No, I’m not dead. Thanks for asking.

However, I have been very quiet lately, having not posted anything since Christmas.  Part of my long silence was the aftermath of all my cancer excitement from last year.  Not only have I been slow to gain back my former energy level, I have also been struck down by nearly every bug going around over the past few months, including two bouts of pneumonia.  Such are the hazards of having a busted immune system while working in a pharmacy.

Another reason I have been off the radar is that, frankly, I’ve had very little to report and even less desire to report it.  Worse than that is the lack of writing in general that seems to have marked my early 2010.  I have written less than 5000 words of new fiction since Christmas and that is unacceptable for someone really looking to break into publishing.

So, now that my annual trek through almost 2000 Governor’s Scholars applications, I think it’s time that I refocused my attention on writing and submitting.  With that in mind, I’m taking stock of where I am with my various projects.  They say you have to stop somewhere, and I guess it’s also true that you have to restart somewhere.

Wielder of the Soul—I’m about halfway through the story and, when last I left it, I was starting to find my way out of that murky land of darkness I refer to as “the middle”.  I always start strong on a story and I usually finish just as strong, but it’s sometimes that middle that gets me off track and makes me question my own commitment.  Still, this is the first project I plan on completing this year, so I’m ready to jump back in and finish the story.

Project Supervillain—Not a sequel to Gifts of the Hirakee (aka Project Superhero), this story is about two former friends who, having acquired superpowers, become enemies sworn to destroy each other.  It is also a story about how we define our heroes and villains, often without a true picture of who they really are.  I have about 30k words down on this one and have a pretty good idea of where I think the story will go.

Project Diablo—Two words:  vampire western.  About 5000 words done on this one, but I love the concept and I hope it turns out as strong as I think it might.

“The Interview of Harper Milton Todd”—I submitted this short for a big-time anthology, and it is currently being held for consideration.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

“Searching for Salvation”—I finished this short last year and haven’t found the right place to submit it.  Still, I think it’s pretty strong and I hope to find it a good home this year.

“A Coup in Chuckistan”—I wrote a nice little story about domestic violence and murder last year and, after another good round of edits, I plan on sending it out soon.

In addition to these ongoing projects, I have been asked to do a speech for this year’s Relay for Life Survivor’s Dinner in June.  I’m looking forward to this opportunity, especially since I plan to steer clear of the same old tales of hope and struggle that are so common at these events.  Having always looked for the humorous aspect of having cancer last year during my treatment, I plan on doing a David Sedaris-inspired piece on my experience with cancer.  I want to be funny without being inappropriate or vulgar, a line that will be hard to walk considering that I’ll be talking about having my nut surgically removed.

So, long-forgotten reader, I have not disappeared and I hope to resume regular programming.

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