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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The End of a Long Road

It's been far too long since I've had the time to update this blog. One of the stranger things I've noted about growing older and busier, with teenagers in the house, is that it's entirely possible to feel like you've blinked your eyes and six months have passed. I'll try to do better in updating things here.

As it's been such a long time, here are some updates from my life, in no particular order that may or may not be of interest to the handful of people reading along:

1. My daughter, Morgan, is a senior this year and heading off to college next year. We've had many, many household discussions on this topic, ranging from excitement to frustration to tears and recriminations. I suspect this happens more than I thought to other parents, too. When I did my undergraduate work, I picked the nearest college with a creative writing program, which happened to be the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. I got lucky and studied under the fabulous poet Denise Sweet, among others. There was no angst. For my daughter, there seems to be a lot of angst. As she now appears to have narrowed it down to three or four schools, I'm hopeful the end of the angst is in sight.

2. I finally finished and turned in my very last Don Pendeleton's The Executioner (Mack Bolan) novel this month. I believe I wrote nine or ten of them. That was the end of a very long road, indeed, since I started writing them in 2007. Ol' Mack has appeared in more than 600 books, and there were times when I enjoyed the ride very much, but by the end, I was more than ready to let him go. For the first time since 2000, I'm not under contract to write any novels. (There was a brief, panic-inducing blip in 2006, where I was without a contract for perhaps four months or so.) This time, there's no panic. I'm turning (most of) my attention away from work-for-hire projects and back to my own work... after a break to wrap up a short story, do some editing projects, and breathe a little bit.

3. I've been quite busy teaching for Western State Colorado University, with a really excellent crop of students. I've also been working away for Excelsior College, teaching and developing a new course for them.

4. What's that, you say? What have I been reading? I've been reading a lot over the past year, and damn you Amazon and Kindle for making it so easy to buy books. Here's a super quick list of some of the titles that I've read recently: Books 1-3 of Kim Harrison's THE HOLLOWS series, THE ATLANTIS GENE by A.G. Riddle, GUARDS OF THE SHADOWLANDS (Books 1 & 2) by by Sarah Fine, WOOL, DUST, and SHIFT by Hugh Howey, plus keeping up with some of my current favorite series by Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim), Larry Correia (Monster Hunters), and Brent Weeks (the Night Angel trilogy). That's not all of them, of course, but a nice sampling. I try to read at least 100 books a year. If time permits, I'm going to try and do at least one or two short reviews a month on this blog, but no promises. What's in your to-be-read pile that I should take a look at?

5. Oh, and in case you've been wondering, winter this year has been like living north of the Wall in a George R.R. Martin novel. There have been times when I've looked out the window and expected to see white walkers... They say spring is coming, but I'm not holding my breath.

And that's about all the news that's fit to share. I hope you and yours are well, that wherever you are, spring has started to show signs of appearing, and that if you are a writer, you do your best to...

Write on,
Russell

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on finishing your Mack Nolan contract! I'm excited for how that will free you up to write what you want. I feel like I blinked my eyes recently and my son is now seven weeks old. Take care, Russell.

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