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2018 in the Rear-View Mirror


After Halloween it’s always kind of a downhill slide to the New Year, and here we are, one day from Thanksgiving. From there to Christmas is a steep drop-off, and before you know it, that’s all she wrote for another year. Before I end up like one of Poe’s hapless characters in “A Descent into the Maelström,” circling the drain of an implacable whirlpool, I thought I’d jot down a few reflections on 2018.

It’s been a good year for me on more than one front. Year two on a new job has proven that my instincts were good in moving on. I traded in a high-pressure position at a Level-1 trauma center for a job that still keeps me from getting bored but takes a whole lot less out of me. For instance, instead of working through my lunch hours, I’m using them to write. Every damn one of them. It’s not the only writing time in my week, of course, but it’s become valuable writing time for me. Writing regularly is far more important than daily word count anyway, if you ask me. I let seven days slip by without writing in 2018. Not one of them was during the three weeks I spent in Sweden (more on that below). I can live with that.

So I guess that rolls us nicely into a recap of my writing output across the year. I’ve hammered the final nail into the coffin of one novel and begun shopping it to agents. A second novel is sitting with a copy editor before I make a final pass through it. I’ve compiled my second short story collection and am also shopping that, all while starting yet a third novel and taking notes for a fourth. Plus, I’ve written eight short stories that I’m incredibly pleased with this year. Not bad for a part-time writer, eh? Just wait until you see what I’m capable of as a full-timer, because that’s the goal, ladies and gentlemen. I enjoy writing so much that I’d love to do even more of it. It’s really that simple.

Shifting back to my mention of Sweden, I had the good fortunate of taking a trip there in August with my wife and daughter. None of us had been to Scandinavia before, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an expensive part of the world, but everywhere you turn there’s something of interest, whether historical, architectural, cultural, or culinary. Stockholm would be a very difficult city to grow weary of, I suspect, and the rural areas are endlessly picturesque. The people couldn’t be more accommodating either, and service everywhere is consistently thorough. (Okay, Swedish tourism board, where’s my lettuce?)

Also on the personal side, I have watched my daughter continue to flourish and grow into as curious, intelligent, hilarious, and beautiful a young woman as I’ve always hoped and suspected she would. My wife has taken on a research project that has the potential to make a significant impact in the field of ancestry. Overall, I guess you could say that Thanksgiving is arriving at a fitting time for me and mine. There’s much to be grateful for.

Of course, it could all end tomorrow. (There’s a reason I write horror and crime fiction.)

Regardless, this is probably my last post of the year, folks, so dive into that turkey, if Thanksgiving is your thing. Wallow in the stuffing. Revel in the yams. Gourmandize and imbibe until you bloat or pass out. Then do it all again in about a month, if Christmas is your thing. Whatever the case, I’ll catch you around the corner in 2019. It’s got promise, that one.


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