Let Me Tell You the Story of… 2018 in Review

Ah, it’s been almost a year since I started blogging seriously (please, don’t look at how old this blog is… you’ll laugh at it!).  Here’s some of the things that I’m proud of and hope to build off in 2019.

A Novel Posted

I wrote a long backstory for a D&D character of mine (I did it for a lot of my characters, but they’re all significantly shorter than this excessively weird masterpiece).  When the campaign ended and the DM decided not to take possession of the world for his own intellectual property, I asked his permission to post this work.  While truly my own creation, he had some inspirations in the novel that I want to acknowledge.  Posting this novel is why I started blogging again.

If I Only Had No Heart_Small

If I Only Had No Heart is a rather sordid tale of a medieval android caught up in a cult of the Machine Goddess.  In effort to do right by her goddess, Spirit the android must root out the non-believers in the Goddess’s hidden compound…

A Bunch of Books Read

I’ll admit that I haven’t read as many books as I should have in my life (though I think I’ve made up for it with scientific literature).  When I made that sudden and terrible realization back in April of this year, I decided to start doing reviews on my site to keep myself honest.  They’re usually my least read post type, though my Watership Down review is somehow my most popular post of all time, but I think they help me on a more personal level.

Some of my most-read reviews:

  1. Watership Down – Richard Adams
    I love Watership Down.  I think my review went very (very) mildly viral in August when someone popular on Tumblr linked to it.
  2. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
    I think people enjoyed reading this because I just ripped this book.  You might like it, so don’t just take my word for it with this classic.  Better yet don’t waste your time.
  3. Solaris – Stanislaw Lem
    This was a really weird book.  I’m not sure why I got more likes and views on this one than a lot of my others, but my bet is because this book is relatively hard to approach.  It’s extremely heady, and while enjoyable, takes a lot of effort and thinking.

I Wrote POETRY

I didn’t expect this when I started out.  I’ve never enjoyed poetry as much as prose, and while I must admit that’s still true, I made the decision while blogging to learn to at least appreciate the art form.  I learned about Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday from Miriam Hurdle (stay tuned for something special about Miriam’s work!), and I would recommend joining that scene for anyone who wants to learn more about poetry.

My top viewed poems:

  1. Breath of Florence
  2. Lies Silent
  3. Squirrel in Winter

Flash Fiction Galore

I loved writing flash fiction this year.  Part of what kept me churning out flash fiction were excellent prompt givers like Charli Mills of the Carrot Ranch, Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, and Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  In November I started doing Dark Netizen’s Wacky Weekend Challenge, and this one promises to be baller, too!

Because I am a bit better judge of flash fiction than I am poetry, you’re not going to get judgment from the stats.  Here’s some of my favorite flash:

  1. Tears in the Wadi
    This one took a lot of research on my part, way more than any other flash.
  2. Country of Cranes
    My first Carrot Ranch Flash entry, I get some good-feels every time I think about this story.
  3. Stagnation
    A WWI story written for Veterans’ day weekend and the 100th anniversary of the fateful Armistice Day.
  4. Afterbirth
    Fantastically SHORT sci-fi flash.

Short Stories Too

I wrote a few short stories that were unprompted.  Here’s a couple I was especially proud of:

  1. Return of the Iron Lung
    Don’t read it if you’re an antivaxxer.
  2. Godkiller in a Bag
    A weird take on some of the themes in the Adam and Eve creation story.
  3. Banana Pudding
    A memoir story that is just one of my favorite things.

And of course… Y’ALL

I’ve made a BUTTLOAD of friends this year.  I’m inevitably going to miss someone, and I hope you shame me effusively in the comments.

  1. Joanne the Geek
  2. Liz Hartmann
  3. Sophia Ismaa
  4. Alexander Eliott
  5. Brian from Books of Brian (Not sure he’s still active, but he’s a hoot!)
  6. I assume it’s at least partially a lurker-type of friendship, but I at least feel like I’ve gotten to know the amazing Charli Mills of the Carrot Ranch and Colleen Chesebro of Tanka Tuesday fame

Last, but certainly not least, I absolutely must mention Tom Darby.  While I’ve technically had this blog for a long time, I only started caring about doing the writing blog thing earlier in 2018 (right about the same time I posted that novel).  Mr. Darby was gearing up for his own run at about the same time, and I believe we both hit that ‘why isn’t this going anywhere?’ slump at similar times.  I don’t remember which of us found the other’s blog first, and at this point I don’t care.

Without his encouragement and engagement, I assure you I wouldn’t have kept blogging.  Sometimes I feel like we’re kindred spirits, though he’s gone through more life experiences (and often rather extreme ones!) than I have.

I’ve mentioned Tom Darby on my blog before, but for real people.  For real.  If you’re serious about having a writing blog, this guy should be on your list of people you follow.  He can be harder to find sometimes because he doesn’t join in the prompt-based writing festivals, but the rate at which he can churn out brand new, western-inspired goodies is just fantastic.

Anyway, thanks to anyone who reads for the fantastic 2018 (at least online).

21 thoughts on “Let Me Tell You the Story of… 2018 in Review

  1. Tom Darby says:

    How do you expect me to a ‘he-man’ type when you bring tears to my eyes by writing such a wonderful thing about me? I mean really.

    The odd thing is — I was thinking about giving up on blogging — then we crossed paths. As I recall — it was May and with your help and encouragement I’ve improved.

    The odder thing is — I was ebbing low and again concluded I should give blogging once again — then this from you. Yes, writing is an up and down act of self-flogging and chest-pounding and so I find myself back on top after your more than kind words.

    Thank you, H.R.R Gorman! Happy New Year to you and yours. May all your letters come out like words, and all your words form perfect sentences.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Haha maybe I am actually Hordak and this is my ruse?

      First off, you definitely do help me keep blogging. That being said, I can 100% see situations where I would quit (if my job or health required it, for instance). Honestly, talking with other people about something besides work is what I get out of this, so if blogging becomes a job or not fun? It’s done. I’m not going to waste time on a hobby that I don’t like. Though I expect I’d tell you before I got to that point, lol.

  2. Tom Darby says:

    Reblogged this on Eagle Canyon Flyer and commented:
    Sometimes you get exactly what you need to carry on. In this case another blogger — a real writer — and online friend had some very nice things to say about me…

  3. Alexander Elliott says:

    I hope to hear from you often my friend! You have lifted my spirits many times this last year, and writers are such delicate creatures. It’s so nice to have a friendly port of call in this stormy, wave-tossed world. Here’s to a GREAT NEW YEAR!

  4. joanne the geek says:

    Thanks for the mention. I’ve enjoyed reading your stories and poems and your comments on my own work. I look forward to reading more of your work in the coming year, as well as more of your insightful comments ❤

  5. authorwilliammangieri says:

    It’s never occurred to me to use reviewing as a way to force myself to study what I’m reading – I tend to just read for entertainment, when I could be more consciously learning things to improve my own writing.
    Good luck with 2019!

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I’d say ‘reviewing’ is a substitute for ‘making a promise and potentially embarrassing myself by not doing it.’ I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would hold me to anything, but still – if someone were to find me not reading a book I said I was going to read, I’d pretty much turn into a beet!

  6. Marnie says:

    I’ve loved reading your stuff this past year, and I’m also super thrilled you started doing poetry! It seems like the poetry communities you’re participating in are awesome, and I keep meaning to check them out (once I finish this prose beast, haha).

    I bookmarked If I Only Had a Heart and plan on reading it in February or March. 🙂

  7. Sophia Ismaa says:

    Hope you had an amazing 2018 and are having a great 2019 so far! ☺️ I gotta say, I love your reviews, you’re one of the reviewers I’m learning to write well from. Also, can’t believe that people don’t like book reviews? I love reading them.

    And I count you as a friend too, and as one of the funniest in the blogosphere. 🙂

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Yay! I count you as a friend too – and would probably be a better one if I tweeted more often!

      I think people like book reviews, but I think they like them more if they’re on a book blog. I’m doing a writing blog which, while highly related, isn’t the same. I get the feeling that’s the cause of the book review slump.

      • Sophia Ismaa says:

        You barely tweet, that’s true, but I’ll be honest, I’m one of those terrible bloggers who is looking for memes instead.

        Ah, so you don’t feel as though you’re getting much in return? I do find that book bloggers say that book reviews are the least popular posts, but I think if you reviewed science fiction books solely on a book blog, there would be more people. There’s another blogger called theceaselessreaderwrites who, I think, would be particularly interested to read it. 🙂

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