Wow, that the most orange juice and toothpaste tasting year ever, amIright? Between viruses that some of our neighbors didn’t believe in, and Qspiracies that others did, it’s amazing we made it through 2020 with our personal ammo stores stocked even if our retail ammo stores were not. How about that toilet paper and disinfectant shortage? We stock our nests with some odd stuff.
But a global pandemic wasn’t enough, was it? Oh no, 2020 had to throw in police brutality, riots, and a President who tear gassed civilians so he could cross the street for a photo op with a Bible. For me, the image of civilians getting gassed for a pandering photo op sums up everything that was wrong with 2020. Speaking of politics, 70 million Americans got sucked into a cornucopia of crazy claiming a fraud that no court in the country has heard because, well, because it’s the cornucopia of crazy.
To say 2020 was a drain on our energy would be a gross understatement. Nevertheless, most of us tried to power through and work on our creative projects. What follows is my list of projects from 2020 (in no particular order), though I may not have completed them; but it’s the effort that counts, right?
The Lady Sherlock Radio Show 2 episodes completed in 2020; 8 episodes planned; 4 episodes total.
Our wonderful lady started out as a discussion between Bill Ritch of the Atlanta Radio Theatre company and myself about how much I wanted to write an episode of BBC’s Sherlock. That seemed a bit out of reach, especially given the Beeb’s rejection of Joe Hill on Doctor Who, but Bill told me about a local Sherlock convention in Atlanta, 221B Con, where ARTC performed every year, and he’d be interested in reading a 45-minute radio play. A couple of weeks later, I told him about my story idea for a lady Sherlock living in a steampunk ship called the 221B Baker Street, and her automaton John Watson. This would have been 2016ish and before the BBC announced Jodie Whittaker as the doctor.
ARTC performed episode one in 2018, episode 2 in 2019 and episode 3, Lady Sherlock meets Frankenstein, was scheduled for this year. And then the lockdowns began. I wrote a second episode, so now technically we are two years ahead of the live shows. Once we have 8 episodes completed, we’ll take the whole thing into the ARTC studio in Atlanta for recording and then figure out distribution or a Go Fund Me. Of course, with the world still on lockdown, we can’t put actors side by side in a studio, so… Lady Sherlock is on hold.
If you want to see a bootleg recording of one of our shows, follow the link below. (Kidding about the bootleg bit)…
Scarlett Hood—The ongoing adventures of Lil’ Red Riding Hood (Season 1; 6 episodes; COMPLETE)
The Radio Theater Project (RTP) in Washington state commissioned a single episode of a tale about a grown-up Scarlet Hood from a pitch I submitted. After recording the episode, they asked for five more, thus making it one of their featured series. Scarlett will drop in early 2021 so I’ll have more news about that to follow. Scarlett has her own Facebook page; so give us a like over there to be the first kid on your block to get news about Lil’ Red.
Also, visit the Podcast Playhouse for more RTP projects: http://podcastplayhouse.org
An Unnamed Supernatural Thriller Novel (~100,000 words). I can’t talk too much about this other than to say it’s with the beta readers and an agent will get a copy to evaluate at the end of January.
A Christmas in Time (~7,500 words). I wrote this as part of my warm-up for my goal of a short story a month in 2021. It also addresses a question I’ve always wondered about from a classic Christmas story. It hasn’t found home yet primarily because I haven’t sent it into the ether. However, you can listen to a part of it at my…
First Live (Virtual) Reading
In December 2020, I took part in the Atlanta Horror Writers Association Southern Nightmare Reading Series. Follow the link below for my monumentous debut.
Multiverse 2020: Virtual Edition
In October, maybe—time in 2020 ran together like a steaming pile of… um… Spam, I was a guest panelist at Multiverse 2020, a virtual con based out of Atlanta. I sat on a panel called Justice in the Machine that examined how shows like LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, WATCHMEN, CASTLE ROCK, and BATWOMAN balance the action and fictional story with the historical information and plotlines incorporating social justice issues of racial equality, refugees, and LGBTQ characters. We talked a lot about LOVECRAFT COUNTRY.
And finally, Christmas in the Strangeverse 2020: An Atlanta Christmas featuring Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter Audio Drama
This was a big one.
My son introduced me to the world of Deacon Chalk way back in the innocent days of 2015-2016. I devoured two of his books in a month or so. The central conceit of the series was Mr. Chalk was basically indestructible after receiving a blood transfusion from an angel; he’d also seen his family massacred by monsters. Hmmm…Deacon seemed like a long-lost cousin for Harry. Turns out, the author, James R. Tuck Jr. lived around the block (metaphorically) from me and was a tattoo artist close to my house. We collaborated on a Christmas special and recorded in 2016.
And then the weird stuff started.
Chunks of recorded files disappeared. Family tragedies. Marriages and births. Everything seemed to conspire against this episode ever reaching your ear-balls. Earlier this year, Kellen Stennett (Harry) and I met online and recorded about 15 pages of his missing dialog via the Cleanfeed application. David Benedict, recording engineer and sound mixer extraordinaire, worked some magic and you can hardly tell where the studio recording ended and the Cleanfeed files begin.
This episode kicks off the ten-year anniversary of Harry Strange. Who knows what secrets 2021 holds for everyone’s favorite supernatural private investigator?
If you add in snippets of stories and beta reads for other folks, it was a more productive year that I thought. But even if it wasn’t, I did what I could, and so did you, and that’s all that matters.
Now, let’s kick 2020 to the curb like some drunken hillbilly after 24 shots of tequila and make 2021 a logarithmically better year.
Catch you on the other side of 2021!