So, the blog has been on unannounced, extended hiatus for about a month. I am sorry about that: it wasn’t planned, just a lot of things… happened.
This year has been a major period of adjustment for me: I gave up my job, we moved across the country, my wife started working full-time, and I stopped, but am working part-time and what with all that plus the holidays, the little hobdemons of depression jumped on my skull and thwacked. So for the past month, I have not been too busy and wiped out to write… but I have been too busy and wiped out to write HERE. However, I have not given up on the blog, and hope you won’t give up reading it. It is my hope, in fact, to blog more often throughout the coming year.
So, how did the writing go in 2017? Not that great. But, because while I actually believe that people learn a lot (and are sometimes encouraged by hearing about) the failures and difficulties of others, I submit the following:
This is the first year since 2014 that my writing sales have not surpassed the previous year. In fact, it marked my lowest publication output since 2014
Partly, this is because I submitted fewer manuscripts, in the aforementioned craziness, as we uprooted our lives from Kansas and settled back in Wisconsin. Also, for much of the year I was working on finishing up two novel manuscripts instead of short stories. I submitted 57 original manuscripts this year, as opposed to 80 in 2016 and 65 in 2015. On top of this, I was trying tougher markets, with higher rejection rates.
There were some bright spots in 2017: My first (very short) standalone book came out (and is still available on Amazon for just $0.99 on Kindle!) and I made some very valuable contacts and set plans in motion that will hopefully see fruition on 2018. There are still some things I can’t talk about yet.
Nevertheless, the count this year is as follows:
A DOCTOR TO DRAGONS (novelette) from Superversive Press. You can buy it by linking to the sidebar!
“Phoenix For The Amateur Chef” (reprint) became a podcast on FarFetchedFables.
“The Blind Queen’s Daughter” (reprint) became a podcast on FarFetchedFables.
“Abandoned Responsibility” (reprint) was sold to HIC SUNT DRACONES, an anthology from Digital Fiction Publishing League. This makes the first time I’ve sold a reprint twice.
“A Song For The Barren” (reprint) was sold to SCI PHI JOURNAL, and appeared yesterday. I once imagined writing a lot of military SF, but age and experience have taught me that, not having been in the military myself, that such stories would be harder to write well than I imagined. This, therefore, is one of my few pieces of such fiction, and I hope it has succeeded.
This is a bittersweet announcement, because this is also SCI PHI’s last issue. I have been writing the theology column A MOTE IN GOD’S “I” for them for over a year now, and am sorry to see it go. It was my first regular writing gig, and while it paid little, it was fun, and I am very sorry it’s over. However, I will be posting those columns here. Additionally, this story marks the first time that a publication sought one of my stories out, rather than me simply submitting it.
Finally, I have also sold the original short story “Day Of Atonement” to D Avraham’s Holy C.O.W. Anthology – SF Stories from the Center Of the World, a collection of stories set in the Middle East. I really love this story, because it comes from a faith that is central to my life.
Thanks to all who have beta-read and encouraged me this year, and to all of you who have taken the chance and spent your time and/or money on my stories. I deeply appreciate you all.