Sunday, January 5, 2014

Observations — 2013, Good Riddance

I’m not a fan of 2013. Health issues have kept me relatively homebound for the last couple of years, particularly 2013.  A good part of that time I’ve been on steroids.  These aren’t the body-building, home-run-hitting, bicycle-racing ‘roids, but the kind that makes you bigger, meaner and generally unpleasant to be around. Thank goodness, I live alone and I’m not seeking a mate.

"Bigger, meaner and generally unpleasant to be around."
The upside.  There are chunks of time when the drug provides excess energy. During the first steroid treatment period, I started a small publishing company and brought the first Shanahans back into print, as well as publishing a lovely, strange, little mystery novella that never would have seen the light of day had I not done it myself. I also started the blog you are reading now.  During the current steroid treatment, a different type this time, my face bloated and neck thickened, but my nasty behavior toward others subsided, I’ve been told.  As I did before, I am having periodic surges of mental energy, enough that I wrote three more novellas, a new full-length novel in the Shanahan series and the first draft of a memoir of sorts.  I’m not sure this was more than a curious exercise.  I’m not sure it matters, except that all that has preceded this moment is material, color and knowledge for any writing that follows. In that sense, the lousy 2013 gains value.  The decrepitude that came with two brain surgeries, one not particularly successful,  (as well as the debilitating drugs), has certainly allowed me greater empathy for others, but ironically also provides greater insight into the mind of the major character in my fiction as I seemed to age exponentially, more than catching up with my elderly protagonist.. Grist for the mill.  My afflictions played into the character and  plot of my new book. The level of understanding of what the character experiences and the reality I’m able to convey to the reader are far greater than if this information had been gleaned from research on Google.  Without this horrible year, I’m sure I would have defaulted on some valuable life lessons and written a lesser book.  Do I want to do it again?  No.

What’s ahead is uncertain.  Then again, isn’t it always?

So I wish myself a much better 2014 – Year of The Horse for half the world's population.  And I wish all my friends a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

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