, with a dash of something else I can’t define. I’ve worked on it for about seven years. Longest I ever spent on any project without giving up on it. I’ve cut it from over 150,000 words to about 110,000. That was a chore, let me tell you. The writer I was seven years ago liked to write the shit out of every scene, so I had to remove all the unnecessary purple bits before I could go through and really get to rewriting it.

It’s good now. I keep saying if it doesn’t get picked up by a publisher, I’ll publish it myself. Each year, it comes close. So close. Positive rejections (there are such things) that say they loved it or the writing, but it’s not right for their market, or it’s too long (might have to trim more), or a few other reasons that made me scowl and swear a little bit. So, those make me think it deserves a little more than I can give it alone, and I resubmit. Again and again. Who knows? Maybe this time next year, if no one is interested in signing it, I’ll just bite the bullet and do it myself. Probably not.

Sometimes you have a project that can wait until its time. THE ONE YOU FEED is one of those for me at the moment.

Anyway, next is CLUSTER. Now, this is a sci-fi/horror/psychological thriller about a parasite that causes killer cluster migraines. I have had migraines since I was about 8 years old. I’ve had the minor ones that go away quickly, and I’ve had clusters that last for days where I feel like I’m definitely going to die. They’re not fun. Writing this one was tough, as I tried to be as descriptive as possible with the symptoms, so sometimes I wondered if I was giving myself a migraine just by thinking about them.

Anyway, I’ve subbed a few places. Got a couple of rejections. One was very positive, but still a no, so I’ll keep subbing it in 2019.

Finally, THE MAN FROM NOTHING was signed by Hindered Souls Press before it closed up shop. Now it’s homeless again. It’s a bizarro/dark comedy story that’s part Oz, part Wonderland and part Twilight Zone. I really love it. It’s rare I feel that way about something I’ve written, so my worst-case scenario voice keeps suggesting it sucks, because I love it so much. I just ignore that voice. She’s sometimes wrong.

I subbed this one to a couple of places and, so far, it’s not quite right. I do have a “dream” publisher in mind for this one, but they’re not open to submissions for a few months, so I guess I’ll have to wait. I’m terrible at that.

Wait. I just realized I have four, not three. HOWL, which was signed and then shit went south, so it’s also homeless now, is another I’d like to publish this year. It’s a novella about monsters, rednecks, cannibalism and weird sexual encounters, all set in the woods in the winter. I think it’s pretty cool, so maybe someone else will like it.

My goal is to publish at least one of these this year. Two would be awesome. None of them would be tragic.

That said, I have other projects almost completed. Three more novels, actually. One is a couple of chapters shy of “the end” while the other two need serious rewrites. We’ll see how that goes. I’m already at the “OMG they’re ALWAYS going to suck” phase of rewriting.

And as always, I have lots of short stories kicking around. Some suck. Some are awesome. I’ll try to focus only on the awesome ones, and make room on my submission spreadsheet for new awesome I write this year.

So, to summarize, my goal for 2019 is to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Publish something so you guys don’t forget I exist, and maybe be a big deal by the time 2020 rolls around.

Also, I’m going to be better with this blog. I say it every year, but this year, it might stick.

For now, my story HIGHER LEARNING will be released as part of Unnerving’s MIDNIGHT SNACKS series in May. You can pre-order it now, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.

HIgh Learning

Now, what about you guys? Resolutions? Goals? Same shit, different year?

2 thoughts on “New Year, Same Me

  1. You have lots of stuff going on and that’s good, but i understand your frustration too. I’m learning but slowly how to do what I want to do, which is to get more of my fiction and poetry out there. I will be continuing to review books of speculative fiction and dark poetry this year, which I enjoy doing. I plan to be more active on social media, but I’m pretty sure that the Facebook page is going to fade away. Just seems like everything takes forever to post and as a result, I don’t keep up with it.
    I am done making any sort of resolutions about anything at all. As my physical disabilities increase I am holding tight to my mental strengths with the idea of living in my stories. Hopefully that doesn’t sound too strange. Best Wishes for the New Year, I feel that this is going to be a good one!

  2. I think that’s a good plan. Social media is tough. I find it hard to find a balance where I’m doing enough, but not too much. Feast or famine for this girl. 😉 Good luck in 2019. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year too.

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