Updating the Writer’s Slugfest

“What the hell is going on?”

Not one for subtle openers, my inquisitive writer continued. “You took your father’s razor. You don’t write. No calls. Not so much as a cable or email. What’s the latest, hard boiled-wise?”

I suppose I am due for an update. It’s been a while since I posted any sort of “latest and greatest” report. I’ll make it short and sweet.

In January 2013, I walked out on my nine to five after nearly twenty years of service. I launched my online subscription series, “The Hard-Boiled Detective,” the following month. Ain’t timing funny? Or grand? It certainly keeps astrologers and pathologists busy. I hadn’t planned things that way, but there it is.

I’ve been plugging out three yarns a month ever since. And struggling to keep my head above water, too. The whole experience feels like maintaining a fistfight in a riptide. Very up and down. In and out. Seemingly by its own accord. Sure.

The series reached its first anniversary in February. That’s got to be some kind of achievement. Maybe nothing so noble, but I’m proud of the small, loyal following my nameless detective has developed.

Progress is slow, but there have been signs. Kevin Burton Smith kindly published my fictional interview with Raymond Chandler over at his thrillingdetective.com. The third story in the series has been accepted for Jochem Vandersteen’s upcoming anthology, “Shamus Sampler 2.” Then there’s Kings River Life Magazine’s plans to publish my eighteenth story this spring. I’ve also begun editing a batch of “The Hard-Boiled Detective” adventures, preparing it as a collection in book form.

If only the writing went faster. If only the hours stretched longer. I don’t know about other unknowns, but I can’t imagine this type of undertaking is a rational choice for anyone. Some days I’ve got enough piss and vinegar to fill Lake Michigan. On other days, the words and characters and plots read flat, voiceless. The next monthly deadline looms. I grind on, grind it out, and move on. The stuff of detective fiction and series create its own bloody inertia.

I hadn’t planned things this way. But there it is. And that’s probably just as well. There’s only so much time for so many things, especially when you’ve painted the next story into the proverbial corner. Sure.

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