Every year, I like to stop and take a look at my life and the year that just was. And one of the great things about having a blog is it makes it quite easy to do just that! I get all of the highs and the lows, they are all there in easy to read formatting… sometimes even with cute pictures.
How did I feel about being a parent or on a child’s birthday, it is there. It’s like a personal photo album, but it is available for all to share. I just hope I am not that annoying friend who is showing you slides of their last family outing. That is the blogger nightmare, I guess.
Looking back, 2013 has been a great year for me. I finished writing a new novel (Permanent Spring Showers), I had two very well-reviewed books published (A Jane Austen Daydream and Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare), and I continued to watch this blog and my writing grow. Over the course of the year, my blog gained 600 new subscribers (now having over 1000) and my digits are higher on all of my other social media platforms. It all almost calls for champagne.
Okay, I don’t like champagne. Seriously, I’m a light drinker. It is almost embarrassing. It makes my patient wife laugh how little I can handle. And when I do order drinks they come with funny straws and too much chocolate. I’m not James Bond, but I wish I was. I also threw up once in college after drinking goldschalger. You remember a moment like that, trust me. I kept drunkenly thinking, “There is gold everywhere! Look at all the money!”
For those new to my blog, or those who are catching up, here are my six favorite posts from the last year. If you have already read the articles, I have included a new afterthought to each. Something for everyone… about me. Enjoy!
Welcome to the World of Writing: My Advice for New Writers
Many people find my blog via my posts on writing. We writers like to read about our craft, it’s understandable. This is one of my favorites I have done, because it sums up a lot of the advice I would give new writers. Also, I have had the pleasure of having this post included in a college syllabus over the last semester.
I kid you not!
Poor college students were forced to read this article and then ask the inevitable question afterwards: “Who is Scott Southard?”
I Want a TARDIS! My New Obsession With Doctor Who
Having a blog like this has taught me to embrace my inner nerd. This is not easy for a literature buff with an MFA to do. We like to think of ourselves as pooh-poohing TV shows and films. But the fact is, for me, that wall is down. Yeah, I like some Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who (and wrote about each).
I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, especially the later incarnations of the show with David Tenant or Matt Smith as the good man. This post is about how I became a fan and why. Did I mention the front door of my house is painted TARDIS blue? Not only did my wife approve of the idea, she bought the paint and did the painting. Yes, I am a very lucky nerd.
What I Learned From Having a Literary Agent
When it comes to my writing posts they don’t get bigger than this one. 74 comments, 65 likes and over 2800 views.
Yup, it is the most popular post on my site now and mainly it is about a chance I had and blew it. Bask in my failure everyone!
The fact is, right now, I am working to get a new agent. I wrote a book last year (Permanent Spring Showers) and I want to see where it takes me. I’m really proud of the book. So I’m playing the query letter game (which I always consider a little depressing). Also, I’m pretty sure after this past experience, I won’t have to write a post like this again if I get a new agent to back my work. (Fingers crossed).
Say Hello to Mr. DeVere, I Mean Shakespeare…
Remember what I said about being a literary nerd? Here is an example for you!
Just as much as I love reading, I also love studying the history around the craft. What I am saying is I can just as easily get lost in a biography of a writer as I can in their books.
The Shakespeare/Oxford debate has intrigued and fascinated me for years. And I don’t see it going away until someone finds something new. Now I truly believe there is something out there that will solve this problem. A manuscript, a letter, something. It’s only a matter of time before it is uncovered. I’d love to know what research is being done around that. What attics are being searched… Oh, and if someone could find one of the lost Shakespeare plays, that would be awesome too.
WKAR Book Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
One of the coolest things to happen to me this last year is when I became the book reviewer for my local NPR station, WKAR, on their show Current State. Sweet!
I’ve done a dozen book reviews so far and I am loving the experience (You can hear all of my reviews via links on my site here). Probably the best word to describe my feelings around it is “gleeful.” I love hearing them on the radio, going to the studio, etc. Just fun all over.
This review was the first where I felt like I could really do this well. Plus, it’s on Jane Austen. Can’t go wrong there… Also, as a fan of Austen’s work it is a thrill to hear the soundtrack to the 1990’s miniseries at the end. (Did I mention my new book A Jane Austen Daydream?)
Drums and Kings: Turning Forty
This year I turned forty. The big 4-0. And I thought it would be interesting to document my experience as my life shifted from going uphill to downhill. So I wrote a series of posts over a month, putting it all out there… and this was the last post in the series.
It felt like a good ending, and after writing it, it felt like I had exhaled a great breath. Something had ended there, not just on the site but also in my life. I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading my blog!
If you liked reading this post, why not check out one of my books? I’ve had four novels published in the last few years, A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here. Thanks for reading!
Need an editor? Dream of finishing that book but need some help? Learn about my editing services by visiting this page on my site. Or you can contact Rebecca T. Dickson and request to work with me by clicking the image below.
Reblogged this on The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard and commented:
First, I want to thank everyone this year for my supporting my blog and writing! Cheers!
It’s been a great year for me with the publication of two books. The year also ended on a high with the publisher of A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM having an eBook sale which put me into the top 100 for the book’s genre (reaching as low as 44). I’m pretty pleased by that. The response to the book over the year has been very encouraging; hopefully more will find it in the next year.
In the next year, I plan to do more blogging (keeping it to about 2 to three posts a week) and focusing on my next book, PERMANENT SPRING SHOWERS. My hope is to find an agent for it soon (fingers crossed). I’m pretty proud of the book and I hope to have it published before the end of 2014. Then there is the inevitable question of “What’s next” to deal with… Well, that is the fun of New Year’s, the possibility of a fresh year ahead.