2022 in the rear view mirror…

…it was the second year without Deck and for some reason it hurt worse than the first. Maybe the air is getting to the wound or something. I’m staring down another New Year’s Eve and somehow all I can think of is December 31 2020, when I raced down to the T Mobile store in a local shopping mall and stood shivering and masked outside on the pavement while the people in the store scurried around to help me pick up a phone for Deck, stuck in his nursing home room, so that we could communicate easier. It was a contract I had to cancel a month later. The phone is in a drawer in a desk in the room that used to be his office. That still hurts.

I wrote about it all in a grief memoir called “Forever is shorter than it used to be”. That came out this year. Buy a box of tissues to go with it if you pick up the book.

2022 was also the year my mother went on hospice, and survived the year, and is going to be “graduated” from hospice in january which leaves me with very few options concering her care (other than throwing myself under the wheel even more completely than I already am) I am literally the only thing she has left, and I… amd basically sitting here watching my mother die slowly from the death of a thousand small cuts, nearly blind from macular degeneration, increasingly frail and suffering from memory loss and dementia, but not “dying” fast enough for hospice to keep a hand in. It is what it is and it will be dealt with as it can be. Whatever fumes I am running on will have to do for a while longer. There’s a deeper story in this but honestly it’s new year’s eve and I don’t want to be totally depressing.

I went to my first con in three years (first covid, then Deck, it’s been a fallow time on the con front…) and it was the Worldcon in Chicago. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – I was happy to reconnect with my tribe on a personal level but it was also the first con I had been to without Deck having my back and it was unutterably lonely. But I am glad that I went…

On the work front, I’m in the final phase of putting together the reissue of the Worldweavers series the four books of which will be dropping quarterly in the new year. It’s going to be a nice edition. I am also putting together a Val Hall omnibus edition for November of 2023. As for new work… I can’t seem to put fiction together right now. I have a short story that I sold this year which is appearing in a March issue of a e-zine (the Zombies Need Brains new e-zine, I will post a link when it is lilve) and I wrote another short story on spec because they were offering good money and I needed it so needs must  but it wasn’t my best work. I have several novel projects I could be getting on with and I have great intentions every day but eh. Somehow the day passes and I am no further. Here’s hoping that something breaks in 2023.

Health? oh boy. my arthritic hips have been a THING this year. Let me just say that I ended up coming home from Worldcon with a cane… and partly in a wheelchair at the airport because I was rushing to catch a flight and the airline attendant at the gate didn’t think I would make it if left to my own resources. It was an interesting experience. But at some point I am looking at a hip replacement, if I want to ever stop mainlining Tylenol.

In other news, my old lady cat died in march of this year at 19 years of age and I began, a little while later, to consider a replacement as a companion for my surviving feline resident. I have always wanted a Maine Coon and I began by looking for possibilities of rehoming one on social media. My eagerness to be owned by a Coon was taken advantage of by a Coon scammer on Facebook, but then I connected with a local cattery which had a retiring champion looking for a new place to call home… and long story short, a cat called Avalanche is now living with me and going through my stores of kibble at a prodigious rate. She is quite lovely and I am still a little in shock at having a coon of my own. At least we are entering the new year on a good cat note.

I don’t know what to expect of the next year but I am hoping that the writing paralysis will break at some point, for my own sanity and survival.

But I may not be staying up until midnight for it. There is nothing that I am THAT eager to anticipate for me to wait for. There are good things that might happen in 2023 but I’ll have to gird up and work for them. I have a giant cat to feed now, after all 🙂

Happy new year, everyone. May it bring you a little bit of everything that you want, and a whole lot of everything that you need, and remember to carry wisdom, courage, and kindness into tomorrow. Oh, and keep reading. Always that.