We've been through a lot this past year. Some parts were rough (keeping the kids in masks that they oh so much loved wearing). Other parts were a bit bewildering (remember when walking into a bank while wearing a mask was very much frowned upon?). All in all, though, I'm counting myself blessed. My family's stayed healthy and even expanded thanks to the addition of a little terrier mutt from Texas we named Sky.
Looking back, I'm also thankful for what I was able to get done in writing. The Mountain, the decade-long work-in-progress, the quarter-million-plus-word behemoth, came out in May from Montag Press. Seven years of writing, a year to find a publisher, two years of editing (it took a lot of editing) and design work culminated in a successful release. It would have been nice to have thrown a launch party, but like many things during this pandemic, that had to be scaled back to social media announcements and "atta-boys" from family, friends, and fans (all of which were greatly appreciated).
Yonder & Far, the historical fantasy due to be released in 2022 by Ellysian Press, went through the first couple of stages of editing. I've got a follow-up novel in the same universe about half-way finished, but I set it aside (for the time being) to finish some other projects, such as ...
(1) I started, finished, and edited a novella (that's still being shopped around), which was a first for me. I've written short stories, written novels long and short, but never had a story end up in that gray area in between (most folks in writing circles consider anything between 17,500 and 40,000 words to be novella length--basically, it's something between a really long short story and a really short novel; a famous example is the gothic novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde);
(2) I resold a previously published short story, Coin, to a "Best of" anthology; and
(3) Best of all, I am within inches of the finish line of my current WIP, which had a tentative title of "Godless" but that's probably going to get chucked for something else. I came so close to finishing it before the year's end! All that's left for the first draft is to finish out the final scene (half done), write the epilogue (another first for me, I've never done one of those before), insert a brief scene in the middle that I had outlined based upon later developments in the story, and then ... a ton of editing. But finishing out a first draft is always a big milestone and will assuredly be celebrated in the Lucas household. No book ever got read all the way that didn't get written all the way. (yeah, I know, pretty banal; cut me some slack, it's still early morning on New Year's Day). I'm hopeful to have this finished and polished by the middle of next year.
What's coming up? I'm liking the historical fantasy vein, so I'll certainly finish out the Yonder follow-up (tentative title is "The Parson's Prayer"). I've also started outlining and poking around with an idea set in 1700's Prussia ...
As for the blog, I'm going to try to post at least once or twice a month (hello, New Year's resolution!). I'm thinking about devoting a post to "the writing process" since I get asked about that a lot. There is definitely a process (though different folks approach it differently), and mine has developed enough that I trust it to see me through from start to finish on a work. I'll probably also put up a couple of more reviews.
2021 is done. Here's looking at you, 2022. I hope you and yours have a very happy and healthy New Year.
All the best,