My 5 goals for 2017

One thing holding up my writing career is the obstacle course I must negotiate to get into my home office.

Exactly one year ago today, I pledged to deliver a trilogy of novels about a huge beast from the sea, with the first one due May 11. I was later forced by my wiser nature to walk that beast back to the sea whence it came. I wish I could say “I didn’t say May 11 of what year,” but you can see I plainly intended to deliver the whole trilogy by July 1, 2016.

Wiser men than I have spoken of SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and within a certain Time line. The goal of writing a novel by May 11, 2016, and two more by July 1 was clearly SMT but not so AR.

In the ensuing 12 months, the day job kept intervening with my well-intentioned intentions – at least until late October, when the day job was suddenly no more.

Now I’ve had a couple of months to take inventory of the various things I want to do with the rest of my life, including a little venture I like to call, my daily-ish connection with you. Consider this entry my “annual report” or some such.

I’ve boiled down the mission to three words: Encourage, Entertain, Enlighten.

Encourage: In these times when you can’t walk out the door or turn on a screen without hearing a discouraging word, I’ve aimed to create a place where you can hear an encouraging word more often than not. The motto is “Encouraging words for creative people – and we are all creators.” Politics? I’ve retired from punditry – this is easier on the psyche.

Entertain: I love telling wild stories. I have loved superhero tales ever since I blundered across Amazing Spider-Man #4 on that fateful day in the summer of 1963, and although Myke Phoenix is no Spidey, I enjoy sharing his adventures, and exploring other planets, and yes, building the story of a giant creature.

Enlighten: I love telling real stories, too, or else I would have found something else to do in my day jobs of the past 40-odd years. I couldn’t fit that passion in the box of stuff I was told to fill and walk away on Oct. 25, so starting in December I began looking for those stories again and sharing them here and there. I expect to have an announcement about that in the not-too-distant future.

And so, speaking of announcements …

1. On Wednesday I published the third in a series of paperback and electronic books called the Myke Phoenix Novelettes. The first five are coming a little more slowly than the next 10 will come, because they involve revisions and expansions to the original Myke stories, set in 1995 and thereabouts. The sixth through 15th shift to the present day and comprise what I called the Year of the Dinosaur stories, a 12-part series of novelettes I collected in print but were never available as individual paperbacks before. I plan to rectify that oversight and have all 15 out there by the end of the first quarter 2017. And I’m starting to have the itch to create episode 16 and beyond – no promises there yet. To see the latest, click here or on the “Myke Phoenix superhero adventures” link on the sidebar menu. It’s your chance to meet Myke Phoenix again for the first time.

2. Oh, did I mention the Myke Phoenix Podcast? Yes, yes I did, now that you mention it. No worries, I haven’t forgotten. If you haven’t heard more by February, then I’m behind schedule.

3. I plan to compile a third non-fiction book to go with Refuse to be Afraid and A Scream of Consciousness. Working title: There Is No Box. Watch for more probably in the second quarter of the year.

4. Did I mention I plan to write a book called Krayatura: Beast from the Sea that will be the first part of a trilogy? That’s still a story I hope to tell, and this year.

So there are my five (with #5 mentioned before #1) goals for 2017. Stay tuned for progress reports.