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Abstract Thoughts has been updated with End of the Year Wrap Up - What it says. I cheated a little, too. No, I have no remorse.

December 29, 2008
End of the Year Wrap Up
I'm going to cheat here. I'm going to put my "this is what happened this year" Christmas letter here, too. It pretty much wraps up everything Jeff and I did for the year.

1 December 2008
Dear Everyone,

Welcome to Jeff and Jennifer's first (and possibly last) official holiday letter. It was a big year for the two of us, so we thought we'd share our happiness and gratitude at the last year we have had together.

A year ago, last December, Jeff asked Jennifer to marry him in a surprise proposal weeks before he met Jennifer's family. He had taken matters into his own hands and called Jenn's parents to ask for permission for her hand in marriage and it had been granted. After she was done being stunned, she accepted his proposal with a glad heart and open arms. Fast forward to May 1st. The two families found themselves in Las Vegas, at the Excalibur, for Jeff and Jennifer's Renaissance wedding. Though there were a few wedding war stories, the wedding itself was picture perfect and a new union between the two people (and families) was created. Five months later, Jeff and Jennifer finally had their delayed honeymoon on the Big Island, Hawaii, at the Kona Village resort.

Jeff's career at Microsoft is proceeding according to plan and he is happy. His job as a Software Engineer in Design and Test is safe and secure. He works on the MSN.com MONEY website, writing and testing code on the back end servers that deal with Stock Market numbers. Let's just say the website is robust, secure and getting a work out.

On the dancing side of things, Jeff was the male lead, in the USA Dance Team Showcase presentation of "Take the Floor… And Dance!" This was a "dance-ical" – a dramatic performance with speaking and ballroom dancing but no singing. He played "Detective Gene Kelly" who was hired to discover who had attacked the lead dance instructor at a small dance school. He had the most lines in the show and performed in eight ballroom dance sequences.

This was also a very big year for Jennifer and her writing career as a fiction author and a freelance technical writer. For the first time, Jennifer is making her living solely on what she is bringing in as an author. On the technical writing side of things she worked with Microsoft and the American Environmental Services Company and has an ongoing freelance contract with Amazon.com in the electronics department. If you want to know anything about speakers, she's probably got an answer for you.

On the fiction side of things, Jennifer's personal webzine project, The Edge of Propinquity, is finishing up its third year of publication. She has written for, or will be writing for, the following role-playing game company, world building and fiction writing: Margaret Weis Productions, OtherWorld Creations, Rogue Games, Catalyst Labs and White Wolf. She has also sold a couple of short stories to anthologies.

The most exciting news is that Jennifer sold her post-apocalyptic anthology, GRANTS PASS, to Morrigan Books and it will be coming out in July 2009. She is a contributor to, and the co-editor of, this anthology which includes stories from authors like Ed Greenwood, Jay Lake and Cherie Priest. This anthology was once a personal project that Jennifer refused to allow to die and now, five years after conception, it will be published.

Life is never boring around this house – especially not with three kitties that don't always get along – but it is wonderful. We are happy, healthy and relatively sane. We all wish you, and yours, a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a wonderful holiday season.

With much love,
Jeff & Jennifer



I do not do New Year Resolutions anymore. I have specific goals that I strive for and hope to achieve. Some of these goals are easy. Some are darn near impossible. But having specific goals helps me keep focused as a freelance author and technical writer. Resolutions were good for me when I was younger, but now, I have focused goals each week and month of the year.


  • New short stories – Goal: 15, Written: 22
  • Submissions – Goal: 12, Submitted: 24 - Accepted: 2, Rejected: 19, Pending: 3
  • New Freaky Friday Fictions: Goal: 21, Written: 21
  • Query Stats: 32 submitted - 15 manuscript requests received, 1 acceptance received, 25 rejections received, 1 pending
  • New Publications: 4

    I did not keep track of my word count this year. That was not as important to me as the specific writing goals that I set for myself this year. I focused a lot more on trying to get published, finishing up one novel, selling another book and searching for an agent. The novel is done. I sold the anthology. The agent search is ongoing but positive.

    I guess my biggest publication news for 2008 was selling my post apocalyptic anthology GRANTS PASS. It comes out in July 2009 from Morrigan Books. That and almost 50% of the agents queried as an agent, or for a specific book, requested manuscripts. That's a pretty good statistic.

    I have set up my writing and editing goals for next year:

  • New submissions: 18+
  • New short stories written: 15+
  • New novels written: 2
  • Written novels edited: 2
  • New RPG assignments received: 6+

    All in all, I think this is a good set of goals for my fiction writing career. It is nice to have quantifiable goals to strive for each year.