Note 12/31/22: I've updated my list of completed work to include a few other things I forgot about last night, including a deep dive into my photography work and other projects.
Long story short, 2022 was a challenging year for me. I started the year with a stable, predictable income and by mid-February had all of that turned upside down, almost becoming homeless by about mid-April. I ended up living with my parents for a bit, worked a summer camp job in Denver, and then finally moved to Western Colorado in late November after spending a grand total of seven and a half months unemployed between the spring and the fall.
Now I'm in Grand Junction and I'm much happier and healthier than I was for a while. Despite the constant changes and challenges throughout this year, here's what I managed to get done in 2022:
March - I did a small photography tour while on vacation in Utah, Oregon, and Idaho
May - I had my first ever publication through Academy of the Heart and Mind. Yay!
July - Published a new set of photography showcasing the alpine tundra of Colorado
August - Passed 1,000 Twitter and Facebook followers
September - Did a photo tour of a very unique urban ruin near Golden, Colorado
September - Self-published a review of a recent album release from my favorite artist
September - Had my first ever interview about my writing published through FeedMyReads
October - Had my second ever publication, a nonfiction, done through Atlas Obscura, a travel site focusing on obscure travel destinations.
And that's it!
Realistically, given how hard the year was, I consider these hard-won victories to be pretty huge. I'm sure in ten years, these will be a great thing to look back on after a decade or more of new material. In addition to all this, I also completed two fiction shorts, finished most of a webcomic (minus the illustrations, which will be contracted if I have the money), published more photography, wrote and edited significant chunks of my debut novel, and refined several poems, including a few contest entries which I am yet to hear back on.
So without further ado, here's what's next for 2023 and beyond:
"Teachings of the Gemstone Woman" and "Old Saloon" (submission stage): Teachings was completed all the way back in the summer, and is currently being submitted to any writer's magazine I suspect will take it. I mentioned this work way back in my Spring update this past May, and it has been done since shortly after that posting. I am very proud of the way this work came out in the end; alot of it takes huge inspiration from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian.
Old Saloon is a microfiction I wrote earlier this month. Kudos to the Mile High Writer's Group (in particular John G. Swift) for helping me put this idea into existence!
Photography Series: I am continuing to work on my photography skills and have seen myself improve alot since I started in 2020. As of now I have 2 sample series online, and will probably keep these up as examples while I create other work. In addition to these I also have a photo series from Central Idaho, some general urban photography, and the series I've completed so far this year. Most of this will be published online and may not make a huge mention here. My focus on the website is primarily writing and education related (mostly writing).
Poetry (back at the submission stage following refinement): I have several poems and haikus out for submission at the moment, though I admit a few are rough enough that they probably won't be accepted. After missing the window for a contest submission earlier this year, I spent some time refining my poetry skills, hopefully resulting in some visible improvements. Currently I have two poems out as contest submissions. Fingers crossed I will have good news to share about them early next year!
Other Fiction Submissions (drafting stages): When I'm not working, relaxing, or spending time on my novels, I am typically working on background research and writing a wide variety of other works which mainly fall into the short fiction category. As of now, I don't have much additional detail to share here, but I do have lots of other smaller stuff in the pipeline to help buff out my portfolio by the time my debut is done. These will help prospective readers acquire a sense of who I am and what I represent as an artist.
Debut Novel: Americans in Space: Revealed in my interview back in September, my debut novel is going to be a black and white graphic novel titled Americans in Space. Set in 23rd century America, the story revolves around twelve Americans, each from a different sector of American life, who must make contact with a space station which has gone offline following an unexplained power outage, in the process revealing horrifying secrets about the station's former inhabitants. I am looking forward to marketing this one when its done and have very high expectations for this novel's eventual release. Stay tuned in time for more updates; I want this work to very much define why I write and what I stand for as an artist.
Other Projects: I prototyped a card game earlier this year but have yet to playtest it, and have filed the paperwork for a small rockhounding LLC to sell off some of my cool finds along the Western Slope. Paper Shogun (mentioned in my Spring update in May) remains in limbo but will be done eventually as time permits.
Like I said, this year was a very long, difficult year for me. While we can never predict the future, we can learn to work with what we're given. For now this is what I have and I'm proud of the victories I've had so far.
Here's to many more.
The image at the top of the page is of my mentor from college, who passed away suddenly this past August. This is him in his heyday, catching insects with forceps.