Well, somehow we've found ourselves at the end of 2021, looking across at 2022 with sheer desperate hope that surely things will improve, after almost two years of this. I, for one, will be happy when masks are no longer required (I'm in Scotland, so masks are mandatory for public places like transport, shops, etc) if only so I can wear my glasses without having to constantly adjust them or wipe the steam from them. I'm also fully-vaccinated and boostered, due to an underlying health condition, but I'm still making sure I am safe and people around me are safe, too.
So, 2021. Despite the awfulness of the pandemic and all that has brought, I can look back at the year with a certain fondness, particularly the latter half of the year.
In October, I published the first book (under my own name) since 2015. Vulnerable In Front of Fiction is out there, in various formats (apart from audio - that's something I'm going to work on this coming year). I know reviews are like gold dust for authors (especially us indie authors), so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the following review on Amazon!
"I've been a fan of Gayle Ramage's work for some time, finding them light, easy, fast-paced and quirky with a unique blend of humour and wit. But don't be fooled, they are also meaty with substance and plot. This collection of weird short stories are just that, and I enjoyed reading them. Having finished each entertaining short, I can't really pick one over the other...but poor old Santa Claus and his worrying conundrum over a particular list does comes to mind. If you like quirky, pulpy, paranormal speculative tales that will give you a slight shiver down your spine or an uneasy chuckle, then this collection is for you! I look forward to more."
Most recently, I popped my podcast-guest cherry and featured on the Who Corner 2 Corner
podcast, discussing all things Doctor Who! My interview has been edited with other interviews from other Who fans and features in subsequent episodes. If you wish to hear the episodes I feature in, the first two (Episodes 11 and Episode 12) are available at the time of writing this post.
The hosts, Geoff and Paul, also host the Marvel Cinematic Podcast where they talk all things Marvel Cinema.
I've also been creating some original musical compositions, and a couple of remixes/reimaginations of songs, under The Dandy's Boutique moniker. Just a hobby, and it's something I enjoy. You can find The Dandy's Boutique stuff on Soundcloud and Spotify.
Here's a version of Kylie Minogue's 'Magic' I created a wee while ago, under my original Soundcloud account.
November also renewed my love of The Beatles when Disney Plus showed 'Get Back', Peter Jackson's three-part documentary series about the making of the Let It Be album. Having never seen the original Let It Be movie, I found this a fascinating insight into both the members of the band, and the creation of the songs that ended up on the finished album. Some highlights include Mal Evan's - the band's roadie - delight in anvil-handling during 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer', the astonishing birth of the song 'Get Back' from McCartney strumming on a bass, teasing the melody and words out, while Harrison and Starr look on, the infamous rooftop concert split-screened with the reaction of the crowds in the street below, and just the sheer banter between the foursome was great to watch.
So, what are my plans for 2022, I hear someone in the back mumble?
Well, I'm hoping to get the follow-up to Vulnerable In Front of Fiction finished and published. Also, look into creating an audiobook/podcast for the short stories contained within.
I've also agreed to co-write a stage play with m'friend, Alex, though that may not happen until 2023, when we're both free of existing projects.
I've also had an idea for another stage play based on a true story from the early 1960s, that I may write myself.
And finally, I'll hopefully have at least the first draft of Jockula finished by this time next year. I really want to get that story eventually published and share the characters with the world.
So, here's to a hopefully much-better 2022 for us all.
Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!