It’s been a strange year. There’s been no middle ground. It’s either been amazing or disappointing. A lot of things fell through this year. A small press publisher collapsed literally days after receiving a contract offer for my novel, We All Fall Down. A number of my regular markets closed their doors this year and I’m sorry to see them go as they’ve been greater supporters of mine. A lot of plans were canceled, whether it be book projects, speaking engagements or other writing related projects that took left turns at the 11th hour. Also I had a tendency to miss the boat in ’06. I’d find out about a writing opportunity the day after it closed. I really took it on the chin short story-wise this year. The short story market is tight but there have been quite a few high profile anthologies out there this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut for any of them. Definitely, my poor showing in the short story world has been my biggest disappointment of ’06.
Of course, with every disappointment comes a pleasant surprise. Working Stiffs came out. It looked great and it picked up really nice reviews. I’m really proud of the book. But the year’s highest points came out of nowhere. I couldn’t have predicted Dorchester Publishing would jump on Accidents Waiting To Happen, giving me my break in New York publishing. Another novel deal has also been agreed to, but I can’t discuss details at the moment. So my novel writing career seems set for the foreseeable future, which is a big boost.
2006 is the year where I really overextended myself. I took on too many things, which left me working every spare minute of the day on writing in some shape or form. That will have to stop in 2007. I’m going to be much more selective about what I do in the future. A couple of little things woke me up to the fact that I need to do a little bit of stopping to smell the roses from time to time.
On a private level, the year has just been as unpredictable. Julie’s family took some hard knocks, some things I’ve mentioned and some I’m not going to mention. Our house keeps telling us it’s 50 years old and wants attention. And every time we find a penny, we drop a dollar. All I can say is that we made it out the other side and we’re doing fine, but we’d really like not to have a repeat in ’07.
On the whole, 2006 has been a mixed year. I’m very critical about everything I do. I have a lot to be thankful for, but the disappointments have dampened my successes resulting in the lows canceling out the highs. This is going to make me more determined next year.
So I go into 2007 in good shape. There’ll be two novels out in the calendar year and who knows where they will lead? Hopefully, those will provide a stable platform for more novel sales. There’s a lot of ricochet in writing. Events bounce off other events and novels create the biggest bounces, so I’m hoping the raised profile from the novel releases will create some new opportunities. Definitely, I need to assess my short story work and look where I can do better than I did this year.
This makes me sound a little grumpy and snarly. I’m not–not really. I’m annoyed and I’m going to do something about it. Look out 2007. You’re coming with me.