For the 2009 holiday season, I decided to update my blog homepage and fill my fans and followers in on some of my gifts and achievements of the last twelve months, along with what to look out for and what will be under the x-mas tree this yuletide season (for the little one). Regardless of the last year-and-a-half of dying markets and a bad genre economy, 2009 still managed to be my best year in the “earning” department, where I doubt I will ever be able to rival 2007 in the quantity and material department. Some of these achievements range from smaller press and semi-pro fiction acceptances, minor proofreading, non-fiction writing and essays, resumes, my first official short story collection being released, my first Kindle title being released, making over 2000 friends and followers on Facebook, and just a lot revolving around the written word and The Spirit of Christmas.
Isn’t that a beautiful Christmas tree? The lights flash blue and white. Progress-wise, this year I had very little time to blog/plug but got a lot of acceptances (some straight through 2011), let go of a lot of reprints, wrote 26 BRAND NEW short stories, wrote 8 BRAND NEW novelettes, wrote four unfinished novellas between 15,000 and 30,000 words in length — which I may make available on my blog to read next year. I mean, why let good stories go to waste. Or maybe I will get around to editing and finishing those novellas. I have future eBooks & Kindle titles on the horizon. I realized that, money-wise, it doesn’t pay to release a second short story collection. I can earn more individually. I was shortlisted a couple of times by some decent pubs, made second readings, almost made it into 4 professional level magazines/venues. And that’s just the fiction department. Oh yeah, did I mention the steampunk and satire offers?
Below you will find pictures of just half of this year’s gifts. It’s mainly a Cybermen-themed Christmas this year, with David Tennant regenerating into Matt Smith and all. And my son is now a Dr. Who fan and absolutely adores The Cybermen (he’s scared of the Daleks). Oddly enough, he’s also more a Christopher Eccleston fan. One of the items I searched the UK high and low for was The Cybermen Age of Steel 4-figure collection. Collect them all, open up the packages, and you can build a fifth figure. The Cyber Controller. I also picked up The Next Doctor on DVD and ordered a Cyber Leader Voice-Changing Helmet to seal the deal.
Some of the other gifts, which are already wrapped, consist of model kits with glues and paints from my old man, though they say ages 8+ and 12+ on the packages. So I guess the little one will have to hold on to them until he’s old enough to understand them. Those are made by Revell. There are also Bob the Builder videos. Believe me, Doctor Who wasn’t the only stocking stuffer. There are some other wonderful toys and gifts ranging from Super Mario to Toddler Costumes to Spongebob Squarepants-themed games, and, like last year, play food items. Like “make your own pizza.” The Spongebob game in the picture below is actually Connect Four, but obviously for a slightly younger age group. Then there’s the one last-minute gift I just couldn’t put down. The paint job was so realistic. It reminded me of the Super Powers Action Figures of the 80′s. Remember those? The Justice League of America Boxed Set: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. These figures are mint and pristine! And who doesn’t love the JLA?
Now that’s a big ass cup of coffee (by the way, that’s made of metal). Just couldn’t resist.
In a reduced and very affordable fashion, I also treated myself to a few early-season gifts. First, notice the non-fiction book above on Pompeii. You got it. It’s research time. Lawrence Dagstine will be coming your way sometime in 2010 with a story set in Pompeii. It could be before Volcano Day, it could be after. It could be Alternate History or not the story you’re expecting. But you know me when it comes to Historical Weird Tales.
Also, I can’t recommend enough WEIRD HISTORY 101 — published by Falls River, and if you’re a B&N member, you might be able to get it reduced now for $4.00 — in hardcover. This tome is sooo awesome. It’s like a mini factbook and reference tool for the writer, and just all around interesting to own. If you’re a writer of historical tales, alternate history, steampunk, or period pieces, trust me and go to Barnes & Nobles and get this book. Doesn’t matter what genre. Author is John Richard Stephens. You won’t find these kind of facts on Google, or between the pages of traditional historical reference books.
And if you look up above, I finally have a new computer desk. Nice to have shelving and a drawer, but still unsure of what to fill it up with yet. Now that the little one has gotten older, the bookcase units pretty much belong to him and his toys. Now that I have a Kindle, most of my print books will be donated. Those I wish to keep will be locked away in storage between two households (yeah, there’s that many). But that desk above is situated in a new corner, it’s my new workspace, and it’s where I’ll pen that Pompeii tale for you Dagstine readers when the time comes.
With that said, I’ll probably only update this blog four more times before the New Year. Stay with me in 2010. We have many adventures to go on together, and much awaits. Won’t you join me? To all my fans and readers…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Lawrence R. Dagstine
Other New Entries: “About Me”