That Obligatory Round-up…

Round-ups of the year are always tricky. We all receive those missives with Christmas cards from the perfect family who will tell you how they hiked nude to the South Pole, solved world debt. And then in February…

Well… maybe I exaggerate… but bearing  those in mind I take up my keyboard in some trepidation and begin to type.

91c65-provisionalcoverThe undoubted highlight was co-editing the Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic with the irrepressible Jenny Barber.  Urban Mythic is a project that I am very proud of. Watching the stories roll was both humbling and gratifying; we had 120 submissions and the agonising task of selecting just fourteen was tough. Tougher still was declining some truly excellent stories. (As it was our original brief had been twelve, but we sneaked an extra two past the uber-editor!) If you have not read Urban Mythic as yet, then do! Available as hard copy and in ebook/Kindle formats. Watch out for submission details for UM2; coming you way very soon!

I can cheat a little here and brag-up The Alchemy Press (more Peter’s work than mine but still… ) Alchemy Press had a very productive 2013 with the publication of:

In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair (ebook) by Cate Gardner  Amazon UK / Amazon USA
The Komarovs (ebook) by Chico Kidd  Amazon UK / Amazon USA
Doors to Elsewhere by Mike Barrett (Non-fiction/essays)  Amazon UK / Amazon USA
Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac edited by Allen Ashley Amazon UK / Amazon USA
Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2 edited by Mike Chinn  Amazon UK / Amazon USA
Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber Amazon UK / Amazon USA
Invent-10n by Rod Rees (Novel) Amazon UK / Amazon USA

On a personal note I’ve had a handful of short stories in print:
‘Black Hound of Newgate’ The Bestiarum Vocabulum, Western Legends
‘Bone Wary’ A-Z Cities of Death, Static Movement
‘Pet Therapy’ Demonologia Biblica, Western Legends
‘Princess Born’ Grimm and Grimmer Vol. one, Fringe Works.

I ghost-wrote an MBS biography; drafted a novel for Fringe Works; edited a novel for myself and wrote outline and most of the first draft for its sequel, so although my published output was not huge the wordage in the first half of the year was not as bad as I had thought.

The biggest thief of time during 2013 was an experiment in market stalls. Caroline and I begun Rowangrove in the last week of June and ended it quite fittingly on the last week of the year. A distinct lack of footfall in Cheadle market convinced us there were far better ways of spending our time. Rowangrove is not abandoned – merely in abeyance -. We shall rise again!

The down side of the great market stall experiment was how it cut drastic swathes from my writing. ME and Fibromyalgia by their very nature sap energy, and yes, the drop off in writing for the second half of the year a direct result of spreading my reserves too thinly. But lessons were learned, and friendships were forged, not to mention obtaining some fantastic character studies for future fiction.

2013 has been a year of sadness with the passing of two good friends, both of whom were not yet 60 years old. Taken too soon!

On the huge plus side – this has also been a year of family celebration with a wedding announcement from Peter’s daughter, Helen, and her partner, Neil. A trip to Cyprus for the ceremony will be one of the treats in store, and designates our 2014 as the year of the wedding.

When I first sat down to write this blog I’d thought there would be little to report, but despite a detour into the thoroughly becalmed waters of Cheadle Market there has been more going on than I first thought. I’m looking toward the coming twelve months with optimism and more books to write and publishing opportunities in the planning. Watch this space!

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