Welcome to the first Page of Reviews post of 2014. Once again, I’ve survived a seasonal hiatus filled with booze, video games, and more booze quality time spent visiting with my family.

Despite having three reviews in reserve, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this post. In surfing twitter and facebook over the last few days, I’ve noticed a number of my writing friends and heroes using their first blog post as both recap of 2013’s accomplishments and a forum for 2014’s goals. Considering that 2013 was the first year I felt like a real writer, for reasons I shall annotate below, I thought I would join in the fun.

Accomplishments

For the first time ever, my accomplishments in terms of professional scale writing amount to a non-zero, non-negative integer. In November of 2013, I sold a film review of Brandon Cronenberg’s AntiViral to Post Mortem Press for the premiere issue of Jamais Vu: The Journal of the Strange Among the Familiar. Truth be told, I’m humbled and ever-so-slightly intimidated by the caliber of writers I’ll be sharing pages with in this magazine. As first “long-pants” sales go, I don’t think I could have asked for a better experience. Issue 1 of Jamais Vu drops on the Ides of January. Here’s a link if you want to buy a copy, or ten.

In October, I beta read a novel for a writer whose publication cred far outstrips my own. I won’t name names, but I will say it was an honour to be asked to participate in another person’s creative process in such a hands-on fashion. Of course, this presumes that my feedback amounted to more than the ravings of a lunatic freshly released from the Arkham Asylum.

Amid quitting a place holder day-job in the finest fashion of Homer Simpson and resuming a briefly interrupted career trajectory, September saw me writing the introduction to Matt Moore’s Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark. It’s tough to describe the thought process that follows being asked to write an introduction. At first, there’s a feeling of dread at the prospect of cocking up something of tremendous importance. But once the “Dear god, why? Why me? Don’t these people know I’m a fraud who has never said anything intelligent in his life” panic attack subsided, I once again found myself feeling humbled and eternally grateful for a chance to preface the words of truly fantastic writer.

In August, I took my first steps on the editorial ladder joining Daily Science Fiction as a slush reader. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to another year of doing it.

And though this has nothing to do with writing, April saw the most downloaded episode of the Page of Reviews podcast. Therein Nick Montgomery, of the Limited Realease Podcast, and I pulled an hour’s worth of content out of our asses before a live audience at Ad Astra in Toronto. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had podcasting, and would gladly do it again for Ad Astra 2014.

Goals

First and foremost, January is going to see the release of the Wing Commander Riff Cast. Vocal losses due to seasonal colds and the scheduling demands of the holidays set us behind my initial production schedule. Despite that, Matt, Ken, and I finished rehearsals in late December. We’re now setting up to lay down the final audio over the next two weeks.

And while we’re on the subject of podcasting, 2014 is going to be the year where I settle into a regular production schedule. Through a lot of trial, and error and hours of watching less than helpful youtube tutorials, I hope think am reasonably confident I’ve developed my recording and editing abilities to the point that I can easily manage two episodes per month.

On the writing side of the equation, the Page of Reviews will largely be staying the same for 2014. I’ll release new content on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, maintaining a genre focus across various mediums.

In terms of writing that pays more than Google ad revenue, my targets are as follows.

– 4 non-fiction sales, in either review, essay, or editorial form, at pro-rates.

– 1 fiction sale at pro-rates.

– 2 fiction sales at semi-pro rates.

Given how 2013 was a bit of a professional circus for me, it was far too easy to neglect my fiction in favour of non-fiction (for comparison, I penned approximately 125,000 words of non-fiction in 2013, but a meager 10,000 words of fiction). Now that things have settled down, I’m aiming to write at least one new piece of short fiction each month. It’s not the loftiest of goals, but I think it’s reasonable and attainable.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that. My thanks to everybody who keeps reading and sharing my ramblings. It is an ongoing pleasure to be a voice of criticism for an audience broader than my mother and my cats.