Still Here, Anyway!

So yeah, 2018 was not my favorite year. I’m not sure how it could be, for anyone even remotely paying attention. But, you know, I survived it, and I’ll take that. When I step back and separate my actual experience from the batshit trashfire of the wider world, as witnessed through the polluted black mirror of the internet and my struggling soul, there was plenty worth celebrating.

Life here in Portland has generally been good to me, personally and professionally. There’s a lot to be said for finally feeling like you’re living in the right place, and after three years in the Pacific Northwest I’ve never been more convinced of that. I love it here: the city, the house, my life with Jenn and our trio of cat dudes, and the gradually expanding circle of amazing friends we’ve made since we arrived. Shockingly, I still love my day job, where my responsibilities increased and we added some great new members to the team. I usually consider myself lucky if I can just tolerate what I do for a living, but I downright like what I do now, and the kicker is how much I admire and enjoy the people I collaborate with every day.

On the writing front, by all the metrics I could control, it was a pretty successful year. I managed just over 85,000 words of fiction, completing one new story and almost finishing a new novel. I also wrote 40,000 words of blog posts and Lightspeed reviews. This was the tenth full year for this blog, by the way—I rang it in with eighty-three total posts. These feel like pretty decent numbers, when piled atop a full-time day job, crushing bouts of political depression, and the various and sundry distractions of life in general. Oh, external validation was vanishingly rare this year; boy, sure would be nice to sell some fiction, wouldn’t it? But I can’t fault the effort. Words words words.

The writing community saved my ass this year, especially the local folks here in Portland, my online writers group, and the extended Rainforest Writers Retreat gang. A hundred percent of my leisure travel, up and down the west coast, involved visiting with people I’ve met through this passion for the written word. If you can survive the writing itself, you get to meet some really awesome people in this business. Cheers, fellow wordsmiths—thanks for all the camaraderie and encouragement this year! (Plus, the cocktails!)

Anyway, that’s my modest little 2018, which, you know, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, you cruel, bonkers shitbucket of a year. Baut I’ll take solace in the fact that the parts I’ll remember, ultimately, will be the good ones, and especially all of you fine people. Here’s to making 2019 a better one!

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