That’s a Wrap for 2017

2017 sucked and 2018 doesn’t look much brighter.

This blog, (formerly known as) Balderdash and the Moon, started as a way for me to sort my thinking/feeling about Our Current Situation. By the end of the April I’d stopped writing about politics at all, and the hot takes were all served liquid nitrogen cold. The last two thirds of the year were mostly novel progress updates and full moon stories.

This year’s writing success was finishing a novel. Yay! I started working on revising the draft last night and it was loads of fun. I’m looking forward to re-working all that writing over the course of the next several months.

I also posted a story for eleven of twelve full moons. I hope you enjoyed them! I’ve pulled them off the site, but there will be more in 2018.

I read about 50 books for fun last year, and read/skimmed a couple of dozen for research. Here are ten that stood out:

Animal Money by Michael Cisco – I didn’t finish this book, but I still think about it. Not finishing it kind of haunts me. I’ll probably return to this again in 2018.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler – Embarrassed to say this is the first Butler book I’ve read. Good in so many ways.

Book of the Phoexix by Nnedi Okorafor – Currently reading Who Fears Death which is equally as awesome.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – Utterly brilliant. Tremendous command of language. Re-read the hurricane passage as Irma approached.

Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky – Unforgettable story premise.

Citizen by Claudia Rankine – I think about this book all the time, and constantly want to re-read it.

The Baby Jesus Butt Plug by Carlton Mellick III – I seriously should be reading more bizarro fiction. Maybe that will be a new year’s resolution.

Hunger by Roxane Gay – A reminder of the importance of bald-faced honesty.

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente – Looking forward to re-reading this one.

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer – So much my kind of book. It has the benefit of recency, but it is my favorite book this year.

A few books I read for research also stand out.

Chronicle by Bob Dylan
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
Daughters of Aquarius by Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
Neon Angel by Cherie Currie
Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock by John Einarson

My New Year’s Resolution in 2017 was to be more in tune with the moon. Like many resolutions this one had more success at the beginning of the year than the end. Nonetheless, it was one of my favorite resolutions, and something I expect to stick with me.

So long, 2017. I have my doubts about 2018, but for a moment there is hope.

Look for a revamped blog this weekend or next.

Next year’s blog (tentatively titled Bustling Folly) will lean into the lack of politics and hot takes. AND, will also have more posts (focusing on books, writing, and weird ideas that catch my attention).

Along with the revising of the novel, I expect next year to write new stories and submit to markets. I will be sending off the first sometime during the second week of January, a short-short I’ve written and am currently revising. The story strategy for 2018 is to write stories to specific markets, rather than write a story and look for a market that fits. I’ve identified a dozen pro/semi-pro markets, and am educating myself about each, one at a time.

Happy New Year, everybody! Stay safe, rejuvenate, and get plenty of rest, because we have our work cut out for us in 2018.

December’s Full Moon Story – The Drowning Giant

(UPDATE: The full moon story series was only available in 2017. All stories posted in 2017 have been taken down.)

In December we have a supermoon! If you saw the full moon last night it probably looked closer, bigger, and brighter than usual.

This month’s full moon story is an attempt to take a myth and write it as a short story. Any guesses on the original myth on which this story is based?

This month’s story is barely more than a short-short. I had another queued up, but it needed too much revision. After the effort of November’s writing to finish the work-in-progress, I didn’t have it in me to substantially revise.

I love J. G. Ballard’s story “The Drowned Giant” and this story is a slight play on words. It is about a giant who drowns his children, rather than about a giant who cannot swim.

Hard to believe December is already here. Even harder to believe that with the distractions of work, the Oval Office, and various hurricanes I managed to piece together 95,000 words and get nearly a dozen stories up on the blog.

I’m not sure what the plan is for next year, but I still have a few weeks to figure it out. I have a short-short (which was never on this blog) I’ll be submitting to the markets in January. I have to revise the novel (which I expect will take at least another year). I want to post more frequently, but I want to avoid politics, so I need to figure out how I can carve out time, and what sort of topics will be suitable.

I’ve got a few more posts for this year, but until then stay warm, stay safe and I hope you enjoy the final Full Moon Story of the year.

The Drowning Giant

It is evening and I watch him mourn on the beach. He wails. He kneels on the beach, a thatch of seaweed hanging from his shoulder. He is too distraught to clean himself. Sea water drips from his long black hair. His keening cry can be heard for miles.

Near him lays the drenched and drowned body of his daughter, the surf washes up around her legs, and then away again.

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Not long after that evening I watch him mourn again. His pain fuels my rage because I knew his pain is a lie. I watched him murder two of his daughters. My sisters. He pretends he had no choice, that they were working to destroy the paradise he built. Paradise? What paradise is there for my two dead sisters, and the dead brother I know he killed before I was born?

Read the Rest Here