Section: From the Author’s Desk
Blogger: Joseph Clay
Happy belated New Year to all! Here’s to 2018 may it bring you good health and cheer.
That’s right, we have entered another year. To those of us in the northern hemisphere that means it’s winter. Yes, Mother Nature took a deep breath of cold arctic air and released it with a mighty exhale. The frigid air spewed across her chapped and cracked lips sending snow and freezing temps as far south as Florida.
As I type this from Nashville, Tennessee there is snow on the ground and the temps at night are expected to be in single digits.
This is the second or third round of wind chills below freezing and the temps at night dropping into single digits. You will have to excuse me for not being sure but my brain has turned into a block of ice hindering my short-term memory.
I’m not a winter person as the cold brings on aches and pains of years and years of being rode hard and put up wet. I know that is a cliché and writers are not supposed to use them but hey I have never been one to follow the rules. I even started this article off with the weather which is also a no-no according to Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing.
Staying in the house most of the time to avoid the cold gave me to time to ponder 2017 and what 2018 may bring.
I must admit that 2017 was not a good year for my health and worse when it came to meeting my writing goals.
My health was a roller coaster ride to say the least and a major road block that caused a detour in my writing.
The doctors added medicine, changed medicines, and removed medicines. With each new regiment my body and system would adjust. At times the changes worked in my favor. Then there were the times when it was all I could do to get out of the bed and in the shower. Instead of getting to involved in what was happening I can sum up the health issues in one line.
I didn’t even put a tag on the Harley and it never left the garage in 2017.
I was writing full-time for Live Laugh Love Nashville penning the Music Monday feature. It was time-consuming and a bit stressful trying to gather the information needed to do the artist justice and the organization week after week.
The doctors informed me that the stress could be attributing my health issues. They determined I needed to stay away from all situations that were aggravating and/or stressful, which included anything with a deadline.
The hardest decision I made all year was to give that position up.
I didn’t see or feel stressed as I liked doing the feature, liked the other writers and I love the owner like a little sister I never had. Heck we were like one big happy family. A little dysfunctional but still a family and I will miss them.
I also got derailed with many adventures, none which had anything to do with me physically writing.
I started a publishing company, ThunderHorse Publishing, last year. The company suffered several set backs that required more of my time than I had planned.
I determined that the best option was to take full control of the company and cut back some of the services that the company offers to Independent Authors. ThunderHorse Publishing will reintroduce those services one at time over 2018 and 2019 after I restructure the organization.
Being an independent author means you foot the bills for advertising, publishing and editors along with cover design… you get the idea, we spend a lot a dough to get our work out their. I needed way to supplement my income that would help pay for my writing addiction.
The pieces began falling in place when my son’s car played out and had to be replaced. He is a college student and now needed money to help with the expenses that came along with purchasing a vehicle plus to help pay for a higher education.
We put our heads together when the opportunity arose to open a retail booth inside a flea market here in Nashville. We decided that it was a good idea and went for it.
On December the first we had the shelves stocked and began selling merchandise to the public under the name JT’s Place. The booth sells new and used items at prices anyone can afford. Give us a follow on Facebook and/or Twitter.
The plus side of opening the store beside the cash it brings in, I have another brick and mortar outlet to carry my books in. On the downsize, running a retail location takes time. The time spent ordering stock, pricing and stocking cuts into the writing time. Does no good to have a space to sell your novels if you are not writing.
All the adventures mentioned above will benefit me and those involved along with other independent writers in the long run. However to reap those benefits I need to be writing and stay healthy enough to do so.
The store has become a family business with us all handling different aspects of it as not to overwhelm and/or stress out one person.
When it comes to my health, both physically and mentally I have been following the doctors orders, staying away from stress, exercising along with taking breaks away from people when I feel it necessary. I have been feeling like the old me since around the second week of the new year. I’m improving daily but still have bad days. When those days come around I do all I can to keep one day from turning into two and two turning into a whole week.
As you can see 2017 was a wild one. As I reflect on it I ask my self; what did I get done last year as for as writing goes?
Well it was not a total loss. Although the goal to release at least one new novel in 2017, with a long shot of putting two out fell short, I did make some writing headway.
I submitted three manuscripts, and several short stories for my short story collection, to my favorite Editor and Proofreader Clare at Human Voices for review. The three full length novel titles are as follows.
- Thunder Bear
- The Bet
- Demons of the Jungle
My writing goals for 2018 are simple and within reach.
- Keep the readers updated with a blog that is published at least once a month.
- Release one new novel (Thunder Bear)
- Release a new edition (Re-Write) of Demons of the Jungle
Rewrite, what is a rewrite you ask? Demons of the Jungle is my first published work. The book was released way back in 2013/14. I’ll cover the specifics of the rewrite in next blog.
Till then try to stay warm and keep flipping the pages and reading. Remember reading is like dreaming with your eyes open!