Looking Back at 2016

I keep a checklist of projects on my desktop filled with short-term and long-term goals that get erased as I complete them. When a project is done, it’s deleted, which means I keep record of what’s left to be done and not what’s completed. This year, I decided to look back and, as best as I can, figure up just how much I did in the last year. Turns out I’ve been a little busy. Here, as best as I can remember it all, is what happened in 2016:

Lunch Hour Films, my unofficial short film label the last couple of years, released three shorts in 2016: Drunk Dial from Outer Space, Final Ultimatum, and I Almost Married a Man from Outer Space. An older film, ‘Til Zombies Do Us Part was accepted to the Fright Night Film Festival in November. My friend Cindy Maples also released a short film called Out of My Mind, based on the short story called “Drip Drip.” She took what I think is a mediocre short story and turned it into a shocking little horror flick that seems poised to follow in the footsteps of short film Random and rack up a ton of awards.

A desire to reduce my stress load and focus more on wrestling led to the decision this fall to step away from film making indefinitely, so Lunch Hour will not be producing anything in the coming year. That said, I will be producing a second season of Hauss Show this winter, the wrestling themed sketch comedy series I created with Marc Hauss.

My fiction output was light in 2016, with the June release of a repackaged short story collection, Robot/Girlfriend, and the ebook only release of the noir faiy tale trilogy, The Big Bad Goodnight. Three new books are currently in the works for 2017 and beyond, including Return to Cave World, a sequel to Cave World; a new edition of Demonica: Confessions of a Small Town Super-Villain; and a brand new story, Die Max Die.

Summer also saw the release of Lord Carlton: Wrestler, Artist, My Father, the biography of Lord Leslie Carlton. Carlton is a somewhat lost figure in wrestling history. He had a similar gimmick to Gorgeous George, having stolen the act from the same person George did, Lord Lansdowne. But while his life has been overshadowed by the Gorgeous One, his life story out of the ring was full of more drama and intrigue than even the Human Orchid could muster. Carlton was also a talented painter, and he spent much of his later life surviving attempts by his second wife to murder him!

Much of the year was spent working on a new Louisville wrestling history titled Louisville’s Greatest Show. Unlike its predecessor Bluegrass Brawlers, this book with focus solely on 1935-1957, the years the Allen Athletic Club reigned supreme with stars like Lou Thesz, Bill Longson, New Albany’s own Stu Gibson, and the aforementioned Gorgeous George. Louisville’s Greatest Show should be ready for release in spring of 2017.

I’ve already struck a deal for my next wrestling book, a new autobiography by a former WWF star, but I’m not ready to announce it publicly just yet. I’ll be diving in on that project full steam around March.

On top of all this, I found the time to write twenty-eight new curriculum series for Children’s Ministry Deals, contribute to Go Fish’s 2017 VBS curriculum, begin production on my first stage play in almost six years, and completely rebuild this website.

So what’s ahead for 2017? First up, I’ll be producing the play Morbidman Meets His Maker asa fundraiser for Power Ministries in New Albany, Indiana. Marc Hauss and I are also hard at work on season two of Hauss Show, and if all goes well, a second wrestling-themed sketch show will see the light of day in 2017. I expect to release at least three books with Return to Cave World, Demonica, and Louisville’s Greatest Show, and I plan to get out to a number of book signings, author fairs, and wrestling shows.

I hope all of you reading this have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to what 2017 has to bring!

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