Archive for optimism

Hellooooo 2011!!

Posted in General Musings with tags , , , , on December 30, 2010 by simonmarshalljones

And so, to that other staple of year end musings and ruminations: new year’s resolutions and plans for the next twelve months. 2010 has been something of a mixed year, especially in the first eight or nine months of it, but then it picked up mightily for the last three. And I can pinpoint exactly WHY that happened…

It was called FantasyCon 2010. That was my first full con experience ever (although I’d attended the alt.fiction event earlier in the year, as well as the smaller Terror Scribes gathering), and I couldn’t have wished for a better introduction to the genre scene. And, as with any such quality event, you should come away feeling somewhat inspired, and I was no exception. Within a week of returning home I had started playing about with the idea of launching myself into the publishing arena, by establishing a chapbook imprint. The more I thought about it, the better it all sounded.

And so, here we are on the brink of 2011, and the imprint idea hasn’t just been given more shape and form, but it’s an actuality. The first chapbook is due to be properly launched on January 1st, which, from the time in which I am writing these words, is only two days away. Already, more than a third of them have been sold and I am getting enquiries from all over. The reviews are all starting to come in, and so far they’ve all been great.

So, resolution number 1 is to promote Spectral Press and to develop its presence within the scene. I want it to reach its full potential, of which I think it has a great deal. The recipe is certainly there, and there are some quality ingredients: great writers, high-quality presentation and the chapbooks are reasonably priced. Plus there’s a certain exclusivity as well, with the limited numbers and the author’s signature in every one. It definitely has the potential to succeed – and even though it hasn’t officially been launched yet, it nevertheless has better prospects for it than the record label ever did.

Resolution number 2: I will do more reading for pleasure in 2011, and less reviewing. The latter would have been forced on me anyway, I think, what with the prospect of me getting busier throughout the year. However, the books I have for review here already, that have been kindly sent to me, I will honour my commitment and review them. But after that, whilst I will still keep my hand in, it’ll be an irregular thing.

Resolution number 3: Go to more cons. I need to do this anyway, if my publishing ambitions are to succeed. Even more important, though, is the fact that I have met some great people and that I greatly enjoy the (woefully) irregular social contact I have with them. It would be nice to meet up with them more than just the once or twice a year. Social networking sites like Facebook are all well and good, but fail spectacularly when it comes to sharing a pint with them. So, more cons it is then.

Resolution number 4: Secure a source of regular income, preferably in the editorial/proofreading areas. Liz, my wonderful wife, is the main bread-winner in the Marshall-Jones household, and I simply want to ease the pressure on her. Plus I’m a dour Welshman with a strong sense of pride, as Liz keeps telling me – she may be right on that one.

Resolution number 5: Get back into painting and drawing. This has already started – currently drawing some portraits for a client, and have a couple of painting commissions for book covers, as well as a portrait. Already looking good on that count, then.

Resolution number 6: a bit of a frivolous one this – try more varieties of rum. Rediscovered over Christmas just how much I love rum and coke (or Pepsi Max, in my case – can’t drink proper Coke). This is considerably less mad than the idea I entertained a few years ago of trying a bottle of every single variety of Belgian bier, if only because there are less brands and types of rum out there. This is, of course, offset by the fact that rum is more expensive. But where there’s a will there’s definitely a way.

That’s it so far, but there’s still one day left of the year, so I may yet think of some more. Whatever happens, I have a feeling that 2011 holds more promise for me on a personal level than it has for a long time. I intend to be cautiously optimistic with regard to certain aspects, but in general I can say that I have never looked forward so eagerly to a new year than I do to 2011.