Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Just a quick note to the world that I’m alive and kicking (maybe not kicking, but definitely getting ready to kick myself for living on a hill as the snow comes…)

Brigette and I at the beach in Cape May, NJ

I’ve got grand intentions for a newsletter update, but the short version is: 2018 was a less-than-productive year from a “Author Who Produces Fantasy Fiction” standpoint. On New Years 2018 I was reading several good craft books as I honed in my worldbuilding for a new series. Through the spring I spent a great deal of time doing that work, and continued to hone my craft with in-depth training using the Dramatica method to work on the plot and story arc. So it felt very productive.

My writing partners got tuckered out pretty fast

However, that story is kind of like everything soup. Now it’s simmering on the burner as I distill it all down to something more manageable, and frankly, better. While I wish there was more accomplished, I know it’s the right decision to wait.

I did, however, get some public writing done. I’ve very proud of the work Travis Perry, founder of Bear Publications, and I have done on a craft series for writers over at Speculative Fiction. The Speculative Fiction Writer’s Guide to War is a weekly series we’ve been working on that aims to help all writers, not only those of a faith-based writing bent, to open their aperture on military matters as they pertain to fantasy and science fiction storytelling in particular. We co-share attribution, but we work together on everything. An Army and a Navy officer working together, cats and dogs in harmony, a brave new world!

As my day job picked up in pace and responsibility, I had to find new ways to manage my writing endeavors. One thing I really focused on was making better use of my commute. I’m not quite into narration as much as I’d hoped, but I can always use that time to listen. I was able to consume a lot of great stories through the year, all with an intentional effort to learn what’s worked for others, what audiences are looking for, and to better understand the tropes of my genre. I use the Overdrive app on my phone and a local library membership to reduce my audiobook spending while enjoying a lot of the authors I missed out on in my younger days (since there’s rarely much wait time on those books!)

We also spent a lot of time with family near Gettysburg

I’m certainly not done writing. As the semester kicks off and my schedule adjusts I’m already finding a new groove to make persistent, regular writing time a habit. I expect to have more finished this year, and am excited to explore a lot of new characters:

  • Lord Captain Skychild Kochayn, of the Eternal Empire of Birat
  • Princess Penelope Rowe, Heir to the Willow Throne of Gilead
  • Hinge, the former marshal of Gilead’s armies and exiled noble lord
  • And a reader favorite: Two Bears, the Spirit Speaker of the Starshimmer Tribe of Chebor.

More to follow, including a personal desire to improve my frequency of posting to my own site (vice Facebook and elsewhere). For anyone along for the ride, please know how much I appreciate you! Keep reading, keep looking for great stories, and keep being awesome. You stay classy, 2019!

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