Another year has passed and I’m convinced if I don’t blog on Hayden’s Hubris at least once, I’ll be too ashamed to hold my head up high. And we can’t have that happen, can we?
I have to say that 2015 was a real mixed bag. There was a certain amount of sadness, tempered with fair dollops of joy. Still, I won’t be sad to see it come to an end. Maybe 2016 will turn out better.
So let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. While I had a relatively healthy year – aside from the aches and pains of turning 60 and being in the worst shape of my life – but there was plenty of illness and death in my life. My mother-in-law, who turned 90 in August broke her hip last spring and has since gone into a slow decline. As the year ends, she is in hospital with pneumonia and her prospects of going home again are dim. Her decline was probably sped along by the death of her daughter after a very brief illness with lung cancer. Kristine was only 68 and, until her sudden illness, was full of life and energy.
Three friends – not close ones but people I saw regularly – also died this year, two from cancer and one from a respiratory illness. A very close friend was recently also diagnosed with cancer and another has been in hospital for months because of serious depression.
As the saying goes, getting old is not for sissies.
On the bright side, a younger friend was successfully treated for her cancer and, by all appearances, has beaten the disease. A couple of other friends recovered from quite serious illnesses and are back to their old selves. It is sometimes a wonder what doctors can achieve.
Other aspects of my life have been happier. My day job at the Senate has gotten a lot more interesting in the last few months and promises to be busy and exciting for the next year or two. I was pleased to help my boss launching his autobiography and happy for him that it has generally been well received. Liz reached a major milestone in her work and can now look forward to retiring in a year or less. I will follow shortly after – though I might be around for nearly 3 years.
In the meantime, Bundoran Press continues to take up a lot of my spare time. We released 4 books this year and had an Aurora nomination for a 2014 book. I already have books bought for both 2016 and 2017, one of which will be partly funded by an Indiegogo campaign. You can read more about that at my Bundoran Blog.
With work and publishing keeping me busy, my own writing has lagged a bit. I had two story sales during the year with “Drone Dreams” being published by Perihelion SF in November. “Marion’s War” will appear in the anthology, Strangers Among Us, next August. I have a few other stories out to market and hope to find a bit more time to write next year. However, on a related matter, I now have two students that I mentor professionally (and am always interested in more).
It wouldn’t be a year without lots of travel and this year, in addition to business trips to the NWT and family/friend visits in Toronto and Alberta/BC, Liz and I expanded our horizons by going to Cuba in February and Turkey in October. Both trips were fantastic, though quite different in scope and style. We particularly like snorkeling in Cuba and intend to do a lot more in Cozumel when we go there this winter. The highlights of Turkey were the Aya Sofia in Istanbul and the fairyland landscape of Cappadocia. Other than Mexico, we don’t have any particular plans for travel in 2016 but I’m sure that will change in the next few years.
And we had plenty of visitors this year. Susan (Liz’s daughter) and her boyfriend, Kevin, came from England and stayed with us for much of 10 days. It was a fabulous time. We also got in several visits with Steven and his sons in Burlington. A few people came to dinner while visiting Ottawa though, as it turned out, no one stayed over. One of the other highlights involved visiting other people – a group of writers hosted by Rob Sawyer in early July. It’s always fun to hang with other writers. Which of course reminds me of all my writing (and non-writing) friends here in Ottawa and the many parties, retreats and writing events we took part in both here in Ottawa but also Kingston, Toronto and Calgary.
So I guess 2015 wasn’t the best year of my life but, on the other hand, it really wasn’t half bad.