By Jeff Salter
This week we’re blogging reflections about the year that has been. And 2013 has certainly been a wild year for me.
Obviously I want to talk about writing, since (after all) that’s what I do. And this year of 2013 has been good to my writing — very good.
With Astraea Press, another of my novels have been published, plus one short novella … and I have a contract for another short novella which probably won’t emerge until January or so. “Called to Arms Again” (written over the winter of 2007-08) was published in May. In June, my first short novella – “Echo Taps” (a companion piece to C2AA) came out. In the fall, I got a contract for another short novella, “Don’t Bet On It,” which is the one coming early next year. Over the summer, I got a contract for my novel, “Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold” (written mainly in September of 2009) from a new publisher, Dingbat Publishing. This screwball comedy will be released before Christmas, in both digital formats and paperback.
In April, Denise and I went to a book conference in Bowling Green where I renewed acquaintance with Ashton Lee (whom I knew by his real name from my library days) and got reacquainted with LuAnn McLane. Plus I met Duffy Brown and Cynthia Ellingsen. And I finally got to meet my 4F1H colleague, Tonette Joyce!
During June, I attended Lori Foster’s Reader-Author Get Together in Cincinnati and got reacquainted with Tonya Kappes, Renee Vincent, Duffy Brown, and Maddie James. I also met Ruth Hartman, a colleague at Astraea Press, and finally got a hug – and supper – from my AP publisher, Stephanie Taylor! Plus I made wonderful new friends, including: Nancy Naigle, Mysti Parker, and Tracy March.
I posted another 52 columns during my third full year as the Thursday Hound at Four Foxes One Hound, the group blog which began in Feb. 2011. I also made guest appearances at numerous other blogs.
Though I’d previously looked askance at sprinting, I’m now a dedicated convert. I began during the summer with a weekly sprint … with several of my colleagues at Astraea Press. By the end of this year, I will have sprinted about 35 times and those 35 hours of typing will have produced well over 50,000 new words I would not otherwise have … on some half dozen different stories.
Directly as a result of several sprints on concepts from a few years ago, I finished a short novella and a short-short story.
Also due to those sprints, I started writing a brand new novel in August — my first new full-length work in about two years. It’s still too early to talk about my eighth completed novel, but suffice it to say that it was fun to write and took about six weeks to finish the first draft.
Speaking Engagements and other Promo
I was invited to speak to the Young at Heart group at my church on Nov. 7th and got a very good reception. Also enjoyed addressing the Pulaski Writers Alliance on Nov 22nd. On Nov. 10th my pastor (from the pulpit) mentioned me as a published author and referred to one of my books!
Two of my paperback titles are now in a local bookstore, the Book and CD Hut.
I’ve arranged for an ad in the local newspaper to run over the next two Fridays and I am informed the paper will run a news release I’d delivered to them in early November.
Two more of my published novels became available in paperback format … which is always a huge thrill. A digital book is terrific, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing like holding your baby in your hands. The novels now available in paperback are “Called to Arms Again” and “Rescued By That New Guy In Town”.
At the end of the Spring semester, I learned the Royal Ambassadors program at our church was being discontinued. But I’m delighted to state that it was replaced in the Fall semester by the AWANA program… which is even better!
All six of our grandkids continue to grow and mature and we’re proud of every one of them. Three we don’t get to see very often because they live in NW Louisiana, but we keep track of many of their comings and goings. The three who live nearby see us often.
Finally, on a very sad note: early during this year, we lost a beloved pet, Belle — the black terrier with batwing ears who thought all of Possum Trot was her own back yard. She gave us nearly seven wonderful years and leaves us with a huge hole in our hearts.
Sometimes listing our blessings help us realize that even though there are rough times, the good things always outweigh the bad. Sounds like you’ve had a great year! Here’s hoping that 2014 is even better. I always love reading your posts – and hope you keep on sprinting, because I enjoy those events, too!
Yes, Patty, the sprints this year have really boosted my productivity and put some spark in my creativity. In fact, I’m planning to sprint tonight!
Truly, I’ve been blessed during this year — both in the writing sense and in many other aspect of my life.
Sounds like you are on track to have a wonderful 2014 – lots of blessings listed there!
Great to see you here again, Kate.
Yes, the blessings are bountiful and I’m extremely grateful.
Makes me wonder if the following year could even come close.
You have had a busy year,Jeff, and yet you haven’t missed a beat here! It was great to see you in the flesh, too,(although I was afraid with the look on your face, the hug-out-of-nowhere might have scared you off!).I appreciate the kind encouragement you gave to my grandson, the author-in-the-making. I had a wonderful time visiting with Denise while you were schmoozing with the other authors. I plan on going back next year to see Ashton and others;hope you will make it. Maybe we can coordinate better so we can eat together this year.
Sorry for the loss of Belle, but congrats on all the rest. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with next year.
Thanks, Tonette. Yes, I enjoyed that visit also. I just wish I had timed the meal better because I was having ‘sugar shakes’ — borderline hypoglycemic — having not eating anything since breakfast before the two hour drive. And we’d lost over half an hour of our festival time getting lost in Bowling Green.
Is Ashton coming back next spring? I submitted my name for consideration for a chair, but haven’t heard anything.
Oh my, what a great year you’ve had, Jeff. Congratulations on all your releases, ebook and paperbacks! And yes, I’ve got to admit, sprinting was something I discovered in 2013 as well and loving it!
Wishing you that 2014 will be just as successful and even more exciting!
Thanks, Iris. I wish our time zones were so far apart … so we could sprint at the same time!
summer holidays coming up here …. we might be able to “sprint together” once or twice 😉
My accomplishments in the past year pale in comparison to all the dips in the “water” you have taken in the past year. Please accept my condolences on the passing of your family member, Belle.
no two writers are on the very same step of their writing careers at the very same time.
Plus no two writers have precisely the same goals or objectives.
On top of everything else, sometimes a certain writer just gets lucky!