I finally told myself that it’s okay to have nice guitars and equipment for playing and recording music. My gift to myself these holidays was two electric and one acoustic guitar, rebuilding what I had before I moved across the country and felt it necessary to sell all my guitars about eight years ago. I don’t play every day, but it is nice to have another form of expression that I can turn to when I need to move my writing into my subconsciousness for a while.
Any form of expression can and will help other forms of expression. Some people who write like to paint or to draw, even though they think they’re not any good at it. I have been writing music for well over 20 years, and it’s only been recently that I decided to tell myself that it’s okay to have nice guitars even if music isn’t my main drive. For years I was convinced that I couldn’t play nice instruments because I didn’t give my music the same attention I gave my writing. I’m really glad I’m finally over that.
We launched Proton Reader a little earlier than the new year, which is something we both wanted to do anyway. The “professional” inside me wanted to plan out a whole campaign to generate buzz, but at the end of the day we are doing this as our own art project and to use our resources to provide another venue for folks who write like us to be published, so we opted for a soft launch and will be done with it. Sami is going to be taking care of all submissions and I’ll be taking care of, well, everything else–including designing the cover!
Our first issue will be going out April 1st, 2022, and will be Issue #1 (April, May, June). Our aim is to publish no less frequently than every quarter, and even without counting contributions from sales, we should be able to increase our per-word rate steadily over the next three years. I’m very excited to do this, as I’ve always had a foot in publishing and running this kind of enterprise. That both my wife and I care deeply enough about this genre and this practice that we are fine with this being a not-for-profit thing we do together is icing on the cake.
I’ve got several stories in the works at the moment, and updating this site throughout the month has taken a backseat in terms of priorities. I actually think that’s a good thing. During months were I have more time off of my work obligations, my brain shifts over to writer mode and I can focus on my fiction and storytelling. When I’m working 40+ hours per week, this place serves as a kind of transitory experience for my subconsciousness to allow me to write without having the pressures of storytelling. For this reason, I highly recommend that other writers do what I do here: commit yourself to writing a blog/online journal, publishing no more or less frequently than once per month.
In January I’m looking forward to finishing two more short stories and getting them in the submission grinder. I’ve got three completed ones that I’m not too thrilled about, that I will probably end up just releasing here on this site for free. On the other hand, there might be value is me keeping them to myself as “trunk” stories, reminding me of how far I’ve grown as a writer just in these past few years of dedicating myself more to the craft.