The year in review: 2014

It's about time for all those Father Time images again! This is the rotunda clock in the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson building. The sculptor, John Flanagan (1865-1952) also designed the Washington Quarter

It’s about time for all those Father Time images again! This is the rotunda clock in the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson building. The sculptor, John Flanagan (1865-1952) also designed the Washington Quarter

I just finished up writing the last chapter of Prophecies and Penalties Sunday night, so it seems like a good time to review where Sillyverse has gone this year.

It’s been a year of consolidation and retrenchment. The blog has featured one main story, Prophecies and Penalties, which began on February 14 and will wrap up at the end of the year. There have been a few minor pieces about the “Sillyverse” relating to Abigail Lane (such as her biography), and a Halloween horror story, “Death and Professor Appleton.”

On the other hand, family and personal demands on my life meant I scaled down the other posts and content during the year, to the point where they all but vanished at times. I’ve spun off the historical content to sister blog, Sillyhistory, which should start seeing more activity over the next two months as I gear up for my pirate course. And I injured my arm typing the Halloween story, which is one reason I haven’t attempted a Christmas ghost story this year . . . so far. Maybe I might still squeeze a short one in, but that’s definitely not a promise.

Overall, while 2013’s output may have deserved the “Very Inspired Blogger Award” I got in January, this year has been . . . pedestrian. There are now 375 followers of this blog, the most popular post this year was a review of Stephen Flowers’s Galdrabók, and crimsonprose was the most frequent commenter. Thanks, CP, and to the rest of you who took the time and trouble to write comments as well.

Prophecies and Penalties has been the longest story I’ve attempted on this blog. Dragon Lady clocked in at about 73,000 words, Martha’s Children 105,000, and Nightfeather: Ghosts a paltry 47,000 words, but Prophecies will run about 124,000 when completed. As such, it’s been a useful exercise and a caution. I think it a bit better constructed than Martha’s Children, but its pace is sometimes glacial. It was quite a challenge to do a credible job on Alex Bancroft, who has insight into the future, and in whose wake coincidences multiply. How much do they multiply? At the end of chapter 4, three invisible people wake up Emily Fisher, disturbing the cat in the bedroom. We find out in chapter 41 that one of the invisible people was Sarah Priest. The name of the cat in the bedroom? Sara.

Still, the pace was slow at times. That seems to be deadly to maintaining people’s interest in reading a blog. Which suggests to me that the next story should adopt a pace more like that of Dragon Lady or Nightfeather: Ghosts. Only some stories can be told that way. I’ll have to see if I can come up with one.

The blog will definitely go off its regular schedule after December 26, when the last chapter of Prophecies and Penalties goes up. I expect to take the month of January off, and then resume blogging on Sillyverse in February. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to catch me over at Sillyhistory, so I won’t be entirely gone.

About Brian Bixby

I enjoy history because it helps me understand people. I'm writing fiction for much the same reason.
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7 Responses to The year in review: 2014

  1. Just don’t fall off the face of the earth! Hope you have a spectacular holiday and enjoy the break, though, you *will* be missed. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. crimsonprose says:

    Timing, the eternal question. But, hey, some people like it slow. We are all so used to movies that crack-on-a-piece, that we believe the written form should do the same. Movies have only ca. 2hrs to get it all in, But movies are a great medium for ‘showing’. With the written word, ‘to show’ can be a more lengthy business. Many people enjoy that part of it. I don’t mean an ice-bound journey that goes by fits and starts, but it doesn’t hurt any to take the occasional slow drift downriver – and then come back with a jerk! Well, that’s my opinion, and (like you) I do read alot. However, having said that, this weekly episode format isn’t quite the same as a huge chunk of book all in one go, read it as you will. Rookeri is my second full story, and I’m still getting my head around it. Anyway, I trust the January break has a hedonistic cause.🙂

    • Brian Bixby says:

      Well, the pirate course starts up then, and it will be the first time through. And I find that after I write a story, I need a break to recuperate. Though I have to admit to considering a follow-up story from Stacia’s viewpoint, if only because the viewpoint would be so, so challenging. Not going to happen, though, unless it has more of a point that I’ve found thus far.

  3. E. J. Barnes says:

    A lot of action movies have a double climax — about 15-20 minutes from the end, the resolution of the original goal happens (the villain is thwarted, etc, or seems to be) and then a calm before we see there is another problem to be hurdled, a false denouement before we hurtle to the final climax. I get that feeling with “Prophecies & Penalties.”

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