As I wrote in my Christmas letter to far-flung relatives, this has been a fulfilling but uneventful year, and there’s much to be said for the lack of drama. No hospital emergencies, no tragedies, no unforeseen circumstances.
What I did make happen was to bring 10 short stories to life in print and online (two more slated for 2012), nine commentaries and reviews, and six humor pieces. I feel proud to have had seven thumbnail book reviews carried in the Asbury Park Press, and want to take some small credit for keeping this column by Book Editor Anne Bendheim alive when her submissions dried up.
Of those short stories, Bill Olver of Pulp Fiction has submitted “Misunderstood Identity” for the 5th annual Micro Award program, an annual competition for fiction in under 1,000 words. I feel honored — and all giggly, too, because I’ve loved this story since I read a first draft to a church congregation. In case you missed it, the story is still up at http://bigpulp.com/issues/2011_09/giersbach_misunderstoodid.html.
Throughout the year I managed also to read 28 books. Well, I went through some of them quickly because they were turgid; others weren’t worth archiving and those were downloaded to my Nook. I'll confess I read too muc Ellmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane. I found it tough to read James Ellroy (American Tabloid and The Big Nowhere) because they were so slow and dense and admit that I put them aside. Several harked back to the early 20th century (Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and Norman Springer’s The Blood Ship) and are still viable pieces of writing.
That was the year that was. Nothing dramatic, but very satisfying.