Reflecting on a Productive 2019

With the OMAM Compendium finished, and the holiday season slowing the work down a bit at the office, I finally have the chance to take a breath. A lot happened this year, mostly good I think.

2019 has been a lot more internal for me than past years. I didn’t have much time to spend blogging and mentoring on writing because I had too many of my own projects running at any one time. I was able to do some in-person mentoring with some other writers who were new to the craft. Some were new additions to my OMAM team. Mentoring has always been a part of my leadership style, something I picked up as a Noncomissioned Officer in the Army, so it was only natural for me to want to take them under my wing. I also am mentoring a brand new author working on his first professional story submission, which I hope will be the start of an enduring relationship. I even had the chance at my first official author event to inspire a young author.

I’m the kind of person who loves to teach, loves to give back, so these exchanges were probably some of the best times of the year for me. They also are more rewarding to me than just posting tips on the blog, not knowing if anyone reads or benefits from them.

And, of course, there were the projects! The Compendium. The flash serial. And more!

I’m also about a third into drafting my next book. This one, entitled “The Fierce,” is a spin-off of my OMAM series “Call of the Guardian.” If you’ve read that one, the name “Gaenn the Fierce” should ring a heavy bell. That name also comes up in the OMAM Compendium a few times as well. This work is one of the most complicated things I’ve ever written, a book in basically two parts, in two different voices, with interaction between the two in the form of footnotes and translation. It’s inspired by the biography of Genghis Khan, and the tone of the myth portion borrows from Caroline Alexander’s new translation of “The Iliad.” It’s much more constructed and literary than anything I’ve done before, at least in long form.

I’m hoping to have the initial draft done by the end of spring, but that depends on real life. And on me not taking on any more projects. At this point, writing projects for me are becoming like cats. Yes, I have too many cats.

My flash fiction serial with Altered Reality Magazine will be wrapping up soon. Only two more episodes to draft and publish. After which, I think I will try to turn it into a novella for sale. The editor at Altered Reality has been really great to work with, but unfortunately, I don’t think I have to time to do another serial for the moment.

On the flip side, my podcast project with Richie Billing is just getting started, and I expect it to continue throughout the next year. We are doing one episode a month, with one of us doing a solo mini-episode at the halfway mark between each core release. It’s a lot of work, but also very fun. I love messing with audio on my computer anyway, and that’s something I can do ever after a busy day of work. Plus, like blogging, this is a way to engage with new writers, offering tips and mentorship, just in a different format. If that sounds fun to you, please follow our YouTube Channel.

Besides all that, here’s a quick look back on what I’ve done this year.

NEW RELEASES

Fiction Vortex adopts and re-releases The Adventures of Iric.

Altered Reality Magazine publishes my Valley of Magic flash serial.

The Podcast drops on YouTube and elsewhere.

After many months of effort, the OMAM Compendium is published!

RANDOM BLOG POSTS

Giving back.

Writing tips through book reviews.

Thoughts on life in the wake of tragedy.

Considering all the new Star Wars content.

And something truly random. Like, I have no idea where this thought came from.

Well, I think I am about done with 2019. I’ve got a couple writing things to work on in the next week, but mostly I’m going to pay more attention to my cats (and wife, maybe) and all the presents under my Christmas tree. And take some time to rest, preferably in a hot bath with a good audiobook and a glass of scotch.

Thanks for being friends. See you all in 2020. One way or another, it’s bound to be a big year!

~JM

4 thoughts on “Reflecting on a Productive 2019

  1. What a busy, fun writing year. Didn’t know you were an NCO with the Army. Is that a Warrent Officer? Or something else. As we’ve discussed, my son is right across the Sea from you in Okinawa, SGT.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, JM!

    Liked by 1 person

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