The Year of the Novel

novel1, noun: a long written story usually about imaginary characters and events

novel2, adjective: new and different from what has been known before

I just celebrated my 26th birthday over the weekend and had a great time. My wife threw me the greatest surprise birthday party with some of my best friends here in St. Louis.

For most people, turning 26 means they’re on the downhill to 30. The idea that they haven’t achieved anything yet can be paralyzing and draining on their confidence and self esteem. I have no such fear though. I’ve already found my soulmate and started my family. I’ve completed my bachelor’s degree and finished my MFA. I’ve written my first novel, Sentinel’s Soul, and begun the process of publishing. I’m working on a sequel, with another novel idea just waiting for its turn. And I’ll be teaching my first class in the spring.

While celebrating with some friends, someone asked me what I wanted to dedicate my year to? The idea being that you would focus on whatever concept for the following year and see where God led you. And as a writer, the idea of the novel was tossed out.

1445496548706590349Mind = Blown.

This works on multiple levels for me at this stage of my life. First, the noun definition of the novel. In the coming year, I hope to complete my second novel (that’s right, you heard me, complete it) and start on my third novel. I also hope to find an agent for my first novel. But in addition to all of this, I’m hoping to spend some time reading some really great novels. (Any suggestions in the fantasy/scifi/urban fantasy realm?) I’ve been a student for almost 20 years of my life and it’s high time I started reading what I want to read rather than the assigned readings, although I’ll be doing my fair share of those since I’ll be the one assigning readings in class.

The second definition, novel as an adjective meaning ‘new and different from what has been known before‘, is equally profound. As I move into this next year of life, I’m looking forward to many new and exciting developments. As I said, I’m hoping to get an agent for Sentinel’s Soul. But I’m also hoping to enjoy teaching undergraduates this year and start building my credentials there. I’m nervous but also excited, as this will be the first chance I’ve gotten to really use the degree I worked so hard on attaining. In my personal life, I just want to keep raising my boys well and continue being a good husband. But I want to do so in a way that is exciting and fulfilling. And I’m always up for new friends and experiences.

So this is the Year of the Novel in all of its multi-faceted meaning. I’m excited to share it with you and look forward to my next birthday.

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