Eston in 2017
Posted: July 28, 2018
I hope you are all enjoying the summer so far. Here in Fredericton, we’ve had a lot of sun, with some warm days (over 40°C) and a few days of heavy rain. A good combination. Although it might seem a bit late to post a summary of last year, I have decided to do so because these posts provide a good overview of my writing progress, year by year (actually, I found some notes on 2015 and I might eventually post a summary for that year as well).
Looking back at the goals I had initially outlined in my post Eston in 2016, I now realize how ambitious I had been (much too ambitious). 2016 was a productive year, but it is important for me remember that I had a lot more freedom back then; freedom as in no babies. In 2017, our first baby boy was born, so I had to re-adjust my priorities a bit. This included making some major adjustments to the time I allocated to writing. As you’ll see, though, I was still able to move a few things forward.
One of the steps I had identified as part of my writing platform was to get involved in the writing community. Having less time to write, I decided to focus on this in 2017. In the summer, I joined a writing group lead by Chuck Bowie. It was a surprisingly pleasant experience from the start. I say surprisingly because I had not realized how enjoyable it would be to discuss writing with people who shared my passion. It quickly became apparent to me that one of the biggest benefits of these meetings is that it keeps me motivated to write. Everyone in the group made me feel welcome. At the time, the group had 6 members: Chuck Bowie, Roger Moore, John Sutherland, Jeremy Gilmer, Kevin Stephens and Amy Wood. I definitely recommend joining a group if you can.
In the fall, I performed my first two readings. The first was at Word Feast in Fredericton and the second was at WordsFall in Sussex (organized by the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick). Although I was extremely nervous, both readings went well. It was reassuring to have two members of my group reading at Word Feast as well (Chuck Bowie and Jeremy Gilmer) . Although I have not had the opportunity to read since, I believe readings are a good way to connect with the community and share stories.
One of my biggest achievements for the year was the creation of a print version for The Burden of the Protector. To do so, I took advantage of the print-on-demand beta program at Amazon. It was a lot of work (including drawing the inside illustrations) but I am proud of the final result. There is something very special about receiving your first copy in the mail!
On the writing side, I was able to complete a revision of The Stranger of Ul Darak during NaNoWriMo in November. I also contacted Tom Edwards (who created the cover for Burden) and he completed the cover for The Stranger of Ul Darak. I also wrote one new short story: A Friend, which has yet to be published. I started a few other short stories, all of which are at different stages of development.
After discussion with my friend Gaetan, who is also my alpha reader, I decided to launch a forum named SC Talk. The initial goal was to have a place to discuss stories in development with Gaetan, but I decided to set it up to allow exchanges with readers about my stories. In 2018, I expanded the forum to host a virtual short stories reading club.
As for my day job, I will only say that 2017 came with its challenges (mostly related to the issues of the previous years), but there were some improvements. I am lucky to have a great team working for me (I have employees working from one coast (St.John's) to the other (Vancouver). They make every day easier.
At home, I could not be happier. As already mentioned, our first baby was born in April. It was a major adjustment for Leigh and I, but I can’t say our boy is making life difficult for us. Quite the opposite; he is always happy and smiling, and so much fun. By the time I am writing this, we have another addition to the family: a beautiful and healthy girl. The transition to a second baby was much easier. So, as you can see, balancing the family life with writing will continue to be interesting for a while longer.
For 2018, I have much more realistic expectations. My main focus will be to finalize some of the stories still in development, but even here, I’m only concentrating on a few. I plan to publish The Conclave later this year and bring The Stranger of Ul Darak to its final version (with possible publication in 2019). I’m also planning on reviewing Deficiency as part of NaNoWriMo in November. I would also like to publish two short stories. In the end, though, it will all depend how things shape up and how much time I can carve for writing (fingers crossed).