My blog traditions this time of year begin with a look back and then with a look ahead. First let me begin by grading how I did as far as last year’s goals:

As for new goals for 2009, I want to write 6 new short stories, revise a screenplay, write a new novel (the problem is that I have three bubbling around in the back of my head with no clear favorite), write a new novella, and revise my second novel (Pantheon of Dreams) down to a novella. With any luck, I’ll be able to get back to doing more reviews and blogs so it should be a good year.

Six new short stories: Closer Than They Appear (Shroud Magazine #7), Pimp My Airship (Apex Magazine), Trouble Among the Yearlings (Harlan County Horrors), Virtual Lamentations (for an anthology I can’t announce yet). Four written, four sold. Other stories sold this year include: House of Blue Lights (All Hallows), Hootchie Coochie Man (Black Static #14), Uncle Boogeyman (Dark Recesses #11), Shadow Boxing (an anthology I can’t announce yet).

Revise a screenplay: didn’t even dust it off.

A new novella: Bleed With Me. Though I did sell a novella, Devil’s Marionette (Shroud Publishing)

Revise my second novel: nope.

I’d declare it a B- year, but a few things popped up that I hadn’t planned on:

Sold a novel. The Knights of Breton Court. Turns out, fifth novel’s the charm. That novel then became a trilogy: Book One – King Maker, Book Two – King’s Justice, and Book Three – King’s War.

Wrote a novel. Um, I had to write Book Two – King’s Justice.

Edited an anthology. There’s no such thing as good or bad timing when it comes to publishing. You pretty much just have to grab onto your opportunities when they came up. So the idea of doing an anthology related to Mo*Con took off and I put out the guidelines for Dark Faith. Here is the final line up.

Heck, those last three alone would have made this an A+ year.

So my goals for next year? I need to do any revisions required for King Maker and King’s Justice as well as write King’s War. Currently, I have eight stories out and about searching for homes. I’d like to write a half dozen more (Jason Sizemore and I have this challenge that we’re to keep at least dozen stories in circulation at all times). I have other novels I hope to write (one a collaboration, one an expansion on a short story). I’d still like to revise that screenplay. I have two novellas percolating in the back of my head). And I’d like to make a comic book pitch.

Lofty , yes, but not entirely unrealistic. It’s good to challenge yourself.*

*Though I’m trying to keep in mind the words of a dear friend: “Try not to mentally overbook yourself, okay? I understand better than you realize about the voices in your head that drive you to accomplish more and more and to prove that nothing interferes with your ability to do your thing. But you’re only human, despite rumors to the contrary.”