I’m not great at blogs, probably because I’ve never bothered keeping a diary or journal – unless you count the teenage pretension that my poetry was my diary, which you really don’t want to do because then you might want to read some – but it’s been a fairly big year for me and I have more things I want to say than will fit in a Facebook post.
Should I start with the good or the bad? There’s been a fair bit of both this year, but I think I’ll start with the bad. I’ve less to say about that than I have the good. In fact, I can bulletpoint the bad:
- Cluster headaches and migraines are a part of my life now, which flat-out sucks.
- This is 1a, really. I lost my job thanks to the time off for headaches and money is now painfully tight. So tight, I’ll be offline for at least the whole of January.
- The best cure/treatment for the headaches – given that the doctors are certain I haven’t got a brain tumor – is to quit smoking and reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption. This does not sit well with my long standing ambition to party until I die. Parties are no fun when you just feel tired and your head hurts.
- I’ve had to start giving up smoking. I’m vaping as I type and, whilst the nicotine is there, it just isn’t the same. Yes, this is part of point three but I’m really unhappy about it. I don’t care if I stink, I’ve smoked for a quarter century and I still like it.
That pretty much sums up the bad. Not too bad in the great scheme of things but the cranial pain and lack of funds are both real pissers. They really get in the way.
On to the good. I’ll bulletpoint this as well because it’s fair, and if I don’t this will turn into an essay.
- The cluster headaches and migraines that got me fired also got me out of a job that I loathed. I wish the timing had been better – I was planning to find something new in January – but I’m no longer tied to ‘that’ place. At some point I’m going to write Chaos Tales III and it is going to be about office work in Hell. I miss the money, I do not miss the job or the people.
- I appeared in my second anthology – I’m incredibly proud of both volumes of Chaos Tales but also aware of the fact that self-publishing is open to all and largely dominated by people who either just shouldn’t or need to spend a little more time on their product. Having someone I’d never met or heard of before choose one of my scribbles for a proper, official book was an immense ego-boost.
- The quality of the other stories in Wild Things. I don’t love all of them – no-one loves every story in an anthology – but the quality of the other writers I was chosen to be amongst is something that still makes my ego purr and always will.
I wish I was the standout star of the collection but I’m not – and, no, I will not reveal my personal ratings of the other stories and where I fit in. That would be incredibly rude. Also, none of them are bad. There are two I wish I’d written myself, no matter how differently. The rest of us are all in equal third place.
(I’m not just saying that to be nice or diplomatic. It’s just true.)
- I polished, finished and released Hell TV on Kindle – it’s had good feedback.
- I got both volumes of Chaos Tales out in paperback, via Createspace. The covers look so much better in hardcopy.
- I’ve had another two stories accepted for anthologies, one of which I was invited to contribute to. I can’t say much more about those, I’ve been asked not to until the details are confirmed. I’m excited about both, although one a little more than the other. Chuffed to bits with both stories.
Enough bulletpoints, I guess. I’ve not mentioned a few things – like how happy I am to have become an uncle for the sixth time – but lists get boring and this is already too long for a blog post. If you’ve read this far, you probably know me well enough to be aware of the fact that I could rival King for word-processor diarrhoea.
If I don’t die, and World War Three doesn’t start (genuinely scared it will, but that’s another post), I plan to get Entrance finished. I’m finally working on the last part of the trilogy and I’m extremely confident, despite my decision over Christmas to scrap what I’ve written so far (eighty thousand words or so) and start again. I made some serious mistakes right at the start and not even harsh editing can save the version I have now. It’s a bummer, but that’s how I work – my record for a discarded draft is a little under two hundred and seventy thousand.
Did I mention the typed diarrhoea I suffer from?
Anyway, enough from me. Thank you all for reading – this post or any of my stories. Whatever happens to me or in my life, I wish you all the best that I can. Unhappy endings, like general nastiness, belong in stories and nowhere else.
Be good, take care and have fun – you deserve it.