I don’t do resolutions. I don’t like limiting myself in that way. But there are things I want to concentrate on this year. I would be a fool not to view them and see how they might affect my life in the coming year.
First, I will be taking classical guitar lessons starting next Monday. I am looking forward to this. I used to teach. I know the value of having structure and someone to show you the right way to do something. I am sure I have built up bad habits in my guitar playing over the last few years, and I want to correct them.
I think I am drawn to classical guitar the same reason I was drawn to this last novel. It presented a challenge. Classical guitar is that way for me. The fact the music is beautiful and skips and patters like moonlight on a pond is another nice benefit. But it is hard and I want that challenge.
I have taught myself to read music. But I want to learn more about this playing style and that’s where a good teacher comes in. We will see how it goes, and another good thing is it will motivate me to keep up with my guitar practice. I have fallen by the wayside too much lately when it comes to that. I am usually pretty good about it, but it’s easy to get in the habit of not practicing.
Next, writing. I know I need to do a better job talking about the stories and books I have out there and are coming out. I don’t like people spamming me about their stuff. A little of that goes a long way. But I know I err too much the other side, I rarely talk about my available work. I can do better and I need to do better.
I know some writers mention their available books and stories every day. I can’t do that. I can’t. It’s not my nature. But I need to mention things and relate my stories for sale to other events happening in my life if I can. I’m always afraid it will be too much, but as long as I feel that way then I probably won’t go too far and wear people out and turn them off?
As for writing new stuff, there are a couple of short stories buzzing around my head. But lately I have been drawn to longer projects. I’ve been toying with an idea that takes place with the itinerant workers of the Depression Era. The hobo culture interests me. I feel there is story potential here if I can find it.
So I kind of have a background, but having a background is not the same as a story. Ideas are not stories. I’ve read stories that are nothing more than ideas. They tend to be forgettable.
I like to idea of investigating this hobo idea and seeing if I can find potential in it. The research always interests me more than anything else in writing. I like learning new things. Someone told me during the Depression families were forced to turn children out and let them fend for themselves. That might be a starting place.
Anyway, there’s something there, an investigation of the violence and hardship that could open itself to a novel-length work. If I look hard enough. This is in very nascent stages right now. Nothing may come of it. But it’s what I am thinking about of late. I might pursue it.
I also need to get a few short stories out, probably some short Haxan stuff. Quaternity gave me an idea or two about that. I don’t see myself working on another Haxan novel this year. Not a new one. I’m not done with Haxan, but the Great American Hobo Novel is starting to swim to the surface of my consciousness.
We will see how it goes. But what about you guys? What have you planned for this year?