2014, A Year in Review

I’m not going to lie to you, Marge. It was a pretty good year.

The big news, of course, was the creation of
Dragon’s Roost Press and the publication of our fist two books — Desolation: 21 Tales for Tails and The Maiden’s Courage. The work on the anthology was an amazing learning experience. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the submissions, editing, formatting, and finally publishing the first anthology I was able to put my name on as editor and publisher. Formatting Mary Lynne Gibbs’ brilliant Young Adult novel was just the icing on the publishing cake.

Speaking of publications, I did manage to get a few short stories out there to the public, despite spending the bulk of my writing time on a longer project (which will hopefully be finished in the spring of 2015).

“Professional Scare Standards” was published in the first of a new line of books from the
Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers called Recurring Nightmares. The chance to be the main character in multiple stories was auctioned off at the Monster Mash For Literacy Bash. I knew the winner, so I was able to add a slightly personal touch.

“Puss In Battle Creek” — my retelling of the “Puss In Boots” story, was published in
Erie Tales VII: Myths and Mayhem. I was quite pleased with this story, especially the fact that I was able to work in some of the information about Kellogg’s and Battle Creek which fascinates me.

While they have not appeared yet, I do have a pair of submissions which have been accepted for publication in the next edition of the webzine The Siren’s Call. Look for the short story “Schrodinger’s Victim” and the poem “The Horrible Loneliness of Death” to appear on your computer soon.

I participated as a vendor at a number of conventions, both as a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and on my own selling under the Dragon’s Roost Press banner. These included the Great Lakes Comic Con, the Motor City Comic Con, the Clawson Arts and Authors Festival, the Motor City Haunt Club’s Haunted Garage Sale, and the Flint Horror Con. Although this wasn’t the first time I soloed as a vendor, I did spend a substantial amount of time behind the table by myself. It is a little different when you are working on your own. The main thing is that you can not rely on anyone else to talk up the material on the table. Fortunately, I could always fall back on talking about dogs.

In addition to operating at a vendor at conventions, I also attended a number of conventions. I, along with some of the members of the GLAHW, spent part of the day at Motor City Nightmares. Since we were not tied to a table, we got to walk the floor and talk to the guests for as long as we wanted to.

Naturally, I also spent the weekend at Penguicon. I had an amazing time, as usual. I participated in a number of panels, the details of which can be found
here. This was not the only convention at which I spent time on panels (and in the audience). I also attended DetCon and was absolutely blown away. There is nothing quite like spending the weekend with people who share your interests (and obsessions).

2014 was the year I was able to more fully branch out into the worlds of writing and editing. I partnered with the great folks at
The Daily Nightmare to release a series of How To Haunt Your House articles. I also started reviewing movies for Rare Horror.

In addition to horror and speculative fiction themed material, I also did quite of bit of ghostwriting. I obtained clients through a number of websites, but Guru and Fiverr were the ones from which I got the most business. I did some copywriting for websites (which involved learning a little bit about automotive retail and small appliance repair). I edited copy for websites. I wrote press releases for a Chinese transportation company. I edited a number of short stories including a slew of short children’s books (the books were short, not the children — although I suppose they would be short too) and two early adult romances. I even wrote a series of erotic stories for a client.

All totaled, I managed to churn out 265,907 words last year. I don’t remember what my goal was, but this is still a pretty hefty number. I aim to beat that number this year.

I think it was 260,000.

It wasn’t all writing and conventions, however. 2014 was the year I experimented with on-line retail in the form of my
Etsy Store. I created a number of keychains, bracelets, necklaces, and other object d’art from pieces of a synthetic skeleton. These items were also on sale at my table at the Haunted Garage Sale and the Flint Horror Con.

Sure, it sounds like I was massively busy, but it is always nice to have a steady income, so I rejoined the work force by taking a retail job. To date it has actually been not only pleasant, but quite fun. I’m fortunate enough to work in a place where most people are happy while shopping. I also work with a terrific bunch of people.

Really, the only downside is having to put on real clothes and leave the house.

There were plenty of other good times, but if you are really interested, you can always go back through the previous posts. All in all 2014 was a pretty damn good year. I hope you all had an equally good year and that 2015 will be even better for us all.

1. No, I’m not going to tell you where, so stop asking.