12 December 2014

Year End Review

Have you ever gotten to the end of a year and stopped to wonder whether January was, like, about five years ago?

Or, perhaps, January was somewhere between yesterday and the blink of your eyes when you read the first sentence of this blog. 

Either way, the year is winding down and the final page of the calendar sits ready to be replaced by a Brand New Calendar possibly from your insurance company, who patiently wait for your mishaps to accrue in their carefully arranged actuarial tables. I know mine does.

So for my only blog this month, hence the final blog of the year 2014, I would like to remember some highlights. Forgive me if some of mine are not necessarily some of yours. Then again, I am fully aware that none of these may be highlights to most of you dear, sweet, loyal readers. That's just the nature of serendipity.

I began the year no worse for wear from the previous year--actually, I was sitting rather comfortably in my DREAM LAND TRILOGY pajamas, having finally gotten the third and final volume out of the womb and into the world. The third one was the easiest to push out. No drugs were needed, but the comet did hurt a little.

I began the year by exchanging blog posts with my writer colleague Kate Bittersauthor of Elmer Left. I also entertained author Joan Hazel's new book Burdens of a Saint, the second book in The Guardians series, which involves shape-shifting werewolves. Those were good times. Then everything went downhill.

I dared put out my "sexy" "campus" "romance" book A BEAUTIFUL CHILL just in time for Valentine Day but that "sexy" "campus" "romance" trend had sailed. So I ignored all the naughty spanking jokes and waxed poetic on the trials and tribulations of choosing character names as well as a humorous post on making Top 10 lists. I followed those [ahem] "highlights" with a stream of complaining through March about anything and everything, yes, even as I tried foisting books upon hyper-excited Spring Break readers. It was not a pretty picture.

By April I was well-underway on a new novel which eventually became my contemporary Vampire tale set in Oklahoma City. The idea had been boiling for a while, the desperate need to explain to the world the true nature of vampirism, the real disease which exists, and the poor unfortunate protagonist who suffers from it. Thus, more and more of my blog posts revolved around the topic of vampires, blood, skin diseases, and medicated lotions.

In May I got tagged by the blog tagging monster and forced upon pain of pain to write about my writing process. That produced a plethora of paragraphs on purple prose that primarily got me banned for life from the writing life. It got some play. Or, as Gordon Gekko quips in the film Wall Street: "It's good for a five-point pop." If I had a nickel for every penny I have.... No, seriously, it was well-received. In fact, that post garnered the highest number of retweets ever in the history of my lonesome Twitter feed!

By June I had finished the draft of A DRY PATCH OF SKIN and felt pretty good about myself. I had gone from the dreaded "I'll never ever write again" to the smug "Yeah, I can write a 100,000-word novel, no problem." Then came all that revision, editing, and proofreading. The usual game. (I usually win that.) More of the same through the rest of the summer: vampires, blood, skin diseases, scratch scratch. An unhealthy number of juxtapositions between the story line of the book and the real events of my life made it a more or less miserable period. 

A couple more posts came in the autumn to remind us that blog posts exist to preach to the choir. Mine addressed such pearls of wisdom as shoving that profound message right on up through the heart of an otherwise fun story. Or why you shouldn't. Or how to slip it in without a reader even feeling it. I also wrote lucid comparisons between the film Dracula Untold and my vampire novel. 

Then NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) appeared on the horizon and I jumped into it for the first time and burned through a cheap pulp sci-fi book to win the thing with 55,555 words, give or take. So my blog posts were about that silly sci-fi story and the NaNoWriMo experience. 

And that brings us to the end of the year. 

Normally I would wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday happening, but this year... Well, all right, I'll go ahead and wish you a happy and healthy holiday happening yet again! Had you worried a moment, didn't I? Sorry. Here's a holiday bunny for you: Scrooge McBun.

As I shall be traveling through time and space for the remainder of the month--not all of it will be interdimensionally, however--I shall not be blogging until next year.

Let us hope that many things about our world improve significantly in the next year. In the meantime, let our personal worlds be filled with joy and bounty! (But not too much bounty; New Year resolutions await.)

See you on the other side, and thanks for the egg nog!

(C) Copyright 2010-2014 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.


  1. A Christmas {{{hug}}} from the Great Northwest for you and lovely Patti from me and my Silver Fox! May Santa find you in Korea, may your journey be easy, and may your landings all be soft!

    1. I was never sure why the Great Northwest was known for their hugs, but now I do. Even virtually, I felt something. Thanks and have a pleasant tomorrow!