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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 HAS COME AND GONE…

…or will be in the next few hours or so and it is funny how time flies—a peregrine falcon would’ve been impressed. Was it not a few days ago I was making this year’s first blogentry (and the only one of three)? As a matter of fact, this has been the most eventful year of my life and the longest, which is such a paradox. If there’s one thing I learned this year, it’s the inevitability of change. It will come whether one will like it or not and one can never be prepared for it, change.
Like I was for the majority of affairs I found myself in beginning from January. That first month I entered a supposedly yearlong national service following a brief month of mobilization in another state’s boot camp—the longest journey I ever made on the road, all fourteen hours of it—on the tail end of last year. I stayed in that state—it was in the east—for the better part of ten months, undergoing, assimilating and accommodating, but not necessarily understanding, another culture, set of values, delicacies, religion and weather. And I came out of it a transformed person, but not very. I met new faces and new characters with personalities I sincerely envy and every one of them left an imprint on me. I’m glad to have met the fellows I did in that time.
In my first blog entry of the year, I presented my, erm, resolutionsin a 12-stanzaed poem. As at the time of putting this down, I took a pause here to consider if I fulfilled the intents I selected.
<<Gulps tea…>>
I feared I hadn’t satisfied these declarations, at first. Then when I began looking at it in another angle, I realized I had done as I had said, due to a flaw: I hadn’t set, erm, parameters, or arguments, in the language of programmers. From a publishing standpoint, I didn’t do very much, or as much as I would’ve wanted, except had some stories accepted and published on several online reading platforms and published my first collection of short tales on Smashwords, Mungojerrie. I also had one of my short stories, Disconnection, accepted for an anthology, Deathmongers. But my resolution wasn’t publishing as many books as possible; it was “to ensure that I never ceased my commitment on a book.” I fulfilled that one, by Jove. This year I finished the first draft of a novel I started very early in the year and I intend to have it rewritten, rewritten, edited and published at the right time next year, fate willing. Since I completed that draft, I started another epic fantasy novel, already 50000 words strong at the time of editing this entry.
On my other intents, I did take on responsibilities that gave me the privilege “To render help to all I could” owing to my station in the east. But that’s it about resolutions.
<<Sips tea…>>
I cannot say for certain that ePublishing made giant strides this year compared to previous years except maybe the growth in status of Scribd and Oyster—I mean, Scribd even has its app on Playstore now—and the 40th anniversary of Graywolf Press (hearty congratulations to the press’s Pulitzer prize winner and nominations). With the good also came the bad. Though I’ve never tested the waters of Amazon, there wasn’t much to be pleased with in respect to their exclusivity offers such as Kindle Unlimited and KDP Select, according to many of the writers I know who use the platform to publish their eBooks, and CEOs of other publishing platforms. And now I hear of some All-You-Can-Eat books doodah. Amazon and their chicaneries. Apparently, ripping off authors by not ripping them off seems an ok thing to do. And it’s a pity; self-published authors have invested a lot already on their services—and I’m not even considering the financial point of view—to simply opt out.
This year was a good year for anthologies, for me. I had the privilege of reading a shelf-ful of collections and anthologies, though not necessarily published in the course of the year. Not to forget I got published in one, my first time. Thanks to Martin H. Greenberg, Kevin J. Anderson, Lou Anders, Kevin Bufton, John Joseph Adams, Robert Friedrich and others, I had a rich miscellany of miscellanies to keep me entertained throughout my service in the east. I also read some really good and inspiring novels by talented authors. Special kudos goes to Peter David, Jim Butcher, Chelsea Campbell, Greg Rucka, Steve Hockensmith and Graeme Reynolds. Reynolds’ High Moor was the last book I read this year, a genuine and inventive literature about werewolves. And yes, of course there are these books I ranked as the best I read this year. Peter David really rocked my year and I cannot decide which I loved best between his two novels, Artful and Q-Squared (the latter, partnered by his Vendetta—I read this one last year—has birthed in me a love for Star Trek literature and I will be nurturing that love earnestly in 2015). These two are the best novels I read this year by far. Joseph Mallozzi’s Downfall in Lou Anders’s Masked anthology (a miscellany of superhero/supervillain tales) was the best novella, and maybe the best I’ve read in a long, long time. J.G. Faherty’s The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979 in Kevin J. Anderson’s Blood Lite III was my best short story of the year (Ray Zacek’s The Sister’s in Robert Friedrich’s Deathmongers holds an honorable mention) and the best flash piece is Disconnection by yours truly, also in Deathmongers (but to be fair, I didn’t get to read too many flash pieces this year).




On the 12th of November, lander Philae of the Rosetta space probe made the first ever soft landing on a comet, a groundbreaking achievement in the field of spacefaring, and technology, generally; and amidst several other accomplishments as Microscale 3-d printing, brain mapping and ultraprivate smartphones, whatever that is, it’s safe to admit technology has come a long way since sending man to the moon and back safely with a 74kb computer. And it’s great to see ePublishing hasn’t been left out. Thanks to those fellows at Google and Apple, their updates in their mobile operating systems has permitted smoother, cleaner, faster performances of applications so that eReaders and the likes are prospering on even the smallest handheld devices, giving bookworms who can’t readily afford devices like the Kindle fire to own an ok substitute, especially in developing and third-world countries. Like someone said sometime ago on the comment section of a blog I visited, eBooks don’t just have competition within itself but also with alternative forms of entertainments and those includes movies, TV shows, video games, to mention a few, and the quality of these other entertainment options have improved significantly this year; it will only get geometrically better. So it’s only fair ePublishing is carried along.
All in all, this year has been an eventful, memorable one. I can only hope it is bettered by the coming one. Wishing all my readers and friends a Happy New Year in advance. Thank you for the memories of this one, the laughs, the arguments, the periods of indifference between. You all rock in so many ways. And to chip in my new year resolution early, `cause I don’t know when next I’ll post, it’s simple and I’ve set the foundations for it this year and it has something to do with building up a shelf, a shelf for a single series about individuals who have adventures in the extreme complexities of space.
Before I go, what movie made your year and which one are you looking forward to this coming one? Mine was Guardians of the Galaxy, and now I’m so immersed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s no surprise which movie I’ll be anticipating. ;-D

See you next year.
<<Drinks tea as browser loads published page…>>
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