2011: The Year Shit’s Gonna Get Real

Like Clockwork

So, 2010 was pretty cool. What will 2011 bring?


Plus some other awesome stuff. Like what?

Look, I don’t really do the “resolution” thing exactly because — well, resolutions are promises, and promises to yourself are very easy to break. And then you break them and you feel like a shithead and next thing you know your boots are sucked into the mire of regret and it’s one big shame spiral where you poop your pants and fall down some steps and someone dumps pig’s blood on your head at the Prom.

And then you know what happens.


Right. So, I don’t do resolutions so much as I talk about shit that I’d like to do in the coming year. Goals, let’s say. Plans. Or even, insidious schemes so sinister they make Pol Pot piddle and weep.

What’s on the agenda?



No, seriously, first, presuming all goes well, we’re having a baby. That’s the biggest wham-bam-thank-you-Jeebus that 2011 holds. We learn its gender soon, and then begins the battle over the child’s name. I can’t help it, I’m attracted to literary and academic (read: weird) names. Dashiel. Beckett. Casimir. My wife assures me that this will get our child beaten about the head and neck by other children. And maybe even other parents. And possibly pecked by mockingbirds. Thing is, the name has to go with “Wendig.” A tricky feat! “Wendig” has that guttural Germanic hate-faced garbageman sound. So the name has to match.

By the way, I’m betting the baby is going to be a boy. You may place your bets now.

The presence of a baby is sure to explode my writing life in ways I am not able to anticipate — I’ll just have to squeeze it in whenever time allows. I will wrestle with the Time Bear, and by golly, I will win.

Then? I need an agent on the film and television side. I’ve got scripts. I’ve got my work out there and more to come — but I think this is time to start moving forward in that regard. Seems foolish not to capitalize and maybe gain a little more momentum on that end. Meanwhile: gotta write more scripts, too. Fill my script coffers with mighty movie language.

Novels. I have two novels now robustly outlined, and some work from this past year that will need editing (hardcore editing, because I just don’t like what I wrote). That’s not including Double Dead, which I’ve already talked about. I’m geeked to write that, too. I need to use 2011 to focus on some more original content. I love freelancing, obviously, but it’s a constant juggle trying to dance for your dinner while also taking time to commit to more personal endeavors. Short con is the day to day “I need food money” thing. Long con are those projects that you love and that will gestate and will (ideally) earn out in the end.

Blackbirds will get sold this year. And if that fails, I’ll consider the self-pub route, but like I said yesterday in comments, I don’t yet have evidence in hand that I’ll do better self-publishing than I will by exhibiting a little patience and seeing if Blackbirds slips through the gates. I’ll know more when Irregular Creatures comes out, because that’s the canary in the coal mine for me — I’ll see how well that sells. As noted in the past, I’ll keep all sales and experiences with that transparent, just so we can all see how it goes.

Also intend to sell my book on writing advice (Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey). Should that fail, I’m comfortable going self-pub because I know I’ve an audience for it.

Wanna do more transmedia work, too. Enjoyed everything I’ve done so far, and I love how it necessitates thinking about the using the old building blocks of storytelling in new ways. (Don’t listen to anybody who tells you that transmedia represents a “new form” of storytelling. Bzzt. Bullshit detector’s going off on that one. It’s a new arrangement, perhaps, but stories are stories are stories, no matter how they’re told.)

Have some other game work coming up. Will do more, too, if anybody asks me. (Hint, hint, I’m available for freelance work through the next year, nudge, nudge, don’t make me summon the Time Bear.)

Sweet Jeebus, I’ve got to lose some weight. We’ve stopped going to the gym because we didn’t renew our membership — having a kid on the way makes it possible that the (already expensive) membership will be something of a waste. So, come Thursday we’ve got a new elliptical arriving in the house. I’m ready to rock, man. The one-two punch of Thanksgiving and Christmas is a food coma killer, man. It’s like someone staple-gunned a bunch of raw steaks to my body, and now I’m carrying all that extra weight around. As JC Hutchins put it recently, time to start #GettingMyShitTogether.

Got some house projects to do. A nursery, for one. HOLY CRAP, did you guys hear that we’re having a baby? Who let that happen? Who let me breed? We’re thinking on going with an owl motif for the nursery. Why? Because Fuck Yeah, Owls. That’s why. *drops mic on stage, walks off, grows wings, flies away*

2011 is going to bring all kinds of crazy shit. New baby. First novel. First short story collection. The Beauty Has Her Way anthology (featuring my story, “The Moko-Jumbie Girl”). The Human Tales anthology (featuring one of mine, “The Toll”). “Charcuterie,” a short story that will show up in one of the first two Stone Skin Press anthologies (New Hero, New Hero II). Short film premieres at Sundance. Feature film (hopefully) shoots. New puppy. New pants. Laser pistols. Fire-breathing robot apes.

All the while, terribleminds will keep on keepin’ on. More profanity-laden writing advice in the New Year. More recipes. More stories. More Search Term Bingo.

What’s your plans for the next year? What does 2011 hold for you? Got a mission statement? A motto?

Don’t forget –




    • @Michelle —

      Definitely love to hear parenting tips!

      Don’t need too much help with publication at present — have an agent who is getting the book into editor’s hands and who helped me get the best draft possible out of this book already. But thanks for the offer — I suspect others here may want to take you up on the offer?

      — c.

  • $20 says you’re having a girl. Because each and every pregnant woman I know or know of is having a girl. Everyone that’s had a child that I know or know of in the last 5 years has had a girl. So it will be a girl.

    The Y-chromosome is dying, man. Soon burly chested bearers of the male gene will become for valuable than gold. Prepare to be commoditized.

    Also, you could always slip the literary name into the middle name position. Still awesome, less bruises on your poor kid’s face. I’m far from pregnant, be we’ve already agreed any son is getting “Anson” as his middle name in a nod to Heinlein.

  • I hear ya on the weight. Gotta get back on the loss train myself. Screw the gym. There’s a lot you can do with just a few dumbbells at your house.

    A kid. Wow. I don’t have any but I bet it’s crazy and fun. The hardest part has got to be picking a name. =P No lame names! There’s enough Blankets and Apples in the world.

  • Rock that Frankenpterodactylstein like it’s 1999 … or … um … 2011.

    Enjoy parenthood. I’ll tell you it has got its ups and its downs, but when you see a smile on your child’s face, it makes it all worth it. Unless it is a maniacal smile, then you just need to up their dosage.

    Good luck on all fronts. I plan on having a productive year, but damn you make it look like I’m wading in the kiddie pool.

    Oh, if it’s a boy Charles Beckett Wendig has a nice feel.

  • Babies are a lot like FRANKENPTERODACTYLSTEINS – they make the same kind of noise, and they go bump in the night. Well, they keep you up at night. It’s gonna be awesome, believe me.

    On the subject of Frankenstein and names – Frank Wendig has a pretty cool ring to it.

  • The baby’s gender will be whichever you feel least prepared to raise. I’m just sayin’. And you won’t be absolutely sure of a name until you see your little person, even if you name him or her in vitro.

    And Jay’s right, except you’re the one who’ll be bumping into everything in the night . . . but for all my snark, I wouldn’t trade my two for anything.

  • Wanna be completely obscure & geeky, name-wise? Dixon…as in Dixon Hill…the fictionary (er..is that a word??) holodeck sleuth that Picard loves in ST:TNG. Doubly imaginary character!!

    Then again, Frankenpterodactylstein is sounding better and better.

    I’m pulling for a boy. Yeah girls are on the rise, but I’m gonna go for the long shot and say “boy”.

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