35: An ECC Annual Report

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Back in August 2011, at PodCamp NH, I sat in on a session by musician Matthew Ebel. I don’t remember the topic, but one of the things I do remember was his discussion of the State of the Union he gives his fans each year. He tells them how things went over the last three hundred and sixty-five days, as well as what he’s planning for the year to come.

I liked that idea, so I’m going to steal it. And what better time to get started than right now, just a few days out from the celebration of my thirty-fifth year of life on Earth?

Year 35

The year spanning from October 5, 2011 through October 4, 2012 was a productive one. I published short stories in both Entelechy International: A Journal of Contemporary Ideas and in River Muse: Tales of Lowell and the Merrimack Valley. Me and my story "Hard to Find" were featured prominently in newspaper coverage of River Muse, a collection which also included work by Jack Kerouac and my hero Andre Dubus.

In the online world, I relaunched my Website, echristopherclark.com. Each week, the site features a free story from my archives. And, in addition to blogging regularly, I began bringing back online all of my past blogs, which I began publishing in 1999. Beyond the activity on my own site, I continued to co-host the podcast Generation Goat with my longtime friend Jonathan Martin.

Theatrically, I followed up my successful run as "Jake" in At My Window with a small role in The Players’ Ring production of A Christmas Carol and with staged readings of a new play of mine, Crossroads (or The Piano of Death), which were produced by Astolat Arts. The year’s highlights, however, were the back-to-back summer premieres of a fully staged version of Crossroads and of the latest in John Herman’s "Evening of" series, An Evening of Grand Guignol: Theatre of Terror, to which I contributed the short "The Boot."

Year 36

I’m pleased to announce three major initiatives for the coming year.

First, I plan to release a new volume of short stories, The Black Sheep. The book will primarily be targeted at electronic markets, with Kindle, ePub, and iBooks Author editions available for each. There may also be small print runs ordered. In order to facilitate better quality, I aim to bring on board an editor, an art director, and a marketing director. And, in keeping with my desire to pay my collaborators, each will be compensated with a share of the profits.

Second, I am committing to finishing my perpetually in-progress novel, Down the Cape and to issuing a plan for its release by this time next year, whether that plan involves traditional publication or something decidedly more indie.

Third, I am currently writing a follow-up to the aforementioned Crossroads (or The Piano of Death). While this new script is not a sequel in the strict sense, it does take place in the same universe as the earlier play. It also features some of the same characters. I plan to have the play performed as a staged reading sometime in December or January and to revise it in time to pitch it for inclusion in the 22nd season at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth, NH. So, wish me luck.

That’s the plan, and I’m sticking to it. I hope you’ll stick with me and that you enjoy the ride.

NewsE. Christopher Clark