Dear Life in 2014:
I’d like to say you were 100% fantastic to me. That you brought me untold successes and fortunes. That no scourge of trials touched me or harmed me or anyone close to me.
Fact is, 2014, you kind of sucked. For me, anyway.
The path you placed in front of me for the past 359 days looked a lot like this:
Yeah, this is the rocky path that I’ve traversed all year—constantly stumbling and falling—never knowing if what was ahead of me in the foggy future was a precipice or a smoother path leading to better ground. Mostly it was just more rocks to trip over. I never went off the deep edge, but I did slide down a hill or two.
Whatever doesn’t kill me…better run like hell when I get stronger!
I’m looking at you, 2015.
There were accomplishments this year, don’t get me wrong. Academia continues to treat me well, I’m excelling in my classes.
But economically and creatively it’s been a tough damn year.
I’m really glad that the beginning of my career as a writer has seen a few of my short stories and poetry get published early on. Getting some of those groovy little tales re-printed has not been an easy task. This year, I decided to try and get some of my previously published stories republished. I was met with rejection after rejection at every turn.
I submitted new stuff, too. I have a literary short story that won an academic award. It’s titled “Parker’s Pygmalion” and it explores the world of artistic patronage. It’s gritty, somewhat reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor’s Southern Gothic stuff, where the protagonist anti-hero is completely unapologetic about his actions. I haven’t been able to get anyone to nibble on it. I have it waiting right now at my university’s Tampa literary journal, we’ll see if it finally finds a home there.
I did have one poem, a haiku called “still life, with plums” that was published earlier in the year. That little poem has been the stand alone publication for me in 2014.
2015 will hopefully see some improvement here.
I’ve been working on getting some new stuff written. I’ve currently got 3 or 4 new stories that I’m working on and hoping to complete soon. I really like the ideas that spawned them and I hope my words can do their characters justice.
Another bit of change in 2015 may come about in my persona in publishing. Over the last couple of years there has been another author with a name very close to mine who writes erotica. I don’t have anything against that genre, but I am having a bit of a problem with people confusing me with her and I’m getting a little depressed over it. I have used a pseudonym in the past for posting stories to Friday Flash, but never permanently and I never got any stories published with it (not counting one or two stories I put up on The Were-Traveler). I’m thinking about publishing under a another pen name now. I’ve thought about it and came up with C. X. Drake. Not sure how soon I’m going to be using that name, though.
Anyway, 2014, I’m glad to see your backside heading away from me.
Dear 2015, please be kinder to me. I need a 2nd part-time job to keep my head above water while I attend university. I need patience, perseverance, and better time management skills to make it through 4 English and Literature classes in the Spring, still manage to kindly serve other students as a tutor, AND still keep working on my own writing.
I don’t mind the occasional bumps and rocky paths; I’m pretty damn tough and stubborn.
And I’m aware that difficult paths can lead to some pretty outstanding views.