Well, I’ll say this for the year we’ve come to know as 2018: It wasn’t boring. Both personally and professionally it was an action-packed year to say the least.
The year started with me serving as a co-host on The Writer’s Block, a show on LA Talk Radio, with Jim Christina and Bobbi Jean Bell.
It also saw the release of two solo sci-fi novels (When The Gods Fells & The Timeless), a co-authored western with Jim Christina (The Last Lonely Trail) and three stories published in anthologies (Nothing Ever Happens Here/Secret Stairs; The Last Hunt/To Be Men; and Extinction Point/Planetary:Earth). I also oversaw the production of four audiobooks of my novels that were released in 2018.
That’s a pretty productive year that will be hard to exceed in 2019. That’s not to say that I’m not going to try very hard to do just that.
The mid-point of the year saw a change in venue, as my wife and I moved
escaped/fled from California to Nebraska. While it moved us further away from our kids and grandkids, we are both happy we made the move for a host of reasons too vast to list here. Thankfully, technology allows us to visit via webcam whenever we want and that helps ease the pains of separation.
Here’s the thing about getting older: Deaths and near-misses become more and more frequent. We lost family members this year and nearly lost others (my father is still being called The Miracle Man in a certain Texas hospital. Not even the doctors that saved his life that night can believe he’s still alive today.)
Two good friends are widowers now. One was a long-term issue that finally came to a conclusion while the other was tragically sudden. There is no worse feeling of ineptitude than being unable to offer any other comfort to a friend suffering a terrible loss than words of condolences. If I could remove their pain, undo their loss, I would do so in an instant. But that is a power none of us have. All we can do is mourn their loss and rage at our powerlessness in the one thing that truly matters.
My own health saw me needing to take a step back and reevaluate some things. For starters, planned trips to Atlanta for DragonCon in August, as well as 2019’s LibertyCon were shelved. At least I was able to attend what I hope will become my home con – O Comic Con here in Omaha – but for the foreseeable future, my public appearances will be limited. (Although I suspect some folks out there are cheering this news, 😉 )
One discovery in 2018 came in the realization that I had allowed a lot of negativity to work its way into my professional and personal life. For my health, my sanity and my future writing’s sake I realized changes needed to be made.
Starting with some truly evil people I’d wasted too much time engaging with online. They’ve all been blocked from my social media and I no longer waste any time keeping up with their foolishness. I haven’t heard a peep out of them since and that has resulted in a vast improvement all by itself.
But I also removed myself from certain groups and associations that were bringing unneeded stress into my life. The people in these groups are like-minded and good people overall. But they tend to attract drama like… well, like those drama queens we all remember from our junior high school days. Culling that part of the herd has helped out a lot as well.
So while I hate to have to have resorted to such extreme measures, I can’t deny it has resulted in a renewed focus on my writing and a recharged outlook on what I’ll be doing in the weeks and months ahead. More on that later, but I am excited about 2019 in a way I haven’t been about an upcoming year in a very long time.
THE FINAL VERDICT
In a way, 2018 was much like many that have come before. Lots of highs and lows to navigate, but with plenty of family and friends to help see you through. So goodbye 2018 and hello 2019. I hope your year was better than mine and that your 2019 will better than 2018 was for you. We’ll see you next year.
In the meantime, you have less than a week left to pick up e-book copies of my books for your Kindle device for just $0.99 each. Make sure you get your copies, or pick up a few for the special readers in your life, today.