We didn’t have a white Christmas but Mother Nature sure made up for the oversight two days later. I went to the historical society to do some genealogical work on Monday and when I walked into the building, it was still late November weather — in fact, not only was I not wearing mittens or decent footwear but I didn’t even bother with a coat — a light cashmere cardigan was fine. When I walked out two hours later, it was full on blizzard conditions. We’re sitting under 13 inches of fresh powder dropped in about an eight hour time frame.
Perhaps it’s that shocking reminder — the idea that everything can change in a moment while you’re distracted with other things — that reset my head a bit. I’ve always been ridiculously nostalgic anyway.
You know that journalism nugget of “if it bleeds, it leads”? Well, if it’s schmaltz, I exhalts.
Clearly I write the wrong kind of fiction. For as much as I want to be the next Margaret Atwood, I seem to recall that Nicholas Sparks is outselling Mags ten to one.
So, it’s been a good year. I have maintained my track record of one short story published in a pro mag per year (this year’s in the current issue of Barrelhouse and if you love winter, it’s definitely a story about winter). We sold our house (finally). We kept Zuzu alive (through the grace of modern medicine, hallelujah) and found out that she didn’t have “inspecific seizure disorder” but rather “congenital hydrocephaly” (aka “Why irresponsible dog breeders all deserve an extra toasty spot in hell”). We celebrated the publications of several of our great writer friends and their magnificent books. I turned down two job offers and took door number three. I taught classes, both official and unofficial. I learned to prioritize better. And most importantly, we did a massive landscaping project and still stayed married.
I made new friends. I kept the old. All in all, definitely another checkmark in the Win column.
Happy new year, friends. Thank you for being here.