2017 in Review

Merry New Year!!

[WARNING: Self-reflective navel-gazing post ahead!]

2017 was a rough year for many, but I don’t feel a smidge of guilt in saying it went pretty well for me. (Don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll get my comeuppance eventually.)

For one, I feel I’m getting the hang of this teaching thing. I have 7th-grade Logic class designed and locked in, my English 8 kids get a lot out of Ray Bradbury, Frederick Douglass, and William Shakespeare, and my high schoolers in Creative Writing are… weird. Just… plain… weird.

Okay, so maybe I still have a lot to learn about teaching. But I’m enjoying the hell out of it, which is more than I can say for any previous career path I’ve taken. So until I can author full-time, this’ll be my thing. Can you dig it???*

The kids seem to appreciate me, anyway, judging from all the sugar they gave me for Christmas. Or maybe they just think I’m too thin. Either way, I have the right sense of style for the job.

I finished the last of my graduate school work in February, and received my Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing (Fiction focus) from Wilkes University in May. So now I’m even more qualified to finish the writing projects that I can never seem to get done…

Summer was exciting, in both good and bad ways.

The Good: I took m’lady and kids to San Diego, and, while there, Akisha and I got engaged!** Also had some fun with the fam in Colorado, South Dakota, and Chicagoland.

The Bad: I injured my knee in BJJ training, and had to take two months off while I limped and healed. This slowed my Jiu Jitsu progress for the year, which resulted in me being held back for my purple belt promotion. That’s okay, though. I still managed to collect a couple medals, and I’m looking forward to cleaning out the blue belts in tournaments this year. (Also among the bad: summer brought a bit of financial and family stress, which I’m still working to straighten out. But oh, well. Pressing on!)

Since school started in early August, life has been a nonstop grind of obligatory activity. It’s fun, granted, but to find a spare minute to write (or even to read) in the past five months has been a nigh-impossible task.

I did get a few breaks, though. On Labor Day weekend I took Akisha to Sedona, where we’re planning to have our wedding. Then in October I went back to Chicago for sailing and family time.

November brought me the first opportunity to restart my author career, which has pretty much been on hiatus since I started grad school. I pulled a booth at Phoenix Fan Fest, where I managed to make my money back and get my name out to a lot of fans of weird fiction. My friend and illustrator Mo Simpson joined me there with his son, Miles, to help me push our Cthulhu wares on an unsuspecting and nerdy public. It feels good to get back in the game.

To cap off the year, last week Tyrion and I returned to Colorado for a fine family Christmas. Tyr took his first try at snowboarding, and taught me how to play rugby. Joyous Yule!

So that’s my year, for those who care. But if you’re just here for the books, know that I’m back to work on all the weirdness, and you will definitely see new material in 2018. Can’t wait!

 

*’80s movie reference for the win!! 

**Wedding next October. Keep your pants on.

 

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