Time for my annual summary and planning post.
I’m not going to post all the numbers like I have over the last few years. I started doing it as some sort of accountability thing, but I think all it really did was depress me. I’m still keeping track of my production; I’m just not going to share it like I used to. Suffice to say I didn’t make my goal. I completed the draft of In Plain Sight, but it still needs to be edited, and that’s waiting on funding. I’ve written more on my post-apocalyptic story, After, and that seems to be going somewhere. I’d planned a Sad Girl novella but didn’t write much on that. I may have another outlet for it, though.
I tried something new this past month.
My daughter Olivia is a dancer, and last year danced in Encore Performing Society’s production of Nutcracker. I helped quite a bit backstage. At one point, she mentioned that they were having trouble finding men for the party adult scene in the first act. I said if they were really desperate, I’d consider it, but secretly was terrified that they’d ask me. I’ve never felt that I was a good dancer, although I’ve always been interested in ballroom/couples dancing.
This year as auditions approached, I said, “What the heck, why not?” and mentioned to the director that I’d be willing to be a party adult. The dances are fairly simple, mostly ballroom-style. It’d be fun to be in the same production as my daughter. “What could go wrong?”
Encore tries to make their cast announcements memorable for the kids. This year, they had the announcement in a balloon they dropped off at each cast member’s home. We got two balloons, which I thought was cute. Olivia popped hers and was thrilled to see she’d been cast as the Jester Doll, sharing the part with one of her best friends, as well as Snow and Waltz of the Flowers. I popped mine, thinking it was a nice touch that they did that for party adults.
Except mine didn’t say “Party Adult.” It read “Drosselmeyer.”
He’s got a pretty big part in the first act. He’s kind of important to the story.
I had a blast. The kids seemed to have fun with me, too. It was a bit of a challenge to manage my blood sugar during tech week and performances, but I’m happy to say I didn’t pass out at all.
I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed being on stage. My last drama experience was in high school; I played one of the doctors in Harvey. I used to think it was Chumley, but now I can’t recall clearly. I did a couple of plays when I was younger as well, appearing in The Crown of Love and Death and I Remember Mama. I played in my high school’s concert band for three years as well as once with my dad in the College-Civic Symphonette. I realized after the shows I really missed it. I might do more; Encore is planning a performance of Cinderella. We’ll see.
The big New Thing is that I’ve got a Patreon now, at WriterUnfocused. Why? It’s another outlet for me to share things and maybe make a few cents here and there. I’ve got a bunch of old writing that I’ll probably put up there, along with some deleted scenes from different books. I’ll share some of my background notes on characters and so forth there as well. The aforementioned Sad Girl novella may end up here.
The other big change that I’m going to make is to shift releases of After over to Patreon. I’m still going to leave the first five chapters up here, but all future episodes will be on Patreon. Expect the next episode in late January, and other posts to follow possibly every other month. I’m still working out how long an episode will be.
I’ve only set up one tier, at $3. If you support me, I value your support, no matter how much you’re able to pledge. Check it out.
My plans for the next year are ambitious, to say the least.
I’ll be releasing the rest of The Sad Girl series in the spring. I’ve been holding off on book 2, Discoveries because I didn’t have the funds available to get book 3, In Plain Sight, edited in a timely manner. I didn’t want the second book hanging out there for a long time waiting on the third.
Once those books are released, I’m going to hit the ground running on Blown Away, the first book in the Red Dirt Justice series. If I hold to the very ambitious schedule I have in my head, that book will release in late summer, and I’ll follow it with Red Dirt Justice book 2, which is probably going to be The Fire Inside.
I’m also planning on three episodes of After. I expect each episode to be novella-length, about 35,000-40,000 words.
There’s a short story bouncing around my head based on the Marvel cinematic universe too. We’ll see where that goes.
And, just because I don’t have enough stories bouncing around in my head, I may start playing around with an alternate history story based on an old RPG I used to play. Twilight:2000 came out in the early 80s, postulating a third world war that included nuclear exchanges, the collapse of much of society, and all sorts of post-apocalyptic stuff. But it’s been forty years since it was published, and it occurred to me that I could continue a fiction project I started based on the game, and just write it as an alternate history story. Who knows what I’ll do with that? It may be another Patreon project.
Putting all that together in a list, we get this:
- Write two books in one series
- Write two more novella-length episodes of one serial
- Plan and begin another serial
- Finish a fan-fiction short
- Release a total of four books
Wish me luck. I hope we all enjoy the ride.
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