A lot of good news for my short stories. Still far more rejections and acceptances, of course, but that's always going to be the case, unless your name happens to be Stephen King or George R. R. Martin. Quite a few successes, though, with eight stories published. Of those, three appeared in publications that are rated professional and one that subsequently upgraded to professional, and the year culminated in the publication of my short-story ebook from Musa.
To give full details:
Nemesis: The Case of theHell-Hound in Penumbra June 2012
The Cell in Bards & Sages Quarterly July 2012
Nemesis: The Case of theHeadless Lady in Wily Writers July2012
Aslahkar in Plasma Frequency August/September 2012
Witch in Aoife's Kiss September 2012
The House of Dreams in Lore November 2012
The Treason of Memory from Musa Publishing
Several things were particularly pleasing, including The House of Dreams, which had racked up so many rejections that I almost gave up on it. I still believed it was a good story, though, and hey presto! It was accepted at last by a professional magazine.
I was also surprised, as I mentioned in a recent piece, that three out of the eight stories (both Nemesis stories and The Cell) were comedy, something which I'm only gradually coming to believe I can do. I'm hoping to develop this further.
And I was delighted by the way The Treason of Memory turned out, especially that stunningly atmospheric cover by David Efaw.
My articles on classic fantasy have continued to appear monthly, featuring authors as diverse as Chrétien de Troyes (12th century) to Michael Moorcock (1960s). Hopefully I've sent a few readers back to the fantasy that was around before the 80s, excellent as many of the newer authors are.
There were other great things related to writing, including Fantasycon, where I had my first, if very minor, experience of being invited as a guest. This was because, more years ago than I care to remember, I had a story in The Thirteenth Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories, edited by Guest of Honour Mary Danby. I was invited to be there for her talk and join her for the signing session. A few people actually asked for my autograph, and I got to hang out with Mary, who was delightful.
The live writers group I run, East Herts Fantasy Writers, has had mixed fortunes - we've lost two valuable members who moved away (but are still members at a distance) and our quiet room in the pub, but acquired an excellent new member. We're now in the middle of putting together an anthology, which will hopefully be out next year.
So that was 2012. What's in store for 2013?
One of the most exciting things is that A Deed Without a Name has been selected for the first Best of Penumbra anthology, which will appear this year, which is even more awesome than getting into the magazine in the first place.
Otherwise, I have one outstanding publication for 2013 - The Flowers of Kebash (a short story covering 10,000 years) which is due out later in the year from Aoife's Kiss.
I have several things on my immediate to-do list, starting with an overdue Fantasy Faction article (er... when I've finished the book). After this, though, I have a series of nine articles, which I just have to finish and polish, on a completely different topic. This is something I've been meaning to write for some time, and I'm looking forward to getting it done.
I have two short stories to revise and polish, before they go out seeking gainful employment, and I'm currently writing a story for an upcoming Penumbra theme - hopefully I'll have it ready before the deadline.
And after that, I'm finally going back to Dreams of Fire and Snow, the third part of my trilogy, which I put... er, on ice a while ago. I started the original (almost unrecognisable) version of this more than 43 years ago, so I really think it's about time I finished it.
That's the plan; but, as John Lennon pointed out, "life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." So is writing. I've no doubt 2013 will throw me a few curve balls.