Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dane F. Baylis the author

  Ends and Beginnings


So here we are! The end of another year. One in which we survived the worst speculation about the Mayan calendar's implications and suffered some of the most senseless acts that could be committed by one human being against another. The Middle East continues to roil like the Nile at flood stage, the Congress of the United States can't get out of its own way and in the middle of the winter there's no damned hockey. That last part really only tweaks you if you're from a colder part of the world where the sport is part of your genetic makeup.

In all of this turmoil and strife perhaps the most frightening part of the global picture is that, after a considerable hiatus, I've returned to writing. That there wasn't an asteroid strike to punctuate that decision can only be chalked up to the gods actually having a sense of humor. Accepting the continued movement of the stars, the rise and fall of the tides and a seemingly inextinguishable flow of printer ink as a good omen I braced myself for the New World and opened this blog. So far I have seen far more traffic in a period of a few months than I thought possible for an old duffer spouting off in the ether and I am grateful for everyone who has dropped by for a look.

Now that the New Year is almost upon us I am preparing for an even higher level of activity. The sheer volume of writing I have been turning out has been astounding and I can only credit it to getting over a very long lasting case of creative constipation. Projects are in all stages, raw ideas, first drafts, third or fourth rewrites, rough sketches, finished images, symbols to poems and everything between and beyond. My main goal for the first half of 2013 is the completion of a novel in the thriller genre and a continued presence in contests and on the web.

To fulfill the last point I have started and am maintaining this blog, I have opened up a Facebook page, established myself on Google + and am reaching out to the creative community. Some of this involves reaching back to people who I have known in the past such as the photographer and educator Randy Fugate and poet/writer Jackson Wheeler both of who have been enormous influences and friends. Some of it involves reaching forward to the likes of Rainy Kaye who is helping to change the face of publishing and the arts one day at a time.

In other ways I am banging away at the doors in an effort to get the gate keepers to open them just far enough to be able to slip my next manuscript through. In this regard I have sent off short fiction to both contests and literary magazines, the most recent being The Antioch Review. I realize this seems like shooting pretty high for someone out of the main as long as I have been but my theory is start at the top and you may not have to fall as far as you would have to climb. In terms of upcoming contests for poetry I am submitting to two in January that might warrant your own attention if that's your medium. First, with a deadline of 1/15/13 is one sponsored by the University of Missouri Kansas City, The John Ciardi Prize for Poetry which runs concurrent with the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Second, which is accepting submissions between 1/1/13 and 1/31/13 is sponsored by the Iowa Review at the University of Iowa, The Iowa Review Awards.

All I can do is quote Gandhi, "Live as if there were no tomorrow. Learn as if you would live forever." Good luck, good writing and Happy New Year. Oh, and if you have a moment go to the comments window and drop me a line. Let me know what you think I'm doing right or wrong or just say hello. If you visit any of the individuals I mention let them know you saw them here (I am not beyond shameless plugs). There's a handy gadget for subscribing or becoming a follower and some of the links I like visiting. If you haven't been, check out my "My Work/My Love" page to see what I'm doing lately. Sometimes it is updated more frequently than the main blog!

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