With each swing of the pendulum of time, the clock of eternity ticks ever closer to the inevitable Showdown at Sundown.
I wrote this quote on my whiteboard back at the tail-end of 2010, and at the time I thought it was the most profound thing that anyone, anywhere, in all of space and time, had ever written. I thought I had struck gold and it was going to have an honoured place introducing the first story in my grand mosaic, not unlike the ominous plaque above the entrance to Dante’s Inferno: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. Like the epithet above hell, it would equally tease the greatest story ever written and offer a shape of things to come. Then I started to read Plato, Dickens, Coleridge, Wordsworth, as well as Tolkien’s extended mythology, and woke up to reality. I suddenly realised the greatest metaphor ever written was prosaic, immature, and—honestly—rather pretentious. “I can do better”, I told myself. And after many years, and countless hours writing, researching, and avoiding responsibilities, I feel like I’m finally reaching that magical point of being “better”.
Ergo, it’s time to enter the next phase of my writing life, and this weekend my wife and I took the first steps on the road towards the grand and alluring City of Oz twinkling just over the horizon. Those of you close to us will know that 2018 is going to be a year of great change and transformation for Mirage. A kind of metamorphosis is going to take place, one from which there is no going back. I’ve tried—rather foolishly—to drag myself out of my shell a couple of times in the past, and each time I realised I wasn’t ready to be outside yet, and I was able scuttle back inside before everything that I had fell apart. This time there will be no opportunity for retreat; the shell is far too small for me now, and once I leave it’s going to buckle and break and fall to pieces. It’s either flight or fall at this point, there is no other option.
All of this, of course, is my way of saying that Mirage is shortly going to be in the hands of a significant audience, and the critical response will begin in earnest. Starting next year, I will be attending every major convention—and even a few of the smaller ones, at least those that make financial sense—in Australia. I can’t say, at least right now, when our debut will take place, but I can assure you it will be no later than the Second Quarter.
To ensure a sense of continuity at these convention, we purchased a new vehicle this weekend. We wanted something that was reliable, versatile, and made sense economically. We decided on a Mitsubishi Triton, with a Turbo Diesel engine to keep the fuel cost to a minimum, and a hard tonneau cover for the ease of safely transporting all of our materials and books.
I have to say, I’m very excited with the purchase, but my euphoria is overshadowed by a nervous flutter in my gut and a terrified voice in my head, because now everything is starting to feel real. There’s no backing out of this anymore, not with a commitment like this hanging over our heads.
We both also bought new glasses on Saturday. This is Crystal’s second pair and my first. I was diagnosed with being slightly far-sighted back in 2008, and the optometrist recommended glasses for reading, though I never followed up on it until this month. Yeah, I know, I’m a bad boy, but the amount of reading, writing, and preparations I’ve been doing since we got married have made it necessary to lower the stress my eyes have been under. I was having some rather severe headaches for a while there, so hopefully now everything will be cool beans.
As 2017 rapidly comes to a close, Crystal and I will be hard at work, doing what we need to do to guarantee our survival in the uncertain world of indie publishing. We have recently finished our Project Portfolio draft, which comes in at almost 50 pages, all of which will come into play as we roll forward toward these conventions. Additionally, we have also drafted fliers and brochures and are currently working hard on the appendices for the physical editions. There’s some really exciting stuff we’re cooking up, and we can’t wait to share it with all of you!