Wow. This was a landmark year for me and the most enjoyable I've had since found stumbling around this mortal coil.
I met the woman of my dreams. Then we learned that a dream is just a dream and a real loving relationship takes work, which turned out to be kinda fun, and well worth the effort on both our parts. We've taught each other things, we've learned to listen, we share so much and give like you wouldn't believe. I was happy before. She makes me happier. I hope I can always do the same for her.
I've come to love limited edition books. They make my blood sing, my fingers tingle, and my hair stand on end. It's amazing the talent and skill that goes into making them, an outer beauty to match the inner glory of the stories. Perfect. I'll do everything I can to support authors and publishers I believe in. Like Steve Clark’s Tasmaniac Publications, Tom and Billie Moran’s Sideshow Press, Shane Ryan Staley’s Delirium Books, Brett Alexander Savory’s Chizine Publications, RJ and Julia Sevin’s Creeping Hemlock Press, as well as Centipede Press, Bloodletting, and Bad Moon Books, as well as magazines like Shock Totem, Dark Discoveries, and a dozen others. And authors they publish: Greg Gifune, Brian Hodge, Tom Piccirilli, Douglas Clegg, Peter Straub, Shaun Jeffrey, Clive Barker, Sam W. Anderson, Erik Williams, John Mantooth, Tim Lebbon, Cate Gardner, Gary Braunbeck, Mark Allan Gunnells, Sheldon Higdon, Ronald Malfi, Brian Knight, and a host more.
I learned that sometimes I need to step away from the Internet, to strip my life down to what matters most—the barest essentials: my relationship, my family, my closest friends, and my work. Energy ebbs and flows. I have to stay in step with it to keep dancing so smoothly. Pretty fly for a white guy, eh?
I learned a lot from writing this year from those who have critted my stories (Shaun Ryan, Kevin Wallis, Kara, Ken Wood, Ben Eads, Wanda Clevenger, Shaun Jeffrey, and Mark Allan Gunnells) and I give them all a big butt smack filled with appreciation to carry them into 2011. Not only are they great critters, they're great people with great butts.
I've met amazing editors who have helped me develop faith in myself that goes beyond the normal, and sometimes tiresome, back-patting you see among writers. So a big thanks to Steve Clark, Tom Moran, Shane Ryan Staley, Ken Wood, Claire Nixon, Michael Louis Dixon, Jassen Bailey, James Beach, and Jason Sizemore. Not to mention their great teams with people like Maggie Jamison, Mercedes Yardley, Nick Contor, John Boden, Jason V. Brock, etc., etc.
I had a blast while helping select stories for Horror Library Volume 4. It's such an excellent collection.
I found some great shows that made me laugh. Spaced; Spartacus: Blood and Sand; Peep Show; and some others that elude me because I'm a dork.
I've read a hundred great books (my top five would be: Greg Gifune’s The Bleeding Season; Tom Piccirilli’s Shadow Season; Sam W. Anderson’s collection Postcards from Purgatory; Douglas Clegg’s Neverland; and Jack Cady’s Street (which I copied the entire novel by hand to learn more. LOl. I am insane.)
I got to see some of my friends sell stories, collections and novels. Outstanding! I expect they'll all sell much more in 2011. I’m excited for them!
I gave my first blurb! (Kevin Wallis’s fantastic collection Beneath the Surface of Things)
I had my first interview! (AJ Brown interviewed me. What fun! And an equally fun second interview performed by Mark Allan Gunnells!)
I had my first professional sale! (Shock Totem issue 4, baby! Where my story “Beneath the Weeping Willow” sits in wait to get its hands on your throat, and maybe your heart.)
Hosted our first Scary Sad Stories Talent Show (We will repeat every Halloween!)
I found a career after a lifetime of living as a hooker and part-time vagabond!
I had my first limited-edition hard cover release! (As I Embrace My Jagged Edges—which was released in digital, is also being released in a limited hardcover run for collector's and features a bonus story! Drop kickin’ a pregnant watermelon.)
I’ve learned that there is more pleasure in having work through publishers I love and having my work among my heroes than the measly satisfaction given by money. A whole lot. But the money is nice because then I can buy people stuff (like breath mints.) :D
I wrote several long pieces (45-90,000 words). Four of them to be exact. Everyone of them was fun—we danced, we laughed, we cried, we collapsed, exhausted! And I am proud of them all. And you'll see some of them released in 2011!
I hope others have had such a wonderful year. It’s overwhelming at times. Surreal. But I'm grateful and looking forward to hitting my stride this next year! Dig it! And the great thing is 2010 is not even over yet and more wonderful news might arrive!