Woah, that was a fast one. Like, blink and you miss it fast.* Right?
*Insert gif of Man staring gormlessly at Butterfly and asking: “Is this ageing”?
Yeah well, maybe. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve packed so much into this year that I’ve just had no time to watch the weeks roll merrily by. It’s been a much more productive year creatively than 2018 was.
I’ve had three short stories published and have several more lined up for release in 2020. This year’s short stories were all wildly different, and I’m really pleased about that. In January, The Long Game, my anthropomorphic take on Le Carré was published in The Jackal Who Came In From The Cold. The anthology, Once Upon A Parsec, featuring my far-future fairy story, The Raveller’s Tale, was launched at the Dublin Worldcon in August. And this month sees my very first piece of football fiction, The Last Of The Die Hards, hit the shelves in issue 14 of Nutmeg magazine.
And the bits and pieces coming your way in 2020? Well, Down To The Roots, my first proper horror story in a while is going to feature in issue 8 of the wonderful anthology series, Shadows and Tall Trees. The books ship in February but if you pre-order either the paperback or hardback before January you can get a 20% discount. Another weird/horrory piece, Bunting, which I’d expected to see in 2019, will definitely be with us in 2020, gracing the pages of the Uncanny Bodies anthology: a book of fiction and scientific essays, edited by Pippa Goldschmidt and published by Luna Press. And there will be at least one more short story (that I know about) and, fingers crossed, a novella which I’ve been working on for a long time should hopefully be with you as well.
What else did I get up to this year? Wrote another novel, nearly. Almost. This one is a fantasy novel set in a completely new world from The Moon King and Queen Of Clouds, and featuring a poison master, a renegade soldier and a runaway monk (who worships the god of stories) teaming up to solve a murder and save a sculpted forest city from enemies it had forgotten it had. Friends becoming enemies, enemies becoming friends and a whole bunch of intrigue, adventure and giant paper golems filled with napalm. Previously with novels I’ve been prone to tinkering, and tinkering…and tinkering, so the challenge was to see if I could get it written within the year and I’m happy to say I have. One more edit, then it’s just a case of popping an ending on and it’s done. And I’ve got several good ideas for these characters, so there may be more in the works. We’ll see, though because I also have plans for a horror novella and I’m slowly assembling material for a potential collection of spooky stories too.
Unfortunately, spending so much time on the writing meant I spent far less on music this year. I completed the FAWM challenge in February again, with the intention of selecting the best of the 14 or 15 songs, recording them properly and releasing them, but I didn’t get anywhere near the time to do all that. So next year time will definitely be put aside for that. A writing-free month just for music. Ah, come on, don’t give me that face. It won’t be as bad as you think.
So, that’s it for 2019. Roll on the next one.