The New Year is Here to Slap Me Around

Where did the year go? At various times this last month I’ve had the thoughts of “Where did December go?”, but really it is more than that. 2014 both crawled and flew by, but here at the end I’m wondering where all that time ended up.

sucked 1 year


Last year my first blog for 2014 laid out a road map of sorts. Much like everyone else at this time of year it becomes time for resolutions, and that is what that particular blog was. A goals list that I wanted to put out there so that I could not only hold myself accountable 1 year from then, but also give myself something to strive towards.

I then wrote a mid-way post in July and, to be honest, it kinda worried me. As I looked over the various goals I’d set for myself I started to realize that I was a fair amount behind where I wanted to be. Certain things I thought were absolutely going to happen had not occurred and it made me feel like some of the first 6 months of the year might have been wasted.  Of course, a lot of that thinking is just me being a pessimist.


This then marks the end of Year 2 of trying to be a serious writer and the beginning of Year 3. Let’s see what happened:

Comics – I need a complete do-over on this whole category. At the time I had such high hopes for the year. I saw myself holding as many as 4 or 5 different issues of various things. Sadly it is 12 months later and much of the year has been wasted. Gilded Age 2 is still not completed, which certainly means 3 & 4 are not done (in fact, due to the lack of movement on 2 I haven’t finished up 3 & 4’s scripts as of yet).

Tiger Style is still hanging around, but there has been no real movement on Entropy either.

Mostly this has been due to funds running short on the various project…

All in all this section gets a big “F”.

Shorts/Novellas – My goal was to get 4 shorts done and submit them to some online magazines. I got 3 shorts completed (and a 4th is 90% there).

Piece by Piece was written as a story for the Tessera Guild… something free for our readers (and is available on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, etc. for that same price). It acts as a nice little story featuring Jason from The Dark That Follows without some of the “seriousness” of the novel.


Secrets of Story Telling was done for an anthology: Beyond the Gate that I was happy to be able to contribute to. It too is free on many of the various platforms. I talk more about this project here.

Til the Last Candle Flickers – Completed sometime in October. I have not yet sent it off to any online magazines.

And I Feel Fine – 90% complete. Kinda a companion piece to the above in that they are both about the end of the world and how different people embrace or just deal with it. I have a couple of other stories in this vein that I’ve toyed with the idea of just collecting into an anthology myself. Hmm…

There’s Something About Mac – A project that wasn’t on the list to begin with, but this little novella set in the Veronica Mars Kindle Worlds Program allowed me to do something I’d not done before: co-write with my wife. I wrote about this one here.

Just under 4 shorts but add a novella and I give myself an A.



Hollow Empire – Success! I had wanted to get it edited and released, and that is just what happened over 6 weeks in the fall. It took me longer to reach that point than I would have liked, but I also learned a ton about certain aspects of the project and future projects.

Hollow Empire 2 – Need to have some discussions with my co-writer J Edward Neill. More will be needed in the new year to determine a schedule, etc.

The White Effect – This one is tough. On one hand, I haven’t gotten to my Beta Reader comments. I’ve been busy trying to finish up The Edge of the World. But on the other one I have this gnawing feeling that I should try and go a more traditional route with this book. Either way, the novel is not finished.

The Edge of the World – Oooh, December, how you danced by me… I thought I was going to make it. And had the project really been only 90k words, I would have, but I realized that I probably needed another 20k worth of stuff, and that’s pushed it into the new year. So while it is not done I’m still going to give myself a solid B at being 85% finished with the 1st draft.

Blogging – I have not missed a week since we started. So that’s one in the win column!

So 2014 had some hits and some misses. I think had Edge been finished I’d be happier with my output. Still, I think I just have to do a better job this next year.


Goals in 2015

The Edge of the World – Finish the 1st draft. Finish a 2nd draft. Get to Beta Readers. Possibly get an editor by end of year.

The White Effect – Revise the current draft with all the Beta Reader notes I have. Identify potential Editors/Agents to Query. Draft query letter. Start that process.

I would love to say that a goal would be to have the book with someone, but I have no idea how this process is going to go, so I’m going to concentrate on what I can control and not worry about those things I cannot.

Veronica Mars Kindle Worlds Novella II – We have the outline, I just need to put some words on the page now. It is 3rd on the list for a reason though.

Hollow Empire II – Begin those discussions in the next couple of weeks. Begin outlines, drafts, and maybe, just maybe get it out by end of year? Maybe it could be a Fall release every year?

The Dark That Follows Sequel – Originally I wasn’t going to try to fit this in this year, but I have an idea for this and a third book, so I’m hopeful to have a 1st draft done.

Unstuck – A series of novellas I would like to get done about people who are outliers in the timestream… abandoned by their own timelines. Each one would be about 25k words, and right now I have 3 of them roughed out. My guess is having one done by end of the year is a resonable goal (though I could easily see it getting squeezed out by the above).

Shorts – 4 more shorts, to be finished. Online magazine submissions (get on it McGuire!). Start that train a moving.


Gilded Age – It is my hope to have issues 2, 3, & 4 out this year. Of course, that was my hope for this last year. Either way, I will be finishing up the scripts for 3 & 4 in the next couple of weeks.

Tiger Style – Issue 2?

The Crossing – A comic I’m co-writing with Robert Jeffrey II… if we can secure an artist, then I think we can get something going. I don’t want to put an absolute number on issues or scripts or anything. If this is solid this year I’d be happy.

Blogging – Let’s keep it going for another 52 weeks.

Insane? Maybe. Still, I’d rather set the bar a little too high than too low. We’ll see how I did in a year from now.



John McGuire

John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.

His second novel, Hollow Empire, is now complete. Each episode is only $0.99. But you can go ahead and purchase the full novel (all 6 episodes) right now for $4.99 with the above link!

He also has a short story in the recently released anthology Beyond the Gate, which is free on most platforms!

He can also be found at

About John McGuire

Writer of comics and novels. In 2006 his first short story "The God That Failed" was published by Terminus Media in their debut comic Evolution Book 1. Since that time he has had stories published in Terminus Media's Evolution Book 2 and Evolution Special, Kenzer and Company's The Knights of the Dinner Table, and Four J Publishing's The Burner #3. Currently he is eagerly awaiting the digital publishing of his first creator-owned comic The Gilded Age #1 to be published online as well as his first novel The Dark That Follows later this year.
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  1. Let me know what I can do to help to achieve the goals. One day I know you will be able to achieve your dream of writing full time job. ~~~The wife.

    • So I can put you to work? 🙂

      I think just being able to have those game plan meetings with you to discuss what needs to be done outside of the actual writing have been invaluable.

      • Wish my Courtney would grab a string trimmer or blower. John awesome job. Keep up the great work and if you can get the Dolphins to win a Super Bowl that would be great.

        • These are supposed to be realistic goals, not complete dreams about the Dolphins making the Super Bowl. I’d take winning a playoff game.

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