Eston in 2019
Posted: July 15, 2020
Even though we've passed the halfway point of 2020, I'd like to take a moment to go back and reflect on last year. For 2019, my initial goals were to prepare Deficiency for publication, participate in some events, and reinstate a writing routine. Even though some of my efforts weren’t spent on these objectives, 2019 turned out to be a good year nonetheless.
On the publication side, 2019 saw the launch of a single new story, Fog. It combines science-fiction and horror, is mainly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and was a lot of fun to write. Another of my short stories, Logbox, was selected by Michael S. Alter to appear in the 5th issue of JAMM (Just a Minor Malfunction). This was a new experience for me, and it went very smoothly. Michael reached out to me, and asked if I had any stories. I provided Logbox and he liked it. He did some editing, but only minor fixes and a few months later, JAMM was out, with my story in it. It's special to see your story included with the work of other, more accomplished authors.
I also made good progress on Deficiency and sent it for editing. Although the story came out much better, I was not satisfied and had to make an important decision: proceed with the story as is and publish it in 2019 as planned, or, push back the launch and get it edited once again to bring it closer to something I'm satisfied with. After much debate, I opted to delay the launch. As I am writing this, I am awaiting the third editing exercise. I'm hopeful that the story will be ready/complete after this, and that I can proceed with the launch for December 2020.
Throughout the year, I worked on a few stories, including Zebu, Kasaril, A Dream and the first instalment in the Baneseeker Chronicles. In November, I joined NaNoWriMo once again, and decided to tackle a massive revision of The Stranger of Ul Darak. It was an intense month of writing, one of the toughest I've had to go through (you can read about it in my post About NaNoWriMo 2019). I met the goal of writing 50,000 words, but that was only about half of the work. The revision stretched far into 2020, all the way into April (but it is now done!).
On a different note, I renewed my partnership with Kirk Shannon (who created the inside art, the cover title and text for The Conclave), and developed two new icons: one for the Realm of Tyronia and another for the System of Garadia. These will be used on book covers, my website, and in other places, to help group stories together and bring consistency. I'm quite happy with the logos and Kirk was more than patient with me as I tried to explain what I had in mind.
Panel with Vanessa Hawkins
at Fog City Comic Con 2019
Another little project that I completed in 2019 was to create a standing banner to bring with me to readings and events. I explored a few options, but finally decided to create it myself and order it from Vistaprint, which was the cheapest option. It turned out much better than anticipated and I brought it with me to Fog City Comic Con
, where I had a table and participated in a panel discussion on writing with Vanessa Hawkins
. I also brought it with me to a reading I did with Alexandra Tims
, Cary Caffrey
and Vanessa Hawkins
at the Fredericton Public Library
I was honoured when Allan Hudson invited me to read at the launch of his anthology The Shattered Figurine, which took place in June at the Café C'est la Vie. In September, Brooks Kohler (Laptiast.com) reached out to me for an interview, which I was pleased to do. You can find it on the Internet Archives.
In December, it was my turn to reach out, this time to the Fredericton Public Library, about hosting a series of discussions on writing. They were interested and asked me to submit a package, which I did. It outlined two series of discussions, one titled The Writer's Tool Kit and another titled Writing Imaginative Fiction. My proposal was accepted and the first series started in February 2020 (but had to be cancelled due to Covid-19).
Outside of writing, 2019 has been a good year, but not without its challenges. After 22 years working in the same department, I decided that it was time to try something new. In early Fall, I did an interview and was offered a position that I decided to accept. I started my new job in January 2020 and although my title remained the same, the field is something I've never done before. It was a hard decision to make, but I can now say that it was a good choice. On the family side, our children continue to surprise and enchant us. It's such a gift to see the world anew through the eyes of our children. Don't get me wrong, some days are challenging, and others are demanding, but I am enjoying every moment and am so very proud of the little family Leigh and I put together.
For 2020, I have only one goal, but it is huge: to publish my first full length novel: Deficiency. There is still much work to do, but the writing is done. Look for it in late 2020!