The year of 2004 will be a very busy year. Here's my plan.
Less convention work. With the reduction of EveCon and CastleCon, I will only be doing some minor programming work at Balticon and Katsucon. Any and all con work will involve little preparation (that is, I am not running any departments, or doing anything complex). I don't want to "stop all conventions" because then I start to lose touch with a lot of friends. But I have a lot to accomplish this year.
See more new conventions. I have a few cons "on my radar" this year to be a simple attendee. There's TCEP (a con I have been meaning to go to for years), Fantasm (link probably not safe for work) (several people have invited me), and AMA (which my Katsu pals, Ed and Liza run). A lot of these depend on money issues, so if I even make it to one of these, I'll be ahead of the game. TCEP looks like the most likely, but I have several people egging me to go with them to Fantasm; a con that makes me nervous because of the "adult" theme, but I have been trying to explore my fears as an adult, and try and overcome stereotypes. I might also make it to Gencon, depending on certain situations. Why go to a gaming con when I don't game? Well, I used to, and the 15 years I played Dungeons and Dragons gave me a sense that Gencon is a "Mecca" of sorts I never got to attend. Besides, the people I'd go with are Kory, Allison, and the rest of Mystic Station Designs, where I will WORK their table in exchange for free room and perhaps travel. The main reason is really to be with MSD, learn what they do, and help them out (since Kory has helped me out many a time) but I picked Gencon out of all their cons for the "Mecca reason."
Go to New Orleans for our 15th wedding anniversary. I want to go and see it before some hurricane puts it 100 feet under water. This is my primary expense goal for this year, because Christine, as always, in my #1 priority in all matters of my life. At least she deserves the vacation for putting up with me for so long. I also plan to use this opportunity to study some of the occult around that area, and make my first foray back into studying mediums since I stopped back in 1987. Yes, this has to do with my new book, but there's also some personal journeys in this.
Go to back to Sweden. This is REALLY a money issue here, because this time I don't exactly have a place to stay (my cousin has moved to a small place in Sundsvall with his girlfriend). But I am not out of tricks just yet. Airfare is not a problem (FFM), but the place to stay and how to travel around is. I am waiting to hear Sven's ideas. I'd say there's a 50/50 chance I make it this year. If I don't make it, I plan to definitely make it in 2005, no matter what it takes.
No beach trip. Money, plus look at all the other traveling I am doing! I'll miss my beach buddies, though. And Hatteras.
Finish "Between the Lines." Currently, it is 40% finished, only 10% of which was done last year culminating in maybe 6-8 hours of work. This is my MAIN goal for this year, and I hope to spend several hours a week writing, re-writing, and outlining various things. Currently, I have an outline of the plot (right now it's still flexible, though), put in the framework to pace the story (currently 23 chapters), tighten the story line to be more self-referencing, and solve a few blind corners, logic loops, and instances of "well, why didn't he just...?"). I am also changing the work to be third person instead of first (easier to explain a few things). The characters and most of the major "scenes" are done, now I just have to put them around, and smooth them out. I figure if I spend an average of 4 hours a week on this, I will have a finished product by the end of 2004. My goal is to have a complete, final draft to submit to major publishers by the end of December 2004.
Write more short stories, and get them published. Sometimes, I "don't wanna" work on my major work, and so I think I'll use this time to write short stories. I have a list of plots and ideas, so I am not short on materials. But after I assessed the work into short stories, they are almost as hard as a whole novel, so this may not happen.
Work on my house more. There are a lotof minor repairs and design projects we have been putting off. Half our house looks "ecletic ugly" because of the former occupants. I wish I could get my deck replaced, because that's REALLY unsafe, but that costs a lot of moola.
Visit Albedo. Albedo and I have drifted apart because of our work, and the recent end of FanTek conventions for a while means seeing him even less. I'd like to go to Philadelphia, and go see him, and where he works. He's "Dr. Waksman" now, and teaches at some college. Albedo is so cool, I don't want him to be a "whatever happened to..."
Of course, many of these goals could be thwarted if something goes horribly wrong, and I have had a few years like that. Layoffs, deaths, illness, or terrible money problems... that sort of thing. I am PRAYING that, apart from my goals, this will be a calm year. And there's still a lot of unforeseen opportunities I might take on.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000332.html