|Submitted by Paul Elard Cooley on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 16:58|
2009. Sheesh, what a year. I'm working on finishing up "Closet Treats" so I can get review copies out. I realize now that I might not make my January 15th production date, but I'm more than willing to push it back to guarantee the quality of the story. But "Closet Treats" is one of the things that actually went right last year and I think I'm a better writer for having taken the time to write it.
Now, that said, let's revisit 2009.
I worked at Schlumberger (yes, that's the infamous company for whom the rants were made...of course, you never heard the rants because I pulled them shortly after the site relaunch) for a couple of years as a permanent employee and several years as a contractor. An old boss of mine convinced me to come on board full time as an architect to help him steer a bad ass project.
The project was incredible in scope, and it was my chance to finally make some technology decisions and show off how we could kick ass using open source technology rather than using the antiquated, piss poor frameworks that had been developed in house. Plus, it was a chance to sink my teeth into some serious performance issues and try and solve them.
If you're not a geek, most of this will make very little sense. So let's just say the job was an exciting opportunity and I worked my ass off to make it happen. Let's leave it at that.
Easter weekend of 2009, I was told the project had been canceled. All the work I'd done, the team I'd helped build, the technology that I'd put in place, everything that I'd worked so hard to create and sustain was flushed. All for politics. Let me say that again: all so some dipshit idiot executive could get rid of something that threatened his other interests.
Needless to say, I was somewhat despondent about this outcome. I spent the next several months in limbo while the company made pathetic attempts to find me a place there. Actually, that's not quite true. A lot of people busted their asses to try and find me something. But the damage to me was done. I wanted the fuck out. The company had decided it was going to go completely microsoft, regardless of whether or not it made sense. I had no interest and still have no interest in working for fucking morons who won't use common sense. So I forced them to finally get rid of me.
If it wasn't for the fact I wanted my severance so badly, I would have quit that weekend and never darkened their fucking doors again. Well, the severance and loyalty to my boss. The loyalty to my boss was much more important than anything else. But still. Damage done.
So I left Schlumberger. In June of last year, I rebooted ShadowPublications.com, which had been online for many months. I worked hard to learn drupal and get it all done by myself, which was a nightmare. But it gave me something to do while I languished in boredom at my day job. Or my day punishment, as I liked to think of it. They paid me to do nothing all day. Not as exciting as it sounds, trust me.
The reboot was very successful. Performing the reboot as well as getting involved in Facebook and Twitter has brought me upwards of 600 listeners to my content. And it's still growing. If I hit a thousand this year, I'll be damned impressed with myself.
So the good things that happened last year. My writing. The return of that passion that I had missed for so long and the confidence to keep doing it. All the friends I've made via Twitter and Facebook. All the people listening to my stuff and the occasional kind email.
But here are some other highlights. I had the opportunity to meet and drink with Seth Harwood, a fantastic writer. I've been pimping Seth for quite a while now. But I have to say the opportunity to discuss writing with someone of his caliber for hours was a great moment in my life. I think in some ways it cemented my resolve to keep doing this.
The friendship I cultivated with Pons Matal and Joseph Cartwright while I worked on "Tattoo" was a joy. Pons gave me the idea for Tattoo, even if he didn't mean to. It was a big success and I can't thank him enough for being so damned supportive. We'll cover more of that in the wrapup show for Tattoo...when it happens. But, if you're listening bro, I owe you a shitload of beer.
When I went to Dragon*Con in September, I met a lot of people that I had spent so much time talking to on Twitter and Facebook. John Pavilich, Suzie Q, and others I had met at the Seth Harwood reading were there and we caused mischief and mayhem. Mostly to my liver. And had a great time.
I got to meet and talk with Mur Lafferty, Christiana Ellis, Scott Sigler, as well as Christof Laputka. Again, it was a great experience. The podcast fiction community is so damned supportive of one another. And I was pretty much welcomed into the fold as a producer and writer, as well as a fan. That meant a lot to me.
My one regret of Dragon*Con is that I didn't get to spend nearly as much time as I would have liked with James Durham and Rick Stringer, two men for whom I have great respect. Watching them win Parsec awards, as well as Scott Sigler, was another experience I really appreciated. Gives me hope that one day I might be on that stage and, more importantly, DESERVE to be on that stage with such talented people.
After Dragon*Con, the next great moment was Scott Sigler crashing at my house on his Rookie tour. I finally got a chance to talk with the man, as well as drain a bottle of Tuaca, and babble about football. I wish we'd had more time to discuss writing, but I was very thankful for the few moments I got with him. Hell, he even recorded a bump for Tattoo on my equipment. Yes, I've had my mic bronzed.
The rest of the year has been spent trying to get more content done. This has consisted of more short stories, unfinished, two novellas, unfinished, one novel, unfinished, and then my constant work on Closet Treats the last two months. So I've been a little silent as of late. But that's coming to an end. Very soon.
So for all of you that have been so supportive, thank you. But here are some shoutouts to the people that made last year so great: Chris Bowsman, Thomas Reed, Pons Matal, Joseph Cartwright, Lark Neville, both Michelle and Michael Bekemeyer, the great and wonderful Shirley Bruce, Starla Hutchton, Scott motherfucking Sigler, Matt Fucking Wallace, Phil Rossi, my boy Seth Harwood, Jennifer Brownson, Brent Caudle, Trey Broussard, Joe Nieten, Andrew Richardson, Aris Bartee, Mike Schanzmeyer, Brett Cullum, the Dickerson clan, and, of course my wife and fiends.
So 2010. What's happening this year? The future of my tech career is murky, although that may be more cemented in the next week or two. But I can tell you my writing plan. Want to hear it? Yeah, knew you did.
Closet Treats will enter production this month. The last stories in the Fiends collection will air afterwards. Once Fiends is done, the next series of stories will start. Although I still have a LOT of work to do on some of them, I should have time while Closet Treats is in production to get them done. Then I guess I'm going to put the Fiends collection up on Lulu and Smashwords, unless someone crazy wants to publish it, and shop Closet Treats around and see if there's any interest.
But Garaaga's Children will happen this year. Probably all of it. That series will consist of three short stories, one novella, and a novel. There might be another story or two in there as well. As always, I'm thinking about it.
That's the plan for this year, folks. And once Closet Treats is in production, and I start tackling the rest of it, I'll be sure and let you know. It should be fun. Please stick around. Listen to my stories. And let me know what you think.
But with all the shoutouts I've done, let me make this clear. If you are listening to this podcast, you are the reason I started writing again. You are the reason I keep doing this. And your support is something I'll never be able to thank you enough for.
Happy New Year, folks. Let's make it a good one.