I am, perhaps unfortunately, the kind of person who likes to take stock of just how much I did (or didn’t) accomplish at the end of each year.

(What can I say? I’ve been in the corporate world too long and there have to be measures! measures! measures!)

Here’s my 2018 numerically:

  • Wrote: almost exactly 30,000 words on two novel projects that are in shaky condition.
  • Ran: 818 miles in 246 runs including 17 organized races and a half-marathon.
  • Lost: 7.9 pounds.
  • Released: one short story collection, Acres of Perhaps.
  • Received: one starred review from Publishers Weekly and several other good notices.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Here is my 2018 subjectively:

  • Discovered that my friend Norman Amemiya’s mysterious lack of contact was due to his death in 2014.
  • Lost my greyhound Zelda to an sudden unknown cause of death.
  • Got in a car wreck on I-4 that was fortunately without injuries but smashed up my vehicle.
  • Endured another horrifying year of looming stress and depression with Donald Trump as president.
  • Hosted the first successful Willcon (the formerly-yearly gathering for friends in my home) in years.
  • Met with a medium to contact my mother (and, accidentally, Norman).
  • Continued in an oddly duller world that no longer contains my mother since her death last year.

That’s, uh, what you might call a mixed bag. I wish I’d accomplished more, but then, it’s kind of a miracle I got as much done as I did. It’s hard to overstate the general pervasive feeling of slow dread shadowing me for most of the year, making almost every action feel like swimming in tar.

I did manage to escape into books, podcasts, films, and television. Some pleasant surprises this year included:

I spent a lot of the year (Too much? Who can say?) hiding from the world in books (including my own). I also had a lot of weird vivid dreams, so who knows what that was all about.

I’m glad you and I both survived 2018. Let us never speak of it again.