Well, well, well...we are finally headed out of yet another year, and moving into the next one. I've said it before, and it would seem that '21 was an extended version of '20, just one very long year that did not seem to end.
I was just having a talk with an old radio boss, and realized that what I said to people a long time ago, was something someone else said to us even further back. We talk about new year stuff as a time to reflect, reconsider, but do we actually REMAKE ourselves?
My longtime friend and colleague Beverly Burke said that to us when a major change was coming, and I repeated her lesson to others in 2019, when things appeared to be heading into the shitter for some others. I am not sure if that has happened yet, but I am not waiting to find this out.
This month, I finally finished off a year-long battle. Readers will know that '19 ended with my studio in shambles, my kitchen gutted, and an absolute mental psychosis was happening as I tried to figure out what to do about my home. But...a new roof, a new studio and floor, lots of things fixed, and the final payoff from the insurance company...done.
Now there are some new things to fix, and take care of, etc., and that will be part of my job for 2022.
Oh, and there was this:
There is a real joy that Call it Love was finally released. The second book in the Sweet Dreams Series, we move forward in Aki's life, and we introduce new characters, and so much new stuff that should make any reader want more. And so there shall be...
The third book of the series is entitled "Shake Hands with the Devil," and will bring about a fine trilogy...but there is more...perhaps.
I've looked back now, and I see in my past five published books, with a sixth to come. Much more to do, to write, to edit and to prepare for the future. This year has to be one of many more things...
The things included events! Sci-Fi Valley Con was amazing, and how glad I was to hear and see the reaction of people when I pitched the first two books of this. We are headed somewhere.
I will be doing Cleveland Concoction in March of '22, wonderful to head back to that. Sci-fi is again returning to June, and I'll be seeking more places to go to show of my work, and get more readers into the program.
Work of another kind now: Radio PA Network is still my main broadcast "job," and I'll be doing that, plus some other jobs, but now I have to say no to some things, or do less of these, because I have another step forward.
Sunbury Press Books is winding down the in-house audiobook division and that is headed out to third parties. I'm going to produce a podcast for two friends in the near future, and Sunbury will now do more of these.
My plan is to produce at least three regular shows per month, and I may host one of them. We are going to move into the literary world and out of it with these, and my hope is that we will see more listenership to the #BookSpeakNetwork (find that on Blog Talk Radio) and elevate our profile on other platforms.
But the main reason for everything that I'm changing is...I have no choice left.
I am physically not myself any longer. Mentally, I'm finally back to a level of clarity that I require to just survive, but anxiety and depression, while finished with me for much of the year, still exist, and I have to play maintenance person with that.
I finally got my long-awaited vacation. I was to have one in October, for the somber occasion of my late brother Mark's funeral. Due to a sideswipe exposure to COVID-19 via a friend, I had to cancel, and probably for the best. I did my own tribute to Mark, and I wrote one here last year. Best thing I could have done.
So, pretty much exhausted, I disappeared to Maine, and arrived in the southern part of the state at the new home of a dear friend. Kat Szmit is a journalist, editor, writer and author of note, and her new home is a beautiful refuge from madness.
We spent a quiet Christmas together, and a few days of needed relaxation and catching up. After not seeing someone nearly 35 years, there's a lot to do there.
And then we took a little trip to Portsmouth, NH...
We're all mad. You're mad. I'm mad.
Wow, to see Ed Quinn once more after so long. He was my last roommate at St. Joseph's, and Kat and Ed were there my final year. Back to the old, quaint city where he now lives, and friends caught up again.
You can become friends again, without living in the past, but looking back at it, and seeing where you are, and how you have progressed. I feared so many around me have regressed or retreated to a world where they can escape for a bit, but the escape becomes total.
The COVID thing...I'm lucky, I've not gotten it. I have my third injection, and I'm doing all I can to be safe. I must because if I get it, with my health issues, it could be game over. I'm not doing that. Not yet.
So I hope the world wakes up, all get their shots and let us move forward.
I am grateful. For friends, the few, real close friends I have. For the people around me who are an extended family, and have given me reasons to write, to carry on, and yes, to live my fucking life.
2022 is a stepping off point. I'm not going to quit until it's time. I will write, I will broadcast, I will make a fucking difference, every fucking day. That's my duty, to you, but to myself.