2016, Year of the Author

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Introduction

As 2015 draws to a close I look back on the previous year, both my personal life and that of an author, then look ahead to the coming year. I know that the Chinese Calendar has animals for each year but I personally am declaring next year as the Year of the Author. Mostly because I hope to do some things to get myself noticed more as a writer of fictional works.

Last year I wrote a review of 2014 in the article titled, “The Future is Bleak…”

I also recall that I wrote an overview of my first 6 months of 2015 in the article, “Father’s Day, One Year Later”. This way I don’t have to write about what I’ve already written about.

2015—The Year of Short Stories

As I discussed last year, my goal for this year was to focus on short stories since I couldn’t seem to hold my own attention in regards to full length novels. As you may already know by now I have three short stories completed, two of which are available for purchase online.

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Dream Girl is the first to be completed and here’s the blurb about that story:

Brett is looking for love and recently he’s found it not once but twice. Two girls have captured his attention, but one of them is not all that she seems. He attempts to date both of them but in the end he must choose one to be what he refers to as, “The Girl of his Dreams.”

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Let’s Do Lunch is the second story completed. Here’s the blurb for that one:

What do retired adventurers do when they’ve done it all? Why role-play of course! Welcome to the exciting world of Middle Management where you sit in a cubicle, talk to clients and vie for that coveted corner office.

Jarryd McCallen is trying to survive his work furlough at Quenchers Tavern and Inn. He joins Orlando Birdsong and his gamers for an afternoon of gaming of the business world. But does he have what it takes to part one the group or will simply be nothing more than a server in a tavern?

Cassie Promo

My third one, which I hope to have out by the end of this year, is titled, For the Love of Cassie. Here’s the cover which was designed by the talented, Hanna-Riikka.

Here is the blurb for that story:

Travis and Kylie seemed like the perfect couple; always together and happy as can be. But a surprise trip to Reno and a photo changed all of that. As they returned home, a wedge has been driven between the two and nothing is the same.

Kylie wants to move to the next step in their relationship and start a family but Travis wants to hold off until he can finish school and become a licensed doctor. Will the couple figure out their differences, or is this the end of their relationship? And what is to become of Cassie?

 

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Jett Powers, Salesman Extraordinaire       

Early in the month of December I got a three day vacation approved by my manager. This is a rare happening as the holiday season is usually blocked for vacations followed by inventory which takes place in January. However, I kept my mouth shut about the approved vacation time and enjoyed every bit of it.

One of the things I did while on vacation was to return to a story I started in 2013 which features Jett Powers. If you’ve read The Askinar Towers trilogy you’re already familiar with the character and know that he is ripe to strike out on his own as a main character for a story. This is going to be a full-length novel; a sort of spin-off to the towers trilogy as the story takes place within that world. When I first began the story, I had a fairly weak plot and kept asking myself: What’s the point of this story? They’re just going to sell things and the one who sells the most wins?

As far as plots go, it was too straight-forward. I need a twist to complicate things. I did come up with an idea but eventually shelved the project and went on to other things. During my vacation the story called to me and I responded. Each morning I got up, got my coffee brewing, and then sat down at the laptop and wrote like crazy. In all, I wrote about 15,000 words, which isn’t too shabby. I did get some more of the storylines worked out and how the story will end so if I can type away every day or so, I hope to have this done by early 2016.

Now if you’ve been following my blog you know that any announcement I give in regards to dates and what have you is pure folly. Yes, I’m very bad at discipline in terms of deadlines and finishing one story before I begin another. But the bottom line, for me at least, is that I’m still interested in writing and hope to have more stories available to read in the coming year.

 

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The Idea Factory is still working

One of the biggest problems I had, and unfortunately still have, is that my ideas come to me faster than I can get them down on paper as far as stories go. When I was first introduced to NaNoWriMo in 2005, I obtained a little bit of discipline in that my focus was on the towers trilogy. Since that’s been completed, I have lost the discipline and am back to chasing after ideas that come to me like gangbusters.

In a sense it’s a good thing because it proves to me that my desire to write is still strong and that I have all kinds of ideas to pursue. The drawback is that I want to write everything all at once and nothing then gets finished. I hope to rectify that problem in the New Year. Once the Cassie story is finished, I want to return to Jett Powers and, in addition, work on a new project I recently came up with. My love for Fantasy writing returned with the Let’s Do Lunch and continues to show itself in Jett’s story as well. My new project is also Fantasy based but I won’t say more as it may wind up as a dud.

 

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My Personal Life

As for me personally, I’ve given up on looking for a second job. Some of you may already know that the McDonald’s I worked for closed down at the end of July. I was supposed to be transferred to another location but it was never finalized. I took this as an opportunity to work somewhere else but no one wanted to hire me. I guess no one wanted to deal with my limited availability since my main job begins at 4am.

In November when I signed up for insurance through the company for the coming year, my ex-wife informed me that I could take her off my insurance. Once I reconfigured it, leaving the kids on of course, I saved enough money to be the equivalent of a second job. If my calculations are correct, I’ll be able to afford groceries without have to beg money from friends.

I’m in my current apartment until the end of June and I know that I do want to move. I don’t know where yet but I am striving to get into a trailer home type situation so I don’t have to listen to neighbors yelling at each other and playing music at all hours of the night. More on that later.

 

Conclusion

Contrary to what people might think, I still like working the retail industry and will probably stay for a few more years. I was told by one to take a leap of faith and quit to do something else. Unlike that person, I don’t have a work spouse who helps support the bills nor do I have anything that resembles savings. The majority of the money I earn goes to keeping myself alive and properly care for, including buying the occasional DVD or e-book.

Since I became a personal shopper in May for the Grocery-to-Home Shopping program, I’ve been a big fan of the job. In the almost 20 years I’ve been with the company this is definitely the best department I’ve ever worked in and don’t plan on giving it up any time soon.

Here’s the New Year and the prospect of doing some pretty interesting things as an author.

 

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

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4 responses to “2016, Year of the Author

  1. Happy Holidays, Chris!

  2. Pingback: The Author Makeover | Tales From The Fifth Tower

  3. Pingback: Where’s the Fifth Tower? | Suffering from Writer's Blog

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