I would love to sit here and say that I’ll be a better blogger in 2019, offering up far more interesting posts than last year. But I think we both know, reader, that this may not be the case. Regardless, I do intend to at least try, and I’ll start with a bit of a roundup of what happened in 2018, and where things are presently.
Last year was pretty eventful, which is one reason I didn’t blog as much. As regular blog followers may remember, I took on a new role at work (yes, there’s a day job!). I’m now the marketing creative lead for my company’s biggest client segment, with annual sales measured in billions. In perfect honesty, I was rather content being a mere writer, but I can say that, after nine months in the job, I’m actually pretty good at it. Who knew? (My boss knew, of course. Or at least had an inkling.)
And in connection with that, we picked up and moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Just as the job has gone better than expected, I’ve found L.A. to be more amenable than I had thought it might be. It’s January and I’m typing this outside on a cool but lovely day, parked at one of my two go-to coffee shops in the area. My daughter is doing well at her new school, ninth-grade dramas notwithstanding, and Kate is absolutely loving it.
OK, so what about the writing? I mean, I figure that’s probably why y’all read this blog, what with the books and all. MJ-12: Endgame came out in September, thus wrapping up the MAJESTIC-12 trilogy. It received some great reviews and sold as well as trilogy third books can reasonably expect. I’m proud of the book and the series, and I hope folks enjoyed how things wrapped up.
As of this moment, I’m not under contract for any books for the first time since 2012. I mean, six books in six years is pretty good, right? And with the job and the move and other bits of mayhem, the timing was most definitely on point. Barring an unforeseen and unlikely development, I’ll be taking a year off from book releases this year.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not writing. I mean, 2018 was a very slow year for writing, but I’ve got something going that I’m exceptionally excited about. In fact, I haven’t felt this level of excitement since I wrote The Daedalus Incident way back in 2011-2012. I think that comes from the fact that this new book is challenging me, just as my debut novel challenged me to write an actual book. This time, I’m really trying to level up as a writer, instilling more craft into the words and more nuance and emotion into the characters and plot. So I’m willing to take my time to get it right.
Other than that? I expect I’ll be at one or two conventions this year, which is always fun. I went back to DragonCon in 2018 after a one-year hiatus and enjoyed it immensely, so I hope to be back again. Any others are TBD right now, but I’ll be sure to post something should I end up anywhere else. I’m also planning, for the first time, to go on a solo vacation to focus on my writing. I mean, vacationing with family is great! Don’t get me wrong. But I’ve never done a proper writing retreat for any meaningful length of time, and the notion of a proper escape to focus on writing has become increasingly alluring. So that’s gonna happen, and I’ll be sure to post my exploits when it does.
I’ve also received some interest in providing developmental editing services, an offshoot of the charitable critiques I’ve done for Worldbuilders — apparently, I’m good at it. For now, it’s a side hustle to my side hustle, but if such things interest you, drop me a line. If it ultimately warrants more than a mention, you may yet see a page on here devoted to said ventures.
Finally…beer! I devoted entire blog posts to my beer explorations in prior years, but again…bad blogger last year, so I’m adding it here. According to my trusty beer app, Untappd, I had 137 different beers in 2018, none of which I had tried in years prior. (I actively go for the new stuff whenever I can.) These beers came from 84 different breweries and represented 57 different styles. Last year was a good year for ciders (16 different kinds) and saisons (12 different kinds). Most of the new beers were West Coast brews, particularly from Modern Times, Mikkeller and Angel City Brewery. Because moving, y’all. I look forward to exploring more of the L.A. beer scene in the year ahead — and some other places besides.
And…that’s me at the start of 2019. I hope things go well for you, my good reader. May the year bring you happiness and many excellent books.