Friday, 4 January 2019

Welcome to 2019!

The future I'm still waiting for.

It's the end of the decade! I'm sure out flying cars, wicked cool motorcycles, and trench coats will be arriving any day now.

It's a bit hard to believe that this year I will have been writing at this blog for five years now. Half a decade! This whole thing mostly started as an outlet to get thoughts and ideas written somewhere as I wrote novels and dealt with real life problems in the background. I wasn't sure it would last as long as it did, never mind for 300 posts. Little did I know how much things would change in such a short time.

But all that aside I suppose it is time for a general update post on where I am at. It's been a while since I made one of these.

Over the last year I wrote two novels, one is with my editor right now and the other is being heavily dissected and rewritten by me in the background while I am also in the middle of writing a new one. Pulp speed is still something I engage in, but it is not a method I can use to publish the content, merely produce it from my brain. Editors, artists, formatters, and readers, all have their own schedules and I can't do anything about it. As it is, I didn't get to publish a novel last year, but that will change for 2019.

I wrote seven short stories (and am currently near the end of an eighth) but I also wonder if I should keep my focus on them, much as I enjoy writing these pieces. They don't garner a lot of attention and there are so few markets who actually buy Action and Adventure stories that it's the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette in getting the work out there to an audience. I have a few more I absolutely want to write and put out (mostly to get a functional themed collection) but I don't think I will put as much of my attention into them going forward.

Because of all these choices I didn't get as much published this year as I would like compared to 2017. I only had three short stories released, one of which I put out myself via newsletter and amazon, and no novels. Compared to what I wrote that result isn't much. It's a bit of a disappointment, but at least I should have a novel out within the next few months via my publisher and a story or two in a collection or anthology on top of it. So my efforts for the year were not a total loss.

On the personal side, 2018 was not a great year. The first few months went well until I lost someone important to me at the end of March. That cloud hung over me for the rest of the year, spoiling much of the mood and stifling productivity that should not have been. Several others were lost along the way and I learned some things that were not pleasant, but were certainly necessary to learn. On the other hand, because of all this my motivation to move to a better location has been renewed. I don't think this will cut down on writing, whether blog or otherwise, but it should help me regain focus on what truly matters. 2019 will be an improvement.

Myself aside, the indie writing world sure was full of surprises this year. There is a new movement for mecha series starting up (Beginning as #AGundam4Us) it looks as if genre magazines are beginning to find an audience to be sustainable, at least in the short term, and several upcoming projects like Heroes Unleashed are beginning to spring up. Imagining this back when I started this blog back in 2014 was impossible. Things have changed quite a lot.

Though to be fair, this decade has to be the most dull one in my lifetime, especially if we're talking entertainment.

The top ten grossing movies of 2011 and the top ten grossing movies of 2018 are fairly interchangeable with each other. Even comparing it to a list from 1991 and 1998 would yield it shows a culture in complete stagnation. Case in point, the two movies this year that will probably be worth seeing from the big studios had their first entry release in 2012 and 2014.

That might be the biggest takeaway from all this. Compare entertainment and the culture of any decade from the first year to the last one.

Television... is dead. I don't have any way to spin that one. The networks are still offering the same swill from 2012 and 2013, just occasionally changing the title and actors involved. Reality television's stranglehold killed audience investment and single cam post-modern sitcoms successfully murdered traditional sitcoms and general audience interest with it.

The music industry is a dead man walking. It has no influence left, just as it had near the start of the decade. It has no superstars, no crossover appeal, and no performer than isn't completely interchangeable with any other one. Tik Tok by Ke$ha (a song I've never heart because this stuff is easy to escape now) was the highest selling single of 2010. 2018? God's Plan by Drake (another song I have never heard) and the same list of performers you've heard hundreds of times. Now, compare 1980 to 1988. Call Me by Blondie compared with Faith by George Michael. They aren't even the same genre.

But because of the rise of services like bandcamp that successful movements like Retrowave came about, and where many indie bands now put their work. You probably won't ever hear a new band come out of the labels before the collapse, but it won't be because they don't exist. It will be because the labels are clueless.

In fact, it is the mediums where the independent and middle market have a chance to succeed that are doing the best creatively.

Video games have had a creatively bankrupt decade, still milking games and formulas from 2008 (Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 2) as well as the ever-tired Grand Theft Auto template. About the only interesting console release was the Nintendo Switch which easily overtook the sales of every other console in the decade by simply offering something other than the same thing as previous systems with pwettier gwaphics that Sony and Microsoft did. However, within the last few years middle market studios, once nearly hobbled by the first HD generation, have made a return and are finally back on track. Games such as Cuphead, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and Dusk, all released to rave reviews and offered something the AAA companies couldn't. Going into this year we should hopefully see more from the middle market as they overthrow the safe and tired mainstream from their undeserved pedestal.

As we enter into this last year of the 2010s I suppose that is the best takeaway from it. The dinosaurs are dying, and the new age is beginning. Let us just make sure we are not caught in the extinction event with them.

Happy 2019!

2 comments:

  1. I am sorry for your loss. I know what kind of a haze and pall that throws over everything, including simply getting by.

    As to entertainment - good god so much of it is shallow, predictable, sludge. I recently remarked on Bandersnatch which I wish I avoided much like the rest of the Black Mirror episodes.

    May your year be better, or at least have changes leading to better things

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    1. Thanks, I really appreciate it.

      Just read your post on the Bandersnatch. I have absolutely no idea what anyone would find appealing about any of that. What trash. That's the exact sort of "horror" I can't stand.

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