Star date, 1/1/2013, zero one zero four in the morning. The New Year is upon us and I aim to make it better than the one that just past.
I’m sorry, 2012, but you did not live up to my expectations. I mean, seriously. Having me take a pay cut and struggle significantly to make ends meet just to keep my job was a really crappy thing for you to do. I mean, really you didn’t start things off all that well when you picked up the baton that 2011 dropped and said, ‘hey, have pneumonia until February.’
I should have known then that you were going to kick my butt.
My writing took a beating. My mental and physical state of being took a beating. My confidence, yeah, that took a good old-fashioned blanket party throw down. It took a while to get that back.
Though you did see fit to let me get two short story collections out there, one of them through Dark Continents Publishing and the other one put out by me, the sales have been underwhelming, even with the good reviews they have both received. You would think, Dear 2012, that with reviews that state things like:
“AJ Brown’s debut novella presents three short stories of moralistic caution, human failings, and dark, unrelenting horror. He has a fresh, unique voice that brings the characters to life with a skill and experience that makes this a real page turner all the way to its deliciously macabre ending.”
Along the Splintered Path has a more laid back pace but with plenty of meat on the bones, characters you actually care about and is steered with a confident hand. I can see big things for AJ Brown.
This book was a surprise, well written and a touch of Stephen King. Each story was quite different, and all were intriguing and at times disturbing.
…that the books would have sold more, but for some reason the publishing gods have not seen fit to allow this.
Still, not all was terrible, though you seemed to temper little victories with equal or greater defeats.
Guess what, 2012? It’s time to move on out the way and let the New Year 2013 in the door. It’s not like you have much choice in the matter, is it? You can’t turn back time. Just ask Cher.
I have plans for this year. Goals, I say. Goals. Do you hear me, 2012?
So go ahead. Shuffle on out the door and don’t let it hit yah where your Momma split yah.
Now that he’s gone, Dear 2013, my name is A.J. I am your friend, and hopefully, you will be mine. You and I could do some wonderful things this year. Like maybe me getting back onto a regular writing schedule—a daily one like I used to have. I sure do miss those thousand words a day that the years 2006-2010 allowed me to have.
And what about submissions and publications? Your predecessor, 2012, just didn’t seem to have it in the cards for me to do much of either. You may not know this since you’re still new here, but way back in 2009 I submitted 155 stories, and 45 of them went on to get published. No, I’m not looking to submit that many stories this year, but how about a third of that total? Are you down with that?
It’s still early, my new friend, but I want you to know that you have the power to make this as good a year as you want it to be. So I’m going to head to bed in a few minutes and dream sweet dreams of the future and what you have in store for my family and I.
Just in case, Dear 2013, you want to take a look at my two collections and maybe help push them in the right direction, here are the links. I hope you enjoy them, and don’t worry, even if you don’t own a kindle, you can get them both in print.
And hey, if you wouldn’t mind, spread the word, leave a review, maybe drop me a line and let me know if you enjoyed the books.
As I bade 2012 farewell, I gave a thanks to the readers out there on Facebook:
“I’m going to end 2012 with a thank you to everyone who picked up one of my two short story collections throughout this year. Also, a big thank you to anyone who reviewed either of the books as well. I hope you enjoyed them, and here’s to 2013.”
The ‘likes’ were cool, but the lone comment to the post made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, kind of like the Grinch when he discovered that Christmas didn’t come in boxes, packages and bags.
Thanks for writing them!
To everyone out there, you are welcome. And to Lindsey Beth Goddard, thank you for making my day with that comment.
I am going to head off to bed. I am finally tired enough to hopefully sleep more than a handful of hours. Before I go, I would like to leave you with my new favorite song, Mumford and Sons’ I Will Wait.
Have a wonderful New Year, and until we meet again, my friends…