I should be working on my novel. Instead, I’m bingeing on Elementary, working on my end-of-year ruminations.
I’m not sure if these serve much, if any, purpose. I’ve never seemed able to sustain a journal or diary before. Blogging (such a clutzy name for it, but we seem stuck with it now; certainly some examples of the “art” fit the nomenclature) for whatever reason, seems suited to my temperament in this regard. On the other hand, I never tried using my past journal attempts for editorializing.
Be that as it may, it’s one method of tracking…progress?
I’ve been working on a new novel. I’ve mentioned that before, of course. As of today, I’m about a third of the way through and I feel it’s going well. I still have one more in the alternate history trilogy I’ve been writing the last several years, but this new one—a full-blown science fiction work involving interstellar travel, aliens, fey physics, and immortality—has my more immediate attention and the enthusiasm of my agent. I finished the first draft in the summer, before we went on a short vacation, long overdue, to see friends in Pittsburgh. No telling how long it will take me to finish it, because I’m taking my time with it.
I’ve had less free time this past year to work on it, but that can’t be helped. Besides graduating to full-time employment at Left Bank Books, which I’m thoroughly enjoying, the situation with Donna’s parents has continued, consuming time and emotional energy. Without going into detail, I’ll just say that Donna has been magnificent in her attention to detail and the execution of her responsibilities toward them. As always, I feel privileged to be part of her life. Matters have reached a point now where she need not spend so much time.
What I had taken to be signs of stress turned out to be an ear infection she has been suffering for an unknown length of time. It never got to the point of actually hurting, so it went untreated till recently. She’s doing much better now.
All that to say that circumstances, once again, are changed, and I’ve had to accommodate the new dynamic. I am. I’m working at an acceptable pace and I am pleased with the product. We are starting to take more time for ourselves again.
I underwent surgery last March to repair a rupture tendon in my right arm. I have scrupulously followed doctor’s orders and the recovery has been satisfactory. I’m back at the gym. I’m about 20% down from where I was before the injury, but I’m not complaining—I’m 61, after all, and in fair shape, but I am realistic about what I can do. I tire more easily. Aches and pains don’t go away as fast. Still, I worked out this morning and did incline presses at 90 lbs per hand. It will do.
The year has been a mix of up and down. One of my musical heroes (Chris Squire) passed away, leaving me sad in the way people a few years older must have felt about John Lennon’s passing. You will find my thoughts in the previous post, under the link Passing of Giants. There were other deaths that bothered me, made me feel the world that informed me has shrunk considerably, but none quite so trenchant as that one.
On the high side, though, Harlan Ellison came to St. Louis to attend our local convention, Archon, somewhat at my instigation, and it was, as I wrote, a Peak Experience. That I can say that Harlan is a friend is one of the most unlikely claims I ever expected to be able to make. The visit was anxiety-laden, of course, as he’s not in the best of health and there were…concerns. But it all came off well and he had a great time, which was all I hoped for. Several of his friends came from all over to see him at the convention. It was magical.
I’m not reading as much as I’d like. Yeah, I know, I work at a bookstore, what do I mean I don’t have time to read? Well, I work for a successful bookstore, so no, there’s no reading on the job. I’ll outline my year’s reading over on the Proximal Eye. I have read some very good books, though, and I’ll take quality over quantity any day.
All in all, 2015 was much better than 2014. Things are happening. I am grateful for the people in my life. My lifelong friends are still among the best and we have added new friends, some unexpectedly, who have added enormously to the quality of our lives. (You coworkers at the store, I’m referring to you. Thank you all.)
I’m not saying as much as I have in the past. I expect the reports filed over the course of the next 12 months to be filled with positive developments. We don’t make resolutions, but we have Intentions. 2016, should we manage to achieve even half of what we have in the works, will be incredible.
But it already begins thus. The various elements surrounding us have already promised to aid in great things. And, again, I go forward with the best partner anyone could ask for.
So I’ll leave it brief this year and a bit less detailed. I’ll leave it with a hope everyone has a better year going forward and a thank you to everyone who has made the year just past as good as it was.