Christine Morgan’s blog put up the first new reviews of the year, and she had kind words for my latest collection of short fiction, dreamwhispers . the response has been a much appreciated confirmation there is room for odd speculative fiction that eschews the trends.
last year River asked me if i wanted to write a story for a charity collection dedicated to Gilbert Gottfried. i said of course. he then explained the book was a group of modern writers channeling the greats and retelling the joke, The Aristocrats. my testicles retracted but i chose Stanislaw Lem as my spirit animal. what follows is the spiritual sequel to Dreaming of Lem from dreamwhispers, A Simple Job. this will be the most disgusting charity anthology ever, coming in March from Potter’s Grove Press.
beyond that, the year is shaping up to be my busiest as a writer so far. conventions to attend, projects being worked on, worlds being built. i am going to have a role in working with a press on anthologies regularly. i have something i want to pitch that could be spectacular. already have two shorts due, another submitted, and the prologue written to my second novel. i am trying to leave my comfort zone of being invisible, and it sucks. but i am trying.
i have decided to no longer hide Cuckoo behind waiting on the submissions that have now hit 600 days and counting. this book is likely my greatest work so far, and my fear of having it out there is tremendous. the idea of it sinking into obscurity and knowing it is my all is terrifying. but it is time. sink or swim, i have never been so proud of something and how an experiment became so much more.
and now i am just as excited about the next one. i am not kidding about hiding after Cuckoo was finished. i wasn’t sure another novel would be attempted. i am method to my writing, if i cannot feel it, i cannot be sure it comes through on the page. i torture myself with the character’s pain. it may be stupid, but it lends an authenticity to the words that cannot be denied. this one promises a different type of suffering.
i am not a cocksure writer, my ego falls in the negatives mostly. but other people see something in me, and they push me to keep doing my thing. when i started i had an idea of what writing was, and i clumsily tried to do that. but i am not normal enough for that, i had to find my own style and way. for better or worse, i have. seven thousand poems, fifty some books with my words in them, and opportunities for more have come in the last four years. i have made friends, lost family, and fallen so far into myself i never thought to escape again. but the words, finding them and understanding this is what i was made to do, it gave me purpose. i expect no fame or money from it, but if i can make someone feel something, i am a success story for the ages. i want to take over the world, but if i can capture your thoughts and leave a new scar, that is magic.
thank you. you read me, see my struggles with myself, and come back for more even if it likely is just more of the same screaming in lowercase. for a bipolar bard with hyperbolic emotions, it means the world to me. i am a bad person, but i am fortunate enough to be surrounded by great people who see past my flaws. a sign of pure success if ever there was one. it will be a big year, high or low. but there are the words, and that is enough. they have to be.