2023! It’s one more than 2022! Reviewing 2022 and new #amwriting goals for 2023

Happy New Year 2023

Every New Year’s Dayish I review the previous year and make new goals. Last year I posted a stock photo of a silly sheep, as well. No ewe this year.

2022 review

2022 had a lot going on. Job changes, moving, first-time homeownership—all this, to say nothing of writing-related goals. But we’re here to say something of the writing-related goals. So let’s get to it. What were my 2022 goals?

  • Finish Gobbler of Fire —Yes, though not nearly as early as I planned.

  • Write another adult novel —Not even close.

  • Write another short story or two — Yes, and it is… interesting.

Read more

Speaking of a lot going on—I got an agent!

Near the end of January 2022, I received and accepted an offer of representation from Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary. I’m so happy to have Nikki on my side. Soon after that, I received her helpful editorial notes on Garth on the Hearth, and I put Gobbler of Fire on hold and spent some time improving GotH.

By the time I finished the edits on Garth, Emily and I were getting ready to move. In a rather short time span that winter, Emily got a great new job offer, and we made plans to buy a house in Elkins, WV, where we had made a lot of friends and had been wanting to live for quite a while. We closed on the house in May last year. So pretty much between February and June, I was not really doing much on Gobbler of Fire, and it was hard for me to find my rhythm again. However, I did chip away at it, and in December finally had a draft I felt good about.

So no, I didn’t quickly bang out another MG and then go directly on to write an adult book, like I had expected. I did, however, write a short story. What kind of short story? I’m not sure. It’s definitely not supernatural or weird horror… though one might argue it shares some slasher genre elements. Thriller, then? It’s not what any thriller fan would expect. It’s based on true events, so… historical fiction? Well, again… sort of, but not like you’d expect.

In the early spring, I was puttering around in the garden, avoiding working on Gobbler, when I got to thinking about a chicken I had several years ago. A storm had blown in one summer evening, and I shut all the chickens in earlier than usual, and I didn’t bother counting them before locking up. It turns out that one of them, Emily (named after the Brontë sister who wrote Wuthering Heights), never made it to the coop. The next afternoon, someone found a single chicken foot (identified as Emily’s by her colored leg band), along with a few black feathers, in the pig pen.

And for some reason I’ll never quite understand, as I pulled weeds from the garden on that wet spring afternoon, I decided to write a story about this, told from a chicken’s stream-of-consciousness. So now I have this 2,200 word thing on my hands called "Onka Always Eat," and who knows what I’m going to be able to do with it. But hey, I said I wanted to write a short story last year, so… It counts!

Last summer was my very first time as a NeCon camper! What a great event. Everybody there is super cool and talented and there’s a very inclusive atmosphere there. I’ll certainly be going back, though not next year. NeCon is probably one of the best values when it comes to author conferences, but I can’t make it an every year thing, unfortunately. But I will be back. Thanks so much to everyone who made it a welcoming and fun experience.

Even though I didn’t write a lot last year, when you really look at it, I’m pretty happy with what happened. An agent and a new house all within a few months. It hasn’t even been a full year here in Elkins, but all that feels so long ago already. And now we’ve just celebrated our first Christmas and New Year in our first house.

Oh—almost forgot to review my 2022 publications! In August, my short story "What Grows Underneath Ends in Silence" appeared in Scare Street’s Night Terrors Vol. 21.

Not long after that, September saw "Animals," an older story of mine (originally published in 2017), become a podcast episode on Tales to Terrify. This was my third story produced for audio by them, and I couldn’t be happier. Tales to Terrify always does great work.

My last story to be unveiled in 2022, and certainly not my least, was "We Suckle," published online in October by none other than the legendary Saturday Evening Post! A few days ago, they announced their most popular pieces in various categories, and "We Suckle" made the top ten in Most Popular New Fiction of 2022. I really don’t know what to say except thank you to all of you who read and shared this story!

Last October, I also released a new edition of my weird horror novella, Unknowing, I Sink, since the first edition from Independent Legions Publishing went out of print. I’m now lucky enough to have four beautiful covers designed by the talented artist, Ben Baldwin.

I even got a couple other short story acceptances last year, the details of which I’ll divulge closer to their scheduled releases this year. And while I still haven’t made it into any Best of anthologies, as 2022 was winding down, I found out that my story "AV_NEST.CASEFILE" had been on Ellen Datlow’s long list for Best Horror of the Year Vol. 14, though it didn’t make it to the final selections.

Hoo, boy. Told you 2022 was big.

2023 goals

Honestly, my by-the-word writing productivity has trended downward over the last few years. I’m not real happy with that, but I also see that I’ve accomplished a lot and hit some major milestones. I can’t complain too much. Here’s what I’m hoping to get done this year:

  • Write another short story. Maybe not so chickeny this time!

  • Write another adult novel. I’ve got one stewing up in there already.

  • Write another middle grade book? Hope so! But I might try to tackle the adult book first. I have some good ideas for both!

  • Go to StokerCon 2023! Oh yeah, forgot to tell you—StokerCon is back on this side of the US, and in Pittsburgh, which is about as close as it could get to me without being in WV itself. I’m so happy to go and reconnect with friends and colleagues. I don’t go to events like this very often due to budget limitations, but being in PGH I knew I had to make it work this year.

Hey, that’s it. I stayed up late last night, and I’m tired. Heck, I’m tired from all of last year. Maybe I can catch up on some sleep now. If there are any doctors reading this, can somebody let me know if it’s okay to take a year-long nap?

#happynewyear #2023 #newyearresolutions #newyeargoals #amwritinggoals #amwriting #amwritinghorror #amwritingmg #horror #horrorwriters #saturdayeveningpost #thesaturdayeveningpost #satpo #talestoterrify #chicken

In which Curtis M. Lawson interviews me on the Wyrd Transmissions podcast

Fresh feasting for your famished earholes, hot off the audio griddle. Curtis M. Lawson, host of the podcast Wyrd Transmissions, has interviewed me. Listen to us chat a little about my writing and a lot more about other stuff.

Listen to “Ep. 49 – Appalachian Horror with Timothy G. Huguenin” on Spreaker.

Stream here it using the embedded player above, or go directly to the episode page, or listen on Apple Podcasts (don’t forget to rate and review the show).

Continue reading

Dim Shores Presents Vol 2 shipping now

We all expected the preordered copies of Dim Shores Presents Volume 2 to have been printed and shipped out by the end of 2020. Personally, I also expected that the limited edition run would sell out quickly, or at least before publication date. Neither of those things happened, because nothing happened according to plan in 2020.

It was a rough year, all right?

But, finally, some good news: for all of you who did preorder this exciting new anthology of strange and dark tales, I’ve received word from the publisher that they’re rocking and rolling again. Delays are in the past, awesome stories in your future! I’m sure you’ll hear from Dim Shores soon with shipping info, if you haven’t already.

And for any of you who thought, "Gee, I kinda wanted that book before the limited run sold out, but it’s probably too late now . . . " Guess what? Good news for you, too. They still have copies that haven’t been claimed (I’m not sure how many). Only $18.00 gets you this delicious beauty:

Dim Shores Presents is an anthology series spotlighting some of the best new writing in speculative fiction. Weird horror, strange science fiction, and dark fantasy rub shoulders with each other here, weaving a tapestry of uncanny beauty and fearful wonder.

+ 6” x 9” trade paperback
+ Printed on 60# natural paper
+ High-quality print of front cover art
+ New Dim Shores vinyl sticker
+ This edition limited to 150 hand-numbered copies

https://dimshores.bigcartel.com/product/dim-shores-presents-volume-2-anthology

So don’t be dumb. Order yours and find out why Dim Shores is one of my favorite small presses in the genre!

#weird #horror #scifi #darkfantasy #smallpress #indiepub #dimshores #weirdart #weirdfiction #weirdhorror #shortfiction dim shores presents vol 2 shipping now

Buy my novella UNKNOWING, I SINK on Amazon NOW

It’s already here, just in time for Halloween, believe it or not. My weird horror novella, Unknowing, I Sink, is available now on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats! Click the cover below to buy it on Amazon today. Don’t forget to help me out and leave a review on Amazon after you read it!

#weirdfiction #horror #independentlegions #dread #kindle #amazon #indiepub #smallpress #octoberreads #halloweenreads #novella #publishingnews #newrelease #booklaunch

It's a New Year?

new-years-eve-3884311_1920
Ok, so I guess the last couple years I’ve done an annual review and renew of annual goals set/met/failed. We’re already more than halfway through January and I haven’t written anything on my blog. Let’s see…

2018

OK let’s look at those 2018 goals:

  • Get agent/publisher – Nope. Still working on it.
  • Finish Bigfoot novel – Again, no. I did write a bit more on it, but I made remarkably little progress.
  • Write more short stories (at least five) – Yes! Though I wrote very little on my novel, I actually completed six short stories throughout the year, totaling over 20,900 words. Still not as much as previous years (if you count novels), but not a total failure, and a big win for the short fiction goal specifically.
  • Attend StokerCon 2018 – Yeah, but I already knew I was going to do that.

The following comments do not necessarily describe events in chronological order:
My #1 desire of 2018 was to find an agent to represent my coming-of-age horror novel about a small town boy vs. a nefarious hypnotist, Schafer; alternatively, to find a small press accepting unagented submissions who would want to publish it. Unfortunately, so far I have not done either, though not for lack of trying. There are still good publishers out there that I am continuing to submit to. Maybe I’ll have better results this year.
I attended StokerCon 2018 in Providence, RI. It was both my first time at StokerCon and my first time in Providence. I blogged briefly about it and put up a few pictures when I got back. It was a huge encouragement to meet so many other creators and workers in the industry, and I hope to be able to attend again soon.
Some of you remember I announced that I was working towards my Master of Arts in Teaching. I am still gathering the required prerequisite undergrad credits that I didn’t get when I double majored in camping and theology. Last year I finished an Introduction to Linguistics online class through Rio Salado College. I also passed the American Literature CLEP Exam (thanks in part to Modern States).
The West Virginia Writers didn’t have a volunteer representative for the region I now live in (Region 2 = Pocahontas, Pendleton, Randolph, and Webster counties), so I signed up for that. I did try to get together a little kids’ writing workshop for our region, but, sadly, I wasn’t able to generate enough interest. Perhaps I misjudged my marketing skills.
I didn’t do too badly in terms of short fiction publications. “The Unknown Thing” was published by Australian-based Things In the Well Publications in one of their themed anthologies called Beneath the Waves: Tales From the Deep, which is available in both hardcover and paperback on Amazon. In June, I made a repeat appearance in Hinnom Magazine with “The Station Agent’s Wife, 1927”. I was later contacted by Max Ablitzer who was interested in producing one of my short stories for his new Horror Tales Podcast. I happily sent along “The Unknown Thing” when the rights became available. Max did his thing with it, and the sound effects and narration made for a pretty great episode (see Episode 4). In October, I published the short ebook Antique Bed: A Horror Novelette, which you can buy now for Kindle at only $0.99. Even though the BookBub ad and the discount is long over, I continue to see noticeably better sales numbers per week compared to before the ad.

antique bed banner 1

If you think in terms of actual goals set and accomplished, it doesn’t look like a great year. However, some really cool things did happen to me last year, including a big boost in sales from a BookBub ad that helped qualify me for Active Member status in the HWA. In fact, gaining Active status was actually one of my 2017 goals, so I’ll count that win!

hwabutton

And this isn’t related at all to my writing career, but Emily and I visited El Salvador in September, which was amazing, so I just wanted to mention that and share a few pictures.

2019

I’m still going to be sending out Schafer to publishers as long as I can find good ones to send to. I haven’t totally lost hope on that front. This year could be the year. Despite my false starts with it, I really think it is a good book—it is one of my favorite things I’ve made—and I really want it to find a good home.
I really need to finish this Bigfoot book. Like, really. So there’s that. However, I also have more going on in my life, including online school, doing a bit of writing for the local paper, and a new job at a coffee shop. Oh yeah, that’s something that happened last year I forgot to mention—I am now a barista at the new TipTop in Elkins (pics below taken from their Facebook page)!

It is great to serve that community and have fun making amazing espresso drinks, but it leaves me less time to write. We’ll see if I can squeeze in enough words here and there to finish a novel in 2019.
I’m hoping to get something cool going in 2019 to help increase enthusiasm for literature around these here parts.
In terms of my education, I still need to get some Literature credits on the cheap, so I’m going to try to pass the English Lit CLEP Exam. I’m more nervous about this one than American Lit, partly because I didn’t know what I was getting into with the American exam, and partly because I feel less comfortable with and am less interested in English lit than American.
Still trying to figure out what events I’ll be attending this year. Three of my go-tos that I’m pretty confident I’ll be at again are the Lewisburg Literary Festival, West Virginia Book Festival, and WV Writers Summer Conference. I’m still on the fence about some others. I really would love to go to Necon, but I’m not so sure I can swing it this year (and I’m not even sure registration is still open). More doable is Scares That Care, but I haven’t figured out my budget for stuff like that yet. We’ll see!
Since I mentioned vacations before, I’ll just say that El Salvador was an amazing adventure, but this year we are planning something a little cheaper and closer to home lol.
Goals:

  • Finish the Bigfoot novel
  • Find a publisher for Schafer
  • Write at least five short stories
  • Plan a successful WV Writers literary event in my region
  • Pass the English Literature CLEP Exam