I wanted to title this entry “Retrospecticus,” but I decided against it. Instead, have a picture!

It was one year ago today, I started this blog. On the verge of completing the edits for my first novel and seriously considering self-publishing On The Border, I created a blog where I could write about my writing or whatever sparked my fancy.

It’s been a year of ups and downs for this blog. I go in spurts of updating a lot (i.e. NaNoWriMo) and ruts of updating barely once a month (i.e. right now).

But I thought I would do a retrospective of everything in general and give you updates on what’s currently going on in my life.

Current Events

  1. I’m attempting to find a venue to have my wedding reception at (it’s not until 2015). Pretty sure I know what it’s going to be, but it’s making that phone call and handing over the 25% deposit on the place.
  2. I’m doing an A to Z on my iPod. What’s that, you ask? I listen to every song on my iPod in alphabetical order. I started on January 2. I’m currently on #3627 of 6792 (over halfway!), which is “Meanwhile Back At The Ranch/Should I Smoke” by Badfinger, followed immediately by my fifth-favorite song of all time, “Medicated Goo” by Traffic. Both these songs would be six stars if my iPod could go that high.
  3. I wrote this awesome recap of the Marvel special that was on in place of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Tuesday evening. It’s incredibly nerdy because I’m so darn excited for everything.
  4. This clip has been stuck in my head for the past three days and I want it to stop. Also I need the soundtrack for that stupid movie. Slightly related note, my fiancee will hate me during Muppets Most Wanted as I giggle constantly. In case you all cared.
  5. How obsessed with Marvel am I? My NHL off-season project for Octopus Thrower is a comic called “Avengers: Red Wings Initiative.” I posted a teaser/introduction on Monday. There are various other previews on my Twitter. I’m getting way too into this.

And now, to the Retrospecticus!

I have accomplished a lot in the last twelve months. On top of getting engaged last April and setting a date for next August (long engagement indeed!), I completed my first novel, self-published, had a book signing, and did a radio interview for it. In the first six months of it being available on Amazon, I sold 51 copies.

Since January 1, however, I have sold none. It’s not very disheartening because I have not put much effort into promoting it. I haven’t found the time. I entered On The Border into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards for 2014 and did not make it past the first round.

In retrospect, I feel like I shouldn’t have rushed into self-publishing and instead shopped around. Live and learn, right? I have a few other things in mind, but I’m keeping them close to the chest.

After completing my first novel, I started on the companion novel, titled After You. It’s from two different characters’ points of view during On The Border and it’s sarcastic and dark. I’m about 90,000 words into it with still about a third of OTB to go. It’s going to be long, but it’s going to be fun.

I’ve also left my one-day-a-week job at the coffee shop. It was a long time coming. I miss the place. I miss the people. I miss the discount. I miss the customers. I miss making the drinks.

Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I was going to work on After You, but I think I need a healthy break from Cassidy Sundance’s story… well, sort of. In Day After Day (temporary title), she’s definitely there, but she’s a side-character and it’s well after OTB.

This is a character that appeared in my 2009 NaNoWriMo attempt. He was one of eleven main characters–yes, it was a complete mess–and his story has always called to me. My issues with working on it before: it felt very fanfic-y toward my own life. Including actual regulars and actual workers from my time at Caribou Coffee made it weird. So I’m going to steer away from that.

What else… I successfully reached my goal of books read last year through Goodreads, which was 40! My goal this year is 30, and I’ve read 10 so far. I muddled my way through a Tommy Dorsey biography; I now know far too much about all of his band members. I had a time-traveling experience going from Monuments Men and The Book Thief in World War II to Two Girls Of Gettysburg in the Civil War to currently George Washington’s Secret Six in the Revolutionary War.

I’ve slowly pecked away at a probable novella/short story (not sure which yet) titled The Memory Seller. It’s… interesting.

It’s been a busy twelve months. And it’s not going to slow down anytime soon.

By the time I finished this post, my A to Z is now up to #3635 – “Members Only” by Sheryl Crow.