2014, thanks and no thanks.

So another year bites the dust.   2014 was a mixed bag for me, containing some real highlights and memorable moment. Moments I’ll never forget.   I got to travel to New York and conquered my fear of flying more than a few hours.  (well, sort of. I might have been medicated..just a little)   I also saw my debut book Urban Chiller make it to a Kindle release and based on it’s feedback, also a paperback release.   Thanks to everyone involved in the project and of course to everyone who bought a copy.   I was delighted and proud of the feedback.

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I also attended Fantasy Con in York this year and got to meet some of my peers, some of which I had already met in a social media environment.   I can’t explain how nervous I was about meeting other writers in the flesh, people I aspire to and really admire.  I particularly enjoyed the evening section of the day I was there and sitting at a table in a pub drinking beer with people like Gary McMahon, Adam Nevill, Stephen Volk, Mark Morris and Tim Lebbon really was a highlight.  I didn’t have a lot to say, but I just took it all in and also got to meet new people, too.  Thank you also to Paul Meloy for some good advice and indeed for spotting me outside heading towards the wrong pub in the first place, whilst he was enjoying a crafty smoke in the doorway.   Meeting my mate Gary McMahon in person was a particularly great experience.  I met Gary about two years or so ago on social media and both being long suffering mackems and followers of the mighty red and white stripes through thin and well, ..thinner, we hit it off straight away.  It was really great to connect with him in person.  A top bloke and a fine writer.

Alas, despite him being only a few feet away at several points of the evening, I lost my bottle to introduce myself to Conrad Williams, too a writer I really admire.  Whilst I’m sure he’s a nice bloke, Conrad did look a little stern and I filled my pants at the last minute.   Maybe next time!

Those that know me personally know I’ve had a terrible last quarter of the year for reasons I can’t discuss here.   But the dust finally has cleared, I now have a clearer road ahead of me and I’m taking that forward in 2015.  I have a lot of new ideas, I’m back to working on my debut full length novel and preparing short story submissions for various different publications.   I’ve re-discovered a little self confidence and that is translating into consistent and solid writing time after a period of creative paralysis.

I’m a year older, but feel a lot wiser as a result of this year so I guess there are positives to take out of the great balls of shite that 2014 slung my way, at times.   Above all, I’m starting to believe in myself again and whilst I’m sure life has many more ups, downs, twists and turns to reveal to me in the future, I feel better placed to tackle them.

Good luck and good health, folks for the coming year.

Jonathan

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