It's starting to come together already.
As I've said many times, I don't do "resolutions." They're wishes with no accountability - but I do use the transition from one year to the next as a time to evaluate where I am, where I'm going to be, and how I'm going to get from point A to point B (or C or D or E).
My first-priority goal this year was to get a book in print and on the market - and since the novel is going slowly (as I'm told novels do), I decided last week to pull a handful of my best short stories and create a collection.
I have an editor, and I have a publisher. I need readers! Specifically, I need half a dozen volunteers who are willing to (1) read short stories and (2) return them to me with comments (3) in a relatively short window of time. The comments need to be honest and straightforward -- I need to know where the weaknesses are BEFORE I send them to my editor!
So far, the list includes a ghost story, an "I hate my life and I'm running away" story, a lost child story, and a family "dramedy" - you know, one of those darkly humorous stories where the punch line to each section is something on the lines of, "OMG, Mother - you DID NOT just say that!" There also will be a rock-and-roll band story with a touch of (possibly supernatural) conflict and at least one story that considers a serious social issue from all possible sides and offers no solid answers. (I want people to think. No, that's not right - I want people on both sides to feel, even fleetingly, what those on the other side feel.)
Do I have any takers? If so, respond to this post -- I'll be in touch! 2012 is rolling fast! :-)