Do you know those holiday newsletters you receive from relatives, printed on pink and red paper, that go on and on about trips taken during the year? Yeah, this is like one of those, so I’ll keep it to a mere ten rambles. In 2013:
- I wrote a feature-length screenplay on spec, just for the hell of it. I’m submitting it, of course, but I’m not sure anyone is interested in producing a film mostly shot in timelapse. (But, could you be the one?)
- I also finished a movie novelization for a small Virginia film studio. No publication date set yet.
- And I put together a short story collection that I’m beginning to submit to publishers. 85,000 words of previously published fiction, collected from here and there, a surprisingly large number.
- I saw my first urban fantasy novel hit the shelves. My publisher and I did a ton of local advertising, including (new for me) venues such as on-screen advertising in movie theaters and a holiday display at the park. I’ve had two successful book signings in the area and this month will be the guest of a book club.
- But have I yet converted my writer’s royalties into a yacht or something? Ha, yeah, moving on.
- The biggest change for me was to slim down to 173 pounds from a high of 198 and to join a Brazilian jiu-jitsu school, where I’ve earned the first stripe on a white belt. (I can expect to remain a white belt for the next few years.) It’s been a great outlet, but I’m paying the price a bit; my chiropractor this morning told me I cracked at least one rib, which has calloused over in a weird way. But I’m hoping the new knots on my ribs will actually prove to be miniature arc reactors capable of sustaining powered flight. Ha ha, you just wait until I have the last laugh. Next up at my martial arts school for me is boxing. I’m sure that won’t result in any injuries at all.
- Our oldest son had some temporary behavior problems this summer that we were worried could be the sign of something more serious, so we had him evaluated. An intelligence test soon revealed the gravity of our 4-year-old’s problem: Owen has an IQ of 152. “In non-statistical terms,” the report reads, “only one in approximately 1700 of Owen’s peers would be expected to have an IQ at this level.” So, basically, we’re just eight points shy of raising a certified genius. I think we’re in deep shit.
- Yeah, this is actually happy stuff. I warned you.
- Our younger son is pretty bright, too. The other day, he sat still at the dining room table playing with Play Doh for over two hours, just as happy as a clam. I couldn’t convince him to get up and run around like, you know, other 2-year-olds. This isn’t an everyday occurence, so he’s not freak or anything, but Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be surprised to walk into his room one day to discover him assembling Lego castles with only the power of his thoughts. Next up for Thomas is potty training. Yeah, did I mention we’re in deep shit?
- Deena and I are looking forward to having both children in preschool this fall, which means we hope to be able to work at the same time. On our last anniversary, we took our first adults-only overnight trip in over four years, an experience we plan to repeat soon. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. . . .
This year, I hope to have more of the same. Best wishes for happy developments in your neck of the woods!