There are a few quotes from Shakespeare that people tend to misunderstand, the most egregious of which is probably “star-crossed lovers,” which actually means lovers whose relationship is doomed to failure or ended in tragedy. The second, “now is the winter of our discontent,” is often used to mean that things can’t get worse, when in fact it’s a parallel of our more commonly-used saying “the night is always darkest just before dawn,” meaning that things will get better. It’s hopeful, though it does stem from the gloom of current affairs.
This, then, is the winter of my discontent.
It’s been a strange year. My last remaining grandparent passed away. I had a (very minor) heart attack days after peeing rocks. I fractured my pelvis and slept in an armchair for the better part of two or three months. I am now sleeping with a machine to help me breathe because I very likely will choke to death some night without it thanks to the angle of my neck.
And I’m coming out of it feeling… okay. Bit more scarred, I suppose, but particularly since October, I think I’ve healed up a bit. I can’t explain why, exactly, but I feel like I’ve got a little bit of my swagger back, something I’ve been missing for a decade. Part of that’s been my work output. I’ve published over 500k words this year. Over half a million. That’s insane. Even crazier is that I’ve finished and published a series of books people seem to like. Seven books, all done, the story complete. I’ve got another novel done and in the editing phase, a standalone that should be publishable by February on the outside. I’ve got another novella on pre-order and set to be released in a week. Sales are all over the place, but paperback sales from the few events I managed to get to this year really took off, and while my ebook sales have never been great, I’m seeing some positive numbers and am poised to enter into some new genres and try some new series next year.
Saying all that juxtaposed next to words about losing someone important to me feels more than a little weird, but right now, I need good things to cling to. I need to pat myself on the back because holy shit, I’ve survived some years but this one takes the cake. I’m ready for 2019. We’ll get thing started with what promises to be a polarizing novel (we’ll talk more in a few weeks), and then… I don’t know. I have a gorgeous cover for my fantasy novel that’s been in limbo since my heart attack, but I’m kinda feeling the need to revisit my post-apocalyptic start. It was a great concept and time has given me some ideas as to how to improve the basics. Or maybe I’ll work on my YA novel. I don’t know, and frankly, that excites me. I’m ready to try some new things, explore some new worlds. Some new characters will say hello soon. I hope you’ll say hello back, and enjoy the places you’ll go.
So long, 2018. It’s been a hell of a ride.