What a year.
It’s definitely been something of a ride. Dominated by the protracted and ever-stupefying election cycle and its culmination with Biff Tannen’s ascendance to the presidency, 2016 on so many fronts just feels like a year that took five years to endure. A constant stream of memes have popped up on social media to describe individual feelings about the year, and I couldn’t resist offering one of my own:
Yeah, that about sums it up.
What’s that? You want me to elaborate? Fine. Read on.
The hardest thing I had to do this year was say goodbye to my mother, who died in February. This was followed by my mother-in-law passing not long after that. Michi was also facing her own challenges, in the form of a breast cancer diagnosis. However, she won that fight in a TKO, for which I’m thankful. We also celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Ain’t that something? Meanwhile, our daughters continue to amaze me every day. Addy turned 10, while Erin turned 8. They keep me grounded. They keep me laughing and, yes, they even keep me young.
On the writing front, I remained rather busy. Most of the stuff I wrote during 2016 will be published over the course of the coming year, but what about my publications over the past twelve months? Check this line-up:
By any reasonable measure, 2016 was a good year. Two Star Trek novels – one of them a collaboration with Kevin and both helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original series premiere – along with the super cool Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: Vulcan, marking my first work with new client Insight Editions. Stepping away from Trek, I got to write a story based on one of my all-time favorite songs from my favorite band, for the anthology 2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush, and 2016 also saw my first forays into the realms of Mars Attacks and 24.
I also got to cross a couple of items off my “Writing Bucket List.” First, I collaborated with Kevin on articles for Famous Monsters of Filmland as part of the magazine’s coverage of the Star Trek golden anniversary. Next came the opportunity to write a Star Trek comic story for IDW Publishing and the Star Trek: Waypoint miniseries. And as the year rings its way out, I’m also contributing material for a brand new Star Trek role playing game, developed by Modiphius and set for publication this coming summer. Achievements unlocked!
2016 also brought with it my first Scribe Award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers for my novel Armageddon’s Arrow. Given the width and breadth of talent making up the organization’s membership roster and the quality of the other books in the award category, I was gobsmacked upon hearing I’d won. Tie-in writing takes its share of scorn and dismissal from various fronts, but I know from firsthand experience that most of the people writing such books do so out of genuine love for the source material and a desire to see them done “the right way” for the fans who read them. Because of that, I’m tremendously proud of this award and thrilled to be in such august company.
Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary factored heavily on things throughout the year, with a definite Trekkie presence at shows like Starfest, Planet Comicon, Shore Leave, and Kansas City Comi-Con, and topped (for me, at least) by the big convention/celebration/party out the wazoo held in Las Vegas in August. I babbled about that here, where you’ll also find several pics from the long, very jam-packed weekend. So many friends, so much fun. Suffice it to say that for someone who’s been a fan of a silly little science fiction show for nearly his entire life, being able to contribute even in some small way to its enduring legacy is a dream come true.
What’s coming out in 2017? In addition to whatever material of mine ends up in the RPG game book and/or supplemental materials, I can report that as of now, I’ll have at least three novels, three short stories, and another “creative non-fiction” book hitting shelves during the year. I’ve got outlines with editors for two other books, and there will (hopefully!) be more to come. You can follow updates on my latest writing projects by checking out my “monthly writing wrapup,” which I try to post around the 1st or 2nd of every month. Stay tuned!
2017 also will have special meaning for me, as it will bring with it my own 50th birthday. This is often one of those milestones that causes people (usually dudes) to look back on their lives with varying measures of regret and perhaps consider some weird, drastic change in order to recapture something they feel they’ve lost or that somehow passed them by.
I’m stating here and now for the record that I’m not having any of that shit. I’m owning my half-century like a boss. 2017 is the start of “Dayton, Chapter 2,” and I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. I’ve even thinking of getting my own logo, and everything.
(Of course, if I’m hoping to be around for Star Trek‘s 100th anniversary, I should probably start getting back into shape.)
As always, I’m grateful to my clients who continue to employ me, my readers who continue to support me, and my family and friends who are in my corner even when I’m working often insane hours to meet a deadline. Kevin naturally gets his own shout-out because Kevin! I literally could not do what I get to do without all of you, and hey! If you’re an editor or publisher reading this, I’m still a freelancer, ever on the prowl for more work. 😀
Thanks for being a part of this crazy journey of mine. I can’t wait to see what happens next.