I think it's generally accepted that 2016 has been a shitshow of a year, and I'm tired of hearing about it, reading about it, and writing about it. I mean, leaving aside the deaths (both of famous people and of innocent lives in Syria and so on), the election, and all the rest, I got to spend my 47th birthday at the funeral of my last living grandparent.
So this year-end post, which I've traditionally done in some form or other every year since I started this blog in 2004, is going to focus only on the positives. Yes, there were some. *grin*
First of all, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series! It may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but holy crap, was that impressive from a baseball perspective. The team hadn't won a Series in over a century. As an added bonus, the team with the second-longest Series drought (and now the longest) was the one they were playing, the Cleveland Indians. So no matter who won, a team's fan base would get a present, as it were. And the seventh game of the Series was one of the best baseball games you're ever likely to see....
On a more personal level, Wrenn, Dale, and I were forced to move, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We're now living in a magnificent new home that is bigger, nicer, better suited to us (and the cats), and just generally more wonderful than our old place. We miss the old neighborhood, but it's only a short drive away, and we're closer to Little Italy and my parents, so it all works out. And we're settling into the new neighborhood very nicely. (Wrenn got dressed up in a Renaissance-style dress and cloak and gave out candy to the neighborhood kids who were Trick-or-Treating on Hallowe'en, thus endearing her to every parent on this block and the surrounding ones.)
Earlier this year, Wrenn and I got to spend the week between our birthdays in Key West along with Meredith and Anneliese, and it was the best vacation ever. I never grow tired of going to Key West, and Wrenn and I are hoping to go back some time in 2017 if finances allow. Even if they don't, we'll always have this trip, which was superlative on every level (well, except for being too short, but that's true of all trips to Key West, regardless of duration).
My writing career is in much better shape than it's been in a long time. My sooper-seekrit project that should be out in June 2017 and which I should be able to talk about early next year, and the publisher I did it for wants me to do more stuff. I wrote a mess of short stories for anthologies that will be out in 2017, all of which I enjoyed and am proud of, and one in particular I think may be one of the best short stories I've ever written ("Ganbatte" in Joe Ledger: Unstoppable). I worked on a thriller and on A Furnace Sealed, both of which should be finished in the early part of the new year.
I had new Marvel-based fiction out for the first time in a while (that was how my writing career got started, after all.....) with the release of the first two "Tales of Asgard" novels (Marvel's Thor: Dueling with Giants and Marvel's Sif: Even Dragons Have Their Endings), with Book 3 due in the spring of '17, and 2016 also saw my first-ever Stargate SG-1 novel, Kali's Wrath come out. Bastei released a new Super City Cops novella in December, with two more due out in the new year. Plus I had short fiction out in Limbus Inc. Book 3, V-Wars: Night Terrors, and Altered States of the Union, and the first volume of the comic book adaptation I did of Gregory A. Wilson's Icarus was also released.
I did a lot of celebrating of Star Trek's 50th anniversary on the nonfiction front, alongside that of Batman '66: besides the weekly "Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch" and "Holy Rewatch Batman!" for Tor.com, I reviewed Star Trek Beyond and The Return of the Caped Crusaders for that site, provided a guide to the essential five or six episodes of each Trek series for Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Star Trek, and ended the year with a look on Tor.com at stuff relating to those two shows: Incubus, The Green Hornet, Alexander the Great, and the Batgirl and Wonder Woman promo shorts.
This is my third year teaching afterschool karate classes at local schools/facilities, and this year has been by far the best. The kids have been amazing, and it's been hugely rewarding on many levels for me and them. In addition, our new Italian branch visited, and we had a great time training with them, going through a black-belt promotion with them, and hanging out with them.
For Wrenn's part, she has successfully reinvented herself as a book production person, having built an impressive resumé doing work for such clients as Riverdale Avenue Books, Bizzy Girl, and EGZ Productions, and her prospects for 2017 are better than they've been since her contract with Spruce ended in 2013.
Overall this was a year in which I got to be with many (if not all) of my loved ones, and which will end with me and Wrenn amidst many of our closest friends to have a big dinner and exchange presents and ring in 2017.
So happy new year to all and sundry! Feel free to share your positive stuff from 2016 in the comments......