A New Year!

A New Year!

I know, 2020 is already old, on fire, and on the brink of World War 3: but I here comes my review of the year that just vanished into the fog.

So, how was my 2019, especially in writing?

For the first time, I set myself a daily target (1,000 words minimum) and stuck to it. Not always easy, but it also meant a lot of writing output and success. For example, I…

…wrote two complete novellas (a haunted house story set in Sri Lanka across five different time periods and a bizarro space prison western)–now I just need to find a publisher…;

…finished the first draft of my current German novel–2020 will see it polished, expanded, and improved based on the feedback I got from my beta readers;

…made good progress on my current English novel, which really makes my brain hurt. With twelve POV characters and multiple layers and narrative strands, it is almost more than I can handle: but I really like how it is turning out;

…found a publisher for my first English novel! Nightscape Press​ will bring out a fully illustrated, gorgeous, charitable hardcover (and a bit later paperback and ebook) of “The Fertile Clay” this year, and I can’t wait! Thank you so much Robert S. Wilson and Jennifer Wilson!

…completed writing an eight-part series of interactive fiction for Echoic-Mobile-Press​. This was quite different from my normal writing and a lot of fun: following different characters into an otherworldly carnival city and crafting a host of pathways and choices for them to bring the overall story to one of several possible conclusions;

…published several short stories and poems, for example in
Speculative City​, Three Drops from a Cauldron​, Black Hare Press​, Castrum Press​, Matter Press for Compressed Creative Arts, Savage Types​, Mithila Review​, Eric Fomley’s Sins and other Worlds, @Exterusmagazine, The Worlds of F, SF and H, and The Macabre Museum;

…had two stories turned into podcasts: “The Garbage Mandala” on The Overcast​, narrated by J.S. Arquin, and “The Feasting Dream” on Tales to Terrify​, narrated by Stephen Kilpatrick (technically 2018 but I still count it). Urban fiction from the perspective of a garbage collector puzzling together a strange object from trash and Lovecraftian dream-horror in the time of the Khan;

…had more stories accepted that will come out in 2020, for example in Three Crows Magazine​, Patchwork Raven, Gehenna & Hinnom Books​, Corona Magazine​ or Darkhouse Books;

…got interviewed by Mithila Review and Erbacce Press;

…published non-fiction in Earth Island Journal​, Mongabay.com​, FT Sri Lanka​, Quarber Merkur, Colombotelegraph.com​, Republic Next, and completed my largest non-fiction story so far, on climate migration in Sri Lanka. It is currently with the editors and will appear in the next issue of Earth Island Journal;

…collaborated on an experimental German book project with the wonderful Sarah Kassem. Hopefully in 2020, we will either find a publisher for “Die Moorkolonisation” or publish it ourselves;

…edited a long, bloody, fun (bloody fun!) novel for Savage Types, translated many words for money, wrote articles for a blog about language education and German language learning;

…and, besides all of that, started new writing projects, wrapped up some old ones, and wrote tens of thousands of words toward various short stories and one new novel project.

And then, there is all the non-writing stuff that happened and still continues to happen:

I lived another year in Sri Lanka with the best wife of all, the cutest kid of all, and now not one but two adopted (and also very cute, silly, funny) stray dogs; expanded my knowledge about climate change, biodiversity, conservation and sustainable development; did plenty of research on mangroves, migration, NDCs, adaptation, human-elephant conflict, CITES etc.; got a certificate in GIS mapping; attended my first UNFCCC COP (#COP25) and helped organize side events; went to workshops, conferences, consultations, site visits; made presentations, engaged in discussions, met people, went through many, many documents; wrote research papers, policy briefs, and case studies; planted mangroves; and did a lot of other stuff in work and private life that I forgot to list here.

So, thank you to everyone, especially my amazing little family and all my friends–now it’s off to 2020 and new adventures!

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