On tap…

I know a few weeks ago I promised a new fiction project was in the offing. I haven’t forgotten about that. It’s safe to say the preliminary research and reading have taking a touch longer than I anticipated, but it’s still there on the agenda. I’ll try to make a fresh start of it after the inevitable mayhem and chaos that surrounds the last days of December. I’m not even going to even try putting a date on when that little gem might be ready to see the light of day.

Lest you think I’ve spent the last month dithering about to no good purpose, I do have a touch of good news for what’s on tap in the coming weeks. What Annoys Jeff this Week: 2013 in Review is coming along nicely. With plenty of fresh, snarky commentary, I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking, correcting, and generally updating each post to make it the very best level of vaguely hostile I can manage.

Assuming I don’t fall down and hit my head on something hard or develop the same debilitating sickness that laid me low last Christmas, I expect to deliver up WAJTW:2013IR for your New Year’s Day reading pleasure (plus or minus a few days). My best guess is the final cut will weigh in around 23,000 words and with all of the spelling, grammar, and usage corrections I’ve been making, the whole thing should be downright readable… something that doesn’t matter all that much when you’re blogging, but that paying customers seem to put a premium on for some reason.

All that’s left to do is finish editing October and November, finish writing December, write the intro, design the cover, and then upload everything to the interwebs and hope it all looks good together electronically. Sigh. Maybe I should reconsider that first of the year date.

Free time is for wimps…

After kicking Nobody Told Me: The Cynics Guide for New Employees and What Annoys Jeff this Week: 2012 in Review out the door this summer, I took a break. Or at least I took a break from writing things I wanted published with my name on the masthead. I’ve still been tinkering with other projects, of course, because just sitting around with nothing on my plate makes me nervous and jerky. Still, it was nice to have some breathing room and to not be beating myself repeatedly over self-imposed deadlines.

As much as I’ve enjoyed not laboring under too many of those requirements these last few months, the gears have still been slowly grinding out a few new ideas. Now that the nights are long and the temperatures are getting downright cold, it feels like a good time to start tinkering and see if either of those notions have legs.

The first isn’t so much a fresh ideas as a continuation of the What Annoys Jeff this Week series. I’ve started doing some of the initial leg work to publish 2013 in Review as soon after the new year as possible. I’d love to promise it on January 1st, but creating commentary, editing, and formatting take time. More time than you might think if you’ve never given it the old college try. What that really means is that 2013 in Review is probably best described as “available in January” with a date to be determined. Sure, maybe it’s an exercise in pure ego, but who doesn’t want to start off the year with a blunt reminder of all the stupid shit that happened in the one that just passed? Anyone? Bueller?

In a departure from my usual ranting full of snark and discontent, I’m also gearing up for a first plunge into fiction in almost 20 years. I’m not so ambitious as to think I can take on a novel, but I have been kicking around an idea for a short story. I wish I could take credit for the original idea, but it was actually a passing comment from a friend at work that I haven’t been able to shake for the last few weeks (despite trying very hard to ignore it in hopes that it would go away). I’ve been doing my due diligence and some initial research. It’s still the barest fog of an idea, but I think it could make an interesting 10-20,000 word virgin effort. I won’t even hazard a guess about how long something like that might take me.

I like to think my chops have improved a bit since I wrote a few shorts back in high school, but I suppose we won’t know if that’s true until I sit down and start smacking the keys. Even if it never sees the light of say, I have the feeling it’s going to be a worthwhile mental exercise. So there are the two big bites I want to take off over the winter months. I’d say between those and a few other bits that are percolating, I can manage to keep myself gainfully occupied for the foreseeable future.

Apparently free time is for wimps.

Behind the scenes…

Some time around 10:00 PM CDT yesterday, the total number of views for 2011 climbed past 2479. There’s nothing particularly special about that number other than the fact that it is also the total number of views Get Off My Lawn had in all of 2010. With the fifth month of 2011 barely halfway through, I’m very pleased with what has the potential to be a doubling of views year-over-year. Of course that largely depends on my continuing to write and your continuing to have at least a passing interest in whatever happens to be on my mind when I sit down at the keyboard. I know that little “about” tab at the top of the page says “I’m not writing for an audience,” but if we can level with one another, no one puts something on the internet without at least hoping for an audience. If the metrics are any sign, it seems that I’ve found my niche. Fortunately, snark is a strong suit for me.

In fairness, this is more a post in tribute to you readers who check in every night  or a few times a week who keep those numbers up. Now that we have the worst of this job search fiasco behind us, I hope you’ll be entertained with the growing saga of how to find a house to rent when you have two larget but harmless dogs, the pain and agony of dragging a couple of thousand pounds of personal effects halfway across the country, and starting yet another job for which I have no actual education. It should also be interesting to lean if I still remember how to live on the east coast, fight may way along I-95 twice a day, and kick the pace of life up a couple of dozen notches. Trying to figure out how to pick up life where I left off five years ago should prove hours of entertainment for all of us.

With the move date closing in, I won’t promise to keep up the every night posting schedule, but what does make it to the screen will have a story worth telling.