Year In Review

We’re firmly into 2022 now, a good time to take a look back at 2021.

Do I expect 2022 to be better? In one sense, yes. I have two books coming out in the first half of this year! Other than that, I expect different. Only different.

But, 2021. Let’s hit the personal highlights for me:

One single fact made me breathe a sigh of relief through all of 2021; we had a president who was an adult in the White House. That made a substantial difference. I look at where we are now–even now–with the Omicron variant and I get a chill thinking about how much worse it could be.

Downside, of course–the megalomaniac loser who had been in the White House before, the one who demonstrated that he had no regard for the United States of America, who would trample our security and destroy our republic if it put a dollar in his bank account or gave him a happy for two seconds, did spur his minions to engage in an act of treasonous insurrections that cost lives. He’s still out there, and one entire party has sold its soul to him. That wasn’t great during 2021. But still.

In 2021, the sold-our-soul party mounted an expensive and annoying recall effort in California, wasting millions of dollars and thousands of hours. Fortunately, they were soundly rebuffed.

In 2021, two jury verdicts gave me hope. No, I’m not seeing a pattern. I’m not holding my breath. But I do note it for the record.

Nationally, we were still in the grip of the Covid viruses in 2021. A large factor in that was a sizeable group of people who could be vaccinated and refused to be, giving the virus safe harbors and collaborating with the evolution of variants. These same people (obviously, please note that I am not talking about people who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons) also ranted and threw tantrums about wearing a mask. If you’re wondering why we’re where we are in 2022, look at those people first. From a distance. Wearing your mask.

Personally, the list of health-maintenance chores for myself gets a little longer every year, and 2021 was no exception. Overall, though, my health is good and I’m grateful.

I’d laugh, but you know what? I did take a trip in 2021! It was a road trip with my dear friend Linda. And it was great.

I went to Mendocino a couple of times– and it was beautiful and inspiring, just as I always hope it will be.

Spouse is doing well, still managing to volunteer at the Wente Scout Camp pretty much monthly. A couple of times in 2021, the camp was on lockdown. (Spouse would have actually preferred to work during those times, because here would be no one around to slow him down.)

Speaking indirectly of Scouts–our friend Matt Fleming was awarded the Silver Beaver Award by his council. Much deserved!

I would point out that nationally, Scouting did not have a good year in 2021. Basically, the same avoidance practices the Catholic Church used with child molesters caught up with Scouting, too, resulting in a huge financial hit. Will the program take lessons learned to heart? I fear not, but I hope yes.

Friends and Community:

Friends and community kept me going during 2021–writing friends, long-time treasures like Linda and Sharon, new friends from workshops or Zoom classes.

Final edits on Comeuppance completed.
Developmental edits on Golden Rifts (Book Three of Copper Road) completed.
Practically polished draft of Chalice completed.
And this weird new thing started–a kinda magical spy thriller with sapient fungus.
A starred review from Publishers Weekly!
I figured out how to work with Goodreads! Kind of!
Reviews for Fantasy Literature as well as a weekly column.

I read so many great books in 2021. I… seriously. 2020 was a great year for speculative fiction books. 2021 continued the trend. I dare to hope that 2022 will build on those years, and be even better. Keep them coming, all you brilliant authors!

That’s it. I’ve looked back. (There are a thousand things I will remember as soon as I post this.) Now I look forward. Until I look back again. And check the side-views.

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