Personally, 2019 was probably one of the hardest years I’ve dealt with in a very long time. Professionally? It was my best.
I don’t deal with loss well. It’s part of the reason I don’t “bond” well with people. I can connect, but a deep bond is very hard for me to do, and even harder for me to keep once I realize there is one there. I dip into a “flight” mentality to avoid it and eventually I do enough to push them away or they move on. I recognize I do this but it’s a lot of work to deal with it.
I lost a few people this year, all of whom I knew for a minimum of ten years, one since my days when I was at a group home in California as a young child (7 or 8?). I didn’t cope well and shut myself down mentally and emotionally for weeks. One of the things I do when this happens and I finally recognize the behavior is to find someone to talk to. Not about the loss but about the memories. My belief is we’re not grieving for them but for ourselves. Grief is weird this way.
Professionally, I had 3 novels published, including Book 4 (Homeguard) of the Kin Wars Saga, which continues to be my favorite series to write. I did take a step back from it this winter and have focused on other projects, but Book 5 is coming out in 2020 and probably Book 6 as well, since I’m writing them simultaneously. I had my first ever children’s book come out (A Christmas Surprise), which was really cool. I also was in 4 anthologies, and sold another short story for an upcoming Freehold anthology (my third time being in a Freehold anthology). So all in all, 7 total published works.
I attended more conventions in a single year this year than I ever have as well — a whopping 5. That might not seem like a lot to people who go to conventions a lot, but for me? That’s quite a few. The conventions I attended were Marscon, FantaSci, Libertycon, WyvaCon, and Dragoncon. I had a lot of fun at all of them, though I was only at Dragoncon for one day – for the Dragon Awards.
Yes, 2019 was a pretty good year in the award finalist department. My novel Sons of the Lion was a Dragon Award Finalist for Best Military SF/F. I didn’t win (that honor went to David Weber, who wrapped up his Honor Harrington series) but I know I did well in the voting. I also found out I became a finalist for the Webster Award for Best Author in Virginia (for Sons of the Lion, again), with the voting ending in February 2020. I think the award will be handed out at Ravencon this April.
2019 was a good and bad year. I’m hoping 2020 is simply a good one for all.