2011. What a year to look back on. And, yeah, it seems like I was sitting here before, it was about 365 days ago that I was sitting here to write a post titled 2010... I Barely Knew 'Ya. I just figured, what the hell, do what everyone else does for a change and write a little bit reflecting on the past year. So I signed right into my blog as soon as I sat down, just typing away. It was a break from my usual routine, which is something big when you have OCD, skipping going in to check my e-mail and bouncing around to the three main story sites I had been posting on, little realizing that there was an e-mail informing me that my short story Fungi had been plagiarized and was being offered as part of a story collection on Amazon. (Yeah, Rebecca Giesler...Becky Bick-SUCKER...Mistress Ana Phylaxis, or whatever the fuck your wanna be witch ass name is, I have not forgotten about you!) For an author nothing makes you feel more robbed and violated than to know you've been plagiarized, especially if it's one of those stories that's kind of near and dear to your heart because it was written several years before and it's one you think over often. I quickly got my footing and struck back, and today I'm happy to say that I at least played a part in having the "works" of Mistress Ana Phylaxis removed from Amazon.
In a twist of irony the incident pushed me to the point that I reached a goal, which in my mind was the goal I needed to reach to consider myself having arrived on the writing scene. I looked into eBook publishing for the first time, armed with the knowledge that it had to be fairly easy once you took into consideration the narrow turn around time between the posting of Fungi on Literotica and its appearance on Amazon. Within a month and a half my recently finished novel Heather's Journey: The Sound Of her MASTER'S VOICE was published to Amazon after an intense round of reformatting. Not long after I began to sever my ties from story submission sites because they were either highly political or run by indifferent administrations, or both. And I haven't really looked back. With my relenting and finally joining das FaceBooken at the beginning of the summer I was able to reconnect with several people I knew from Lushstories, as well as meeting ones I was aware of but never had a chance to get to know during my time there. Am I totally done with story submission sites? I would say it's a yes, for the most part, however there's always the possibility that I will post an occasional short story here and there, but as busy as I seem to stay they will definitely be few and far between.
Early last year I also published eBook editions of my holiday erotica short stories Bunny Holes and St. Patrick's Day Scrumpin'. I worked on and off of a story collection built around Fungi until the start of the summer. Then I decided to take a break to rework an older story, which resulted in my second published novel A Day In The Life Of Abagail King. In the fall I published my first erotic horror short story and poetry collection A Letter To Doctor Freudstein - Demoni - And Ten Poems and released my brief gay male short story Honcho as a free read in eBook format as well. By that time I had begun to publish on Barnes & Noble and All Romance/OmniLit as well. In November I made the decision to join the 12 Days Of Creepfest Blog Tour, and after getting a slight ribbing by Rebecca Treadway I decided to write a story collection to release in conjunction with the tour to prove that I "still had it" (it being the same it I had in high school), which resulted in my first non-erotic release, a holiday themed horror and short story collection Frog Nog And Other Horrorday Tales.
If you've followed this blog you know that my Fungi collection Fungi: Weird Tales Of Horror And Eroticism is not the only project I have worked on or though of over the past year. I'm horrible with deadlines as I really do not believe in writing whatever I can within a few pages and publishing it just to get it out there. I truly do love to fallow the fields and let stories and projects grow cold for a while before coming back to them. In my excitement I did start working on several things over the past year to which I assigned projected dates, and none of them have made it, or are going to make it. That being said I am currently working the short story prologue to my much talked about, but still not published, Shadows Of The Night series. Titled Legend Of The Ghost's Woods I decided that it was much too long to remain as the actual prologue for Comes The Dark Storm (which, yes, I am hoping for a 2013 finish for that novel), due to the nature of giving a long history it did not fit in well with the rest of the narrative, so I hope it serves as a jumping off point to the first book. I am currently working on the final three stories of a four story horror collection I call Four Freaks, which I also hope to see complete by late spring at the very latest. Heather's Journey: The Manual Of Discipline was another project I started on this year, but did not get as far as I had planned on, and at this point I think it will be another year or two before everything falls into place and it's closer to publication. Then of course there's The Creeper, which I have billed for months as my first horror novel for publication. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a summer release. Of course there's a lot more that occasionally gets shifted from the back burner to the front, and then right back. So keep on looking, because there will be more details coming as time goes on.
The end of the year is of course pretty hectic, as I am sure everyone knows. Frog Nog And Other Horrorday Tales went live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago with no fanfare, though I as sure a majority of my readers grabbed a copy while it was free during 12 Days Of Creepfest. To cap off the year I made the decision to release eBook editions of two stories I wrote in 2006, each with a different holiday theme. Both will be released within the next week. Fuck Flowers, Fuck Candy... ...This Is A Gift You Can Really Use! is a science fiction erotica short story about a woman who gets the greatest sex toy ever made as a Valentine's Day gift. Thank You, Ma'am And Sir is a Thanksgiving themed BDSM erotica short story about a thankful submissive who tries to work her thankfulness into something else to be thankful for.
Aside from writing in 2011 I began doing reviews. Of course it seems that the title "critic" probably fits me better than "reviewer". But I tell it like it is, and the way it is, as I have seen, is that the independent writing scene is full of hacks. So, as perhaps my only resolution I am not going to hold back in my reviews anymore. (What, I've been holding back?) Well, not that much. This year, though, I'm planning to give the hacks I find in the independent world a swift kick in the balls. And if you don't have balls... Well, I've been assured a crotch kick to a woman is just as painful as a crotch kick to a man (no balls = no squishy padding).
I have to say it felt good to get Heather's Journey: The Sound Of her MASTER'S VOICE published to Amazon, because that was the goal, being published for sale (not the making of millions of dollars, or being a best seller, but the actual fact it was published for sale) that I felt spoke to me that Michael C. Laney had finally arrived. That aside the thing that I have really enjoyed is getting to know other independent writers a lot better over the course of this year. I can't really imagine not knowing Jason Darrick, Rebecca Treadway, Lady Sharon and so many others. Knowing these people, finally feeling as if I am in a group that are my friends and peers...
Well, that's another thing, a sign that was never a goal, or even a thought, that I had at last "arrived"!
2012... I'll be lurking for you!