“What Old December’s Bareness Everywhere!” or “Don’t Call It a Comeback!”

“We cannot but obey the powers above us.
Could I rage and roar as doth the sea
She lies in, yet the end must be as ’tis.”

–Shakespeare, Pericles

I haven’t posted in a month and a half. Truth be told, that update was simply a scene I cut from my short story “Amorous Birds of Prey.” My last real blog was over two months ago, and even that was just a quick promo for my the aforementioned short story. “A Shaken Shadow” was released just before Halloween, and I didn’t even bother doing any marketing for it.

Wonder why it tanked.

I’ve been a little busy. For those who don’t know, my day job is professoring the hell out of literature and composition. For the past three years, I’ve taken on a contract that required me to teach five classes per semester. (Four is usually the cap at most universities.) I’ve happily handled the load, but in September I got the opportunity to snag a 6th.

Hey, mo’ money. Plus, it was another world lit course, so no extra prep. I got this!

I did. I uploaded the few outstanding final grades yesterday afternoon and got the coveted “ALL CLEAR” from the administrative secretary. Then I sat back in my chair, stared at the ceiling and wondered how I kept from collapsing the past three months.

Sure, no extra prep. Also, 40 more students in a class that requires a bevy of short essays for evaluation.

To sum up what I just took 250 words to say: I’ve been a mite busy.

But that Sisyphean boulder is at the summit, and I’ve got the next three weeks to watch it roll back down. Not that I’m going to rest on Daphne’s limbs this holiday break.

By Alvesgaspar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43523056

I’m used to being on the go, forcing my brain to whiz and whir at high RPMs, and I have no aims of taming the maelstrom.

There are a couple of conference proposals I’m fine-tuning. Should they be accepted, I’ll be sure to update them in the old CV. I’m also putting together what I hope is an unassailable portfolio for an open but very competitive position. (Wish me luck!)

I also have this wild idea that I am going to read or re-read all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays. I’ve already knocked out 6.

I had initially planned on releasing another short story, “Fear Caller,” in late November. Ah, the best laid schemes …

It’s written and in true Stephen fashion, needs at least a thousand words trimmed from it as well as a few strong edits. That’s doable.

I’ve set the new release date for January 5th, 2018. I’m going to do everything in my power to see it through this time.

It’s a necessary dab of paint on the bigger picture.

Along the Southbound Odyssey.png
Specifically, this one.

Remember Warren, our narrator from “Baptized in Dirty Water?” Well, he’s back, also narrating “Fear Caller.” He’s a couple of years older and still unable to find any success in love, that is until he meets the social outcast Rabbit. Jose Cardona is also making an appearance, as are Albin and the rest of the Delphine clan.

Riley and Felix are only name-checked, but I haven’t abandoned them either. The grand scheme is to compile a series of events–beginning in the late 18th century and continuing through the 1980s to present day–and present them in a full-length effort.

As of right now, I have 4-5 short stories and 3-4 pieces of flash fiction (including “Baptized” and “Fear Caller”) all chronologically shuffled that will propel the reader towards the final entry, a novella (titled “Something Rich and Strange” or “This Thing of Darkness” or something else entirely).

I’m maybe halfway towards that harbor, still tossed about on tempestuous waters, unable yet to kiss the wild waves whilst. (Can you tell there’s going to be a heavy nautical theme?) Nonetheless, that’s the plan. Perhaps by the end of 2018 or sometime in 2019, you’ll be able to grab yourself the entire collection on Kindle or maybe even hold the pages in your hand.

That’s the long overdue update. That said, the misadventures of Warren and Rabbit aren’t going to edit themselves, and–would I were able–I cannot simply absorb the complexities of As You Like It and the 31 other remaining plays of the Bard.

Therefore, you to your work, gentle reader; I to mine. When I make curtsy, bid me farewell.

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