What Is and What May Be

After all this time, 2018 is almost over.

I don’t need to tell you all how much of a roller coaster this year has been. But as 2018 comes to a close and 2019 looms on the horizon, it’s a good point to pause, reflect on the journey so far, and look ahead at where to go next.

Too typical, you say? Well, my options are either reflect, or face this hoard of leftover holiday confections. Do you know how much baking my family does around the holidays?!

For 2018, I want to focus on the highlights. The biggest highlight of all: Bones and Bourbon, my debut novel, was finally released into the world! And so far, dear readers like you seem to enjoy it! Violent but touching, complicated but exciting, and full of stranger things than Netflix could make a show out of; that’s what I wanted to share, and more. So from the bottom of my heart to yours: thank you so much for helping make Bones and Bourbon such a success so far.

The release of my first book took me on many other adventures as well. From exciting adventures to conventions and other states to the more mundane (but still kinda’ cool?) steps into becoming a small business owner, I’ve faced a lot of firsts this year that I’m excited to continue in the coming years. To all of you I’ve met this year, it was great, and I hope we cross paths again soon!

And in non-author related news: I finally escaped retail, and now have a day job with a local growing business, where I get to help folks find jobs, chase fascinating data trails, and occasionally draw unicorns for professional work projects. I met and befriended so many people. I even joined a LARP group, where I play a slam-poet vampire detective! I even found time to enjoy some great books, comics, and games; I plan to write a top 10 post about those again this year, so expect that soon.

Now, what does 2019 have in store…and what do I hope to find in it?

First off, the publishing news: as I’ve mentioned, my space fantasy novella “Warp Gate Concerto” will be released in May. Hard to believe that I was still writing the first draft this time last year, and now, my polyamorous alien space pirates are almost here! It’s a bizarre mish-mash of pulp adventure, fanfiction tropes, and my penchant for bizarre beings, with a sprinkle of body horror and comedic timing. I hope you all love reading it as much as I did writing it.

Also, “Corpses and Cognac” is almost complete; I finished the first draft almost two years ago to the day, and now the completely-rewritten draft 2 is almost at The End. Of course, it keeps throwing a few surprises my way, but when the Gallows brothers and their madcap adventures are involved, does anything ever go as planned? I don’t want to reveal the focus of “Corpses and Cognac” just yet, but it does delve further into the mysteries of our daring heroes and villains…and there’s a minotaur gang of motorcylces involved, who sometimes hang out at an underground bar built out of a leviathan’s skeleton.

Since “Corpses and Cognac” doesn’t have a set release date yet, and “Warp Gate Concerto” is too small to have a planned print run, I’m not yet certain about what conventions I’ll be visiting this year. I’d love to return to BayCon or SpoCon again if I can meet those deadlines, and I may try to fit in an event in November—between EuCon, OryCon, and the Portland Book Fest all in my home state, I’m sure I can make it out to something this year. (Especially now that I’m out of retail!)

Along with working on the Deadly Drinks series, I’m going to take some time between finishing “Corpses and Cognac” and getting back to work on book 3 to start on a new project or two. I have two goals: one, to finish a stand-alone novel that I can send out to agents, and the other, to use my new RPG Maker program to start making video games, a dream of mine since I was a kid. I don’t know if I’ll be able to work on both at the same time or will end up focusing on one (or a completely different project!), but right now, that’s my creative plan.

Plus, I’m judging again for the Rainbow Awards again this year, and already have 5 books slated for review. I can’t reveal which ones I’m reading until November, but I’m already excited for my selection.

Oh, and Bones and Bourbon has already been entered in for the awards, as will “Warp Gate Concerto” and “Corpses and Cognac” once they’re released. Fingers crossed that they do well!

I have a couple other goals this year, and we’ll see how they turn out as the year progresses. I want to work on more artwork this year; drawing more, learning how to paint digitally, and learning pixel art for RPG Maker. I also want to get more into nonfiction subjects, both to learn and to find new ideas for my stories; my plan is to find some podcasts I can listen to while working on art, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way! (Or I can just keep listening to The Dollop, can’t go wrong there…)

There are also a few mundane goals, such as finding a house to rent instead of an apartment, and maybe finally fixing my bike so I can practice for Operation: Motorcycle Reborn. As in, I’ve got a ‘59 Harley to get out of California, repair, learn to ride, and become strong enough to kickstart. That’s…more of a long term goal, but I can at least start part of it now.

In a couple days, the earth will start its next trek around the sun. Feel free to take your own time to reflect and prepare, dear readers—and if you feel like sharing in the comments so we may celebrate and/or commiserate with you, feel free.

See you next year, dear readers~

~Dorian

Liebster Award Nomination!

This week in Exciting Author Things, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Alice Gristle, a fellow author and artist whose witty observations and dedication to her work are as admirable as they are entertaining. As stated here, the Liebster Award is a way to spread the word about the small-scale blogs that we enjoy to those who might not hear about them otherwise. Thank you again for the nomination, Alice!

Liebster Award Image

On that note, I’m glad that readers are enjoying this blog so far. It’s nice having a place where I can ramble about writing theories, creators and works I enjoy, pop culture, and whatever else happens to catch my eye each week. The fact that it’s giving others something to think about is icing on the cake, so thank you all for reading so far (and if this is your first time here, thanks for checking it out)!

Now for the fun part: I get to answer Alice’s three questions, then ask my own nominees three questions of my own. Without further ado…

The Casual: What’s going on at the moment? What are you working on, writing-wise?

Right now, my main focus is on editing; “Bones and Bourbon” is about to release (currently slated for April 23rd) and needs its final rounds of editing, and I’m simultaneously working on my unnamed space novella for NineStar’s “Lost” collection, which is due April 30th. Once those are done, I’ll get back to work on writing the first draft of the third “Deadly Drinks” book, and then start the second draft of book two. Plus brainstorming for all the other projects I have on the backburner, such as the space setting that the novella is technically a prequel to, plus the tentatively titled “Chimera,” “Nightmare Twin,” and “Fracture” projects. My mind’s a busy place to be.

As for what’s otherwise going on, my birthday is this Friday (when good food shall be devoured and much Magic the Gathering will be played), and I get to catch up with family a week afterwards as I bring my brother home from college for Spring Break. I have a Changeling: the Lost campaign I’m preparing to run, and I’m hoping my day job stabilizes and stops being on metaphorical fire for a bit.

The Conan: What is best in life? But we’ll make this harder – you’re not allowed to say “writing”, which would be a cheap cop-out, nor are you allowed to mention the lamentation of women!

Perhaps this stems from being a mountain hermit in my youth, but I’ve realized there’s nothing quite like getting out and experiencing the world. Have you ever stopped to think about how impressive it all is? There are so many lives and intricate ecosystems going on around us all the time, from the animals running around in the woods to the civilians passing through the city. There are so many stories and experiences waiting to be born from the girl who climbed a tree outside the downtown restaurant you were eating at, the time you went on a hike and a coyote pup followed you home, from weird facts about how your favorite fruit evolved or the odd customer you had during the holidays.

Our world inspires so many stories because it is truly stranger than any fiction could ever be. And in the end, isn’t that what’s wonderful about it?

The Conniving Communist: What is most unjust in life? Again, Alice denies cop-outs! “Not having enough time to write” is not acceptable.

Time to get serious for a moment. The way I see things, most of the problems in this world are connected with a lack of empathy and respect. The rich slashing the budgets of necessary programs for the underprivileged in order to save a buck, the gunmen who want to hurt others as much as they can on their way out, the newest fad diet ingredients leading to the destruction of habitats and backbreaking labor in order to farm them…none of these things would happen if the perpetrators could bring themselves to care about the pain they cause others. The fact that such greed and selfishness can run rampant in our world is…disheartening, to say the least.

As for the questions I will ask, they are:

The Deep Thought: What story has made you think the most? Doesn’t have to be your favorite or least favorite, but a story that stuck with you and dwelled in your thoughts long after it was over.

The Empty Space: What is something from your youth that you don’t encounter nowadays? Do you miss it?

The Starman: What’s a hobby you once had that you’ve since left behind, and would you ever consider picking it up again?

And while I’m not the sort to tag people in things, I do have a number of blogs I enjoy enough to nominate, and if they choose to accept, most excellent! I nominate the blogs of the following awesome individuals:

M.D. Neu

Holly Evans

Audrey Driscoll

Ellen Meny

Jess Moore

Thank you five (and all the other blogs I follow, of course!) for making my days brighter with your witty words.

Speaking of words, time to bury myself in editing again. Until next time, dear readers~

~Dorian