Good Bye 2018! Hello 2019! 

I stepped into 2018 with really only one goal and that was to write more. However, I also desired to find a balance in my life between work and play for the betterment of my mental health. For anyone that follows me–will know what’s coming next: I wanted to “Create a Positive Change” in my life. 

For the entertainment of myself, I’m going to break this down into a few sections as I recap 2018 and look ahead to 2019; the sections are Writing, Projects, Movies, Books, and Personal. 

Writing

At the end of 2017 I wrote a Christmasy themed horror story called, Oh, Unholy Rite. Coming into 2018 off of that high, and feeling guilty for not having focused on my primary goal, I was determined to write more. Editor duties kept taking a front seat but then I saw Bo Chappell’s call for submissions to his anthology based in his Year 47 world. The submission date was far enough out that I had a feeling I could meet that deadline. I spoke at length about this in my November Recap but I am, needless to say, excited to have my story, Dead Falls, among the pages of the other fine stories and great authors published in By Year’s End: A Year 47 Anthology.

Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, there is some potential for a return visit to the world of Year 47. Time will tell but there have been several conversations at length as to what that return might look like–get excited. While you’re at it, if you haven’t start the New Year right by reading By Year’s End and Year 47

Next, I actually got to have one of my stories published among the words of other fantastic Lovecraftian fiction in Aphotic Realm’s October/November issue, Eldritch! My story, The Mountains That Whisper, is an ode or almost companion piece to one of my favorite H. P. Lovecraft stories, The Whisperer in Darkness. The issue contains 10 original Lovecraftian Mythos inspired pieces, a few comics, articles, and an interview with none other than S. T. Joshi; one of, if not, THE leading Lovecraft expert in the community. I may be bias, but I do think this is a fantastic issue! Check it out here.

Aside from writing Dead Falls and The Mountains That Whisper, I wrote another revision of Oh, Unholy Rite and that was it for my fiction writing for 2018. For some of you writers, that may not seem like a lot, but considering what I did compared to the previous year, it is much better! Now, that’s not to say I didn’t start other things, or jot ideas down–every writer does–including me. I’m just counting complete stories here.

When it comes to non-fiction, I’ve done quite a bit. To kick off the year, I wrote two interview pieces in Aphotic Realm’s issue 3, Classified, with Richard Chizmar of Cemetery Dance and the other with best-selling author, Mylo Carbia, the Queen of Horror! Both were fantastic, informative, and a pleasure to work with! Check out their interviews, backed up with fantastic fiction, here!

In issue 4, Dystopia, I full-filled a life long dream and got to interview THE Kevin J. Anderson, master of universes, and author of every Star Wars book that got me into reading on my own as a kid. He was a pleasure to work with and I still can’t believe my name was anywhere near his when I wrote that. Not to be overshadowed, is author and musician, Ronald Malfi. You’d think working with KJA would be the highlight of this issue but I have to say, chatting with Ron for the interview and these last few months over Twitter, has been a complete pleasure! He is a talented musician, author, and just a cool dude. Check out Bone White by Ronald Malfi–one of my favorite reads for 2018 and his band VEER just released their new album Apocalyptic, Baby. You can read those interviews in Dystopia here if you haven’t already done so. 

In Aphotic Realm’s issue 5, Eldritch, we visited the mind of H.P. Lovecraft. I was quite honored to get to pick the brain of one of the folks who has studied him most, S.T. Joshi. It was really great hearing his thoughts on the man behind the mythos. Eldritch is as I mentioned before, one of my favorite issues we’ve released. I hope you all check it out. 

Oh and fellow Geek-Man, Bo Chappell and I wrote an Article for Kendall Reviews. Can’t forget that one! It was about the threat level of the Universal Monsters! 

Fiction, and non-fiction. That wraps up the year.

2019? Well, All I can say really is I hope to continue to do more.

I already mentioned that there is some discussion we might revisit the land of Year 47 but I have not begun that story or project yet.

A few of my writing friends have been encouraging me stop cutting things out of Oh, Unholy Rite, and instead expand on it to make it a full novella. You see, the story originally ended at somewhere around 8,000 words. In the process of trying to find a home for it, I’ve shaved words off to meet various publications maximum word count. Expansion may be possible. Or perhaps it’s hubris. Time will tell.

I’m aiming to submit a story to The Grey Rooms but I likely won’t get in if I can make that deadline. Season 1 is so fantastic that the talent level, quality of writing, etc., is bound to be well beyond anything I could ever create. Best of luck and congratulations to everyone over there at The Grey Rooms. Seriously. Hats off. 

Thats all for writing! Now on to:

Projects

I’m clumping Aphotic Realm into projects. We’ve got a lot going on over there–which I talked at length about in THIS article should you be interested. I’ll try not to repeat myself here. 

The only things I can really say about Aphotic Realm is… well, okay, I don’t have much. We’ve got another year full of strange and sinister planned for you all so stay tuned! 

Actually yeah, I do have one thing: If you like to watch or read horror/sci-fi movies, TV shows, Books, etc. Hit us up. We’re looking to expand our reviews section on the website. I’d like to see a fresh review up there once a week which is why I’m hoping I can get a couple folks interested to help out, alternate weeks, etc. Let me know. Alternatively, if you want to do an audio or video review we could talk. Obviously, it would have to co-inside with our brand etc. This is me rambling and all very unofficial. Basically, if you want to be a part of our team, get in touch. 

Geek-Men! In 2018 I started a podcast with fellow geek and writer, Bo Chappell. Our podcast, which I’ve talked at length about on here, is about creating a positive change in the nerd/geek community. On our podcast, we talk about “all the things you love, without all the hate.” That’s what the Geek-Men and the Masters of the ThunderNerds are all about! Our first season went off without a hitch. We had a complete blast. 

Season 2 will be starting early 2019 so be on the look out for more about that. 

I have a few other projects, one that’s been heavy on my heart for a while now. I’m not sure where to start. Basically, I want to help people. But to do that, I think I need to line up some resources and work a few other details out. Vague, I know. 

Movies

To kick off the year, we got MoviePass. Initially a great deal that crapped out on us halfway through the year. To top it off, MoviePass, despite their initial claim cut us off at once per movie as soon as a movie came out that we wanted to see multiple times. So if you see (MP) that means we saw it using our MoviePass. If it has (2) or (3) after it, that means we saw it additional times beyond the MoviePass allowance.  

Black Panther (MP), Game Night (MP), A Quiet Place (MP), Upgrade (MP), Ready Player One (MP), Pacific Rim: Uprising (MP), Rampage (MP), Avengers: Infinity War (MP), Deadpool 2 (MP)(2), Solo: A Star Wars Story (MP)(2), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (MP)(2), Incredibles 2 (MP)(3), Hotel Artemis (MP), Ant-Man and the Wasp, The First Purge (MP), Skyscraper (MP), Mission Impossible: Fallout (MP), The Equalizer 2 (MP), The Spy Who Dumped Me (MP), A-X-L (MP), Alpha (MP), Peppermint (MP), The Predator, Venom, Aquaman, Bumblebee.

Looking to fill the void of MoviePass in 2019 with a different service. We mainly go to Cinemark but their option is pointless. It’s 8.99 for 1 ticket and 20% off snacks and stuff. Additional tickets are 8.99. Thats great if you only see 3d movies or go see movies at night time. The Mrs and I are old. We only go to the first or second showing on a Saturday for multiple reasons. It’s easier that way for us primarily. With that being the case, we get the early bird pricing which is like 6 or 7 bucks for a regular show or 8 bucks or something like that for a 3d show (don’t quote me on the second one-we rarely see 3D since we got MoviePass). So–on the look out. 

Books

I keep my Goodreads updated and I surpassed my 2018 reading challenge of 30 books by completing 35 books last year! 

Among my favorite books that I read in 2018, I’ll narrow it down to a few of my favorites. (My writing and Aphotic Realm works aside)

  • Death Without Company by Craig Johnson: I loved the Longmire TV Series so coming to the books was a great decision. The first book was good, but I think the second was better as the author Johnson, found his stride with the voice of the characters a bit more and didn’t info dump as much. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series!
  • Kill Shot by Vince Flynn: My I mentioned this at length in a blog post earlier but this series came highly recommended and I quite enjoyed this book!
  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan: Again, loved the Netflix series so I came to the book and couldn’t put it down. 
  • Bone White by Ronald Malfi: I already spoke about this earlier. It’s good. Read it. 
  • The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor: I gushed all over Goodreads about this. You can read my review there if you like. 
  • Siphon by A.A. Medina: The debut novel of my business partner and good friend. I couldn’t be more proud. I can easily say without a doubt, that this is here and would be here regardless of my association with him. Great characters, pacing, an inspiring first at-bat. 

I set my Goodreads 2019 challenge at 40 books. I doubt I’ll make it but I plan on giving it a good try! 

Personal

We took my oldest daughter, Cadence, to see her first movie this year. FIRST movie. AT the THEATER. She was a few months shy of turning four. It was kind of neat. I was sitting down, talking with my mom and wife about it and I realized, I was about the same age when I saw MY first movie in the theater! 

My first movie at the theater? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cadence’s first movie? Incredibles 2!

Both superhero movies if you didn’t notice. Yup. Ya gotta raise ’em right! 😀

She loved it. We loved it. Saw it three times in the theater. Took her to see it opening weekend. Then again the following weekend. Then, on her birthday a few months later, it was still in theaters so I took her on a daddy-daughter date. 

2018 has been a bittersweet year. We’ve had good times and bad times. As a result of both being busy, wanting to avoid the drama, and a bit due to the bad times, I’ve withdrawn a lot from social media. But we’re still ticking! 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking around and I wish you all the best in 2019! 

Until Next Time, 

Happy New Year! 

-DSY

ps. I ended 2018 with Kidney stones. Wish me luck that I’m through the worst of it as I head back to work tomorrow.