At the end of January, I'll be attending the Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp in Maryland. I've already begun to have dreams that the eight hour trek it takes to get there will be daunting: running out of fuel, stranded on the side of the road, walking in on the first session as it's already taking place; being extremely sleep deprived; being asked to leave because it appears that I've not put forth the same effort as my fellow writers have. All of it is fear, I know. Fear of the unknown, not really sure what to expect. The truth is, I'm eager, not anxious, for that weekend. I'm looking forward to meeting other writers who, like me, are striving to become better at the craft. The agenda is critiquing. To take a step back and critically analyze other's work so you can do the same for your own. Something I'm terrible at.
At the beginning of February, myself and fellow author Lincoln Cole will be signing books at The Book Loft in German Village. Details to come. We hope to see you there if you're in the area.
I'm still contemplating attending the annual Scares That Care event in August. It's a wonderful cause that helps families (one battling childhood cancer, breast cancer, and burns) pay their medical bills. But it's in Virginia and I live in Ohio and I'm married with two little ones who are two young to really enjoy the experience. I'd be selling books seven hours a day over the weekend. leaving my wife alone with them. Not the ideal vacation for them. If I go alone, then that leaves my wife to attend to our children by herself.
I'm still a very young writer, unknown, trying to breakthrough. My fear is that I buy a table, show up for the entire weekend, and sell maybe a few books, all the while missing my family while I sludge through the next book alone in a hotel room. Which isn't all that bad, but to me, seems kind of selfish.
I guess you have to be a little selfish to approach a field in the arts. You need time to work on the craft, to get better, to write (a lot), and that means being alone at times.
On one hand, I think it'd be great for my career to spend some face time with (potential) readers and writers, shaking hands, having meaningful conversations about the industry. On the other, it's an expensive sacrifice. More so the time away than the money because, as I wrote earlier, the money from my purchased table would be benefiting the charity. A great thing.
Ohio needs horror conventions.
While I've been picking away at the next book, An American Monster (I'm halfway through), today I'll be working on the second draft for a submission to an upcoming anthology in which 100% of the proceeds will be going to the Scares That Care charity. Then I'll work on submission critiques for the Boot Camp. Yes, there is homework. All attendees must critique all twenty some submissions before they arrive. And you know what? I'm not very good at it. But I'm doing my best and that's all I can ask of myself.
Lincoln and I are seeking new ways to meet readers in person. I'll keep you updated here as we search.
Until then. If you celebrate the holidays, I hope they're great. If you don't, I hope the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 is great just the same.
I gotta split. There's work to be done.