2011: A Year in Review

Since we’re all going to die in less than twelve months, I thought now was the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on everything I did in 2011. Beginning a writing career can be frustrating, so here were the good things that happened in between rejection letters.

I found out about Fangoria’s Weird Words contest late in the game. I dusted off an old story I had, “The Girl I Hugged,” and completely rewrote the idea, experimenting with narrative form and voice. The resulting story is definitely my favorite, but alas was too long for the contest, even after some very deep edits. So I decided to dust off “Pink Lemonade,” another old favorite. “Pink Lemonade” won a spot in the contest and is currently published on Fangoria’s website. Read it here.

In April, two things happened: I turned 29 and I attended the World Horror Convention in Austin,TX. It was beyond cool. I wrote a longer post about (read it here). It was one of the pivotal moments in my career, one that made me feel like a real author.

Inspiration struck out of the blue (as it tends to do) while I was at the convention. I started writing the story, “Monstercock,” when I got home. Unfortunately, the story proved difficult to write, and I put it aside for a couple months. When I came back to it, I cut out a good chunk of it and called it good. But it never sat right with me, so I put that chunk back in, but rearranged it, more to my satisfaction. This draft is finally something that I feel good about submitting, so look for news soon. Read an excerpt of it here.

My summer was very busy for me and the tragic result was that I didn’t write very much. However, I reconnected with my muse and the resulting flash fiction piece, “Dahlia,” is probably only meaningful to me. However, if you’re interested, you can read it here.

Oysters form pearls when a grain of sand irritates it. So a barking dog made me write “That Neighbor Dog.” I like this story because it introduces a kind of twist that reminds me of classic noir. Read an excerpt of it here.

I tend to write stories and then leave them alone for awhile before coming back to edit them. I wrote “In Sanguis Veritas” in 2010, and finally got back to it. The basic idea was there, and the rewrites only strengthened an already solid story. Read an excerpt of it here.

Along those same lines, I re-edited an old story, “The Doll.” Read an excerpt of it here.

Work marches forward with Clean Freak. I’ve written three more chapters, am writing chapter 7 and drafting chapter 8. I still feel good about the idea itself and how it’s coming out. I pitched it to moderate success at WHC. I look forward to finishing it and continuing to pitch it.

Last but not least, I’m working on my first collaboration with musician, colleague and friend, Jim Territo. The project is super top secret, codenamed SJ! (the exclamation point is part of the title). I can’t really say anything about it yet, but it will be a musical comedy.

In May, I joined the staff of Dark Moon Books as a story editor. Word from the grapevine is that authors like my work on their stories, which is a huge boost for me. Also a huge boost is that in October, I was given a monthly column in Dark Eclipse, DMD’s e-magazine. “From the Chimerical Dark” explores such topics as superstitions, alternate horror, insights into the industry in general and DMD specifically, and really whatever else pops into my head. They haven’t taken it away from me yet, so I must be doing a halfway decent job. Order Dark Eclipse, read my column, and support American jobs here!

2011 was a great year, and 2012 will be an even better one!

Until December 21, when the Zombie Apocalypse begins!

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