January is the time most of us set new goals or make resolutions. I asked some of my author friends what their goals are for the upcoming year.
Meet Herbert Grosshans. Hi, Herbert what are your goals for 2020?
Here we are in the year 2020. Writing those numbers seems almost surreal. What happened to 2019? I was going to finish writing ‘The Aregon Files’, the third book in my series ‘Operation Stargate’, but that didn’t happen. I got busy with writing my memoirs which took much too long and I’m still not finished. Is 82,000 words too long for anyone’s memoirs? I never read those by other people. My memoirs are meant only for my immediate family. They will never be read by the public, unless I become a famous author and after my demise one of my descendants will publish them. Of course, that is just wishful thinking.
At the beginning of a new year many people write down their New Year’s Resolutions. Most of them never follow through. Anyone who wants to be successful and productive has to have some kind of goal. It can be anything, like going to visit a friend, taking a trip, saving for a major purchase, or writing a book. Many people will start a project, but they never finish it. It takes patience, persistence, and the will to do it. Even though I’ve written and published over 30 books, it still is daunting when I write that first sentence of a new story. I wonder if I still have it in me. Do I really want to dedicate weeks, even months, to sit in front of my computer spinning a new tale? Is it worth it? Time is precious, especially since I’m getting older with every year. There are so many other things I want to do. Which is more important to me? That is something I have to decide.
It is easy to procrastinate. We are all prone to that. I’m as guilty as anyone, but for me writing my stories is fun and once I start a new tale, I will stick to it. I’ve read plenty of books from other writers giving advice how to write, but we all have our own way of writing. I don’t have a definite schedule, like writing at the same time every day. I write whenever I have time and I don’t put that pressure on me to write a specific number of words each day. I’m happy with what I produce.
My goal for this year is to finish ‘The Aregon Files’, and I’m looking forward to that. But I will also do some fishing and work in my garden. I believe in staying busy. It keeps me healthy and in shape.
Series: Operation Stargate
Author: Herbert Grosshans
Publisher and date: Melange Books LLC, published June 4, 2019
cover artist: Ashley Redbird Designs
Assuming the existence of a Star portal on the planet Savanna to be a secret, the humans don’t know that the Accilla, the Spiders, and other spacefaring races are fully aware of it.
Jeremy Sheppard, a newly appointed Captain of the Solar Space Force to the military outpost and Dennis Collins, a civilian, must join forces to thwart a conspiracy to control the Star portal.
Jeremy John Sheppard stuffed his duffel bag into the overhead compartment and took his seat on the shuttle that would take him down to the surface of Savanna.
He was happy to see the long journey through space come to an end and to soon assume his new position on Outpost Alpha. One month cooped up in a transporter far from being a luxury liner, with a bunch of eager fortune hunters, scientists, and settlers looking for a new life on an alien planet, was one month too long.
“Hey, Sheppard,” a familiar voice said beside him. “I just realized something. All this time on the ship you never told me about your plans on Savanna.”
Sheppard turned his head to look at the short, stocky man who had taken the seat beside him, a man he had no particular wish to associate with. “What makes you think I would have told you?”
Daniels chuckled. “As always, the mystery man. Are you by any chance one of the convicted criminals they send to frontier planets to serve out their sentence doing hard labor?”
“Hardly.” Sheppard had no intention telling the man details about his life. It was nobody’s business, especially not Daniels’.
“Let me take a guess. You’re, obviously, not a scientist. Neither are you a farmer, since you’re traveling alone. You claim you’re not a convict. That only leaves miner, fortune-hunter, scout, or Space Force. Or might you be a doctor?” He shook his head. “No. Not a doctor. You don’t have the slim, cultured hands of a medical professional.” He gave Sheppard an inquiring look. “Well? Am I close?”
Before Sheppard could respond, a voice over the speaker said, “Please, fasten your seatbelts. We’ll be lifting off in a moment. The ride will be a bit rough. We’ve detected some turbulence in the upper atmosphere, but there is nothing to be worried about. This is just an advisory.”
“This is so typical,” Daniels commented. “Why does the government hire a private company to take settlers to an alien planet? It’s all about profits. They don’t invest any money in upgrading. This shuttle is an outdated version and shouldn’t be used any longer. Turbulence in the atmosphere shouldn’t even be an issue.”
Sheppard was happy for the subject change. “Whatever gave you the idea that Earth’s government actually cares about settlers? They are happy to get rid of a few people, and they don’t give a crap to which planet they migrate or if they survive. Savanna is far from the regular trade routes and too close to Spider-controlled space. The Solar Union doesn’t have much interest in colonizing the planet. The only ships coming here are the ships of the Trading Commission and the ones bringing new settlers.”
“I know all about that. It’s the abundance of blue diamonds that attracted the Trading Commission, never mind that Savanna is an ideal planet for humans to colonize.”
Sheppard chuckled grimly. “Are you forgetting that Savanna is already occupied?”
“You mean the Cats?” Daniels grunted. “From what I understand, they are not numerous. This planet is sparsely populated. There is plenty of room for us humans.”
“What about the reptilian humanoids living in the jungle? Don’t they count? Or the desert-dwellers? Don’t they have a right to live unmolested?”
“Sure, they do, but that’s how the universe works, my friend. A superior species invades a region and, as their numbers grow, eliminating the weaker or less advanced species. If you know your history, you know how the Americas were colonized.”
“I’m not ignorant of Earth’s bloody history. Millions of indigenous people were murdered by the Spaniards, the English, and the French in the name of their king. What audacity. To land on the shores of a foreign land, plant a flag, and claim it in the name of a king or queen? What gave them the right? Sadly, nothing has changed to this day. Take Chrysalis, for instance. The inhabitants were wiped off the planet’s surface, because they refused to buckle under and work in the mines for the humans.”
“Bad example, Sheppard. They were murdering the colonists in their sleep. They burned down whole villages, killing all the humans in their homes. They destroyed crops and poisoned the water. We had no choice. It was either them or us.”
“We could have left,” Sheppard argued.
Daniels laughed. “Are you kidding? That planet was full of valuable resources Earth desperately needed.” He gave Sheppard a sidelong glance. “What the hell are you? Some kind of priest or do-gooder?”
“I am neither.” Sheppard sighed and leaned back into his seat. “I’m going to take a rest and calm my nerves. I know I’ll need them when I get down there.” He closed his eyes, ignoring Daniels, but there was no opportunity to relax.
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Have you set any goals for this year?