The journey goes on

2017 is ancient history! Well, maybe not ancient, but history nonetheless. Who would have thought, huh? It seems so long and far ahead to go from January to December, right?

When a new year starts, we usually groan about how far ahead the next Christmas period is, and we take things slowly when it comes to goals and things to do, because, hey, we’ve got a whole year ahead of us; pff! Plenty of time. But come December, we groan about how fast time went by, and darn it, another wasted year where we didn’t do any of the things we wanted to do. Does that sound familiar?

I never make any new year’s resolutions, mainly because I’ve come to accept that no matter how much I plan things out, life will always find a way to mess things up for me so much, that I might as well have been transported to a parallel universe, where nothing seems to work the way it should. There’s a saying here in Greece, which loosely translates to: when men make plans for the future, gods laugh.

Personally, I much prefer to look back and take note of all the important things that I managed to do. A lot of the times I do that for more than just the previous year. It gives me a better perspective. For me, 2017 was the year that I officially embarked on The Journey, as the title of this blog suggests. It took me four years to prepare things, but I did it in the end.

And now I’m getting ready for the next part of The Journey. There’s a vast ocean ahead of me, with few landmarks ahead to guide me, but something tells me I’ll make it to the next destination. I hope it takes me less time to get there, though I’m certain I will arrive at exactly the right time.

Holidays alongside memories

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful time, and I wish you all the best for you and your families.

I was rummaging through some old (very old, to be honest) stuff from my time in Scotland (any Aberdonians here or Scotts in general? Raise your hands please) and I found a booklet I had completely forgotten about. In it I found a dozen or so poems I had written way back in the late 90s. At least, at the time, I thought they were poems; not sure what anyone would call them now. I thought I had lost it, destroyed it, or just left it for the next tenant to find.

As I said, I am a late bloomer as far as writing is concerned, but I guess I did show a tiny spark of the need to write from back then, even though it didn’t flourish, and I totally forgot about I had even attempted it. I wonder if there are any salvageable lines in them? I’ll have to work on them more and do some editing (back then, I still believed writers produced their work in one sitting, and it came out perfect… yeah, I know. Silly me.) before I even attempt to consider them as poems, let alone show them to anyone. But it brought back a lot of memories, from a really nice time in my life.

Anyway, how was your holiday season? Did you do anything fun? Did you visit any other places, go abroad perhaps?

2014 – A recounting of events

First of all I hope you all had wonderful Christmas and a nice New Year. Christmas was brilliant for me and I got to spend it with the people who have stood by me the most, my family. Christmas is also my nameday (in Greece we celebrate namedays as well as birthdays, though I only follow namedays), so a lot of friends called to give me their wishes. It all added to a very nice day with a lot of great memories. I’m not a big fan of New Year as a holiday nor do I participate in any kind of celebration, as I don’t see the reason for it, but I understand others see it differently than me, so to all of you out there who do, I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2014 was for me a very successful and productive year and I hope 2015 will be, if not more productive then at least, as productive as 2014.

For starters I got to finish the outline of my pet project. I posted a small excerpt earlier this year from my fantasy serialised novel and wrote almost half of the first draft. Currently, it’s sitting and waiting for me to get back to it, but that won’t happen for a long while, not until I evolve as storyteller and improve my writing skills.

Following that I outlined and finished the first draft of the Darkening, my post-apocalyptic horror novel. That’s right; I finished a novel, my first ever, in 2014. It took me 5 months to write it, 3 months of which were spent writing on my 5-inch cellphone, since the heat in my study with my computer on was hellish. It was supposed to take me 3 months and be around 120k words but ended up being 149k words and 2 months overdue. Who cares? Bottom line is I finished my first novel! Yes, I’m still jubilant about this. I’m entitled to it, no? I’ll have plenty of time to feel miserable and doubt my worth once the first couple of tens of agent rejections arrive.

2014 also offered me my first publication EVER. I was honoured to have a short story published in Beyond Imagination, Issue 4, titled You Die When I Die. I still remember how high I jumped when I read their acceptance email. I also remember how many times I had to read the message over and over again, to make sure I read it right and that I was indeed going to get published (six times, if you’re wondering how many times I read it).

2 more magazines honoured me in 2014 by publishing my stories. Eternal Haunted Summer published When Hades Felt and Voluted Tales published the short story The Darkening (my novel The Darkening is based on that short story).

In 2014 I participated in my first writing competition ever for 2014 South African HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition and on 31st December, a couple of hours before the New Year knocked on Greece’s door, I got an email from them saying that my story had been selected for their longlist that would go through for judging early 2015. This is also a first for me and even though I’ve no idea if being longlisted is even worth mentioning in public (if anyone has previous experience with writing competitions, please let me know), I see it as an accomplishment, since, as I said, this is a first for me. I dreaded participating in any kind of competition, thinking my writing was sub par to the standards they’d have. The email they sent me though, lifted my spirits and boosted my self confidence. I don’t have high hopes in getting published there, since there are soooooo many far better writers out there than me, with English being their native language (I hereby declare my hatred towards language barrier and all the problems it causes me), but one can hope, right?

Between the middle of November and the middle of December I manage to write 3 more short stories, a feat I had never tackled before but that month proved the most productive ever.

Finally, 2014 was the year I started this blog. Since April 2014 when I published my first post here, more than 120 of you have honoured me by following me and my rumblings, allowed me to write my thoughts and fears in my flawed English. Together we embarked on a trip – my trip – with many highs and even more lows. You were with me when I decided to write my novel, you were there when I finished it, when I published my short stories. You were there when I felt I was drowning while struggling with The Darkening and you supported me.

To everyone who followed or visited this blog, all 127 followers and 550 visitors, I have one thing to say: