2018 started out horribly, as we lost Dale. Hell, 2017 ended with Dale going to the hospital, and he never came home from that particular trip. He rang in 2018 from a hospital bed, and he died on the 4th of January.
It took a lot to recover from that, and we haven’t 100% recovered, truly, but the year got better from there almost by default. And there were some wonderful things that happened in 2018.
The best, of course, was our trip to Italy in November for a belated honeymoon. It was a magical trip, full of food and wine and joy and happiness and art and architecture and friends and food and wine and did I mention the food and wine? It was magnificent and glorious and we can’t wait to go back and eat more food and drink more wine.
I also finally completed two projects that I’ve been trying to complete for, um, a while: Mermaid Precinct and A Furnace Sealed. They’re both in the editing stages and should be out in early 2019 (I’m hoping to have copies of one or both at Farpoint).
We’re ringing in the new year the same way we always do: spending it with some of our dearest friends at one of those friend’s house. There will be food and wine (I’m noticing a theme here) and celebration and fun and bidding 2018 adieu.
2019 should be a much better year. For one thing, I’ve got three new books coming out — besides the two mentioned above, there’s Alien: Isolation. Plus a bunch of short stories, and continued writing for Tor.com, and still training in karate and teaching my afterschool program and my fighting class, and all that stuff.
Best of all, though, is that 2019 will see me celebrating three major anniversaries.
The first is the 15th anniversary of my karate studies. On 20 September 2004, I walked into my dojo as an overweight, under-conditioned 35-year-old. Now I walk in as a third-degree black belt, which is much better. The dojo has become a second home in so many ways, and I’m eternally grateful to Shuseki Shihan Paul and everyone else.
Next is the 25th anniversary of my fiction writing career. I sit here now with a truckload of fiction to my credit, including 55 novels, and upwards of a hundred short stories, plus comic books, novellas, vignettes, etc., but it all started in November 1994 with “An Evening in the Bronx with Venom,” a story I co-authored with John Gregory Betancourt for The Ultimate Spider-Man, published by Berkley Books.
And finally, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of my birth, as I entered this world on the 18th of April in 1969, the same year as Woodstock and the moon landing, the year that Star Trek ended, the year that the Mets won the World Series for the first time.
Happy new year, everyone. *raises glass*