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End of 2023, Musings, Ramblings, and NO RESOLUTIONS

I have noticed after 58+ years on this mad little planet of ours, that we tend to have a fascination with goals, bars that we set, mountains we must climb, abandoned mines we need to blow up, and especially, the resolution thing. My best guess is that we see the end of a year as more of a way to escape what we went through in the one that just ended, and perhaps also to try and tell ourselves, we're not going to be like "that" next year.

If I remember right, Ally Brosh wrote about this: we resolve every year to do "the things." We purchase a new planner, map out the grand design for the coming year. This shall be accomplished by here, that shall be attained by then, we shall do this by this time, and this, this, and this shall all be crossed off the bucket list.

A criticism teachers in my early and middle school years used to throw at me was my lack of organization and my inability to focus. I don't wonder that I might not have been ADHD, because I was well aware of the OCD part of me from my adolescence. It would not be until I was in college that I read about a guy who did nearly the same things I did as a child, but he took them to even further extremes.

I'm pretty sure I retain some of that. My record keeping, once I began to learn how to do it is something I still do, but it's not as detailed. I do have a planner (a physical one), and I keep an electronic one on my email server, but that can be so quirky I felt I still needed a book. When an entire year's schedule vanishes on the screen in front of you, that can be a little weird. (And then 30 seconds later, nearly all of it's back, go figure) Way to fuck with me, Zoho, thanks for nothing.

I did make some things disappear this year. I said goodbye to X, or Twitter, or whatever the rich boy with the blood emeralds and the electric toys calls it these days. I also ditched Threads, which was a useless carbon copy of Instagram, and a host of other "channels." If they don't work, don't give you connections you can use, feedback, etc., what is the point?

Without further ado...

Thank you, Jim Cornette. I don't know if he was the first to put those in that sequence, but yeah, for most of us, I think we'd like to say that to 2023. My point, as usual, I'm not great at getting to them: what is 2024 going to be like, and what hand do we have in it?

I am not good at resolutions or goals. I have learned that in my case this is not a good idea. Time, and circumstance, along with luck, karma, and all the other shit will conspire to derail projects, ideas, and plans, and you have to adapt to them—all the time.

This past year taught me a lot about the best-laid plans. When you feel secure in a situation, and you can then move out, move forward, and get on with your grand design, you get things that land in your path. As I say often about the writing process, Point A to Point B is never a straight line. It is a zigzag that you must undertake, with Point Ab, Ac, Ad, often up to Point Az, and then you get there. At least you hope you learned something.

I do not need to go into a lot of work details but suffice to say I'm still in the game. I found an old employer was happy to have me back, and that is going well. I need to ensure it will do what it needs to do, so I can carry on with the rest of my madness.

This year will bring my seventh book, hopefully. Tentatively entitled, "How the Story Ends," it is a return to fiction that I think most readers will get into. This one draws on growing up (I do that a lot), my early radio career, and how you can indeed go home again. Often you have to, and the main character finds that while leaving was a necessity, going back is not a thing to fear, even though it seems that way.

There was been a lean toward more domestic fiction in my writings, but the Sweet Dreams Series is not likely done yet.

The general reaction to the third (final?) book in the series saw Aki at her darkest, and most ruthless. The cute girl who started it all is all grown up now and took us places that I never imagined.

Sales were slow, and reviews...well, that bugs me. Trying to get anyone to review anything written is pretty difficult. That takes me to another part of what I planned to write about.

The gang at Sunbury Press Books, or more to the fiction imprint point, Brown Posey Press had a discussion recently, and there's been a talk about how social media doesn't work well, and what we need to do. We've talked about trading reviews, and in a way that might help, but we need to be honest. I'd rather review a book I read, digested, and got before I write an honest critique. And if you've read these, you can imagine what those will read like.

I used to write as a music critic, and critics are a dime a dozen. Every critic has an asshole and generally is an asshole. I realized the years I did that were to help work on my skills, and I see that as an exercise and a stage, I needed if ever I was going to write as I do now.

How the Story Ends is a pretty good story, I think. You will recognize people, maybe yourself, things you knew, situations you were in and you might even be prompted to track down the music I allude to. Some you might get right away, and it's an intriguing soundtrack for the story in my head that will go through yours.

Getting out there...

I like this picture. Look at that. When I started writing seriously in 2007, I had no idea what might happen. There are all three volumes of the Sweet Dreams Series, two really deep novels that I loved writing, hard as they were, and Parasite Girls, which got kicked out of the next as a self-published work in 2013.

I am headed out to the events again. I should be set for Cleveland Concoction in March, I hope to do the Anime Con in Ocean City, and many others. I need to do smaller events, but I'm also going to have to choose wisely. Some places are just out of my scope, due to distance or cost.

The fourth volume of SDS was written (for the third time) this year, but Aki and the gang need time to breathe and grow up a little more. There's much to do, and my focus, such as it is must dive into each thing.

Now, a derivation: I share with you the Sunbury Press Newsletter from December. I contributed a piece on podcasting:

I'm ready for BPP authors, indies, and self-published. If you want to be on the podcast and think you can interest me, hit me up. I have to help, that's the other thing. If I can introduce you to someone, connect you to the right person, and make you a new friend, then I think I did something good.

2023 most assuredly taught us that living in the past is not good. Look back, don't live there. Peace, Out.


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