Eston in 2018

Posted: July 11, 2019

As I did for 2016 and 2017, I'd like to take a moment and reflect on last year, and what happened in this crazy writing life of mine. I am starting to really enjoy these posts, especially going back and re-reading what I was able to accomplish in the past. In 2017, my goals were much too ambitious and for that reason, I had set more realistic targets for 2018.

S.C. Eston at the launch for The Conclave
S.C. Eston at "The Conclave" Launch
Photo Credits: Leigh Ann Estey
My first priority had been to publish "The Conclave" and here, I am proud to say: mission accomplished. Conclave was published on October 24th (e-book and print) and I organized a launch event that took place on December 2nd, at Westminster Books here in Fredericton. I spent much more time on getting Conclave on the market than initially anticipated, but the final product was well worth it. I worked with Kirk Shannon on the inside illustrations and a small icon for the world of Arvelas. The icon appears in a few locations on and inside the book and I am planning on using it on my website. My wife also made me a shirt with the icon (which I wore at recent events). The final product exceeded my expectations, as did the feedback I received on the story.

Next, I had planned on concentrating on writing "The Stranger of Ul Darak" and hopefully bringing it to its final version for a launch in 2019. As it turned out, I did not spend much time on Stranger. Instead, during NaNoWriMo in November, I polished "Deficiency" and that story is now on track for publication in 2019. Stranger will have to wait a bit longer.

A FriendI did complete a short story, or thought I did. It's titled "Fog" and everything was ready for publication, but I kept pushing it back, due to the fact that the cover was not done (I create my own covers, when it comes to short stories). It was probably a good thing that I delayed the publication of Fog, because I recently rewrote portions of it. That said, I was able to complete "A Friend", a short story set in the same setting as "Logbox" and "Deficiency".

I also started one or two new projects, or at least came up with more ideas for stories, including a new series to take place in Arvelas (not directly related to some of the events in Conclave). At the end of 2018, nothing of this work yet appeared on the website, if only because I was not certain it would go anywhere. Now, I can say it probably will, so it should appear here shortly.

The ConclaveMy writing group also fell apart. It had become mostly a social function (which can be a good thing), and some of the members (including myself) wanted more discussions about writing. I was lucky to be invited to a new group, with an amazing group of writers. The only problem was that the group met every week and asked for a significant amount of time and feedback, which I could not keep up with. I had to bow down and leave.

In November, I joined other writers in St.Andrews, at WordsFall, organized by the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick. Those gatherings are fun and a good place to make connections (I know, I have said this many times in other posts... so, it must be true). I participated to a workshop on historical fiction and realized how similar the preparations for such a novel is to fantasy. In fact, it is surprising how similar some of the preparations can be no matter what genre you are writing in.

On a more personal note, in the summer, my daughter was born. In the fall, I went on a second parental leave. I can honestly say that those days, at home with my wife and children, are easily the best of my life. What a privilege to be able to be home and spend such precious time with my family, see the children reach their first birthday, start to crawl, walk, say their first words. Those are priceless moments and I often ponder how lucky I am to have had such an opportunity.

I only spent a limited amount of time at the work office in 2018, but still had to deal with some of the same issues I had encountered in the past. It is surprising to me that these challenges, these difficulties that do not only impact myself, but a large group of people, have not yet been resolved. Still, I am in a better place, and sometimes, that is the best we can hope for.

For 2019, I am planning on participating in a few events, including Fog City Comic Con (I can already tell you that I was there and it was a lot of fun). The main focus for the year will be to bring Deficiency to publication. I will also aim at reinstating the semblance of a writing routine (hopefully!). It is always my hope to do a lot of writing. It is always what I aim for. But, over the past few years, my expectations are more realistic and better aligned with my other priorities, including family. That said, I have many exciting projects that I am looking forward to sharing with all of you. So, stay tuned!

Keywords: Life, Writing