The final hours of 2018 are nigh, and the first year of my website/blog is complete. This column is more for me as a way to look back on my year and keep track of my writing, but you’re welcome to read on if you like.
I’ll start with my favorite joke I heard in 2018: What did the teddy bear say when offered dessert? No thanks, I’m stuffed.
I did have a wonderful Christmas. I received tickets to an Electric Light Orchestra Concert in Nashville in July from my dear mom. The first eight-track tape I ever had was OUT OF THE BLUE by ELO. When I was a boy, ELO was second only to Elvis. In fact, OUT OF THE BLUE was released the month after Elvis died and remains my favorite album of all time. After a long hiatus and more than 40 years after the release of OUT OF THE BLUE, ELO is embarking on a North American tour. To say I’m excited is an understatement.
My Bigfoot slippers are my second favorite gift. I’m a true Bigfoot fanatic. How can you tell the difference between an average Bigfoot fan and a Bigfoot fanatic like me? As you can see in the photo below, I also received Bigfoot socks. Fan=Slippers Only. Fanatic=Slippers+Socks.
Anyway, back to 2018.
I enjoyed my best year of writing in 2018 with ten short stories and one poem published (four in print and seven online). Plus I had three more short stories accepted in 2018 for print anthologies scheduled for publication in 2019.
My short stories in print in 2018 were “Demon’s Lament” for The Heart of a Devil anthology, “The Birthday Boy” for Cross+Decay magazine, and “She” for Alabama’s Emerging Writers anthology. My first-ever poem was “Homecoming for Prometheus (The Frankenstein Monster’s Lament)” for The Poet’s Haven Digest anthology It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.
Horror Tree’s Trembling With Fear published five of my drabbles (100-word short stories). I’m excited because Horror Tree published its first Trembling With Fear anthology this year for its 2017 stories with plans to publish another next year with the 2018 stories. It would be nice to have my little drabbles in print.
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Horror Tree’s Trembling With Fear. They published my first story of the year, “The Snowman,” which gave me an extra shot of adrenalin and confidence to write and submit more during the year. My other four drabbles at Trembling With Fear were “Patience,” “A Poem for Annabel,” “Halloween Pie,” and “The Drabble.”
My other two published short stories were actually my first-ever submissions to writing competitions. The WriterWriter website held four writing competitions in 2018, and I submitted to the two for horror and fantasy.
My short story “Scarecrow Road” won the WriterWriter 2018 International Halloween Themed Short Story Competition All Hallows’ Prose, and my short story “A Tale of Two Shards” finished third runner-up in the WriterWriter 2018 International Fantasy Short Story Competition.
That sums up my successes in 2018. Of course, I had plenty of rejections of my short stories in 2018, which is part of the writer’s life. I never give up on a story, though. I use the rejections to edit and improve and revise my stories, hopefully giving them a second (or third) chance somewhere else. Hey, it happens.
2019 is starting out with promise. Like I said before, I’ve received three acceptances for short stories I submitted in 2018 but will not appear in print until 2019.
Of the three short stories set for 2019 publication, I have one titled “Dill’s Song” about how a man’s single act of helping the homeless changes his attitude about charity. I also have a comedic urban fantasy detective story titled “The Case of the Troll with No Eyes.” Finally, I have an old-fashioned haunted house story titled “The Church on Maple Hill Road.”
Hopefully, I will continue to reach new heights with my writing in 2019, but if not, I’ll still be writing and doing what I love (when I’m not working at my real job).
I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but goals are important. And dreams, too. Don’t forget about your dreams.
I’ll end this final column of 2018 with the same line I ended my first column of 2018 (plus one year): I hope your dreams come true in 2019.