It’s hard to sum up my feelings about this new year.
Normally, I feel energized by the start of a new calendar, and a little daunted by all the ideas for new projects, or finishing older ones. It’s silly on one level. Any day can be the start of a new year.
I feel similarly energized and daunted every September. Fall has always felt more like the start of a new year to me. I guess that’s indoctrinated by 15 years of schooling.
This new year has more daunt than most. I suspect that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
What a year that was
I felt really lucky that no one in my family contracted COVID-19 in 2020. And on New Year’s Eve last year, I got my first vaccination shot. I am a designated essential worker.
Yes, my younger son developed appendicitis on U.S. Election Day. Interestingly, his older brother developed the same affliction four years earlier, the day a talking mango was elected President of the United States.
And they’re four years apart in age.
I’ll never buy another mango.
Then 2021 rolled around. Good friends developed COVID-19 just before they could get their vaccines. The whole family. George ended up in ICU, his wife in hospital, and both children got it, too.
In September, my 87-year-old father was admitted to hospital for badly needed back surgery, which kept getting delayed because of the overflow of COVID cases. More than a month passed before he could have an operation that might restore his ability to walk.
And then, while he was recovering, someone brought COVID-19 into the hospital, and my father was one of the people who caught it—even though he’d been double-vaccinated. He still has not fully recovered, and probably never will.
Then just after a muted Christmas, I developed shingles. Thankfully, it was pretty mild because I was vaccinated over a year ago.
It seemed a fitting end to a heavy year.
Let’s take a chance
I’m not going to say, “It cannot get any worse,” because it can. Think of other years in history. I don’t think any Leningrader said, “I am so over the Nazis. I am going to my dacha outside the city.”
No Londoner ever said, “I am so over the Blitz. I am opening the blinds and turning on all the lights.”
But it’s a new year, so here’s what I am going to try to do. These are my goals for the coming year.
A new Hawaiian Storm
Readers of the Hawaiian Storm series know they’re based on short works I wrote a few years ago. A fourth one is nearly available, with the working title, Echo of a Dance, and I’ll be putting it out in the next few months.
Readers who love FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm, your prayers will be answered!
A new dystopian sci-fi novel
I have been making good progress on Fractured States of America, or The Woman from the Prairie Bank—the working titles of my new novel. In the next post, watch for a new sample.
A new historical project
A new project based on the Eastern Front trilogy is in the works, and it is progressing nicely. I am not ready to discuss it, yet, but watch for it. I think you’ll like it!
What’s a new year without resolutions? In the coming year, I resolve to:
• brush my teeth every day—even after meals
• wear a clean shirt
• swear at my stupid, *&#@! printer
• let the cats walk in front of the camera during online meetings
• research my non-fiction project, “How to Drive Your Wife Crazy,” every day.
I think that’s sufficient for any one man.
My wishes for a good 2022 for you
None of us know what the next 12 months will bring, but I hope that you all have a healthy, peaceful and happy 2022.
Keep in touch. Tell me what’s happening in your world. It helps me make new stories!