13 Lucky For Some?

Happy September!

I always find this a good time to look back on the year and to plan out what still needs doing in the final trimester. This is probably because my birthday falls at the end of the month, then suddenly it’s Christmas and that’s the year gone.So I need to give myself that “final approach” nudge. Our American cousins have Thanksgiving to mark the rapid approach of year’s end, but – to be honest – there’s little enough time between clearing up after Thanksgiving and starting to prepare for Christmas.

Hence, I nominate September 1st as a good point to sit down with a good coffee to look back at the battles fought and to set new objectives for the remaining year. It’s like a New Year’s Review & Resolutions exercise, but it gives a chance to revise realistically those hasty and ambitious January 1st fantasies.

How Was It So Far?

We can effortlessly summon up some bad stuff from 2013 : Syria, the ongoing Euro crisis, Korea, Egypt, continuing freakish weather conditions… On a grand scale, there’s always more bad news than good, because good news just isn’t newsworthy. But in my small, personal bubble of existence, things have gone mostly well, so far:-

  • I have two movies in post-production for 2013 release
  • a third movie is close to wrapping for a 2014 release
  • I have three short stories accepted for science fiction anthologies due out soon
  • another two stories have been provisionally accepted

(I’ll post the titles and release dates when they are confirmed.)

To counter this, continuing health issues in the family provide a painful backdrop to the successes, I’ve fallen behind on my blogging and I’ve made no progress on the novels for a while.

And Now?

I can do nothing about Syria, the Euro and the rest, but there are things I can put on my revised end-of-year targets:-

  • the novel takes priority, first draft to be completed by year-end
  • get all my completed short stories beta-read and submitted to anthologies and magazines
  • weekly blogging will be restored

I also like to add a few easy things to my list, so I can cross them off quickly and gain a sense of achievement:-

  • finish erecting the garden shed
  • trash all the old computer equipment, add-ons, plug-ins and cables littering my office
  • the cat needs feeding

So the final three will be completed in reverse order and in short order ! Overall, a good ’13 (so far).

But the first three indicate a mountain of effort ahead of me. Wish me luck!

4 thoughts on “13 Lucky For Some?

  1. Andy, I loved this post! Yes, please DO feed the cat right away!!! Congrats on the work you have being made into movies and the work that’s been accepted for publication. You’ve accomplished much this year. Keep working away on that novel. While you’re toiling away, try to enjoy this last quarter of the year.


  2. In many parts of the US, they start putting up Christmas decorations on November 1st, and Santa appears in adds for toys. That means that Halloween marks the rapid approach of year’s end. Perhaps you guys aren’t as commercially and materialistically crass as we are. It sounds like it’s ben a good year for you. What’s your trick to get manuscripts beta-read?


    1. And the Valentine’s merchandise is being set up late on Christmas Eve, and summer vacation adverts appear during all the Christmas Day TV shows… Yes, it’s the same here. All about selling stuff and the real message of Christmas has been forgotten. (I sound like an old black-and-white movie, probably by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart. Oh, well.)

      Thanks, a good year so far (until I hit technical and family health issues a few weeks back, hence my long silence).

      Beta-reading? I posted (peripherally) about the search for beta-readers in https://andymckell.com/2013/08/11/liminal-places-1/. I have a couple of friends, science fiction fans, who read when they can, in between real life. One is as tough as nails and dedicated to weeding-out anything dubious with an eagle’s eye and a thick red pen. But again, this is in between work and life. I write faster than they can read.

      I tried joining online reading groups, but I am useless at reciprocating, so I backed away as it is unfair to expect them to give up hours for my benefit. So I am open to suggestions…


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