I want to start by wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas. If you are not one to celebrate Christmas, I send my holiday wishes to whichever holiday you celebrate and hope you have a joyful one indeed. Through this post, I would like to share with you some important updates relating to myself and anything having to do with this blog that will be occurring within the upcoming days, weeks, and perhaps we can keep going about with months as well. Throughout the winter break, lasting now until mid-January, I hope to accomplish plenty of tasks from reading to writing to a literary web show. This should really bring festivity to the end of this year and the beginning of next, so I shall begin!
1. Literary Gladiators
This is the name of my newest project I plan to dig deeper into in the beginning of January. Literary Gladiators is my literary web show in which my fellow English majors and I will be discussing different texts in literature, whether they're novels, short stories, and poems, we plan to dissect the meaning of each of these works while treating them as they're meant to be treated on the surface. For now, I will share just the first names of the people participating. Those who will regularly appear with me on the program include my good friend Charles, whom I participated in four classes with and he's just a riot! He likes drums, cookies, and Noo Noos, but also gives witty analogies concerning the pieces. Jim, another regular, is just witty! He's a genius in his own right and holds back no punches as he speaks. In many ways, he's the x-rated Nipsey Russell with his dirty limericks. We also plan on having rotating guests ranging from Gerilyn, who is just so cheerful but intelligent, Nicole, who is the feisty Rottweiler of the crew possessing plenty of literary knowledge and will be a joy to debate, while Brianna holds a high range of intelligence, especially in the realm of American Literature. Finally, Christine Connery from Talk Nerdy to Me will be one of the more frequent rotating guests. She is a huge driving force on the filming end and she'll be a driving force when we film the first ten episodes. Her, Jim, Charlie, and I already worked on the pilot, which allowed us to test the concept of how the show will be run. Choosing a host will be TBD, but we are down to two. Filming dates will be decided on who can attend which day. If the first ten episodes and pilot come off as a hit, we will plan on filming more during the summer.
2. Speculations of New Jersey
I mentioned that I was working on a short story to submit to the Garden State Speculative Writers anthology during the summer. I learned that my short story, "Pity Teeth," has been accepted and I was ecstatic when I heard the news. The anthology is slated for a 2014 release, but I have absolutely no idea when it comes to further details. What I do know is that contributors will have the opportunity to get their hands on a few copies before the release to the general public. Most of the submissions are from fellow colleagues of mine, but this is the same association that came out with Dark Territories back in 2008, which included a piece by F. Paul Wilson (of the Repairman Jack series). As I mentioned before, "Pity Teeth" has to do with a trip to the dentist gone wrong. The rest you will have to read in order to find out what happens. The one thing this has done is provide me with a drive to push forward with regard to writing, something I will mention much deeper in the fourth update.
3. What I'm Reading
I'm an English major, so we have plenty of required reading for classes. When you take four English classes, which I will not do again due to the free elective requirements that cannot be English classes, you're not left with a lot of time to read for pleasure. Now that it's winter break, I will have enough time to read for pleasure or at least a decent amount of time to do so. The book I have on the top of my stack is Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry, which I hope to complete during the winter break. I began reading it earlier in the year, but I wanted the concentration to give it the proper attention it deserved. With the massive load of everything going on, that time couldn't be found. Now I'm back to it and hope to complete it. I'm also preparing for Literary Gladiators, which will require some reading from James Joyce's Dubliners, as "Araby" will be one of the stories we discuss. I also need to reacquaint myself to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Stranger by Albert Camus, and the list keeps going on. I shouldn't have any issue with The Stranger, for I dug deeply into the text on the first roundabout. Aside from Ghost Road Blues, I have my eye on Dark Territories and Watchmen.
4. What I'm Writing
My acceptance into Speculations of New Jersey provided me with a drive to keep writing and finding open markets that are suited for writers like myself to submit to. I was actually contemplating taking a more literary turn with stories about individuals that battle from some psychological obstacle. After the acceptance, I felt that I could trek into just about anything I held an interest in writing. I see myself taking on genres that are often touched upon in The Twilight Zone: horror, science fiction, supernatural, psychological, situational, or more broadly: speculative! I will be spending much of my winter break writing some new short stories while editing some of my others. If all goes well, I also want to work on some novel writing, which includes the one I began in 2011. It will need some polishing, but that's almost always a standard when it comes to putting together the best possible piece. At the same time, I will be updating my blog as often as possible with some new material. Speaking of which, these next three will touch up on what's to come.
5. Working With Loaded Shelves
I find it such an excellent thrill to be engaging in a partnership with Loaded Shelves, as Caragh and Brianna are a delight to blog with. The best thing about these two is that they read just about anything you put in front of them, bringing me a bit of optimism about how the world needs more Henry Bemis'. Last week, my book review for The Giver was released on their blog and I will re-release it here on Caponomics later this week. In addition, I plan to write and submit a review of Sunshine by Nikki Rae, which has been the most recent book I completed for pleasure. I hope to submit some more reviews and book related posts to their blog in the future.
6. Top Books of 2013 PLUS Short Stories and Poems
While these are going to be three separate posts, I plan on making this happen. I didn't have the opportunity to read as much as I wish I had been able to, but I read a satisfactory amount to the point in which the ten books on the list are able to stand their own. If more books were in the mix, some of them would have not made it, though (some are 7/10's). In addition, I plan on working on a list of my favorite short stories and poems, which will not occur as often as the annual top books of the year. I will need to decide as to whether or not I will rank them or simply list them. I'm leaning toward just listing them, but this will come down to a matter of waiting and seeing. Either way, this should definitely be a delight!
7. The 250th Post: Q&A and Giveaway
We are reaching the 250th post, which will occur fourteen posts from now. Hopefully this landmark is reached in January or February, perhaps before the three-year anniversary on March 9th. For the 250th post, I plan on having a Q&A that will lead to a giveaway. Here's the plan: submit up to three questions in the comment box ranging from anything that has to do with areas of interest, previous posts, or anything you'd like answered on this blog. For every question (up to three) you submit, I will enter your name in a raffle and the person who wins will have the opportunity to win any book that has been mentioned in one of my lists for ten best books of the year. I have lists for 2011, 2012, and will have one for 2013 that will be written before the new year. They can easily be found in one of the columns to the right if you explore each of the years. I'll answer each question and announce the winner in the 250th post, which I plan to write some time during the first quarter of the upcoming year.
Guess this is the way to end 2013, in such a positive fashion filled with plenty of eventful things that are up and coming. Writing, reading, blogging, web shows, Q&A's, giveaways... I see a 2014 that should be filled with magnificent feats that only await. Once again, I want to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and may your holiday be filled with cheer and warmth!