2017 Look Back

City Park, New Orleans, January 1, 2017

The years teach much which the days never know. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I think back just twelve months ago, I remember a whole lot of uncertainty. We (the U.S.) had just completed one of the most surprising election cycles in recent history, and certainly in my history. My posts from a year ago reflect that state of uncertainty, to a degree. There was talk of Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men, some angst on my part over missing a #WritersResist event in New York.

I’m relieved to write that I feel a modest degree less uncertain now. The Republic still stands, the government still functions. (You can read into “functions” what you will, it’s a broad term.) On a personal level, I’m still employed, I still have some savings for the future, and I’m still writing.

This post completes the second full calendar year of this blog. On the “published writer” front, I signed a publishing contract with After Glows Publishing in the first quarter of 2017, and re-released The Incident Under the Overpass with them in September. I hope that the follow-up to TIUTO will release in the first half of 2018.

I had an essay published in OUTSIDE IN MAKES IT SO: 174 New Perspectives on 174 Star Trek TNG Stories by 174 Writers. I will have a short story appear in the sci-fi anthology Just a Minor Malfunction, issue #4, in late February 2018.

My progress in the published realm feels slow, but at least I can state that there is progress. And while I’m glad to be putting 2017 to bed, the year definitely had its highlights. I thought it would be nice to reflect on the new places I saw this past year:

  • Whitney Plantation: a sobering start to the new year, as I learned more about the role my ancestors played in the life of this once-successful sugar plantation. While not happy times for me, any occasion where my eyes are truly opened is worth remembering.
  • Düsseldorf: I saw a city in Germany I’d never seen before. Also of note, this is the only new place I encountered with my job—every other new place was of my own volition.
  • New Smyrna Beach: vacation with husband Tim on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee: my first total solar eclipse!
  • Greece: a happier occasion to have my eyes opened, on vacation in one of the planet’s cradles of civilization.

So once again, Ralph Waldo Emerson states it best. The last days of 2016 certainly did not have places like Greece or things like a total solar eclipse in their sights. I’m grateful for the cumulative learning offered by this past year.


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