So now 2018 has drawn to a close and now we start a brand-new year. 2019. I can’t even say it without feeling like we are in some far-off future world, part of some advance civilization filled with all our hopes and promise.
Then I look at the news and the reality crashes down around me. Despite the flash title, it’s still just the present. All the problems of last year are still with us. So I take a deep breath and continue forward as always. Hopeful this year will show more promise than the last.
Looking back at 2018, while I can say for sure that I was unhappy with a great many things, I still had many things to be thankful for.
2018 was the year I launched Monster Candy Podcast with my friends Screamin’ E (vocalist for the Memphis Murder Men) and wrestler/model Shotzi Blackheart. I’ve enjoyed my conversations with them about horror and monster movies and appreciate that discussions are best when the participants do not see eye to eye.
On the topic of podcasts, 3 Gigs Podcast finished it’s 3rd season this year. I’m very proud of that show and while glad to put it to rest for now so I can focus my efforts elsewhere, I hope you all check it out if you haven’t yet! I’ve also helped relaunch the Alternative Tentacles Batcast, which is a show I’m excited about. It will be fun to see how that evolves.
This last year was one Tsunami Bomb started the process of recording our new album. While this recording process has been somewhat stressful, working with every one’s schedules and trying to get the songs to a place where we the band can be satisfied with them, the opportunity to be able to record as Tsunami Bomb again is mind blowing. I’m very excited to get this album done and out to everyone. The reception of the two new tracks we released in October was far beyond what we ever could have hoped, so it gives us encouragement as we now head into the homestretch.
A lot of my focus this last year has been with my job at Alternative Tentacles Records. Being charged with the task of helping the label transition and update itself to survive in modern times has been very challenging and stressful. However, it’s a dream job and I have a great staff, so I think we have a real opportunity to help that label move forward. Looking at the plans for 2019… It’s going to be an incredible year for the label. With some developments surprising even me.
When I reflect back on the year, I realize this was a year where I felt humbled. Be it the professional challenges I had to face, or personal criticism, or outright personal attacks, I had to constantly remind myself to be patient, open, and honest. It’s not easy to take a more vulnerable stance, all of us want to rush in a defend ourselves. Be defensive and use our truth as both a shield and a sword. However, this year I realized more than ever that it was my honesty and openness that proved to be the most effective and appropriate way to approach this all. When dealing with everything from my divorce this year, to the right for my band to exist, to social issues, this has been an important thing to realize.
This year was the year I backed off a bit with social media. I can’t hide my personal distaste for the practices of the social media platforms, but in my professional and personal position it’s not practical for me to withdraw from them. No matter how inclined to do so I might be. So, I posted less towards the end of the year, however I think I will try this blog moving forward. Here I’m free to speak as I want to, and I can share these links throughout my social media. I don’t expect it to catch on, but there was a time where I didn’t think anyone would listen to my podcasts… so let’s see if I have enough to say here that will be of interest.
Going into 2019 I have some clear goals set for myself. Top goal? Finish the new album for Tsunami Bomb (and finish soon). Get Alternative Tentacles back on track releasing albums again. Get the new band project off the ground and maybe, just maybe get my solo project going. Finish the comics I have waiting, including a very overdue short story for Gore Noir magazine (my favorite horror magazine).
Beyond my personal projects, in 2019 I want to be kinder, more empathetic, more honest, and more patient. Be strong in the face of difficulty, wise in the face of the chaos of daily life and take time to breathe enjoying the moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in the storm. I want to feel moments better.
I think I can do it. Wish me luck…