Reflections on 2018

When I look back at 2018, I have a generally good feeling. A couple of difficult personal events happened toward the end of the year, but overall, it was a good year, and a year of firsts for me. Let’s dig in.

Challenges

We’ll get the rough stuff out of the way first. November was definitely the most challenging month, with a storage unit fire early and the passing of a longtime pet near the end.

The remains of the storage unit fire (L), and Sophia, the Bewilderbeast (R)
(Like you couldn’t tell.)

About half my possessions were in the storage unit, and most burned up or were damaged beyond repair from fire and water, including a number of family heirlooms. Every few days, I think about something that I haven’t seen for a while, and realize I’ll probably never see it again. That stings a little, but it’s actually fairly easy to acknowledge that feeling and move on, since there’s no chance of recovering anything. As time goes on and the fire becomes more distant, it’s actually becoming something of a positive, because some of the items in that storage unit triggered painful memories, and resolving them through fire seems appropriate.

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Cutting Class

I decided to skip the Old Possum’s meeting this month. I don’t like doing that, since I’m one of the founding members and sort of the group’s secretary, but I really need the practice for this gig. Hopefully I can get together with other band members tonight and make this performance a little more polished than the last one.

I sent a note out to the Old Possum’s group, outlining my shameful choice for the evening. I knew something like this was bound to happen if I started getting my foot in the music door, and I chose to do it anyway. I guess I have to live with the consequences of my actions.

I also queried Wormhole Books about the flash fiction story, “To Be Human,” that I submitted for their product catalog. I got a good response back; it’s neither been accepted nor rejected. The editors are still “mulling it over.” That’s good news! That’s still one step removed from a rejection.

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Off the Map

Sunday was a much more productive day for creativity. I got an e-mail about a flash fiction market at Wormhole Books, and after confirming that this limited e-mail solicitation was open to new writers, I wrote a piece called “To Be Human.” I revised it a couple of times that day, then read it to my wife and son. Based on their reactions, I tweaked the ending a bit and sent it off as an electronic submission. Hopefully something will come of that, but if it doesn’t, at least I sent it off.

I also wrote about 300 words of “Sphere of Success,” the next story in my Fear Spheres series. It’s funny how stories work sometimes; I had a vague outline in my head of where I wanted to go with that story, but when I started writing, the main character kind of took over and is sending the story in a different direction. It may wind up where I originally wanted it, but it’s taking a different road — one that’s not on my map!

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