Thursday, December 20, 2018

2018: The Highs, Lows, and Mediums

Not *that* kind of medium, though I wish I could predict the future.

Image of John William Waterhouse's 'The Crystal Ball" used under a creative commons license:

I didn't set many specific writing goals for 2018 at the close of 2017. For the most part, this was because of my prior experience of setting goals and watching them crash and burn when confronted by life. However, the one major goal I had - finish the Halcyone Space series and publish A STAR IN THE VOID, was accomplished.
Albeit with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

When I look back over the year, it's pretty astonishing that I was able to get anything written. The political climate following the 2016 election  and leading up to the 2018 one was a confounding factor for so many creative people I know and I was no exception.

It was hard to write when I was obsessed with following political news on twitter. When news broke and kept breaking about women coming forth with their #metoo stories, I was shaken. Memories of my own childhood trauma that I had thought dealt with, constantly broke my concentration and sapped my creative energy.

I wrote anyway. Because I'm a stubborn cuss and I had made promises to myself, my characters, and my readers that I didn't want to break. Instead, it nearly broke me and from the time I finished drafting A STAR IN THE VOID early last year until this month, I've struggled to do any kind of consistent writing.

But not all is gloom and doom. When I looked back at 2018's work, I realized that I had accomplished more than I'd feared.

I wrote (and the process was painful, filled with stops, starts, and the delete key - just ask the editor of the collection) "Perpetual Silence" for the collection OF GODS AND GLOBES. It's a story that emerged from sadness and loss, and yet, I found hope in the writing of it. Creativity is weird that way.

Toward the end of the year, I was approached by the editor of LONGSHOT ISLAND and UNFIT MAGAZINE to submit for their inaugural edition of UNFIT. I dug through my story folder and found one that served the magazine's theme. "Persistence of Memory" was a story I had self published in my first collection of short fiction and took the opportunity to give it another editing pass before sending it on to be published alongside some of Science Fiction's heavy hitters.

There are a few other short stories written in 2018 that will be published in 2019 and I'm at about the 10% mark on a new novel that I'm excited to be working on.

The other writing I did was non-fiction: I took space in this blog to chronicle the incredible year I've had connecting with a birth family that I hadn't known and who hadn't known about me. I will be continuing that series, as I have so much more to share and new discoveries keep surprising me. If you want to read along, part 1 is here.

If you are so inclined to recommend any of my work to friends or for any applicable awards, I would be incredibly grateful.

I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year. May 2019 bring you joy.


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