This was a good year for me. I hope it was for all of you, as well.
The second year of marriage with Firecracker, it’s an adventure I wish I’d undertaken earlier. We moved to a larger apartment on the top floor, took a road trip through New England to Prince Edward Island, and flew to Louisiana to visit family for Christmas.
My niece was born in October, a bright little star in our corner of the sky.
I did volunteer cleanup at a Newark high school and in the Far Rockaways, helping homeowners hit by Sandy.
I met friends new and old at BoucherCon in Cleveland, and just the other day I met my 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Foote, for coffee and memories. She told me that one morning, I brought a newspaper to class to warn everyone about a rapist on the loose in the next town. I haven’t changed all that much in thirty-two years, apparently.
On the writing front, I published Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT, the product of a year of hard work collaborating with many writers I revere and respect. In two months we’ve nearly outsold what the first Lost Children anthology made in a year, so I’d say it’s a success. I had stories in several anthologies, including Nightfalls, Shotgun Honey Presents, Hills of Fire, Beat to a Pulp: Superhero, and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: Flush Fiction. My stories appeared in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, PANK Magazine, Crime Factory, Stupefying Stories, Noir Nation, Yellow Mama, All Due Respect, Grift Magazine, Burnt Bridge, Pulp Metal, Shotgun Honey, and Spinetingler.
I began interviewing people here, and with Lawrence Block, Wayne Dundee and Patricia Abbott on the books, I’m wondering if I can top it next year.
There was, as always, sadness to spare. My great-uncle Jimmy was diagnosed with cancer, and is in the VA hospital for care. His brother Butch had another stroke, and is recovering at home. Both veterans of World War 2, they have been an inspiration for all of my life. I grew up hiding beneath the kitchen table at my grandmother’s house, listening to them, my uncle Paul, my mother and family talk and joke and commiserate. They are still with us. They’re a strong pair, brothers in the Depression. Their stories inform everything I write, and do.
But I have good news for the coming year. After all, New Year’s Day is just a day like any other, imbued with power from our hope that the cold death of winter will soon pass and the sun’s warm gaze will fall on us once more.
I joined the International Thriller Writers organization, and wrote my first interview for their website, The Big Thrill. I will announce here when it goes live. I will have stories in Big Pulp, DOA II, Oh Sandy!, and Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats. I will complete my novella, Blade of Dishonor, for Beat to a Pulp press. It’s a doozy, and I think you’ll like it. I also have two other announcements that will have to wait. Not a book deal. I haven’t had time to complete the next draft of Bury the Hatchet with all this going on, but I have been working out the story problems nearly ever day. It will be complete by June. That is my Writer’s Resolution for the next year, now that I have repaid all my debts.
What are your goals and hopes for the coming year?
As uncle Butch would say … another year, shot in the ass.