Tuesday, January 5, 2016

An End and a Beginning

We begin 2016 and I find myself at a crossroads.

I have outstanding writing contracts and have promised material to several people for their projects. I will be fulfilling those commitments but after that will be stepping away from writing for publication. I have not come to this decision lightly nor is it sudden. Several people have asked me why.

I have always wanted to be a writer. I will never give up on that craft. I love the stories, the sharing, the ability to entertain and educate. So, though I won't be pursuing publication, I will still be writing... but for another audience.

I have reached a few people, won a couple of awards. I never attained any significant amount of fame as a writer. I attribute that to being one of many, more of a channeller of the craft than a practitioner.  I wrote out of compulsion and see now it was merely to be in the right place to encourage others rather than to distinguish myself. I have had the honor to be present at the start of several writers' careers but mine is developing differently.

It's time to move on.

Everyone faces a point when it's time to grow past where they are and take a chance on something new. This doesn't depend on where you are, who you are, or how old you are. If you stop changing, learning, and looking around yourself you will slowly lose your focus and fade away. 

Exactly where I will go from here and what my eventual destination may be isn't clear yet. There are several subjects that fascinate me. One of them will undoubtedly rise from the bunch and identify itself. I look forward to that.

On to the writing that remains....

My short story Fifty appears in the Airship 27 anthology Legends of New Pulp Fiction. I am proud to have been part of that project, mostly because it was designed as a benefit for a friend of mine, Tommy Hancock. He has recently gone through a tough time medically and I hope this anthology, comprised of the work of over 100 writers and artists, can alleviate some of the financial pressure that situation imposed on him and his family.

I will be attending Shadowcon this coming weekend in West Memphis, Arkansas. This is a relatively small "relaxacon" and has always been a great way to start the convention year.  

In the coming year, I have a four-part series of detective stories coming from Pro Se Press (The Velvet Wasp), a short story from Amoeba Ink (Ned and the Tomatoes), a short story in a Pulp/Rock anthology helmed by Sean Taylor (I hope), a short story from Charon Coin Press (Below Tennessee), and a novel from Alban Lake Publishing (Deity) to appear. With any luck, I will continue to pen for Catnippery LLC's web series Mysteries of Science.

I am currently working with Alban Lake Publishing on submissions guidelines for a followup anthology to The Idolaters of Cthulhu, to be titled Miskatonic Dreams. I hope to get the same or better quality of stories for the new anthology as I did for IoC. I hope to continue working as editor for ALP, Pro Se Press, and Hermit Studios. I would like to think I have been of some use to them and can go on being useful.

Finally, as prelude to this new stage, I have removed myself from Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a magical way to get your name before the public without actually having to meet anyone face-to-face. On the other hand, without that personal contact, it seems hollow. As a person, I feel the need to meet and talk with my readers, to find out first-hand what they like to hear. What kinds of stories touch your heart? Make you think? Frighten you? Make you laugh? 

So, Happy New Year! Remember, as always, to stay low and keep your powder dry!