Carpe Blogiem: 2014 – A Year In Review

Like my other year in review, Here are how things went for me in 2014:

The Good (What I did well or that went well)

  • I was published in Pyramid a lot this year (woo-hoo!): #3/63: Infinite Worlds II (5/5 stars), #3/64: Pirates and Swashbucklers (4.5/5 stars), #3/65: Alternate GURPS III (5/5 stars), #3/66: The Laws of Magic (4.5/5 stars), #3/67: The Tools of the Trade: Villains (5/5 stars), #3/69: Psionics II (unknown), #3/71: Spaceships II (5/5 stars), #3/72: Alternate Dungeons(4.5/5 stars), #3/73  Monster Hunters II (5/5 stars) , and #3/74: Wild West (5/5 stars). You’ll notice I have no sales data – that’s because w23 is still undergoing work. Should be up soon(ish). I only got one cover this year (#3/66), but that’s okay. As of right now I’ve been published in Pyramid 24 times (twice in Issue #3/46). I was published TEN times this year, losing out only in June and August.
  • I’m still working on the current wishlist – but the articles are done (along with another 11 that are ready to go – but need a home). I’ll have those in sometime after the new year.
  • I GOT A CONTRACT TO WRITE A FUTHERMUCKING GURPS BOOK. I could just leave that there…but I want to talk about it a bit. It’s been under my hat a while and my writer brain is itching. No, I won’t tell you what it’s about. Okay, fine you twisted my arm. It’s about how to play a Frycook in Dungeon Fantasy, including new rules for Tactical Chopsticks, Woks as weapons, and special power-ups like “Dragon Fried” where you can deep fry your opponents instantly killing them – but you have to eat them (orc sushi, yuck!). More seriously, it’s with my good friend and sometimes co-author Antoni Ten Monrós and we both couldn’t be more excited. He had some problems later this year when he started work on his part and didn’t finish till late. I wrote my part in about 5 days. We’re nearing our first draft and should be ready to go soon(ish).
  • I’ve got something else I’m going to try to sell SJ Games and if that doesn’t pan out I’m going to release it on my Patreon.
  • After being “prodded” into running Dungeon Fantasy at my FLGS as a MIB demo…I kind of fell in love with the genre all over again. I’ve created a fourth campaign setting and have tied in the scraps from two failed fantasy campaigns. So far…it’s working. I’ve gone far-afeild with it though and I’m running it in a very serious, very plot-driven way. I think I’ll end up with a article on how to run DF this way since the bog-standard is very different from it. With four campaigns I doubt I’ll be making any more any time soon. It’s just too much work.
  • I wrote the first book of an urban fantasy series that has been shelved for now (about 137,000 words)
  • I wrote another book for NaNoWriMo 2014 and won (about 105,000 words)
  • I started (while doing NaNoWriMo) yet another book which I’m still working on, but am close to finishing. Should be around 50,000 words and is probably going to kick off this fantasy series I intend to self-pub.
  • My laptop died and I had no way to fix it…but then something amazing happened. The internet came together and bought me a new one (the very same machine I write on right now). My sense of hope was renewed in that moment and I soldier on strong as ever. Because of this I’ve decided to self-publish something this year and hope that I might begin to make a name for myself.
  • I continued roaming the forums and answering questions. I’ve learned the best way to learn yourself is to teach someone else. People seemed to miss my presence there when my laptop died and I was unable to get on. That’s a positive point in my mind.
  • I continued with my Pyramid Mentoring Group and while it’s been a bit slow (hey! If you want to write for GURPS why don’t you stop on by?), we’ve also soldiered on.
  • I’ve continued managing my diabetes and have had an steady blood sugar level (around 155), though I still experience day highs and night lows.
  • I’ve continued to lose weight and as of the writing of this post I’ve lost about 100 pounds total. I’m sitting at around 400 lbs and I’d like to go to 250, but I’ll settle for 350.
  • I continued blogging – folks seem to appreciate it and my reader base has gone up some – though not as much as Doug’s or Peter’s. I think doing more DF stuff will probably increase that a bit – we’ll see. I also intend to try and start branching out this year RPG-wise and FATE is my first victim. It seems a popular system and if I can break into that industry writing-wise I’ll double my possible income.
  • My grammar and mastery of the English language improved much in 2014 and I continue to improve, reading as many self-help books and school books as I can find on the subject. My teachers and mentors have remained patient with me and really, I can only get better.
  • I got a cat (named him Nimbus). I found him in the engine block of a car and he cried for a whole day and night without anyone getting him. So I did. One of hte better decisions I’ve made. He was so dirty with motor oil when I got him I thought he was grey. Several baths later and it turns out he’s got tawny gold fur. After he got a bit bigger he start doing some weird things, like knocking my diabetes kit off the table – repeatedly. After the fourth or fifth time of him doing it and my blood sugar was low I paid attention. Turns out he seems to be able to sense when I’m too low or too high and he tells me. After about 100 instances (all with blood sugar extremes – no moderate highs or lows) I’ve come to realize he’s a walking glucometer. He’s also pretty intelligent and seems to get the gist of when I tell him things. Basically, he’s a little guardian angel and he goes wherever I go. Safer that way. Note: this entry got cut off for some reason when I posted this from my draft file. So I readded it.

The Bad (What I could have done better or had no control over)

  • The pain in my right leg continues, and I wake up daily with cramps and muscle spasms. It’s probably permanent at this point and I fear not even losing weight or exercise will not help. Yay.
  • I managed to get the loan note on my mother’s house lowered substantially and if we could catch up with some old bills we’d be able to live just fine. As it stands …well it’s been difficult. I am hoping that 2015 is better and I remain manager of the household purse. A position that suits me quite well. As last year, writer will write for food. Hey, check out this Patreon thing – it’s pretty snazzy and supports the blog.
  • I’ve not had a outburst of grief since last year and it’s worrying my family and friends to no end. Shit happens and I gotta stay focused because they need me right now. I’ll grieve for the dead later. Duty comes first.
  • My night terrors have decreased from last year, but are still high. I’m averaging one episode every six or seven days. My insomnia has gotten worse. Even with my medication, I can go three or four days awake straight. It’s starting to weigh on me. Badly. I’ve experienced three hallucinatory episodes where my hallucination talks to me, remains in view no matter how I turn my head (my grandmother, a fictional character I created, and Teddy Roosevelt), and are generally disturbing as hell. As usual, I know they are not real and that I need to seek help from my mother in the form of massive doses of tranqs. Seeing Nana tore me up inside pretty bad. I never want to go through that again.
  • I got rejected for Disability a third time due to “lack of sufficient evidence” – which is bullshit, but I’ve appealed again. I currently have a four month wait at the time of this post.
  • The project I started on for a private client ended up getting delayed thanks to a ton of other crap. I WILL finish it before June this year, probably by end of January.

The Ugly (I don’t know how to categorize this or too early to tell)

  • They’ve changed my diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome to possible PTSD. Basically…they don’t know what’s wrong with me. My childhood records indicate that I was diagnosed with mild autism (whcih is where the neurologist thought it was a misdiagnosis in the first place). I need to seek out a psychologist in the new year and figure out what’s wrong with me. A medical doctor can only go so far. Given the abuse I suffered at my stepfather’s hands and the sheer number of physical altercations I’ve been in in my lifetime, this seems probable. I never noticed (though apparently all my friends and family did) that I’m always checking the doors, windows, etc., always on the lookout – my new doc said it’s called “hypervigilance.” It was kind of a shock when she told me what I was doing and diagnosed me in less than a few hours after a lengthy talk. Since she was in Germany for a while as a doctor to soldiers coming home from Iraq, she’d probably know. I still need to seek out a psychologist and get their stamp of approval before treatment, but this might tie it all together: panic attacks, night terrors, insomnia, the counting, the “hyper-vigilance,” all of it. It’d be nice to have a name to something that has tormented me so long.
  • My brother is still in a nasty custody dispute and its entering its first year. I don’t know how to help him and it’s driving me a bit mad.
  • My protege seems to be doing well and he’s be hitting the books hard so I’ve rarely had a chance to talk to him. I’m glad he’s doing so well.
  • I applied for the Haven Foundation for writers, so I hope that pans out well.
  • I am still collecting data, but I think I could get more patrons on Patreon by releasing GURPS adventures there every few months. We’ll see. I’m still deciding. But I currently have seven DF adventures (And an idea for a MH one): “The Wizard-King’s Tomb,” “For a Few Gold Pieces More,” “A Fistful of Gold Pieces,” “The Good, the Bad, and the Orcish,” “The Twisted Vault,” “The Halls of Fire,” and “Seven Blades for Seven Brothers.” We’ll see.
This year was mostly good with a few bad incidents and has been most about recovery and just making it. I learned that I have fans and friends in places I never knew and it shocked me (and still does) how deeply giving and wonderful people can be. 2015 will mark my first self-pubbed book and I’ll continue to shop around a few others. Whenever I write a piece of fiction I always fill it away and say “Some Day.” It’s my little mantra and I’ve done it as long as I can remember. Well, 2015 is going to be the year of “Some Day.” It starts here and with me and that’s all there is to it. All and all 2014 was good and I hope 2015 is even better. Good night, Internet. Good work. I’ll mostly likely be on whenever the hell I wake up.
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