Seeing as it’s the last Thursday of the year before my birthday break, I thought I’d try making a 2022 Wrap Up (my top stories of 2022 will come out on the first Thursday of the new year.)
This is the sort of thing I include on my email newsletter: fun facts and pieces of inspiration that made the stories cime to be. (If you’re interested you can sign up here and get some free short stories and early release chapters of my upcoming book), but this post will be mainly focused on my short stories (that’s probably why you’re here, after all).
I write all my weekly short stories based on what I’m inspired by at the time (the only ones I wrote in any kind of advance have been Sage and Leo). I had a goal to be more organised about my short stories and to (try and) stop writing them the day they’re supposed to be posted… That didn’t work out so much. Really I should have known better, I’ve always been a right up to the wire kind of person. I think that’s a large part of why I so often seem to end up with more fantasy than sci-fi. I mean, it depends on what media I’m taking in but, fantasy is such an easy fallback for me when I have no ideas because you can just make magic happen. Sci-Fi feels like it needs to be a little more planned out. Maybe that’s just me, though.
We started the year with Rescue, a Short Story about a princess in a tower who doesn’t necessarily want to be saved. (Her dragons’ name is Buttercup). I’ve been playing around with the idea of turning it into something more than just the short story it is, there’s a lot of potential there for a full narrative, but I’ve got other things I’d rather write, so… It was a lot of fun, as someone who is a serious homebody, to get to write about the character who doesn’t necessarily want adventure in the great wide somewhere, a character who found their comfortable and is quite happy to remain there, thank you very much.
I can’t really remember if there was anything specific that inspired Rescue, it was almost a year ago at this point. There’s every chance that the princess in the tower story just lingers in my mind in the same way fairytales do. Or maybe i watched Shrek — I guess we’ll never know.
Between then and now there have been 20 pieces of Flash Fiction, 17 Short Stories, 2 pieces of Unwarranted Advice, 4 Compilations, and 1 Anniversary Post.
Then we got all the way to The Value Of Camping (I’m not counting Jason & Penelope, they’re a special), a short story completely and entirely inspired by my own childhoods camping (I was not quite so disgusted to be there and I did help set up the tent), which came in very handy for our second blackout of the last 6 months in our current place (anyone ever heard of a PME? It’s basically the big thing where all your electricity comes into your house. Ours was sparking. We have a new one now), when I had to use our windowless bathroom with only the light of a handheld torch to see by.
Camping used to be a yearly activity for my family until my brother and I were more securely settled into teenagehood (and we got a dog, dogs complicate camping). The sleeping on a thin mat on the ground wasn’t so bad — we used the same mats every other winter/summer visit to my cousins — the campstove cooking wasn’t bad either. Even the needing to go to a place to fill up water for drinking wasn’t so bad. The worst part was definitely and invariably the campground bathrooms. It’s such a visceral memory. Cold and dark and a little gross. And, while mycurrent bathroom is not gross at all, it is a cold winter and that cold and torchlit feel just brought it all back.
In lighter memories, I also used to play Mountain Goat with my brother. Where we would pretend to be mountain goats and go scrambling up to the top of an incline and battle. I imagine that was less exciting and more worrying for my mum.
When I did my Top Short Stories of 2021, I realised I had written a whole host more fantasy than anything else and, to my absolute horror, that I’d only written 2 sci-fi short stories in the entire year. I challenged myself to do better, but did I succeed?
Uhh… Kind of.
I mean if we take Sage & Leo: Recompense as one loooong story sliced into pieces then it was
Fantasy: 17 (or 28 if you count Sage & Leo as each individual part)
Sci-Fi: 5 (starting with Decisive)
Other Genres: 4
Other posts: 7
As for Things Not Posted, I finished Merry Arlan: Finding The Heir this year, ready for its release in March (again, if you want to chat about potential ARCs, let me know). And I’m halfway through edits of a sci-fi novel I’m really excited to share.
I’ve actually written quite a lot of different parts of novels over this year, even with my primary focus being on Merry Arlan: Finding The Heir. I won’t go into detail, I’m keeping some of them to myself but I do have a full video introducing some of my works in progress if anyone is interested (if you can’t do videos because you’re swamped and/or you live in a house where silence is necessity, let me know you’re interested and I’ll make you a post). It’s a little out of date now (ironic considering it’s from mere months ago). The plan has changed because of a variety of factors but I’ll get into that another time when I’m more solidly settled into what the plan is. (not to keep harping about my mailing list but they do find out first, it’s part of the deal)
This year has been particularly chaotic. We moved house (and, technically, country), our new place had a lot of issues, we’re still dealing with the cracked window even now. We’ve been settling Porthos in with the cat and with our whole household. And I’ve got a couple of super secret projects I’m working on that I’ll be discussing closer to when they’re ready (these things always take more time than we anticipate).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2022 wrap up and the preceding years worth of short stories. I love sharing them for free but if you would like to support my writing and my little family, you can get your very own copy of Merry Arlan: Breaking The Curse (either from me or via another bookshop) or put money in my tip jar here. Even a simple like or a quick comment brightens my day.
What was your favourite post of the year? (yours, mine, or someone else’s)
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and I’ll see you all next week for another Short Story.
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