Well, here we are. I've been away from the website, and away from just about everything for a while, as I've tried to wind down the last of my various jobs, projects, and so forth, and finally got my long-overdue vacation.
I made it back to my native New England this week. Not Vermont, but Maine, and I am finally starting to come down from what has been the feeling that 2021 never really existed. The pandemic, for certain made 2020 and '21 seem like one very long year that just did not end. For some, it still continues.
To recap, readers might remember that the end of 2020 involved the near-collapse of my roof and ceiling in the studio of my house. The repairs, after constant battling with the insurance company, dealing with contractors, estimates and bizarre behavior by certain individuals (not me), we finally ended up with a new roof, the proper flashing and gutters, a new floor in my studio, a new back wall for the kitchen...
...anyone who has been through catastrophic damage to a home can attest, it does not seem to end. Insurance was largely good about paying up, but you really had to be on them. After all that was supposed to be done was done, a final payoff hadn't happened. I had to be a bitch, and go after people for a very long time to say, where is the last one, you (insert numerous swear words and unkind things here)?
It was not until just a couple weeks ago that the payoff arrived. Not what I expected, but close enough. The matter is done. Finally!
Now, there are more things to fix, that comes next year.
Bookwise, the good news is that "Call it Love" is out there...I'm sure you knew that, but shameless plug time:
HA...did you think I was going to let you get away without it?
So far, the second volume of the Sweet Dreams Series is off and running, and reactions seem pretty positive. I'm working from the fall, when the book finally came out, and Aki and the gang are on the next step of their lives.
You can check out the series elsewhere on the site; the plan is to push this pivotal book of the series and have the third, "Shake Hands with the Devil" ready for early 2022.
There is the link, and you can also see it on Facebook, LinkedIn and other places.
I did events again! So fun to be back at Sci-Fi Valley Con, and you can see the action, thrills and excitement of that in previous posts. I'm ready for June of next year...and...PINKY AND THE BRAIN WILL BE THERE...AS WILL KAGAMI-SAMA!
Some of you will know what that means.
But yeah, great fun. I also appeared at the Reading Blues Fest, and did a merch table. Great to see old friends again; John Ernesto, Michael Cloren, Ginny Buckley and others, good friends, and a great help to me, and also the numerous cool people that are there, such as photographer Joe Rosen, Slam Allen (always fun to talk with and see perform), plus a number of fantastic musicians. Met a lot of great folks, sold a few books, and I hope to hear how they perceive the series.
Also got to speak with young authors at the Milton Hershey School. An author's club has some kids who are really working on some cool ideas, and I'm interested in how they do. I'd gladly go back and speak again if possible.
Attended a reading the previous weekend by poet Bernard Ballard. A really intriguing gentleman who has produced a body of work that is self-published, and prolific. He is part of a collective of poets, who I am interested in telling you about.
That leads to my restarting my business...TGM as I call it for short is where I'm putting my writing and other skills out for hire, and I've already got one client.
I'll be producing a medical podcast in 2022, with a couple of friends I knew from a previous radio engagement. That has gotten off to a good start in terms of groundwork; they know what they want to do, and I think this can go places. Podcasting is something most can do now, and I'm finding my skills can fit.
That leads to continued work at Sunbury Press, not just for writing. The audiobook division didn't quite go as planned, so as we phase the localized projects out, I'll shift my energies to podcasts for the publisher. Regular ones, including those on the #BookSpeakNetwork.
That led to an awful lot of appearances, holiday work, and a rush to finish before the holiday, and before I finally got the hell out. I just had to finally say that was it, and repair to someplace else.
I made it back to Maine on December 24th (Cue Ellis Paul song, please)...
I won't say exactly where I am, but in the southern part of the state, an old friend and fellow author has a new home. I'm not much for Christmas, but like the time to be reflective and relaxing.
Last year, sucked balls! I spent it on the phone with insurance people, repair people, crews, others, etc. while trying to save my home and keep my sanity. It didn't work; I wasn't in a good mood for a long time while I fought through the red tape, the anxiety and the fury of finding out how fucked up my roof was years before I bought the house.
At least it was fixed, covered and is now solid.
I'd planned for a long time that I would re-evaluate my career and my life. I saw something a while back that reminded me I was not living my best life. Running around like a maniac, and killing myself with hours that someone my age just can no longer do.
Things will change in '22. I'm pulling back from some things, and setting up for others. Radio PA Network has been the place that I need to be for my career, and I will refocus there in 2022. The podcasts are another; I will begin formulating and working on these in the coming weeks. There will still be other radio work, but I have to schedule things out a little better, mostly for my own peace of mind.
I realize I'm going all over but that is my life.
Pandemic-wise, I am concerned we are not going to be home free anytime soon, and I think you know why I think this. I got my third shot, no problems. I still wear a mask when I go out. Like it or not, I do this, out of self-protection, and, respect for you.
I really need to chill more. That is why I'm here.
It is gorgeous here. A private road, way off and away from the village, a log home, lots of air, space, and quiet. We got six inches of snow over the past day or so, and it is piled up nicely. We are still waiting for the driveway to be plowed. My friend owns a Jeep, but not the kind that could blast through this.
So yeah, a lot of transitioning going on...ideas, plenty of them, but I'm taking time t