Come at me 2017

Hmm. Where did I put that blog? Sure are a lot of cobwebs in here.

Oh wait, yeah, here it is.

So, three months after going on hiatus to work my way back out of the depression hole, here I am. I hope some of y’all missed me! There were certainly a shitload of spambots who were super interested in this blog a few days ago. Maybe I should invite them to a party.

Anyhoo, we made it through 2016! (Except for all the folks who didn’t. I miss them.) That’s an achievement we should celebrate – it was an awful year for pretty much everyone and we have done well to escape its poisonous gravity. Sure, 2017 looks to be mad, terrifying and surreal, but in different ways, and that has to count for something.

Surely.

And now, bullet points.

What did I do for the last three months?

  • I got accustomed to my new day job (textbook publishing), which I’ve been doing since August and I’m still really enjoying. There’s a lot to do, but the work is engaging, the team great and they gave me my own office. Which, admittedly, is actually a records filing room that I have to share with ten years of finance paperwork, but it has a door so I’m happy.
  • I went to America with my wife for her annual visit. We went to a tiki bar in San Francisco! I explored the old Shanghai tunnels of Portland! We indulged in the entirely legal pleasures of Colorado! And we watched Donald Trump win the election, which was WAY less fun and enjoyable than when we were there for the previous two Presidential elections. But so it goes. There will be resistance.
  • I watched all of Season 2 of The Flash and half of Season 1 of Supergirl, and realised that I’m now pretty much bored with superhero TV shows.
  • I got a Playstation 4 for Christmas, ‘cos that’s going to be super useful for keeping me focused on writing. Games played so far: Alien Isolation, which is both a master class in world building & design and an object lesson about not relying on character failure and constant escalation as your core story drivers.
  • I drank beer, read comics, played board games, hung out with friends and did all the little things that make life seem worthwhile and enjoyable rather than a gray emptiness like the hollow insides of a dead tree.
  • I thought about writing. A lot. But I didn’t do any, and I didn’t make myself feel guilty about it for a change.

Am I still depressed?

  • No. I’m actually feeling pretty chipper now.

Does that mean I’ll┬ástop wasting time and do some frickin’ writing like I’m supposed to?

  • Jeez, back the hell off, first person interrogator. You don’t know me.

I’m just saying, people aren’t here for the talk about PS4 games. Am I going to get back to writing?

  • Yes, damnit, I am. God. This attitude is why no-one comments.

What’s the plan for 2017, then?

  • Glad you asked. And grew some manners.
  • I’ve been submitting Raven’s Blood queries to literacy agents every weekend, and I’m going to keep doing that. So far I’ve had a fair few rejections (which is fine), a fair few that I’m still waiting to hear back from (also fine) and a couple of agents who were interested in reading and considering the whole manuscript (WOO-HOO). I’m going to keep doing that until the book sticks, and then… well, I’ll work that out later.
  • I’ve started writing The Obituarist III: Delete Your Account, and by that I literally mean I’ve written like a paragraph. But I’ve nailed down the premise and direction and have scenes finalised in my head, and later this month I’ll work on it in earnest, trying to nail one 1000-word chapter a night, five nights a week, letting the momentum carry me where the story winds up. I’ll have more to say about that when I’m further into the project.
  • Once┬áthat book’s out in the wild, I’m starting my wrestlers-vs-dream-monsters YA series, tentatively called the Legacy series but that will almost certainly change. (As will the working title of the first book, Piledriver.) I want to approach this book in a different way, with a stronger focus on character relationships driving the plot, so there’ll be a lot of thought experiments and process blogging once that gets started. And maybe some more talk about wrestling (sorry).
  • I’ve been talking to some people about a project that could be very cool and interesting, but which I can’t talk about right now. But if I ever get to discuss it, you’ll be the first to hear about it! (After all the people I tell in person.)
  • I still haven’t forgotten about Sick Beats. You never know.
  • I’m going to try to be better at blogging regularly. Honest.

So things are better. They’re not fantastic-amazing-six-figure-contract-and-a-bag-of-cocaine better, but they’re better. And that’s enough.

Come at me, 2017. I’m ready. Let’s dance.

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