Writer's Life Published by: 4

The end is nigh.

In less than 18 hours, 2018 will be over. Thanks be to God.

Looking back on what has been for the past 364 days, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed in what I’ve been able to accomplish. Maybe I ask too much of myself. What I consider my best novel to-date, “Dark Hollow Road”, came out this past spring. Yes, I know to complete a novel is considered a huge accomplishment and I’m not saying that it isn’t. I’m super proud of that book, yet I’m still disappointed. Sales have been horrible for all my titles this year – absolutely abysmal – and I think that’s where my mood truly lies. Not in “Dark Hollow Road” specifically, but the overall feeling of not being good enough, yet again. So few sales, even fewer reviews. Artists can be so self deprecating, so full of doubts and insecurities that we often don’t recognize the greatness of what we’ve accomplished. Instead, we look at how we’ve failed. Case in point …

In 2018, I completed Part 2 of The Witch’s Backbone and had all intentions of getting it out there in the fall. Instead, I submitted it with a great deal of encouragement by a fellow writer to a publisher on the threadbare hopes that it, along with Part 1, would be good enough. It wasn’t. Fail.

In 2018, I started to write another book in the Barnesville Chronicles – “312 Seymour Drive”. Twenty chapters or so in, I lost all control of the thing as it spiraled into something I couldn’t give a direction to. My focus was lost. The story is rambling with too much going on and I’ve still no idea how or where to pull it back so I can get on with it.  Fail.

In 2018, after the disaster of 312 Seymour Drive, I decided to finally get my shit together and work on that collection of short stories and poems I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. I had some new short stories floating around. There was one I wrote some 20+ years ago I really wanted to give a spit-shine to. I was super excited about the whole project and was thinking how great it would be to have a little something out before Christmas. Nope, didn’t happen. Oh, it’s done – more or less – I do need to go through a printed copy and edit and was never able to get a cover concept that I really liked, so… there it sits. Fail.

In 2018, one of ‘my’ sweet crows mysteriously died in the neighbor’s yard. We’ve had no real neighbors on that side for about three years due to a house fire. It’s being renovated very, very slowly, so it was nothing anyone did over there. Will never know what happened, but the end result is that the small murder of 5-6 birds that used to come around daily for peanuts and crow chow, has vanished – POOF! – I’ve not seen them since. It’s been three months. I’m told this is typical behavior and to be patient and all sorts of advice from other corvid enthusiasts. So, three years of work and yup – feels like another fail to me.

In 2018, we made an epic journey way out to southwest Texas to be part of the Day of the Dead celebration in Terlingua Ghost Town. I needed to go there as part of my research for yet another book idea. I was inspired beyond my wildest dreams. I took tons of pictures and wrote page after page of notes. I was all gung-ho for weeks after we got back and then … it all came to a screeching halt when a Christmas-themed short story hit me. Which, by the way, I’ve not finished yet, either. Double fail.

In 2018, I did manage to get out ten author interviews and write up some book reviews. I was even interviewed once myself. I watched a few movies, but not as many as I would have liked. I read a lot, too. Recently, I picked up a paintbrush again – something I’ve not done in a good ten years – and completed two small paintings. That’s something, I suppose. I’ve been dubbed ‘Queen of Horror Cults’ by none other than, Monster Man & Final Guy, Horror author Hunter Shea.  Pretty sure nobody else out there can say that. I’ve also managed to keep not just one, but two, succulent gardens not just merely alive, but thriving. That’s pretty mind-blowing if you know my history with houseplants. It’s not good, people. It’s not good at all.

Needless to say, the cons far outweigh the pros when it comes to 2018. I wish I could look back at it all and somehow view it in a more positive light. If I could see it as laying groundwork for the potential greatness of 2019 instead of merely a series of failures, that sure would help.

I know this isn’t the usual upbeat end of year review most people write, but I’m just being honest here. I’d love to end of a happy note, but to quote Eeyore, “We can’t all and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”

The end if nigh.

In less than 18 hours, 2018 will be over. Thanks be to God.

P.S. – After I finished writing this, I went out to the kitchen in search of my missing, now cold, cup of coffee. While I waited the minute it took to heat it back up in the microwave, I went to the window over the sink – and almost immediately found myself in tears. Guess who was out there noshing on the peanuts, crow chow, and bits of leftover Cornish game hen I’d tossed out before I sat down to write? Three of my beloved crows. Yes, I’m taking this as a sign that 2019 will be so much better! 😀



  1. Thomas S. Gunther

    Hey, Pamela! I know how you feel. For me, 2018 started on a great, triumphant note full of promise and then it just slowly fizzled and died. My only success was one short story published in HBB’s “Big Book of Bootleg Horror, Volume 4,” hounding the heels of inclusion in two other HBB anthologies published late in 2017. After that, absolutely NOTHING! I had maybe two interviews–which I am grateful for–but, other than that, NOTHING! My big hope for the year was to publish a collection (you wrote the intro). Everything looked great, then I was told it wouldn’t happen for another year. With no success in sight, I began obsessing over it, and finally made the choice to give up on it, particularly after I spoke with James Longmore, voicing my concerns and asking for his advice. Also, my Smashwords sales sucked–royally! I ended up pulling everything but one free story (for various reasons). However, I am very excited–though not in the slightest bit confident–about the beginning of 2019. I currently have 6 short story submissions out there, spread out between 5 publications, and I have a crap-load of stories left, just looking for good homes. Hats off to James Longmore, I truly believe he gave me the best advice for perpetuating my (horror) writing career. Also, picking up the pen again, I’ve delved into, and am committed to, finally finishing a novel (of a completely different genre, which i think is adding to my excitement) I started several years back. So, the beginning of this new year is proving very busy, and out of 6 submissions, I think it’s safe to say at least one will be accepted, though I’m rooting for them all. With a new attitude, a new drive, a new plan, and one new direction, I have the feeling this is going to be a much more productive, and much happier year. Time will tell, I guess.

    1. Pamela Morris

      My muse seems far more interested in picking up a paint brush theses days than a pen. Screen time has been sucking me dry the past few months. Maybe I should go back to doing my writing Old School as I did with all the erotica titles – just a pen and a notebook. At least then when I sat down to write, I’d have the first, rough draft to work from.

  2. Audra Stinson

    I hate to hear that you think of all these things as failures, when I look at all you have attempted in admiration. As someone who dearly loves to read and has not one creative writing bone in my body, I am in awe of someone who can write like you. I think these are just temporary setbacks – speedbumps if you will….I have read everything you have written and have not been disappointed once. Keep your chin up, as our cult leaderess you have an image to maintain 😀

    1. Pamela Morris

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, Audra. Winter always sees a slowing down of my writing so I’m not surprised at how I’ve been feeling towards it lately. It’s nice that I have some painting supplies on hand to give me a creative outlet and keep me from going any more insane than I already am. ((Painting #3 is in the works.)) With the return of my crows yesterday, I have a bit more hope that 2019 will see an improvement over 2018. I just wish I’d see some level of progress instead of the stagnant, soul-sucking swamp I’ve felt trapped in this past year. *fingers crossed*

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