Most every sentence in this article will contain a reference to me since I am announcing that I will be leaving the Black Shoe Diaries. If that is all you need to know, about me, which is completely understandable, I would advise you not to read further. You got it. I’m gone.
Nearly seven years ago I joined the Black Shoe Diaries as a staff writer to cover the Penn State hockey team. In the article announcing my hire, Cari Greene said that ‘The BSD family expands...’ My experience has been exactly that since I have joined the community, one of joining a group of people that are more like family than anything else. Over the years I have met well over a hundred Black Shoe Diaries staff and readers face-to-face and we always have a great time.
The staff at the Black Shoe Diaries is a tight group and we have gotten to know each other very well in our talks on Slack and other places. It truly is like a family and like most families, there are wrestling matches, heated discussions about sandwich meats and sometimes a person ends up with a digital bloody lip. None of the writers make enough money to do it for the pay, it is all done for the love of the game.
I’ve loved the game, I’ve loved the players and the fellow writers. For the past year I only continued covering sports due to the bond that I have with the people that read our writing and are a part of the Black Shoe Diaries community. It had been the plan, for more than a year, to step aside in the spring of 2020. With the way that things unfolded, it just didn’t sit well with me to walk away. It was maddening to have plans to go to the NCAA hockey and basketball tournaments squashed so near the events. By the time the self-pity subsided it felt as though the world could use as much normalcy, or continuity, as could be provided.
So for what it was worth I gave as much as I could muster. Now it’s time to move on. I want all the readers to know, especially the people that have reached out to me over the years in person or via email, that I am not going away completely. I can be reached via the email attached to my screen name and I would love to hear from you.
The plan has been, for close to five years, to move my writing efforts to the fiction side of things. I have written three complete manuscripts, two of which are solid enough to sell. The third would be solid enough for a campfire were it an actual book rather than a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. I have also written a short story that is 112 pages in its current form that is worthy of being published. The story that I am working on now is my best, I believe, so I will release that as my ‘first’ novel sometime this fall most likely. I will have the other two to publish, the short story, and then whatever I am working on a year from now to keep the ball rolling.
It’s best to build momentum by having multiple works ready for release so this has been a long time in the making. People in my life, including some on staff at the Black Shoe Diaries, have known that this was the plan for years.
If anyone reading this knows someone in the publishing industry and would be willing to help me it would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for a literary agent to represent my work to publishers and while they, like writers, are a dime a dozen, as with writers, good agents are hard to find. It is a very competitive industry but my goal isn’t to make money so much as it is to grow an audience.
I thought about how I would speak to the people that I have met over the years through the Black Shoe Diaries and figured that nobody would want to read a 10,000-word goodbye letter. If I start to mention names I will feel bad if I stop and there are so many people to talk about.
The community of readers is special here at the Black Shoe Diaries. We have been through many things during the decade that I have been a part of the discussion. I wish every individual the best and hope that the community remains strong moving forward. You have helped me over the years with feedback, support and friendship. I can’t thank you enough and I mean that. The time that I have spent with you will always be special to me.