Well, sometimes life gets in the way, and 2023 was one of those years. My father passed away in June, and that same weekend started my new (second) job as an Associate Pastor for a local church after nearly 23 years at our former church as a layperson. This involves a lot of classwork as I work toward ordination in our denomination, reading textbooks, writing papers and such. But due to other circumstances in my new position, I've also been tasked with a fairly regular cadence of developing lessons and sermons, so that has been good for working up my writing cadence, but had no effect on my original writing goals. Nearly five months after that, I changed positions as my first job so there has been a bit of a learning curve and stresses involved in that. Then, earlier this month, my wife had knee replacement surgery and so the last half of this year was a bit of a struggle all-around on the fiction writing front. Hoping to get back on track in 2024 (new goals post coming a little later), but here is how things compared to my goals for 2023:
1. Complete the first draft of my fifth Aston West series novel, Before the Dawn.
Work on this novel has been at a virtual standstill, as I have been focusing most of my limited availability on finishing my second Demonkiller novel. I have only gotten another 5K words this year, for a total of 35K.
2. Complete the first draft of Tempted, the second title in my new Demonkiller series. I am only at 20K words on this one, but have a rough plot outlined for this one. Hoping to be able to sit down and get the writing done on this one as well.
Progress on this novel has been a bit more promising, with another 13K words completed here, for a total of 33K. I do have a pretty good plot forming on this one, so I'm hopeful to continue progressing on this in the coming year.
3. Re-publish and re-brand my two short story collections, Dead or Alive and Dirty Dozen. Not sure what my convention schedule for this year is going to look like, but hoping to have them available in the near future.
I didn't get a thing done on this other than mention it to my cover artist. I'm hoping that I get motivated to finish these in time for whatever my first convention of 2024 ends up being.
4. Not part of my original goals for 2024 (I try not to place goals out that rely on other individuals to complete), but Lyndon Perry and I were able to complete the third and final installment (Eureka) of the Max McCannor young adult/alternate history/steampunk series this year. If you haven't already checked out the earlier books in this series, or if you have read the others and need to catch the final title, check them all out.
Here's hoping that I can get a little more time to finish my goals this coming year.