It’s been seven long months since I last talked about what I’m up to. 2013 started out looking like it could shape up to be the best year of my career. And then it wasn’t.

For a variety of reasons, 2013 has been a difficult, stressful, faith-testing year. The economy may be bouncing back, but not in our neck of the woods. We’ve been getting by on fumes and prayers for a long time now, and things have reached their breaking point. We’ve prayed nonstop for God to show us what path to take, what he would have us do. But his answers haven’t always been crystal clear.

One thing I do know for certain is that he’s been stirring up a profound restlessness deep in my soul. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so unsettled or uncertain. More nights than I can count, I have laid in bed, unable to sleep, because for the first time in my life, the path ahead has been maddeningly vague.

A conversation a few weeks ago with my wonderful agent was a painful but much needed eye-opener. I’ve known for a while that the publishing paradigm was shifting (thank you, ebooks), but I had no idea the extent to which the pro marketplace has dried up. Even established writers are finding it hard to get a contract nowadays. That conversation impressed one big truth upon me: If you want to be successful in the current climate, you’ve got to make something happen for yourself. Be bold, take risks, stand out from the crowd. So in the spirit of one of my daughter’s favorite phrases (“Parrishes never give up!”), that’s what I’m going to do.

Here’s where I’m at.

1. Those 4 projects I told you about a while back are still in the works, but each one has been hit by drastic delays for one reason or another. I have no ETAs yet to offer for Octane, The Secret Door, or the untitled co-writing project. Season 2 of The ‘Naturals is in production now.

2. Blogging is a great way to increase an author’s profile and monetize their work, and while I’ve been blogging-for-hire for years now, I’m looking to start some blogs where I retain full ownership. Up first: as a writer, I come across a lot of really amazing free font downloads as I work, so I’m creating a blog where I highlight and link to one free, high-quality font everyday. I’m a lover of words, so I’ve always been a big fan of beautiful fonts. It’ll be simple but (hopefully) very useful. No commentary, just great typography.

3. After that comes the big one. Anybody still miss Infuze Magazine? I sure do. So I want to do a blog that gets Infuze‘s art/God/story/life conversation going again, because I really believe with all my heart that we were onto something that no one else before or since has fully engaged in. I’m not rebuilding Infuze; I just want to publish some daily thoughts and commentary that speak to the foundational principles Infuze was built on.

4. I have loads of ideas cooking, but the bottom line is that I’m going to be doing a little of this and a little that. You might be surprised at some of the stuff I come up with. Just remember that it’s all about a) following God’s calling on my life, and b) supporting my family with much needed income. Speaking of which…

5. The Parrish family is now accepting donations. For a long time, I’ve felt funny about posting something like this. But things are what they are. Karen and I have 2 beautiful, brilliant, funny, sweet, kindhearted kids who are entering private school kindergarten and preschool, and we know that they’re where God wants them to be. But when we followed God’s leading on this, we told God that he’s going to have to foot the bill. So should God be prodding anyone out there to help us take this leap of faith, I wanted to make this means of contributing available. All donations go towards paying the Parrish kids’ tuition, along with basic household necessities like mortgage, utilities, etc.

And if you’re in the same boat as us, financially, then we dare not forget that prayers are a crucial form of support, too. Please lift us up in prayer and Karen and I will do the same for you if you’ll leave your name in the Comments below.

Stay tuned, because some very cool stuff is cooking. I may not be able to see where this ship is headed, but I know that God is still at the wheel. And it’s time I climb aboard!